Monday, December 30, 2013


QUESTION:  "Would it be possible to have a flash sync contact added to my bolex p2 ? I'm looking for a way to connect it to my sync pulse box in order to shoot with sync sound."

ANSWER:  I don't know of any way to sync the P2 to audio. The typical/usual method for MOS (no sound) cameras is to record sound via the "Double-system" recording method:

The finished film is converted to digital format and the sound track is added in post. Any small differences in the recording rates for sound can be corrected in post.

You can use any digital or analog sound recording system. Digital will give you cleaner audio. Typically recorders:|0&ci=14934&N=3992462091&srtclk=sort
I recommend using something like this with XLR inputs. The DR-100 MKII has 2.

Use a shotgun mic on a pole with a shock mount. I have a this mic:

I bought the long one (150" fully extended) used, off of eBay for $35 plus S&H.  The Testrite poles are the cheapest. You can buy lighter poles for more money. The Testrites are aluminum and well made. Can't complain for the price.

I got the shock mount here:

Try to get the mic as close as possible to the speaking person. Typically about a meter away from the speaker face. Aim the mic like a gun - right at the face. Be sure to keep the mic out of the picture. Practice with the camera operator.

A shotgun mic helps eliminate the sound from the sound sources to the sides of the microphone. A handy feature to get cleaner sound. AVOID anything mounted on or near the camera's body.  Bolex cameras are really noisy. Gears and such :)

Bolex 8mm cameras never had sound. They were designed as MOS (no sound). Sound recorders back then were tape based. Not very good, except for the Nagra system which cost thousands :( 
And because the film systems were 100% film based, to get sound from 8mm film you would have to print (optically copy) the 8mm film to 16mm sound film and make a sound track transfer. 

Very expensive. 

Since 8mm films were typically very short; nobody added sound. You just flipped the projector on and spoke about what you saw...

...this is where Harry saw Bigfoot and...
Super8 film stock did have a sound track and the cameras came with a built-in microphone. Super8 film stock is still sold, but it no longer includes a "Magstrip", or magnetic. I.e, the recording sound track :(
Keep in mind that some of the above film stock is marked "Super8". It will NOT fit in your P1-P2 or P3. Avoid ANY film stock that says, "Super8". Super8 film stock ONLY fits and ONLY works in Super8 cameras. And remember, NO sound.

You will need to use "Double Run" film stock:

The 2 stocks are totally different. Keep that in mind. If your Bolex camera has 2 reels, it uses "Double run or Regular 8" - not Super8 film stock. 

When using a "double-system" recording, you will need to sync the sound to the footage. Use a slate or clapboard like these:

 I used this one:

The click (clap) of the clapper/slate gives you an audible point to sync (align) the sound. The markings on the slate gives you the scene #, etc.  Makes things easier in post. 

No slate? Clap hands in front of lens just prior to action and have the person who claps their hands speak the scene number, etc.