Making films with your black and white laser printer



Print & Sculpt Home Studio

Making films with your black and white laser printer

The instructions for this process are from a filmmaker named Roger Beebe who has done spectacular work in this format. You should check out his work online if you’re interested in the process:

Tools and materials needed:

Black & White laser printer
Clear leader
(It shouldn’t matter what kind of leader you use – if you can’t find clear leader, try bleaching the images off of an old piece of film!)

First, let’s say you have a video that you’d like to transfer in this way. In your video editor you can export the sequence as stills. Next open up Beebe’s photoshop template which is also attached. This is essentially a lay out of about one second of 16mm film – 16mm wide with frame guides. (It’s actually 26 frames. The soundtrack reader and projector lens are 26 frames apart when projected.)

Print out the template (click here to download the .PSD file). There should be a black line on the left side that is an indication of where the sprocket holes would be. The right side would be the optical soundtrack area – which you could also fill with an image. Cut a small portion of clear leader and place it directly over the template with minimal tape. You’re going to run it through the printer again.

You should get at image like the Print & Sculpt videos. Occasionally the image shifts in these videos because they weren’t taped down properly, but interestingly this affects what the soundtrack is going to be like. I suppose you’ll also need a splicer to put this together, and a projector to play it, so maybe it’s not exactly quarantine friendly!