10

I have a direct animation project I want to do using super 8mm film, but I'm struggling to find the right kind of film. I am wondering if I can buy some super 8mm film, leave it in bleach so it removes the pictures -- will that leave it clear?

Has anyone done something similar to get blank film?

  • 1
    So you are looking draw directly on the film? You want to bleach it, in theory, because then you can draw on it and have a white background? – Matt May 24 '16 at 10:19
  • yes that sounds right. I may scratch in the emulsion as well. I just want to make sure I remembered how do do this properly. – MrPatrickHenry May 24 '16 at 15:22
10

No, the gray and black light-sensitive chemicals are embedded on the film media and won't simply wash off or "turn clear" in bleach.

What you are trying to do is known as Draw-on-film animation, but I've also seen it referred to as cameraless animation, clear leader animation, marker animation, scratch film, and direct animation. I enjoyed trying this in my early experimental-film days. It was a lot of fun and you can create some interesting experimental media projects using various techniques.

Draw-on-Film Animation Media

Typically you start with clear film leader (comes in acetate, polyester/mylar) where you essentially draw or paint your animation frame by frame. Folks also scratch animated pieces into black exposed film and (optionally) add color later. Folks have even added hand-drawn animation over traditional black & white films, so if you have some footage available to you, that's an intriguing option.

Here are some examples and techniques to help get you started:

| improve this answer | |
  • Yes, this is how many of the early cinematic masterpieces from filmmakers like Melies were colored... they'd add pigments to the developed film. Very time consuming but a beautiful outcome. – Catija May 24 '16 at 18:22
1

Yes you can, dilute ordinary household bleach 1:10 with water, works a treat, I've done it loads of times.

| improve this answer | |
  • Upvoted to offset the unexplained downvote. Accepted answer is wrong about film structure and I believe you when you say you have actually done it! You might want to flesh out your answer a little... do you need to wipe the emulsion off the base? etc... cheers! – rebusB Mar 11 '19 at 23:45

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.