Re: [Frameworks] 16mm Hot Splicer - take it.

From: Myron Ort <>
Date: Mon, 25 Apr 2011 12:15:35 -0700

Some thoughts on the trusty Maier-Hancock..
They take a long time to warm up and it depends on the level of
voltage in your area.
  It is easy enough to replace the wire-wound "power" resistor
underneath if it is burned out. The value of the resistor is usually
printed on the surface and an equivalent can be obtained at any major
electronics supplier. It would be important to use one of similar
size. The size implies the wattage.
If anyone has a question about the correct value for this resistor I
can look at mine and post that value. It is possible I can come up
with one from my own local parts store which supplies "surplus"

In my neck of the woods the electricity changes during the day and is
significantly higher at the end of the day and in the evening the
splicer to gets too hot so I unplug it for awhile. Changes between
117 -128 volts in the course of the day are noticeable changes in
heat on my splicer.
It can get hot enough to cause the steel to slightly expand and slow
down the action of the splicer's mechanism.
This splicer works almost as well without the heating element
engaged, simply let the splice set for a couple more seconds before
opening the splicer. If you are making lots of splices, the heat
means you can proceed much faster.

The integrity of the splice can be compromised by even a small amount
of dry cement residue on the splicer surfaces. I find myself
cleaning the splicer surfaces with a razor blade almost between every
splice. In addition to the built in scraper mechanism, I will further
carefully and subtly abrade both surfaces before applying the cement.
The backside of the film coming down to the scraped area sometimes
needs this extra "clean up" to make a strong splice. I use the less
abrasive side of an already somewhat worn down emory board.

Cement splicing can be a bit labor intensive. For A-roll splicing,
something I am currently doing with some older material, if I cannot
achieve a "hidden" splice, I will first put two frames of black
leader between shots, careful to switch the film around so the black
leader is never "scraped". This provides a black patch over both
splices making them invisible. When I go to further tighten up the
cut, I will then take it down to one frame of black leader between
shots. If I am confident beforehand that the cut will not need
tightening, then I start with just one frame of black. This is only
noticeable to a very discerning eye when projected. For the most part
I can choose shots in which the visual content of the shot tends to
hide the splice mark in which case this patch is not necessary.
DIfficult to achieve if there is sky in the shot. Theoretically it
is even possible to arrange a black leader patch over just the splice
area and not even need a whole frame of black between shots.
Sometimes I will let the splice be seen, an aesthetic attitude
discussed by Brakhage around the time he came out with 23rd Psalm
Branch. It is my belief, consistent with the trajectory of all
"discoveries" in the history of art, and science for that matter,
that ideas and discoveries build upon each other, and just because
another artist used a technique or an attitude does not mean that the
technique, discovery, or attitude cannot be used by others. You would
think this notion was totally obvious, but I encounter evidence all
the time that it is not. There is instead this naive (conservative
and boring) approach which is against the establishment and
continuity of "tradition", afraid to utilize and further the radical
discoveries of our true innovators. Where would music be if it were
not built on a tradition of continuation. In other words, if you let
a splice be seen, it does not have to mean that you are "copying" the
"style" of someone else who happen to do that. That such a technique
once became an articulated aesthetic position is something that is
thereafter for all to use if so desired.

These are all old analog "experimental" techniques which very few
filmmakers will bother with these days. I am only doing this because
I am finishing up films that I started in the 1970s and splicing
acetate stock is kind of fun in a nostalgic sort of way.

Myron Ort

On Apr 25, 2011, at 9:55 AM, Steven Gladstone wrote:

> Hey I've a 16mm hot splicer. Maier-Hancock Portable 16mm/Reg 8mm.
> I've plugged it in, but after 5 minutes it hasn't gotten hot.
> Used, Old, and YOURS if you come get it.
> I'm in Brooklyn, Please contact me off list.
> Thanks.
> --
> Steven Gladstone
> New York Based Cinematographer
> Gladstone films
> Blog -
> 917-886-5858
> _______________________________________________
> FrameWorks mailing list

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Received on Mon Apr 25 2011 - 12:15:57 CDT