le guillotine!

From: David Tetzlaff (email suppressed)
Date: Mon Jan 21 2008 - 19:49:45 PST

Sam asked:

>> I never rely on the splicer blades to cut the tape cleanly. After I
>> stick the tape across, I trim it with an X-Acto knife.
> David, in that case wouldn't it be easier just to do it with a Rivas
> (straight cut - modified for cutting on the frame line) ?

AFAIK, a Rivas takes actual dexterity, as you have to be able to line
up the holes in the splicing tape with the sprocket holes on the
film. I guess if everything works right, the blade cuts the tape
exactly on the frame line. I hear the real 'pros' all swear by the
Rivas since, once mastered, cutting goes much faster. On a
guillotine, the tape is going across the film, not along it's length.
If you don't get it on there exactly right, the tape edges won't hit
the framelines perfectly, but it's close enough for me. The biggest
problem with guillotine splicers for me has always been that the
blades that cut the tape are too dull/gunked/misaligned, and so don't
cut the tape cleanly, leaving flash on the edges of the film. You
don't get this with a Rivas if you get that tape on there straight,
but if you miss, and have some tape hanging off the film edge,
there's no way to trim it in the splicer. As Ken Paul Rosenthal says,
the guillotine has a channel on either side of the film for the
blades. Even a klutz like me can put a blade in that channel, make
sure it contacts the edge, and cut across to yield a splice that has
absolutely clean edges. I'm talking about the same thing Ken is,
doing the work of those edge-trim blades manually.

That still leaves the 'hanging chad' problem, if the spikes that
punch the holes in the tape don't work right. I'll have to try
Dominic's maintenance suggestions.

In truth, the reason I have a guillotine is that's what they taught
me in school way back when, and I'd actually never seen a Rivas in
the flesh until about three years ago.

Maybe someone will write an FCP plug-in that simulates the look of
slightly misaligned splicing tape and appllies it to all the cuts in
your timeline. They can put it in a suite with a plug-in that
simulates a lap-glue splice, and another one that simulates a little
registration flutter for the people who REALLY want video to look
like film. :-)

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.