Free Animation Equipment

From: George Griffin (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Jul 01 2009 - 13:22:16 PDT



Because I now exclusively use digital acquisition I offer this
equipment to the right party, free, with the condition that you take
it all and have a plan for using it that doesn’t include selling or
scrapping it, at least not right away.

These machines served me well as an independent animator and
commercial producer from the early 1970s up to the new millennium when
I began using a still camera on a copystand.


1. One Bell & Howell 2709 35mm cine camera. Both Acme and Oxberry
cameras were based on the shuttle on the 2709 because of its superior
stationary registration pin system. The original model can be found at
film museums,

  e.g. (

The camera was modified to down-shoot by removing the turret, beefing
up the precision rackover plate including a stationary Nikon lens
mount (I used a 55mm micro-Nikkor, not included), and motorizing the
take-up and supply pulleys. The camera has a reticle on the access
door which allows one to view through the lens or project an accurate
guide onto a flat field with the included prism/light-source unit. The
variable shutter is controlled by a large gauge to make fades. An A/C
stop-motion motor with frame counter runs at 3 exposures (1/4, ˝, one
second) forward and reverse. Includes two standard 35mm magazines and
one dual chamber bi-pack magazine (made out of wood; it will need some
modification for film take-up). All controls for shutter and focus are
totally manual.

This camera is NOT for purists who get all sentimental over the
authentic hand-cranked camera that became the “standard” for Hollywood
features in the silent era. True, there is a hole for the crank
handle, but the chopped off turret radically alters the appearance of
the all-aluminum body. The modification for animation may have been
done during WWII for the Army Signal Corps which produced many films
in Brooklyn using equipment that later ended up in animation studios
around the city.

2. A second Bell & Howell 2709 35mm cine camera. Modified generally
the same as the first camera except it has a 16mm shuttle and the take-
up tension is supplied by the camera with the original springbelt
loop, not independent motors. This is a newer camera built I would
guess after WWII. Includes one magazine.

Both cameras are interchangeable. They fit on the rackover plate on
the same pilot pins; use the same light for their respective field
reticles; use the same stop-motion motor.

The cameras and animation stand (which I donated long ago) were used
by the Bray Studio located in the Film Center Building on 9th Ave.
Historians know that the original cartoon studio, founded by John
Randolph Bray in 1910, is where the Fleischer brothers and so many
other pioneers started out. By 1972 they were using an Oxberry to make
training films for the military. I bought the lot for $2500 and
installed it in a loft in Chinatown. During the next twenty years the
stand was used by a wide swath of animators — David Ehrlich, Bill
Plympton, Anthony McCall, Lee Savage, to name a few — and was pictured
in Kit Laybourne’s classic “The Animation Book.” (Three Rivers Press,

3. Moviola 35mm picture, 1-35mm magnetic sound. This is a classic
compact green upright editing machine in very good running condition
with new belts.

4. Moviola 4 gang synchronizer (2-35mm, 2-16mm), one sound head with
squawk box.

5. Seimens 16mm interlock field projector with variable speed motor
and 3 sound options: optical, magnetic stripe and magnetic full coat
interlocked. 1000’ reel.

6. Revere 16mm silent projector with variable speed motor. Very good

7. Maier-Hancock 16-35mm hot splicer. Very good condition.

The ideal destination for this trove (“hoard”?) would be a mad
scientist-tinker-animation nut who is unaffected by the current
relentless stampede toward the latest digital gadget or paradigm
shift, or a collective of makers who see it as colossal kinetic
sculpture, or working parts of a totally devolved studio producing
films the old fashioned way for projection at the local cinema.

Please send inquiries to me off-list. Use “frameworks 2709” as the


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