You could of course just roll up your sleeves and do-it-yourself! If you have budgetary constraints and aren’t too worried about the quality, you could video your film using the ‘off the wall’ technique, if you’re handy and feeling adventurous, you could always build yourself a home telecine machine.
off the wall
The quickest and easiest way to to get Super 8 images into a digital form for editing is to project it onto a wall and film the image. This video image can then be read into a computer for editing. Whilst this sounds easy, it only really works for reversal film and needs some attention to detail to ensure the best quality image. Issues to consider include:
- Image size and quality
- Brightness and white balance
- Eliminating ‘keystoning’ (when the image is skewed as the projector and camera can’t be in the same place)
- Reducing film flicker
- Ensuring focus
Rather than go into absolute detail on ‘off the wall’ techniques, the Movie Making Manual gives chapter and verse.
build one yourself
If you’re technically minded and have some time to spare, you could always build your own telecine machine.
Adopting many of the principles described thus far – good optics, frame by frame scanning and ingenuity, a number of people have successfully built home telecine machines some of which have delivered amazing results.
If you don’t mind scouring the internet for components, using a soldering iron and learning about the pronciples of optics then the true DIY route might be for you.
However, be warned, this is not for the faint hearted and results can be hugely variable due to the mirad of variables involved.
For links to hints and tips on building your own telecine machine check out our Process! page.