Super 8 Film/Sound Sync Test – Summit Sings

I got some developed film back today. There were two rolls that I had developed and transferred – both were shot with my Nizo 801 Macro. The first roll was some test footage for a film that I wrote and will (hopefully) be shooting soon. The second roll is of my son, Summit, singing into a microphone. There are a couple of reasons for both of these films. First, these are the first rolls I have run through this Nizo camera and I needed to see how the camera handled and how the pictures would look. Second reason was to experiment with syncing sound to the picture.

I have to say, compared to my other camera – the Zeiss Ikon, I am a disappointed with the Nizo. The ligh, colors and clarity are just not as good. True, it may have a lot to do with the user but my first experience with the Ikon yielded some much better footage. I will continue to work with the Nizo in hopes that I will learn more about it and get some better footage.

The test footage I shot for my upcoming film was WAY WAY too dark. Very under-exposed. Yes, the room was dim but there were several windows open and some additional interior lighting for a couple of shots. In retrospect I should have considered that I was shooting 64T and probably should have been much closer to the subject and had much more light.

Even more unfortunate is that the footage is SO dark that I am unable to do a sound sync edit test because I can barely see the slate or the person holding it! Suck. Oh well – that’s why it’s a test, right?

Luckily, I also recorded the test footage with my HDV camera so I may put some of that online just so you can see the conditions. Maybe someone can tell me what I should do to fix the situation – maybe I need to change my film type entirely! This also answers my questions about if I need additional lighting or not – I absolutely do.

The other film I shot, as I mentioned above, is of my son. This took place outside and all the camera setting were on auto. The picture is still a little dark, grainy, and the color is weak – though I’m sure I could fix it a bit in Final Cut if I wanted to. Good thing is that I was able to practice some sound syncing with this footage. I now realize how tricky this is and how important it is to have a slate to cue the sound/picture edit.

I also realized everything I have read about trying to sync digital sound to Super 8 film. It does not stay synced for long, that’s for sure. However, with a little tinkering I was able to keep the sound closely synced for a little while by increasing the picture speed by 10%. This doesn’t change the look of the film hardly at all but it allows it to stay a little closer in sync. it is by no means perfect, there is some obvious lag/separation towards the end. But it’s not too bad for a first try.

Again, there are some things I can do to make it better so I will continue to work on it.

For the time being – enjoy Summit’s beautiful voice.