Rewinding Your Film

Link to Video Guide: Daylight Spool to Core


If you've shot your film on a Bolex or another 16mm camera that takes a daylight spool, your film will come back from the lab still on said daylight spool. In order to start editing on one of the DFL's Steenbeck tables, you must transfer your film to a 3" core. This guide will lay out the necessary steps for getting your film ready for post production.

Getting Started


When working with single perf (sprocket holes on one side) 16mm film, always make sure the perforations are on the side that's closest to you. The emulsion should always be on the outside facing up, and the shinier base side should be facing inside towards the core or reel. When you take your film to a Steenbeck, the sprockets should be facing down and the film should be coming out on the side of the platter that's closest to you. 

What You'll Need

Required: split reel, take up reel, 3" core

Optional: an editing kit (this would be a great time to add leader to the head and tail of your film!)

On the Rewind Table...

Place your daylight spool on the left hand side of the rewind table with the sprocket holes facing you and the emulsion facing out. NOTE: Your film will come back from the lab in this orientation, so it should be ready to go right out of the box! Place the take up reel to the right hand side of the table. Using either paper tape or by just slotting the film into the small notch, attach your film to the top of take up reel. 

Make sure that the take up reel and the handle are locked into position and begin winding onto the take up, keeping the film running to the top of the reel. Use your free hand to maintain tension on your original daylight spool. Making sure that the tension is tight will reduce the likelihood of your film breaking or unspooling. 

NOTE: if you have multiple rolls of film on several daylight spools, you can repeat the steps above and splice the head of your next film to the tail of the film on the take up reel, creating one larger reel of film!

Fully wind your film onto the take up reel, replace your daylight spool with a split reel containing an empty 3" core. Bend the end of your film and slot it into the notch on the core, and wind your film back to the top of the split reel.

After you rewind your film onto the new core, your film will be ready to use on one of the DFL's Steenbeck editing tables!




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