Try Editing Your Vimeo Masterpieces On This Analogue Monstrosity

Digital video editing is so engrained in our collective techno-consciousness. It seems absurd that film was once actually, you know, film, and that movies had to be assembled by hand on a huge table like this.

It's a Steenbeck flatbed editor, and it was pretty ubiquitous in the film world until digital took over. In university, as a fresh young film student, I experienced painstakingly spooling film and magnetic tape through endlessly confusing rollers. It sucked.

The table doesn't actually do any editing in and of itself. It merely controls playback. You would shuttle back and forth to the frame around which you wanted to make a cut, then you would place the film into a splicer, which would cut the film with a blade and stamp a piece of tape over the seam. So primitive! We were told as film students that editing the old-fashioned way at first would force a more sophisticated understanding of editing. Is that true? Does writing on paper force a greater understanding of the written word?

Here is a short video showing some of the process:

Believe it or not, Steenbeck is still in existence manufacturing flatbed editors. They mostly supply film archives and restoration houses with equipment these days. Here's to the good 'ol days!

Picture: DRsKulturarvsprojekt/Flickr


Comments

    Hence the term "that scene ended up on the cutting room floor"

    From what I understand based on what my teenage cousin has told me: All students (at least in her highschool) from years 8 - 12 will be granted a free laptop.

    Adding that with the observation of handwriting I've seen of the younger employees of where I work and their spelling on the internet, I'm forced to conclude that regardless of whether or not it makes a difference, the English language as we know it is doomed.

    In year 12 (seven years ago now), we were forced/told to submit all our work via pen and paper. I like to think that ultimately helped in not turning me into a terrible speller.

    Wow. Seven years ago now...

    Last edited 03/01/13 6:41 am

    Being qualified as a draftsman (electrical) and learning my trade just when CAD programs where coming into existence, I had to learn using a pen and a drafting board. I believe that it gave you a better understanding of pens, and the thickness of those pens and where to use them. This is missing on most CAD programs as all lines are displayed with the same thickness on the screen, yet plot/prints display a pen thickness. Todays draftys lack a basic drafting standard.
    So to answer your question of, Is it true that using old school techniques give you a better understanding of modern methods, I believe the answer is a resounding YES

      Yeah - but isn't that a problem with CAD programs rather than the user?

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