Checking and rechecking is an important point for the beginning editor to
learn. Your check system should begin with a careful evaluation of your splices,
while you are learning and as long as you edit film. Here's how to do it:
- To check for proper scraping, hold the spliced section up so that the film
forms a curve. If the splice is scraped properly, the film will be rounded
like an arc of a circle. If it is scraped too deeply, it will be peaked like
the roof of a house.
- If the splice comes apart in your hands, it could be the result of
incorrect scraping--too deeply or not deep enough. If you scraped too deeply,
the scraped portion will be clear rather than frosted. If you did not scrape
deeply enough, there will be spots of emulsion left in the scraped area.
- A splice that comes apart can also be the result of using too little
cement. If you follow the old painting rule of wiping the brush on the sides
of the bottle as you remove it from the cement, you will get the right amount
to make the splice hold without leakage or smearing.
- Splices will also part easily if you do not give them enough drying time.
The splice will usually be dry at the end of the eight point procedure outline
above in section V, but if
you suspect that drying time might be a factor in poor splices, time yourself
to see how long it takes you to make a splice. If the heating element on the
splicer is properly set, a splice should be dry in 10 or 15 seconds.
- Sometimes a splice will not hold because you have placed the film in the
splicer incorrectly. Normal splicing requires that both pieces of film be
placed in the splicer EMULSION UP. (During the splicing process, the base of
the right film is welded to the the emulsion of the left film.) If your
splices repeatedly come apart, check the emulsion position of the film. Review
section II for help on
determining emulsion position.
When you feel that you have mastered the art of splicing, make several
splices in a row and ask an expert to critique them for you. He may be able to
point out defects in your splices that you did not notice.
Before moving on to something else, make experimental splices on as many
kinds of film as possible. Some present special problems in determining emulsion
from base. Others require extra drying time. You will also find that you will
have to make slight variations in your scraping pressure when changing from one
film stock to another. The more experience you gain in splicing varied stocks,
the more confidence you will feel in your splicing abilities.