Jump to content


Photo

Scanning Negative When Directly Cutting Neg


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 Matthew B Clark

Matthew B Clark
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 189 posts
  • Other
  • Chicago, IL

Posted 10 April 2014 - 11:25 AM

Hi all,

 

I'm about to shoot a short film on 16mm reversal (so that I can look at it directly for editing).  The idea is to cut the original negative using a cheap tape splicer (really cheap - the Kodak basic tape splicer for 8/16).  I'd be running it through a 16mm projector to see what I'm doing after each cut (taking reels off to make each splice again).  When finished I'd have the whole "finished" film scanned.  My worry is about how much damage will occur to the neg.

 

I'm also wondering if this is the most efficient way to do this.  Or if you can suggest other ways to cut down scanning costs while working directly with negative (maybe in a less "damaging" way).  I'm very curious about how much damage will actually occur from running the negative through a 16mm projector x-amount of times in order to obtain the edit. 

 

Any advice on this workflow would be greatly appreciated.

 

 


  • 0

#2 Perry Paolantonio

Perry Paolantonio
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 468 posts
  • Other
  • Boston, MA

Posted 10 April 2014 - 11:37 AM

First thing - if you're shooting reversal, then it's not negative. It's a positive image. What's in the camera is what you're editing and projecting. The traditional workflow using neg would be to shoot negative, have a workprint made, then go back to the negative to cut it to match the final edit. From this, you'd strike your prints. In this scenario, the workprint is kind of sacrificial, because it will be handled quite a bit and every time the film is exposed to air, it's likely to pick up dust. You'll probably see a fair bit of dust and some small scratching, even if you're careful, at each cut you make.

 

I would suggest that a better workflow would be to shoot the film and then scan it and edit digitally. Don't even project the film - go direct from processing to scanner, and you should get a pretty pristine looking scan. Any time the film is run through a projector, viewer, or even unspooled to look at by eye, you risk getting it dirty. That's why the old neg/workprint/neg cut workflow worked - the only times the negative were ever handled were when the film was shot, the film was processed and workprinted, and when the neg was cut to match the final edit. As a result, you ensured that any subsequent prints looked good. The same idea applies to hybrid film/digital workflows: handle the film as minimally as possible, and scan early.

 

All that said, if you need to do this manually, don't run it through a projector, get yourself a simple Moviescop (or similar) viewer, sync block and rewinds on ebay. Set up a on a very clean bench, and be extra careful about how you handle the film. While presstape-style splices are fine, they're kind of a pain. If you can afford it, get a guillotine style splicer. Fewer fingerprints on the tape that way, and they're way faster to work with.

 

-perry


  • 0

#3 Matthew B Clark

Matthew B Clark
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 189 posts
  • Other
  • Chicago, IL

Posted 10 April 2014 - 11:51 AM

Thanks very much for the response and input.  I'm sorry about the "negative" misnomer; that was my attempt to simplify the description of the work-flow.  Of course yes, I know reversal is a positive image though. 

 

I'm very sure I want to give this a whirl though, directly with the camera film (by the way, what would you call that in this case?!)

 

I would like to see what I can do manually before jumping into all digital.  I'd like to make sure I'm learning from my mistakes.  This will help me become more conscious of exactly what I'm "avoiding" when working this way if I get a bunch of experience with handling film from all these types of angles....plus, part of me is kind of masochistic in the sense that I enjoy fighting difficult tasks.

 

I like the idea of a viewer.  Any more brands to check out?  and what are the specific pieces involved?  I can make a checklist that way.  It needs to be cheap.  Hence the bad Kodak splicer in use....


  • 0

#4 Perry Paolantonio

Perry Paolantonio
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 468 posts
  • Other
  • Boston, MA

Posted 10 April 2014 - 12:13 PM

with reversal, it's typically called "camera original" and with neg, OCN or Original Camera Negative.

 

The most basic editing setup would require:

 

Set of rewinds

Extra reels

Leader

Viewer

Splicer

white cotton gloves are a good idea, too, to minimize fingerprints on the film

 

A sync block isn't strictly necessary, but can be handy if you need to count frames since most have built in counters. In terms of a splicer, if you look on ebay there are quite a few guillotine splicers, though they can be expensive. If you're really on a budget, a presstape splicer will do, it's just kind of a pain to work with. they're dirt cheap though.

 

For viewers, Moviescops are the simplest, I think, though again they can be a bit expensive. If you look around, you can often find setups that include a viewer and rewinds mounted to a common platform, sometimes with a splicer built in.

 

-perry


  • 0

#5 Matthew B Clark

Matthew B Clark
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 189 posts
  • Other
  • Chicago, IL

Posted 10 April 2014 - 12:20 PM

Thank you Perry.  That's a big help.  I just found a Moviescop for around $170 with rewinds mounted.  Can you tell me if the Moviescop runs the film with a motor of any kind?  Or is this totally manual / cranked operation stuff?  Part of me wants to attempt eyeballing it the first time (without a viewer at all - I know, it sounds insane), because I am doing overdubs afterward.  Again, playing with things I can and can't do....seeing what works.  Pushing it I guess into bad territory on purpose... 


Edited by Matthew B Clark, 10 April 2014 - 12:20 PM.

  • 0

#6 Perry Paolantonio

Perry Paolantonio
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 468 posts
  • Other
  • Boston, MA

Posted 10 April 2014 - 12:33 PM

I think there may have been some motorized ones, but if it has rewinds, it's probably manual. Just do like they used to in the silent era and sing a little song to yourself while you crank, to keep the speed constant!

 

I'd just avoid threading it up over and over again in a projector, because they tend to be fairly unforgiving. So you want to minimize the number of times you project your original.

 

-perry


  • 0

#7 Chris Burke

Chris Burke
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1675 posts
  • Boston, MA

Posted 10 April 2014 - 03:42 PM

Reversal has a one of a kind look that is hard to replicate, I get that, but if you are not married to shooting it, I highly recommend shooting negative given your workflow or you might want to consider striking a print from the camera original and work with that. As Perry has stated, the camera original is going to get really beat up during editing. Rock on though for shooting reversal and cutting by hand, can't wait to see it.


  • 0


Opal

Wooden Camera

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Visual Products

Ritter Battery

Technodolly

Tai Audio

rebotnix Technologies

Metropolis Post

Willys Widgets

Paralinx LLC

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Rig Wheels Passport

Glidecam

CineTape

Aerial Filmworks

The Slider

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

CineLab

FJS International, LLC

Abel Cine

Glidecam

CineTape

Wooden Camera

Willys Widgets

rebotnix Technologies

Visual Products

Technodolly

Tai Audio

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Ritter Battery

Aerial Filmworks

The Slider

Abel Cine

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

FJS International, LLC

Rig Wheels Passport

Metropolis Post

Opal

CineLab