the Zapruder Film
Well here we are, were going to look at a few graphics that
covers HOW this film alteration could of been pulled off. Were
dealing with a piece of 8mm film roughly 25 feet in length give or
take a foot or two.
Our area of interest the assassination footage covers about 14+ feet
( were not talking about a whole hell of a lot of footage here.
I consider it a short cut actually.
aside: (Last year I did 32 effects inserts totaling 9.5 minutes of
finished material into one 44 minute documentary for television (video).
Of course this is 37+ years after the DEED, things have changed for
us with the advent of computers, however the techniques have NOT and
for experienced Optical Printer guys this is a piece of CAKE
- provided of course they have a mapped out plan of attack, that by-the-way
comes with the territory in this kind of trade). For those interested
I posted earlier Sunday on the forum a recent *job description*from
the web for a Optical Printer, ye might want to take a gander at it.
Its 7:00PM the 22nd of Nov 63 Zapruder has in his possession:
(1) Split 8mm Camera Original of the assassination
(3) Un-Split 8mm [16mm width] Optical print[s] of the above around
10:00 PM the same night he drops by the Secret Service off and drops
(2) Un-Split 8mm [16mm width]
the next morning he cuts a deal with Stolley of Life and he
either -- (1) 8mm split Camera Original of the Assassination and/or
 8mm Un-split - 16mm width Optical print ...
there a little confusion about this on Schwartzs part (Zapruders
partner) he recollects either the camera original was delivered to
Stolley (Life) or the optical print was a few days later, in
any case Stolley got one or the other on the 23rd of November 63
and the other followed in a few days around the 27th I think.
so that left Abe with what legally and technically:
Nothing -- evidently not even the family footage that was part of
the film package ... well not exactly nothing, 100 grand + not to
mention his estate has cleaned up with 16mil recently [ sounds like
the kind of rate Marlon Brando gets for 20 seconds of big screen
Lets assume I got my hands on a 8mm Split 1st generation Zapruder
optical print (from the group of three above that were created from
the camera original. Before that lets deal with this little
Editing time factors, it cant be done, theres not enough
time ... yadada, yadada, yadada. Baloney, in my estimation there was
about 2 months to get the done. With 1963 equipment and standards
and techniques would take about a bout 2-3 weeks of lab time,max.
Were not doing a 300 minute version of Doctor Zhivago here.
What do you need to control? 4 pieces of celluloid, 2 of those in
Secret Service control, the other 2 in the hands of Life Magazine.
Whats the big deal? Life dribbles out a few frames here and
there, those that saw the film first hand that 1st day will remember
NOTHING but JFKs brains blown on to the streets of Dallas.
Back to my assumption, Id fully map out the film and its
frames (assassination side B) top to bottom -- on paper with frame
count, then Id wait for instructions on what the producer/director
wants to accomplish with the finished piece of NEW film. Or, Id
wait to be told exactly what to do. When the word came to prepare
for an edit with some optical effects, Id figure *which* is
the best system at my disposal for the job, which is what you see
in graphic #1, a straight across optical printer with a bi-pak facility
(which we wont use but who knows it might come in handy later
on, its those 2 extra film reels in the back of the projector
on the left].
Lets look at Graphic
#2, the projector on the left, is where the Zapruder 8mm optical print
will be laced up, fed from the bottom to the top (in optical-printers
lingo *heads up*] the WHITE overlay depicts the 8mm film path.
The process camera on the left is where well be going next.
See the next set of images.
Lets get the *8mm intermittent*, thats the film gate assembly,
claw , etc and correct sprocket stuff set up on the projector head
on the left, thats the white overlay there. Lace up the 8mm
Zapruder assassination optical print, that film format is represented
by the color GREEN green(you could look at this as if your going to
make a VHS copy of a movie you just rented from the video rental store].
Over to the process camera, load a 16mm film magazine, represented
by the color BLUE with film and were just about ready to go
... Nothing fancy here, just making a 16mm optical print (a 16mm copy
if you will) BTW, this will be the last time 8mm will be touched until
the answer print is delivered to the client, whoever that might be.
The 8mm is loaded and ready on Proj.A - Process camera on the right
is set and ready to film (record if you will for all you video buffs),
turn on the projector light on A on the left and roll
the process camera on the right - there it is in REAL time 20 seconds,
we got a 16mm copy of the assassination. To the soup with the 16mm
negative [ you may opt out to make another 16mm copy for backup, who
knows what the wind is going to blow] , process then view for
quality... Quality is good, lets move forward.
were going to make a 35mm print of the 16mm print we just got
out of the soup and dryer. Well do the same process again but
with the 16mm we just made, lace it up in the projector on the left
( of course you replace the 8mm intermittent with the 16mm intermittent
-- all right already, the project lens stuff], turn the projector
light back on and roll both machine, its not necessary for a
ALL QUIET ON THE SET. 20 seconds later we got a 35mm optical
print [maybe a backup 35mm too?] of the 16mm optical print of the
8mm optical print that was made in Dallas at Jamieson Film. Co. from
the Zapruder camera original. Quality? If its set up right,
with the right filter pak and the proper light housing setups
and proper film gamma settings, you could NOT distinguish any of these
prints from the camera original.
For your general info, this graphic shows going from 35mm directly
to 8mm (back to the original Zapruder Film size) and were bypassing
the 16mm stage.