Learn How to Repair Broken 8mm Film

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Removing Damaged Sections

If you are an independent filmmaker, then you may be interested in using 8mm film. This type of film is 8 millimeters wide and runs like a film strip. If you already have an older piece of 8mm film, then you may run into the problem of the film being torn or broken in two. This may lead you to a question: how to repair broken 8mm film?

Well, the first thing that you want to do is figure out how much of the film you can save. Run the film through a project to determine how much of the film is completely destroyed. Some pieces may be slightly damaged, but salvageable.

Sections that are completely ruined, however, you just need to cut off. Each frame of a scene of 8mm film is actually an individual box. Go to the last frame that is still useable, and then use scissors and actually cut off the next frame. Use a ruler as a guide and cut only on the line between the two frames. If not, you’ll damage the last good frame.

Add in Transitions

Once the bad part is removed, you need to invest in some sort of film splicers. The four main types of film splicers are tape, cement, thermal and ultrasonic. Before you start putting your film back together, however, you need to figure out if you need to add some type of transition. If you only had to remove one or two frames, then it may be noticeable to your audience that you had to remove a couple of frames.

If you had to remove whole sections of the film, then you need to add some type of transition. Use something like still images or even some type of title page that either explains why sections are missing or that introduces the next set of action.

Types of Splicers

Now, you are ready to use your splicer. You often can pick up these devices at local garage sales, and tape splicers are usually the most common type of splicer found at these sales. A tape splicer uses adhesive tape to reconnect the film together. You can use tape splicers on nearly any type of film.

Cement splicers uses a chemical film cement to join film together. You put the chemical on the base of the end that you need to connect. You can only use this chemical on certain types of film, including nitrate, acetate or triacetate. If you use this chemical on any other type of film, then you run the risk of ruining it.

You can use thermal paper splicers to connect large sections of film together, and this method employs a tab that has a plastic coating. This tab bonds to the film when heated and holds the two sections together. You can use this splicer on different film types.

The final type is the ultrasonic splicer, which you can only use with polyester film. This process basically melts two pieces of film together. You should let your film sit for a while before moving it if you use this process.