The process of creating a wipe transition in the age of film cameras required a high level of technical skill and attention to detail. A wipe is a visual effect in which one shot is replaced by another in a sweeping motion. This was accomplished by physically editing the film itself.
In order to create a wipe, the film editor would physically cut the film into separate shots and then reassemble them in the desired order. The transition between two shots was created by aligning the end of one shot with the beginning of the next, with the second shot gradually obscuring the first.
The actual process of creating a wipe involved carefully aligning the two shots so that they appeared to be seamlessly connected. This required a great deal of precision, as even the slightest misalignment could result in a jarring, noticeable transition. The editor would also have to ensure that the speed of the wipe was consistent throughout its duration, as any changes in speed would be noticeable and distracting.
Once the two shots were aligned, the editor would then use an optical printer to create a positive print of the transition. The optical printer was a specialized device that used light to transfer the image from the original negative to a positive print. The editor would use this device to create a single frame of the transition, which would then be physically cut and spliced into the final film.
The optical printer also allowed for the use of various techniques to enhance the wipe transition, such as using a matte to block out parts of the image or using multiple exposures to create a more complex effect.
Overall, the process of creating a wipe transition in the age of film cameras was a labor-intensive and technical process that required a great deal of skill and attention to detail. The editor had to have a deep understanding of the mechanics of film and the technical processes involved in creating a transition. Despite the challenges, however, the resulting wipe transitions were an effective way to seamlessly transition between shots and were widely used in film production during this period.
- Film Editing: History, Theory, and Practice by Don Fairservice
- Film Technology in Post-Production by Mark D. Evanier
- The Oxford Guide to Film Studies edited by John Hill and Pamela Church Gibson