8mm Film transfer to Video using a Canon 5d

Vimeo user James Miller demonstrates a technique of directly projecting 8mm film into the sensor of a Canon 5d MkII for converting those old celluloid prints.

The Projector – 8mm Direct to 5Dmk2 from James Miller on Vimeo.

From the Vimeo Description:
This is my method for transferring 8mm footage using the Canon 5Dmk2 in real time. The results are very good for such a fast method if you cannot afford the money or time for frame scanning.

00:42 – It very important to use a flat type LED’s not the dome shaped ones. The dome shape LED’s will give you lots of blooming and the focus will drift at the edges making you suspect the lens.

00:58 – I drilled 3 holes in the body of the projector for the LED flexible light strip, behind where the original bulb used to sit. I mask out light I don’t want projected with putty. The position of the lights helps mask out some of the scratches. I need to add another couple of (horizontal) lights either side of the centre light.

01:29 – I modified the original projector lens to try and achieve a flat field image. Made from the rear element from a Carl Zeiss Flektogon 35mm and attached to the original lens tube with a bit a tape no less. You could use standard lens and there are some very nice ones out there.

03:08 – Utilising the body from the old 35mm lens, it proved a good way in shielding the projector from light pollution, I also added a 12mm extension tube. A lens cloth draped over the front further seals the light from entering, of course you could just film in very low light.

00:12 – I put 2 drive belts on the motor, this slowed the motor down just enough to reduce the shutter flicker. The Canon 5Dmk2 was set to 24p and 1/50 for our electrical phase.

ISO ranged from base up to 1000, depending on exposure of original film. The footage is fine at ISO 1000 but this could be reduced by using a more powerful flat lens LED.

03:30 – Focus and frame size changed by moving the projector or camera and adjusting the screw type lens. Try and focus on the film grain and not the scratches.

00:37 – I removed the internal mask for 8mm & S8mm aspects at the gate to project an unrestricted image into the camera. You gain areas that are hidden but they have the perfs though them and you see the top and bottom of the next and previous frame, but you can re-mask in post. If it’s personal footage you want to see everything on the frame, some times it makes the difference.

You can use the crop sensor DSLR’s but the lens would need changing or modifying unless you wanted a cropped image. On this lens and projector I can not bring the camera near enough without fouling on the body of the camera or projector body to get a full image captured.

I have tried to make this project as accessible as possible and apart from the camera, all the items are fairly cheap to pick up.

Projector used: Eumig Mark 501, I also use the Eumig 610D & the Eumig Mark DL
Camera: Canon 5Dmk2

Ref LED:

Here are links to a couple of films transferred using this exact setup:

Three from James Miller on Vimeo.

Sisters from James Miller on Vimeo.

Interview with Julien Nitzberg: “It’s like Scorcese directing Hee-Haw”

Richard Metzger interviews Julien Nitzberg, director of the amazing documentary film, “The Wild Whites of West Virginia.” Shot over the course of eighteen months, the film follows the often comical, sometimes tragic antics of the hell-raising hillbilly White family of Boone County, WV. Surely the state’s most notorious clan since the days of the Hatfields and the McCoys, the Whites engage in a mind-blowing array of anti-social and criminal activities with barely concealed glee.

Produced by “Jackass” maestros Johnny Knoxville and Jeff Tremaine through their Dickhouse production company and MTV Films, “The Wild Whites of West Virginia” takes no prisoners and it doesn’t tell you what to think about the Whites. Local law enforcement hate them, but for the most part—barring a several day armed seige one younger White puts them through—but tend to want to stay out of their insane shenanigans.

13 Examples of Why DVD Bootleggers are More Honest than Hollywood Studios

We have all seen those glowing reviews of crap movies by “critics” you never heard of, whose name is in such small print their legal department must have created the font. These shinning examples of bad bootleg DVDs shows sometimes you need to step outside the law to get a little honesty in movie marketing.

They where created by non-English speaking bootleggers getting quotes off the interwebs not realizing many are horribly negative then pastes the quotes on the package heedless of the content.

You can find these and other Crappy Bootleg DVD Covers in their Flickr pool.

“Not as good as the first one, but OK”

“…to be endured rather than enjoyed…”

“A really bad soap opera… “

“…irritating and toothless…”

“…terrible movie…”

“Dated and only intermittently funny.”

“…trying too hard to make the film work.”

“It’s just innocuous.”

“A piece of fectly Purement”

“…pretentious, confusing, dull and shocking…”

“…Good but not great”

“…the inexperience shows.”

“…Too self-absorbed…”

How to Make Breakaway Glass

In this video The Slanted Lens will show you how to make Candy glass and then introduce you to premier Hollywood products made by Alfonso’s Breakaway Glass.


  • 2 cups of Distilled water.
  • 1 cup of light corn syrup.
  • 3 1/2 cups of Sugar.
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cream of tarter.
  1. Add all ingredients into the metal cooking pot.
  2. Bring mixture to boil stirring it constantly.
  3. Let it continue boiling on high until it reaches 300 degrees.
  4. This will take about 45 minutes.
  5. Spray the cookie sheet with the spray cooking oil.
  6. Pour the mixture onto the cookie sheet and let cool for at least 1 hour.
  7. Your glass is finished. Because of the spray oil it will fall right out of the cookie sheet

Steven Spielberg: “I need a monkey”

In this 1983 thank you note  Steven Spielberg writes  to  the editor of Famous Monsters of Filmland, Forrest Ackerman.  He mentions the “insane” casting process on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom while recalling the simpler days of film school.

Transcript below.

VIA: Letters of Note

Image via Heritage Auctions


Dear Forry,

Thank you for your kind and very amusing note the other day.

Things are going very well over here in Burbank — the next RAIDERS movie is in full prep. and casting is insane — I need a monkey, a great kid and hundreds of fruit bats!!

And they said filmmaking was easy in college!!

Please start another movie mag. I grew up with you – now I want to grow old with you!

Best of everything,

(Signed, ‘Steven’)


Top 7 Blonde Bullies from 80′s Teen Movies

The 80′s blonde haired bully was a unique species. Once one of the most numerous and widespread cliche characters. Although it’s preferred hunting ground was the school hallway it was equally at home on ski slopes and house parties. Sadly their habitat is now been reduced to the Netflix queue.

When not driving around in red convertibles they could be seen disrespecting the heavily made-up Alpha Bitch, getting drunk, destroying property, taunting nerds and sweeping legs. Despite his largely repellent personality they where surprisingly popular.

Along with an over-developed sense of entitlement their distinctive markings include mirrored sunglasses, sleeveless shirts, letterman jackets and of course that perfectly feathered blonde hair.

7. “Hardy Jenns” from Some Kind of Wonderful played by Craig Sheffer

6. “Roy Stalin” from Better Off Dead played by Aaron Dozier

5. “Stan Gable” from Revenge of the Nerds played by Ted McGinley

4. “Ace Merrill” from Stand By Me played by Kiefer Sutherland

3. “Steff McKee” from Pretty In Pink played by James Spader

2. “Biff Tannen” from Back to the Future played by Thomas F. Wilson

1. 3 Way William Zabka Tie (the gold standard for blonde assholes):
“Johnny Lawrence” from The Karate Kid played by William Zabka
“Greg Tolan” from Just One of the Guys played by William Zabka
“Chas” from Back to School played by William Zabka

Now for the 80′s Bully Supercut:

Free Printable DSLR Lens Hoods

Paul Mutton from Lens Hoods has created PDF patterns that can be printed and cut out to make lens hoods for nearly every lens made by all manufactures of 35mm and digital SLR camera lenses.

A lens hood is a device used on the end of a lens to block the sun or other light source in order to prevent glare and lens flare.

Image by roborovski hamsters

Amazing Checker Shadow Optical Illusion

This checker shadow illusion was developed in 1995 by Edward Adelson, a professor in MIT’s Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. It demonstrates that our “visual system is not very good at being a physical light meter.”

The original image of the illusion.
The squares marked A and B are the same shade of gray, yet they appear different.

The original image plus two stripes.
By joining the squares marked A and B with two vertical stripes of the same shade of gray, it becomes apparent that both squares are the same.

Why does the illusion work?

The visual system needs to determine the color of objects in the world. In this case the problem is to determine the gray shade of the checks on the floor. Just measuring the light coming from a surface (the luminance) is not enough: a cast shadow will dim a surface, so that a white surface in shadow may be reflecting less light than a black surface in full light. The visual system uses several tricks to determine where the shadows are and how to compensate for them, in order to determine the shade of gray “paint” that belongs to the surface.

The first trick is based on local contrast. In shadow or not, a check that is lighter than its neighboring checks is probably lighter than average, and vice versa. In the figure, the light check in shadow is surrounded by darker checks. Thus, even though the check is physically dark, it is light when compared to its neighbors. The dark checks outside the shadow, conversely, are surrounded by lighter checks, so they look dark by comparison.

A second trick is based on the fact that shadows often have soft edges, while paint boundaries (like the checks) often have sharp edges. The visual system tends to ignore gradual changes in light level, so that it can determine the color of the surfaces without being misled by shadows. In this figure, the shadow looks like a shadow, both because it is fuzzy and because the shadow casting object is visible.

The “paintness” of the checks is aided by the form of the “X-junctions” formed by 4 abutting checks. This type of junction is usually a signal that all the edges should be interpreted as changes in surface color rather than in terms of shadows or lighting.

As with many so-called illusions, this effect really demonstrates the success rather than the failure of the visual system. The visual system is not very good at being a physical light meter, but that is not its purpose. The important task is to break the image information down into meaningful components, and thereby perceive the nature of the objects in view.

This can be proven using the following methods:

  • Open the illusion in a image editing program and use the eyedropper tool – both A and B will register an RGB value of 120-120-120.
  • Cut out a paper mask –- by viewing the areas of the image in question without the surrounding context, the effect of the illusion is dispelled.
  • Print the image and cut out the areas labelled A and B –- once again, viewing them out of context removes all doubt.
  • Use a photometer.

The Wrap – Why You Need a Musical Background

John Hess attempts (perhaps vainly) to make a link between music and filmmaking in a somewhat convoluted mist of yacking. And we cover the articles from August 21-26.

Episode 13

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Show Notes

30 Amazing Stanley Kubrick Cinemagraphs
Stanley Kubrick was devoted to images, telling his stories as visually as possible. His images have an arresting power that few if any directors can match.

Deconstructing the Story: A Lens and Composition Tutorial
Vimeo user stillmotion crams a ton of info about focal length and composition in this short 5 minute video about the production of a commercial film for Canon.

Creating a Bouncing Text Intro in After Effects
AcrezHD demonstrates how to create a bouncing text intro in After Effects using expressions and a few basic keyframes:

Clowning Around with the 5D, RED, and Alexa
The producers of the IndieGoGo Project “Clowning Around” asked camera assistant James Lackey about his take on the Canon 5d, RED, and Arri Alexa.

Set Locations for the Top 2000 IMDB Films
Edmund Helmer of has taken the top 2000 films from 1910-2010 according to IMDB, and fed their locations into a Google Map. Click on each marker for more information, and enjoy exploring for yourself.

Fix for Moire & Aliasing Problems with DSLRs
Philip Bloom may just have a fix for all your moire and aliasing issues with the VAF-5D2 anti-aliasing/moire filter designed and made by Dave Cubanski of Mosaic Engineering.

Top 7 Fictional Burger Joints from the Movies
Which of the following seven fictional burger joints would you like eat at? Or, post your own favorite in the comments section.

Samsung Cites 2001: A Space Odyssey In Apple Patent Case
Samsung is using a clip from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey as an example of prior art in its defense against Apple’s patent infringement claims.

A History of Copyright Law
CGP Grey takes a look at the history of copyright law in his new video “Copyright: Forever Less One Day”.

The Art of Horror Movie Music
In this primer on horror movie soundtracks author and musician Stephen Thrower discuses how the scariest horror films don’t just make you want to cover your eyes, but your ears, too.

CineSkates DSLR Camera Sliders
CineSkates by Cinetics are a set of three wheels that attach to a tripod and enable fluid, rolling video in an ultra-portable package. Cinetics founder Justin Jensen is funding the first CineSkates production run with Kickstarter.

DIY Prop Knifes and Other Weaponry
In this video Stiltbeast Studios shows you how to make simple and realistic prop bladed weapons for your next horror film.

Jim Henson’s 1966 Oscar Nominated Experimental Short Film
Long before the Muppets Jim Henson wrote, produced, directed and stared in this experimental short “Time Piece.” It is about the effect of time keeping on us all.

WTF Post of the Week:

Jedi Kittens!

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