anyone made a DIY matte box?

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Grainy

Guest
Has anyone out there ever built their own mattebox or somethign to act as one?
I've got a bolex H16 (very early reflex model) and was hoping some clever crafty person has already done this.

I want to use it for split screen overlays, with specific areas blacked out upon first exposure, then the rest blacked out upon second exposure.

thanks!
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element80

Guest
I don't know that a mattebox would really work for that, unless you're planning to do something different than what I think you're planning. If you jsut stick something black into half the mattebox, you'll probably still get some light leaking onto the blacked side of the frame, since the mattebox sit's a bit in front of the lens. You'll probably have to modify the film gate so that only one side of it is open, and then switch for the second pass through (that is if you're dead set on doing it in-camera). It'll probably be easier to do it in post (either through a DI, or during the printing process, depending on whether or not you plan on digitizing the negs). Let me know if any of this works.

-Chris
 
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Grainy

Guest
Hmmm... well, I dont' want to do anything in post or digitally...

But I thought this old-school double exposure system was pretty much down pat before they came up with mattes.
In silent films, for example, they'd backwind x number of times and add little bits here and there. And for miniature shots (which is what I want to do) they'd black out a portion that's the shape of that miniature.

Perhaps I'm thinking about this incorrectly?
thanks
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element80

Guest
The more I think about it, I want to change my previous answer...you can mask off part of the frame, but make sure the mask is in focus enough that it actually registers on the film the way you want it to. If you have part of the frame masked off in a mattebox, the action you're shooting would probably be far enough away that the masked portion would probably be nowhere near the shape you wanted. If you have the extra stock, I'd say experiment with it. The easiest way would probably be to shoot in front of a plain background, that way you could just mask off a square portion, and shoot the min part in front of the same bg. The more detailed the bg, the more exact you'll have to be in order for it to look believable.
 
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