The Agony Of Film Editing
Anyone who's edited a movie on film knows that it often feels like back-breaking work. The torture chamber designers at Da-Brite introduced this home movie editor some time in the 30's. It's design is so awkward that you'll quickly limp away from your edit session for an early appointment with your chiropractor.
As you can see, the Da-Brite is a very simple editor. It's not intended that you' watch your whole movie on this device to make edit decisions (though I know masochistic editors who have). After all, there's no screen or even a shutter inside the viewer. Without a shutter the film just whizzes by your eye without conveying the illusion of images in motion. So you have to make your edit choices elsewhere - probably using a projector. Then you're ready to make your cuts with the Da-Brite.
The film travels through the eyepiece affair over a dim bulb (no jokes about your friendly film editor, please). Then you use the built-in splicer to make your cuts. You can also see the cutouts in the base where you slot in bottles of film cement. Though the Da-Brite is a very simplified editor, you can cut at the exact frame you want, but there's still no good way to test how your resulting edits flow. You'll need to thread up your movie on a projector to really get an idea of how your edits are working.
Perhaps it's the early availability of these microscope styled editing devices that put home movie enthusiasts off of editing their films. After trying to use this awkward device to execute just a few simple cuts, I can concur that editing movies on the Da-Brite is a genuine pain in the neck.