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  • Sarath Sivan

Idea #33 - Steenbeck Flatbed Editors

Today we visited filmography in the olden times, a tool that many editors dread while many still love working with - The Steenbeck.

We watched The Steenbeck to understand in detail how the machine works. Although this linear editing takes forever, many still enjoy the vintage and traditional charm despite the tedious manual work involved. Although this process takes an exorbitant amount of time, the result definitely does justice to the effort put into it.

We also watched Arabinda Bhattacharya demonstrating the Steenbeck machine. From cutting and clubbing together each frame to synchronising the audio with the film with utter precision, he showed us what the Steenbeck is capable of and what editing looked like before digital editing was computerised.

The art of getting the "film" to cut seamlessly from one scene to the next is an art only the masterful artists of yesteryear knew. This art and the personal bond between the editor and the film has been lost to the digital world over years of modernisation. In fact, several experienced artists preferred not to wear gloves when cutting the workprints, so passionate were they about keeping the traditionalism of the work intact.

Having said this, we would like to add that just because film is "dying" doesn't make the process of digital editing any less credible artistically. Every form of art renders an impact unique to itself!

Written By: Arya Kastwar

Curated By: Hetvi Kamdar


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