Splicing is the act of joining two sections of film together. It is used for fixing breakages in film, joining two separate reels, or for editing*.
(*If you want to edit your film by splicing, I recommend digitising your cine films beforehand and editing your videos digitally. To learn more, read our guide on editing videos.)
This guide will teach you how to splice two separate reels together – a practical skill for creating a longer video or filling half-empty spools.
What You Need:
- Sharp scissors
- Clear sellotape
- Cotton gloves
- Desk lamp (optional)
Splicing film is a simple process but needs care and attention when handling the film. Many cine reels will be slightly damaged and brittle due to ageing. Make sure you wear gloves before touching the film. We recommend cotton gloves, but any type of clean glove will be acceptable.
How to Splice Film Together:
1. First, you will need to decide which cine films you want to splice together and the order you want to watch them.
Ensure that the two reels you pick are the same type of film; this can be checked by lining up the sprockets (holes) to see if they match.
2. Next, you want to cut the edges of the cine films you are splicing together. Align your scissors with the edge of the last frame from your first cine reel and make a straight, clean cut. Do the same with the starting frame of your second reel.
3. Line up the two reels’ edges by overlapping the final holes and ensuring that the pattern continues.
4. Finally, using clear sellotape, stick the edges of your cine reels together. It is best to have about 5-10mm of tape on either side of the joining reels and ensure the sellotape covers the reels’ edges. Otherwise, the film will break whilst scanning.
Has something gone wrong?
At Digital Converters, we are professionals at splicing films. When ordering, please explain in the additional notes where you would like your films splicing (or film needing repairing), and our expert technicians will do their best to help.