I’m an amateur maker and archivist. My day job is software engineering, but that came as a late career change after a few others, including teaching film history, fabrication, and designing products and services for international non-profits.
I came to Kinograph because I was teaching in Jordan and found a bunch of abandoned films. Later, built a prototype Kinograph that could eventually be used to scan those films. I hope to return to Jordan in 2020 with version 2 of Kinograph to do just that.
I can offer my past experience as a projectionist, and my experience as a digital fabricator (laser cutting, 3D modeling and printing, electronics). I’m a generalist and interested in how things work, but I do not claim to be an expert in anything.
I’m excited about making the community around Kinograph inclusive and fun. If you have ideas on how to do that, I’d love to hear them!
I’m Gunther Weygers from Belgium (Brasschaat to be exact). And I have always an interest in movies in general, in how it’s made. I even made my own (first) Blu-ray with menus and a special feature for a local choir. I have some gear to work with like microphones and a field recorder, Canon 6D,…
But the interest of scanning film reels and restoring them came from year’s back but it was just in the back of my head because it’s too expensive to get a decent machine but around 2015/16 I came across Kinograph and since then I’m following the progress behind the corner but since the end of October I’m actively helping in this community with my findings!
So what I’m looking to do with my Kinograph V2 is helping local archives to keep the old film reels alive in a digital format. And restore old feature film’s that no one, even the big studios, has interested in. Even if it will take me months or years of work to finish.
I’m Jon Saunders from California. I’ve inherited a couple of large boxes of 16mm (no sound) film that was taken by my grandfather in the 20’s and 30’s. I didn’t want to go on the cheap for scanning but won’t pay for the super expensive scanning either Plus, I love scanning still photos anyway. My original training is in applied physics but after a large time out of the workforce I’ve gone back and got training in CNC machining and 3D printing. I’m currently collecting materials for the build (80/20, etc.) and have tried both printing and machining rollers. I’ve found machining delrin for the unsprocketed rollers gave great results. 3D printing the sprocketed rollers is still pretty rough for me. I’ll try a vat-pho process next rather than FDM. Cost of the sensor is what I’m watching closely now. Good luck to us all! -Jon
Musician for 30 years or more, but worked early on in TV, videotape and T/F department for a number of years. A while ago I bought an old house which turned out to be a virtual museum of obsolete film tech from the 1950’s - 70’s. The previous owner ( a pioneer x rated / nudie film maker) had passed away without any close family, and as a result approx 800 cans of 35 mm film were still lying around the place gathering dust. What to do? Don’t have a ton of money to scan it all professionally, and don’t want to throw it out either without seeing what’s there, and possibly saving something unique and valuable. Obviously something like the Kinograph would be a tremendous tool towards preserving whatever is on these reels. Looking forward to further development of the technology and learning more.
My day job is a B-school professor, in the area of Operations Management, and these days I have a number of administrative and teaching responsibilities. Three decades ago I also studied Chemical Engineering as an undergrad.
My recent hobbies include short-film making, and on one of them I wanted to include some old footage to denote nostalgia- that is how I came to find this community. I have bought too many 8mm (and 16mm) films on eBay for my own good.
I got a chance to brush off those old engineering fabrication skills in trying to create a Kinograph, and this forum has been super helpful in it’s archive. I have some basic programming skills, which extend to OpenSCAD for 3D printing design. The rest of the activities related to the Kinograph were very basic soldering, stripboarding, wiring, drilling holes… you get the picture.
Thank you all for every discussion and idea generation here. I am truely in awe of all that you folks have taught me.
Hello to the members of the forum,
I have been lurking around here for quite some time and finally posting. I arrived here as a result of searching for solutions to a problem/opportunity. I have recently acquired a motherload of cartoon films (almost 1,400 16mm films… gulp!..) and vintage film/animation equipment and I am exploring what the hell I am going to do with it all… I’m pretty tech savy but lack formal training in electronics and engineering. However, I am tenacious, inquisitive and somewhat fearless so perhaps if I get my ducks in a row I can build me a kinograph-thing-a-ma-bob one day, scan all my films - then I can live happily ever after.
As an animation professional, I’m very interested in providing access to my film collection to other animators and artists. In addition to scanning my films and creating digital records I want to hold screenings and generate interest in sprocket-film in the Vancouver area (perhaps generate some funds that way). I don’t have adequate resources to support this venture on my own so I am currently seeking for ways to finance maintaining the collection and hopefully scanning it someday. Simply hanging onto the collection and associated equipment has been a tough ongoing challenge.
There are conversations here that fly well above my head, nevertheless I do my best to learn from the great minds here on this forum. Sometimes all these complicated engineering concepts need to be synthesized visually and I’m good at that. Additionally, I see that the kinograph project has a story to be told - doing that in an entertaining visual way is my forte.
I’m an independent filmmaker on the east coast. I’ve been making films since the 70’s using my Super 8mm, 16mm, and eventually digital cameras. But all of my films where cut on video using standard definition to tape transfer. As HD became a thing, the edited tape versions just wasn’t cutting it. So to get them up to HD requires that I all of the footage transferred to HD and re-edit from scratch. Being low budget films means low budget post requirements. So having a system that I could use that is affordable would make my life so much better and keep my bank account from disappearing. I’ve paid to have my films transferred to HD and the cost hits like a hammer to a thumb. Having a DIY system would allow me to build, use and even assist other independent filmmakers like me who can’t afford the high cost of having 15,000 feet of reversal or negative film stock run through someone else’s telecine machine. I know it’s a lot of work and requires a lot of skill to build something with such precision and grace as a film scanner, but it’s worth a try. So there you go. Trying to fine a way to preserve the past without losing too much money in the future.
Welcome Stuart! I’m also lack formal training in electronics and engineering. I rely on the smart folks around here to help me understand all the stuff that’s over my head (which is a lot). Glad to hear you’re keeping those films from the garbage bin and hope we can help you scan them some day!
Welcome @0Vicmizzy! That’s a great reason to be here and I hope we can help you save those films. And I personally love to see them.
Thanks Matthew, I’m following the informations daily. Very interested in how all this is coming together. My first feature film was shot on Super 8mm and I recently released it on Blu-Ray. Having to get the footage professionally processed ended up costing more than the actual film itself. I’m about to start my second feature that was shot on 16mm and is still in the negative state. The original edit was done on 1" Sony tape. Now I want to re-edit that, but can’t afford the transfer cost. Looking forward to finding a better solution.
I’m a former filmmaker, constant tinkerer moonlighting as an engineer and my day job is managing a film&tv equipment service business in NYC. I’m happily married to a PhD-candidate who graciously tolerates a home office half-full of old film and scattered electronics. I worked in production for years after leaving film school in the 00’s and I’ve been obsessively interested in archival and restoration work with film ever since touring the George Eastman House vault and cold storage back during my time in school. (If holding the color separation negatives for the Wizard of Oz and Gone With the Wind doesn’t do that to you, I don’t know what will.) I’ve shot both film and digital and I’m probably one of the last two people in my company right now who could load and unload an XTR mag in a changing bag
I found Kinograph and became a lurker while I was looking for a solution for a cache of 8mm film I found that belonged to my late Grandfather. At first I had a couple of rolls and thought about just sending them off to be scanned commercially, then I found more… and more… and more until it just became impractical to ever afford to have them scanned. I realized that with my background in film, my experience in machining, electronics, and optics (a stint at the U of R) and study of existing machines, building one might be within reach.
My excitement is pretty evenly split between finally seeing what’s on the film I’m been carefully moving around and storing for years and learning from the Kinograph project. I really feel like I get to stand on the shoulders of giants with this project - I’ve got a tablet I keep loaded with fresh papers on topics related to film archival and restoration for my commute each day and I keep an eye on this forum probably more than I should some days at work… Ultimately I’d like to share my build more and if anything can be gleaned from my mistakes and methods of solving problems I’m happy to contribute!
We’re lucky to have you, @johnarthurkelly
I’m the owner of Gamma Ray Digital, in Boston. We do 8mm through 35mm scanning on Lasergraphics scanners at up to 6.5k. I like to tinker with this stuff, and we’re nearing completion on a scanner that will do large format motion picture film only - 35mm and 70mm up to 15p IMAX. Just because.
Actually we have some client projects that require some unusual archival formats, but while we’re custom building everything, might as well cover all the bases, right?
We have a small basement shop in our office building with a mini lathe, drill press, band saw, and soon to be upgraded CNC Router (Millright Mega V, which should be here in a few weeks).
My name is Jim. I am on the east coast in USA. I am a tinkerer and a sloppy one at that. I have many reels of super 8 from the 1970’s and took a stab at creating a telecine from an old projector and a digital camera. I was able to transfer some footage, one frame at a time. Then the mirrored- DSLR digital camera refused to go on after many thousands of frames. My goal of transferring additional footage waits until I can develop a new camera setup. Here is a view of my creation when it was running: https://youtu.be/Nzb32rtTIv0 I am looking to learn more possibly with a web-cam sensor and another lens situation.
Welcome, @jimrobb44! There are a few builds on here that use the Raspberry Pi camera with good results. The search is pretty good on here and a good way to find other projects littered throughout the forum threads.
Hope it helps!
I’m just some random kid who happens to be fascinated with this kind of stuff. I’m hoping to build up an archival transferring system both for other relatives and friends who are looking for true archival quality digitizations, and for myself with various “historical artifacts” and other nonsense. In fact I was working on my own film scanner, and even bought parts for it, but now that the Kinograph v2 project isn’t “publicly dead” I’ve put a hiatus on it. (I have absolutely zero good ideas to contribute so it’s not really worth talking about.) However, I am actively working towards a proper VHS digitization system.
This vision is a little challenging because I have a bunch of other unrelated projects on my plate. So much ideas, so little time…
I’m not really a hardware or electronics guy (although I do have a decent amount of Raspberry Pis, Arduinos, a collection of various components, and got a 3D printer a week ago), but my main “specialty” is in software programming. I am mostly experienced with Python (for about 5-and-a-half years), and have worked quite a bit with Java, web technologies (HTML, CSS, JS), and have touched a few other languages once or more.
Great to have you aboard, @ImgKD. Those programming skills might be of great use to the Kinograph community soon! Hope we can help you build your dream machine.
I have been poking around Kinograph for more than a year, my apologies for not providing an introduction.
After some downsizing in the video business where I worked as engineer and sales person for many years, I found myself going back to basic, or rather C++. While doing some consulting work, started to play with arduino to do some home projects.
Did some volunteer work digitizing a collection of negatives (pictures) https://blog.flickr.net/en/2018/06/26/welcome-the-amadeo-leon-collection-to-the-flickr-commons/
https://vimeo.com/167653933 (select english CC for subtitles).
Then my sister shipped me a box of about 120 rolls of 8mm and Super 8, many filmed by her, and many by my late father. I went to a local store (I live in Miami) that did video transfers, and when I inquired about HD transfer, they tried to tell me that 8mm did not have enough quality to do anything above SD… did not like the commercial options available (good ones price, local ones quality), so it was time to figure out how to do film.
Since I don’t have the film background (or know how), decided to Frankenstein a film transfer from harvested pieces of a projector.
This is the resulting transfer after doing some filtering with Neatvideo in VirtualDub.
Noticed some areas would be worth improving, so I working on a second round of the DIY scanner.
At this stage, I have a much better platform, still some challenges with focusing, but overall a much better result.
In addition to the grain, it nicely show the finest scratches and even the texture of the support.
My long term goal is to remove the Frankestein gate, and directly drive the film with steppers. While I have the know how on the programming and electronic areas to do so, the mechanics for 8mm film is a work in progress with very limited skills in that area.
Also interested in using modern devices flow sensors (aka mouse) for controlling the film transport.
Thank you for all the comments on different threads, this is a great place for exchanging ideas and special thanks to @matthewepler for building this community.
A long belated welcome @PM490! Thanks for all your contributions here. You’ve been a valuable member of this humble community. I loved that negative scanning project you shared. What a great low-cost machine!!
Congrats on the 8mm build as well. It looks like you got some good results and saved some films from the trash heap. Another win for us all.
Keep up the great work!