Making your own filmstrips

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fotophox

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You might be interested to know that I've figured out a way to make my own filmstrips, like the ones you may remember from school. To do this, you need four things:

1. A half-frame 35mm camera. I use an Agat 18K and a Yashica Samurai X3.0.

2. 35mm slide (transparency) film.

3. A lab that will process slide film without cutting or mounting it.

4. A filmstrip projector. The main source for these would be eBay. I was able to get a very good deal on one that looked barely used.

While I plan to do actual scripted presentations this way, thus far I've only done filmstrips that consist of successive images on the same roll. One was a whole series of shots of a 4th of July parade -- a suitable subject for the format. One thing you have to keep in mind, though:
since the images go through the projector upside-down, the pictures will be viewed in the opposite order from the order you shot them in.
 

Konical

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Good Morning, Photofox,

Some thirty years ago, when I was in grad school, I took a course in filmstrip production. One of the students used an Olympus Pen half-frame; another had a Mercury Univex which also shot half-frame and had an unusual rotary shutter.

I used a standard 35mm camera and tried to keep in mind the slightly different shape of filmstrip frames as I shot my originals. I put my originals in a home-made double-frame, trans-luminated them, and used a macro lens to shoot the final filmstrip onto color copy film. (Each exposure on the copy film gave two filmstrip frames.) That allowed me to shoot originals in any order I wished, knowing that I could later sequence them appropriately for my presentation. I thought it was a lot easier than trying to shoot a precise original half-frame sequence.

Konical
 
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fotophox

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David A. Goldfarb said:

Well, thus far my filmstrips don't have soundtracks, though I could make them. My projector has a built-in tape player. It can do auto-advance if the tape has an inaudible 50 Hz tone on it, although I have had no luck in duplicating that tone onto my own tapes. Something happens to distort the tone and it doesn't work. That means I'll have to settle for the audible BEEP!
 

Konical

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Good Morning, Photofox,

Yes, it was a kind of double slide mount. Imagine two standard slide mounts in horizontal aspect, one above the other, but with just a narrow frame space between the openings. I think I cut mine from black cardboard. The whole thing was probably about two inches wide by maybe three inches high.

Once I established the correct orientation of the original slides in relation to the copy film in the camera, the procedure involved dropping in slides #1 and #2, making the copy exposure, then repeating the process for #3 and #4, etc. It was just a matter of being organized and not losing concentration; shooting the same pair twice or leaving out a pair would have ruined the whole filmstrip. It turned out OK and seemed a lot easier to me than trying to shoot forty to sixty perfectly exposed, perfectly framed, perfectly focused, and perfectly organized half-frame shots directly in-camera.

Konical
 

Brac

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It might be heretical to suggest this, but rather than go through all the complications of preparing filmsprips why not consider scanning your original slides/negatives and then using a software program such as Ulead Picture Show you can put them on a DVD or VCD, with commentary if you wish, and show them on a large TV? Just a thought!
 
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