Super 8 Film Splicers

Tips and Tricks for Super 8 Film Splicers

When youre ready to do more with your Super 8 footage, look to a film splicer. This handy device has been around almost as long as the film format itself, and it can make editing by hand much easier. Get ready to add updated methods to the production process once you have your own, so you can create unique personal film.

What does a splicer do?

For filmmakers not going the digital editing route, splicing is the technique of cutting and rejoining physical film. As it involves removing unwanted frames, it allows the user to create cutaways and trim scenes. The machines themselves can be made for various types of film stock, not least of all for Super 8mm rolls.

What types of splicers are there?

You have a few options regarding splicers, as they differ based on how the film will be reconnected. Many are made for Super 8 stock, though you can also find universal versions. Check out the main types below.

  • Tape: Rejoin the Super 8 film using clear tape. The tape works with many types of stock and may or may not be perforated; many splicers punch the missing holes automatically. This type is suitable for workprints and stock repair.
  • Cement: A material called film cement glues the film together, the bond invisible and permanent. These are suitable for splicing negatives as well as release-ready stock. There is also the hot cement splicer, which uses heat to help the cement settle faster.
  • Ultrasonic: Ultrasonic splicing uses high-frequency electronic signals to melt pieces of film together. You wont have to worry about replenishing consumables; the fusion takes mere seconds. This method works especially well with the polyester film.
How do you operate a splicer?

Line the Super 8 stock where you want to cut it and lower the blade between the frames. As for the connection, that depends on the type of splicer you have. The tape and cement need to be manually manipulated, but the process can be as simple as making the cut, lining the cells up, and applying a little of either binder.

How do you prepare Super 8 stock for splicing?

When the Super 8 film is ready for splicing, double check to be sure its clean. If theres dust or debris on it, gently apply pressure with a microfiber cloth to remove them. Isopropyl alcohol may be used to clean negatives, too, as long as you apply it lightly with a cotton cloth or swab. Also, make sure the splicing blade and surface are clear before operating it.