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Demonstration of a 16mm Ciro Guillotine tape splicer

How to use a 16mm Ciro Guillotine tape splicer?

Julia Nicoll of Colorlab in Rockville, Maryland, demonstrates a 16mm Ciro Guillotine tape splicer. This splicer was the workhorse for 16mm editing from the 1950s on. Julia demonstrates both the straight cutter for picture and the diagonal cutter for 16mm magnetic audio track.

The audio track is cut on a bias (diagonal) so that the sound head is always in contact with the magnetic tape track. If the cut were straight up and down, there would be a tiny gap in the splice where the head would not be in contact with tape, and this would cause a "pop" when played.

Clip by Julia Nicoll (

Film Gauges in this clip:

  • 16mm

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