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Perforated Magnetic Film?


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#1 Mario Regus

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 09:13 AM

Hello,

I'm a total beginner in regards to 16mm editing and cutting and have been reading the book "16mm Film Cutting" by John Burder. In it he makes numerous mentions of perforated magnetic film that is used to synchronize the soundtrack with the film. Various searches on the web have turned up nothing on this particular type of audio film/tape. Has anyone ever worked with this before? Is this still available?

Thanks
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#2 Simon Wyss

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 10:01 AM

I have.

Makers of magnetic film are Pyral and FPC-Eastman-Kodak, see under Fullcoat.
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#3 Mario Regus

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Posted 26 August 2011 - 10:34 AM

I have.

Makers of magnetic film are Pyral and FPC-Eastman-Kodak, see under Fullcoat.


Thanks for the reply it was a big help!
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#4 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 01:24 AM

Just FYI, Generally speaking, this is old school technology, pre 1995. Mag film was generally used on either upright or flatbed editing machines (although, with 16, I'd probably just look for a tabletop model with mag sound capabilities unless you're cutting together a project over 30 minutes, Which you COULD still cut on a table top but would take a LOT more time than using the more professional set up) in combination with 'work" prints. MOST films shot ON film today are edited on computers (Lucas kinda changed the whole deal in the mid 90s), I might recommend reading "The Film Editing Room Handbook" by Hollyn, it is the definitive work on traditional film editing (an older edition is better if you intend to learn traditional editing in it's purest form).


NOW that being said, it doesn't mean you can't cut your project traditionally, but you WILL need the old school tools to do the job, which means either buying the stuff (as I did with my 35mm stuff) or renting time in a traditional editing suite (There was none anywhere NEAR where I live I even went so far as to buy a pair if mag film recorders and EVERYTHING else I needed to edit my projects traditionally including a pair of ACmade coding machines and a SuperSimplex dallies projector. The only things I have left to pick is is a 4 gang synchronizer. I'd really like to pick up a Pic-Sync which has a view screen built in but are REALLY pricey), a Moviola upright editor w/ the anamorphic blister (it's easier to sync on an upright than a flatbed, I had one lined up, but though miscommunication, I missed it and haven't seen another with the blister, damn it!!)AND some odds and ends for my cutting table.

I said this was old school, so why did I go old school? The reason is because a film cut traditionally is different in terms a pace and timing than one cut on a computer. In fact a film cut on an upright will have a different look and feel than the same film cut on a flatbed, go figure. The editing room is where the film is actually made, really much like Frankenstein's laboratory, it's where it is brought to life. There is no way to underestimate the importance of editing process. You CAN (and most do) edit non-linearly on a computer. Traditional editing is a Hell of a lot more work but it really comes down to your own artistic preferences.

There are several labs that still make work prints and although the cost is higher than having it all transferred to a digital format, the cost of used editing equipment has dropped through the floor especially for 16. Rental fees for traditional suites have dropped dramatically as well... IF you can find one. You'll also need a way to project the print. Fortunately good 16 mm projectors are available pretty damn cheap BUT you may want to look for a dallies projector which is more expensive if your going the completely film route as you can run mag film synced to the work print on a large screen to check the work. B)
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#5 Simon Wyss

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 01:46 AM

Well roared, lion

Synching picture and sound is as easy on a flatbed as on an upright editing machine. I have direct access to the magnetic head and can hover a band to and fro by will until I’ve got the impression that I want. A differential gear helps a lot when you have to search for some things that match like a “p” and closed lips or a sharp sound and a fork hitting a plate.

Reel sound synch work is with photographic dailies picture and sound! I mean, if you want to delve into it.
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#6 K Borowski

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 03:01 AM

At the same time, I wouldn't slit my wrists or take 20 sleeping pills because I coudn't afford to do cut workprints, or do analog sound.



I'd settle for what the pros settle for now: Just getting any piece of the process done photo-optically, getting to shoot film, or roll 1/4" tape at 7-1/2IPS It's a major battle to get a print made that doesn't go through the DI suite now. The equipment is crumbling.

A workprint is ultimately an expensive piece of plastic you just throw away. I'd take care to heed my surroundings, in an optical or digital editing suite, and regard or disregard them accordingly. I try not to be too much a victim of either chemical fumes or uncalibrated monitors, 1970s analog counters that limit the precision of my optical printing, or planned obsolescence so that the damned software or computer doesn't work with your $60,000 film scanner.
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#7 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 07:48 PM

Well roared, lion

:D

Synching picture and sound is as easy on a flatbed as on an upright editing machine. I have direct access to the magnetic head and can hover a band to and fro by will until I’ve got the impression that I want. A differential gear helps a lot when you have to search for some things that match like a “p” and closed lips or a sharp sound and a fork hitting a plate.

Reel sound synch work is with photographic dailies picture and sound! I mean, if you want to delve into it.


Well, not to disagree with you but though it maybe just as easy for you, personally, to sync on either type of machine, respectfully, not everyone may have your skill and in that case many people do have less trouble syncing on an upright than a flatbed. But, ultimately, it will come down to what you are more comfortable with if you have any preference at all.

As for your syncing tips, they are right on the money, very good advice on the tricks of the trade. B)
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#8 K Borowski

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Posted 27 August 2011 - 09:05 PM

I remember an article from circa 2000 where Kodak was pitching film dailies, not workprints, for shooting evaluation. Theoretically, you can still miss some focus issues working with NLE that you wouldn't if you had a workprint, because you basically have a 1:1 copy at HD+ resolution where you can see every piece of detail and then some that is going to make it onto the TV or theatre screen.


With HD this advantage has lessened.



Steve: I challenge you to provide a movie you know was NLE-edited versus a movie that was flatbed edited from teh '80s when the transition occurred. I find it very very hard to believe you can see the difference. The real influence is editing style NOT the equipment.
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#9 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 01:11 AM

The real influence is editing style NOT the equipment.


Well, that's really the whole point isn't it. New technology create different priorities and these are not always better or more desirable. The biggest advantage of computer editing is it's fast, which is GREAT for producers and investors/studios because it saves them money and increases profit BUT it's backfired because NOW "directors" shoot every angle possible and dump this cacophony of images into the editor's lap and let them deal with it because they can't make an image that definitively states the moment. As a result they can cut together some releasable tripe from this mountain of tape in a digital editing suite which is much cheaper than doing it right, out in the field with a full crew, led by some video school graduate who can't really direct,

The one thing that I do like about computer editing is that it allows one to make a series of quick cuts very easily (IE the Bourne Identity) which can work very well especially in action adventure, BUT the tradeoff in most cases is a well planned out, well thought out, well composed image and sequence.

As for your challenge, I HONESTLY got way too much going on right now to waste time on making lists but trust me, it you look closer, you WILL see the difference between films edited on a computer and ones cut on a traditional editing machine. ;)
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#10 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 01:56 AM

Well, that's really the whole point isn't it. New technology create different priorities and these are not always better or more desirable. The biggest advantage of computer editing is it's fast, which is GREAT for producers and investors/studios because it saves them money and increases profit BUT it's backfired because NOW "directors" shoot every angle possible and dump this cacophony of images into the editor's lap and let them deal with it because they can't make an image that definitively states the moment.


There's a level of pressure from producers (especially in TV) to have lots of coverage, this can allow the producers to do the edit without any involvement from the director. Of course, this is different to the John Ford and Hitchcock method of just shooting what they wanted, so the studio can't re-cut it.

The effect of shooting from every angle will also tend to effect the production crew, with over runs.
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#11 Dom Jaeger

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 05:00 AM

NOW that being said, it doesn't mean you can't cut your project traditionally, but you WILL need the old school tools to do the job, which means either buying the stuff (as I did with my 35mm stuff) or renting time in a traditional editing suite (There was none anywhere NEAR where I live I even went so far as to buy a pair if mag film recorders and EVERYTHING else I needed to edit my projects traditionally including a pair of ACmade coding machines and a SuperSimplex dallies projector. The only things I have left to pick is is a 4 gang synchronizer. I'd really like to pick up a Pic-Sync which has a view screen built in but are REALLY pricey), a Moviola upright editor w/ the anamorphic blister (it's easier to sync on an upright than a flatbed, I had one lined up, but though miscommunication, I missed it and haven't seen another with the blister, damn it!!)AND some odds and ends for my cutting table.

I said this was old school, so why did I go old school? The reason is because a film cut traditionally is different in terms a pace and timing than one cut on a computer.


Wow Steve, you're a dude! Hats off.

I'm a sucker for old school myself - just about everything touted as new and improved always seems to involve something else being lost, and it's often only realised when it's too late. The price of progress I guess. But I'm curious as to how many other people (other than Simon B) ) are still cutting traditionally. My impression was that these days you can't even give that gear away.

There's a lovely old chap in his 80's who regularly drops in to my work to get an old lens or camera serviced by me (even though he doesn't use them anymore) and give me another standard 8 camera he's dug up for my collection. He was a cine editor for 40 odd years, and the depth of his knowledge is astounding. I always pepper him with questions. But it makes me sad to think that his knowledge and skills are generally considered obsolete and will pass with him.
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#12 Simon Wyss

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 12:56 PM

. . . makes me sad to think that his knowledge and skills are generally considered obsolete and will pass with him.

Here’s precisely where you hit my point. It is my strong believe that there will come new generations, young folks who might be ten years old now plus minus, who’ll rediscover handicraft. I mean, those who are growing up with CGI today actually must turn their heads towards closer-to-oneself doing some day. Editing has much to do with a movie’s content, so as soon as there is a picture to be made come alive producers will want reel creatives. It’s what one finds against the resistance from the material.

Upright or flatbed, of course, is a matter of taste. But nothing replaces the joy one can get by doing it by hand. To hasten up the editing of a movie is simply plain stupid, greedy, and overly male. Where’s the female side of us all today?
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#13 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 01:49 PM

Upright or flatbed, of course, is a matter of taste. But nothing replaces the joy one can get by doing it by hand. To hasten up the editing of a movie is simply plain stupid, greedy, and overly male. Where’s the female side of us all today?


One thing that editors do miss about editing film is the thinking time. It's easy to get ever faster, but being of being able to play with different variations on a NLE is somewhat lost if you've only got time to come up with one version, which is a variation of something you've already done before. Rather repetitive like that sentence.
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#14 K Borowski

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 06:02 PM

As for your challenge, I HONESTLY got way too much going on right now to waste time on making lists but trust me, it you look closer, you WILL see the difference between films edited on a computer and ones cut on a traditional editing machine. ;)


I'm not asking for a l,ist, just two films that exemplify this difference. I honestly can't see how an editor working on a flatbed with a specific set of instructions for the look o foa filmis going to produce a different result than NLE.

Ultimately, the decisions are reduced to a sweries of frame nubmers that go to a neg cutter in either case.
I think the money sould got into ptical printing rather than NLE editing. Even optical printing is going by the wayside. I don't think advising someone to bang their head against the wall and shell out their own money for a workprint that is scrap afterwards is a good way to preserve what is left.


But, anyway, I cannot see a difference that I could in any way attribute to a flatbed versus software in any early '80s versus late '80s television shows, movies.


"Bourne" comes 20 years after NLE became available, so I don't think it's fair to somehow say that look is because of NLE; there was TWO DECADE of it prior thatdid NOT have the sickening cutting. I know what you mean about that movie. It showed the "advantages of DI" with the jump cuts all over the place. Someone went crazy with it. God forbid a shot have a minimum length of, what 12 fames with contact printing?



I don't really enjoy editing of any type. It is a chore, work. I think glamorizing editors is done by people who haven't spent enough time at the bench cutting and splicing. Not that starign at a computer screen is in anyway desirable. I'd love to cut 35mm on a flatbed. . . if someone else paid for it.
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#15 James Steven Beverly

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 06:07 PM

The only things I have left to pick is is a 4 gang synchronizer. I'd really like to pick up a Pic-Sync which has a view screen built in but are REALLY pricey), a Moviola upright editor w/ the anamorphic blister (it's easier to sync on an upright than a flatbed, I had one lined up, but though miscommunication, I missed it and haven't seen another with the blister, damn it!!)AND some odds and ends for my cutting table. B)


Well, I must now amend this statement, Because of my great on-line friend, Admiral Halsey better known as the incredible Hal Smith, I am now the proud owner of a Moviola "Paramount" upright cutter's editing machine (these did not use the reel arms) Similar to this one:

Posted Image

Posted Image

I CAN NOT THANK Hal enough. I owe him a GREAT debt of gratitude for his magnanimous generosity that I hope I can repay some day.

On another note, there are several 16mm Moviola uprights and one tabletop viewer on Ebay right now along with several very nice looking synchronizes of various gang capacities along with several rewinds right now. It might be worth checking out. B)

Edited by James Steven Beverly, 28 August 2011 - 06:08 PM.

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#16 K Borowski

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Posted 28 August 2011 - 06:10 PM

One thing that editors do miss about editing film is the thinking time. It's easy to get ever faster, but being of being able to play with different variations on a NLE is somewhat lost if you've only got time to come up with one version, which is a variation of something you've already done before. Rather repetitive like that sentence.


If anything , NLE frees up MORE time because you can play around with more variations instead of physically cutting splicing. There isn't as much flexibility to cut a few frames here and there when there's physical labor involved in doing it.

The pressures OUTSIDE of the editing suite really can't fairly be blamed on NLE. Nor can coverage.

We're talking about a flatbed versus a non-linear editor.




The important part is getting a print to the theatre. I don't' care if VHS tape, 35mm blowup workprints, or harddrives were used to generate an instruction list forthe neg.cutter. Neither does the audience.
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#17 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 01:36 AM

If anything , NLE frees up MORE time because you can play around with more variations instead of physically cutting splicing. There isn't as much flexibility to cut a few frames here and there when there's physical labor involved in doing it.

The pressures OUTSIDE of the editing suite really can't fairly be blamed on NLE. Nor can coverage.

We're talking about a flatbed versus a non-linear editor.


I know editors who'd rather not go back to cutting on film, but the schedules on many productions do mean that much of the thinking time that those mechanical processes allow is now lost. Also, the totally pissed off release valve of throwing the splicer at the wall has gone as well.

You always could cut frames here and there on film, it's basically the same process as used by NLE, just storing and accessing those clips isn't quite as easy. On any productions that I've worked with an editor using a NLE, they work pretty much the same way as film editors, it's the traditional video editing which was the less flexible process.

Although, for actual cutting a machine like a Pic Sync is better than a flat bed. Quite a few film editors used the flatbed for viewing or selecting material, but did the actual cutting on the bench using the Pic Sync - the only good picture I could find: http://www.ebay.com/...-/260722809306. They're motorised, so you can listen to the dialogue and get the pacing.

You can have fast cutting using the traditional methods, just look at those old Russian silent films, they're well up at the MTV cutting rates.
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#18 K Borowski

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 05:49 PM

Brian: While I'm well aware you can cut single frames on a splice block, I am saying that having to go back and physically remove, reinsert single frames, find those frames, etc. means that more times than not, the work wouldn't have been bothered with. Not that it can't be done, that the tediousness would wear an editor thin faster with a flatbed than NLE. BTW, I am using "flatbed" as the generic term for editing workprints. Is there a better term that encompasses different systems, methods?

One can always take a MONITOR and throw it, instead of the splicer. Not that this was because of editing, but I have a permanent dull spot on this screen from a "release" :D Never threw a splicer though. . . Have dropped them and put them in spots where machinery has thrown them. I think one time I almost got hit in the head by a splicer I'd put on top of a plate that had been set on timer.
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#19 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 29 August 2011 - 06:19 PM

I' am saying that having to go back and physically remove, reinsert single frames, find those frames, etc. means that more times than not, the work wouldn't have been bothered with. Not that it can't be done, that the tediousness would wear an editor thin faster with a flatbed than NLE.


Might've been tedious, but it was done, there was some pretty extreme cutting using traditional film editing. As Stan Brakhage put it: "until a man is excited about the mechanics of putting two pieces of film together, and is thrilled by his own 'sweat' in the matter, he'll never make a connection as meaningful as that expected by any village blacksmith." A bit romantic perhaps about the process... and I guess he'd include "or woman" these days.
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#20 Hal Smith

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Posted 30 August 2011 - 06:56 AM

I CAN NOT THANK Hal enough. I owe him a GREAT debt of gratitude for his magnanimous generosity that I hope I can repay some day.


I considered demanding your first born child in trade but then realized you'll probably be training them as a 1AC and will need him/her when you get into production.

Halsey
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