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What is a Cement Splicer?

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Rhonda Callow•updated: 1/21/2011

Learn about how to use a Cement Splicer during post-production.

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    From Linear Editing to Printing

    Linear editing is by no means a common form of film or digital video editing and is instead used as a specific novelty. Linear editing is saved for certain purposes, mainly video art utilizing these specific media and technology, preference for certain purposes by the director, and other very customized reasons. For the most traditional types of linear editing processes you are going to see that you have physically cut and separate different strings of actual film stock, only to then attach different segregated pieces together to form an actual string. At the end you are likely going to have to work with a string of film for viewing or printing, and the cutting will continue. To do this you have to use what is called a Cement Splicer in linear editing.

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    Using a Cement Splicer

    A Cement Splicer is used to cut the film negative in preparation for the printing. The Cement Splicer is also used to correct different reels that are supposed to join for the print that is to be released for viewing. What the Cement Splicer actually does is remove the emulsion from shot A and then bond the bases of both shot A and shot B with what is referred to as "film cement." Though you lose a single frame in between, this is an effective way of connecting these shots so that they are relatively seamless.

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    Negative Splices

    There are a couple types of different splices that are conventionally done with your Cement Splicer during post-production. If you use what is called negative splices you are going to end up taking up less actual picture than normal positive splices. You also tend to have less room for error in a negative splice because of the narrow nature of the negative splice

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    Film Types

    The Cement Splicer is really used on the last stages of your linear editing when you are preparing the film for viewing or printing. In 35mm film the Cement Splicer does not usually show up in the print at all, but on 8mm and 16mm film you can usually bet that you are going to see some evidence of it up on the screen. The reason is that you have to cut through the picture a bit on the 8mm and 16mm film, while on the 35mm film you do not.