Stabilizing Super8 Film

A few weeks ago a film-maker contacted us to say he’d shot some film on an old Super 8 camera he’d bought and wanted to know if the footage was any good, so he could decide whether to continue shooting scenes for his film.

The resulting scan showed the film hadn’t been held steady in the camera during shooting – a uncommon problem with old cine cameras – and as a result the film moves around too much creating a distracting, messy look. This was potentially very bad news for the film-maker, but luckily I have a keen interest in image stabilization so offered to try and fix his problem in post-production…

 

A bit of background for you… I work a lot with old ‘Video’ footage. These are recordings made on a VHS camera, or Hi8 tape, etc. ‘Video’ suffers greatly from stabilization problems whereby hand-held footage looks very unpleasant, especially when the cameraman makes fast, erratic movements or panning too fast. I have used image stabilization in the past to appease that problem, but I’ve never felt the need to do this on cine film, as ‘Real Film’ doesn’t have the same problem that ‘Video’ has, and hand-held footage, even 70 years old, looks absolutely fine normally. So this was the first time I’d had chance to play with Image Stabilization on a piece of cine footage. Anyway, after some trial and error and tweaking of settings, I ran the process on a 4min reel and as you can see from the results in this video, the output is excellent. The film-maker was delighted and is continuing to shoot his movie, knowing I will resolve the problem for him. If you have this issue with your film and want a quote for fixing it, give me, Steven, a call on +44(0)1803 873472 or email me at steven@alivestudios.co.uk

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