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Author Topic: Toei Talkie 8M and standard 8 optical
Jason Smith
Master Film Handler

Posts: 344
From: Tohoku, Japan
Registered: Oct 2015


 - posted January 17, 2018 12:42 AM      Profile for Jason Smith     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I recently got a copy of an advertisement for the Toei Talkie 8M, which was the first standard 8 projector that could play both magnetic and optical sound films. here's a picture of my projector running an standard 8 optical short(more on that later).

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It seems like the Toei Talkie was primarily marketed towards schools here in Japan. In this advertisement, it talks about how the projector is easy to handle, light weight at only 9kg, could be used for any school grade or class subject, easy to operate, and is only 1/5 of the cost of 16mm film.

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Since I started collecting, I have seen only a few optical standard 8 shorts here in Japan. They were all short educational films that came on yellow spools on a variety of different subjects. I use to have a 3x200ft on baseball techniques that was a standard 8 optical education film.

I wasn't alive in the early 1960s in Japan but I think its safe to say that standard 8 optical was used primarily in Japan in schools. The optical 8 educational short that I own talks about the techniques of short distance running for track and field. It comes with a small pamphlet with notes for the teacher. In the box, the retail price for the optical 8 educational 200ft short is 3000 Japanese yen and for the 16mm release it is 15,000 Japanese yen. I'm not sure what that is in today's money but I'm sure that was a lot of money.

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In the advertisement I talked about earlier, there's an optional zoom lens and box that can be connected to the projector and used to record on the standard 8 magnetic strip. I have this box but I'm curious just how common it was. Are there any other Toei Talkie owners who have this box?

I'm also looking for any Toei Talkie owners who could send me a picture of what the film gate looks like on their projector . The parts below fell off the gate. I think I know where they may go but I wanted to be sure.

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 9949
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted January 17, 2018 11:54 AM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
What a wonderful post, Jason!!

It was being experimented or fuklly implemented at some point, (or only testing the waters?), as i do remember a standard 8mm optical sound print of "Futureworld" that was up for sale at one time. I still kick myself for not buying that, even if only having a very rare print, (I already have a pefect color super 8 optical sound of futureworld) ...

... but if would have been nice to see the print quality on it! [Smile]

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Fabrizio Mosca
Master Film Handler

Posts: 344
From: Milano, Italy
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted January 17, 2018 02:38 PM      Profile for Fabrizio Mosca   Email Fabrizio Mosca   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Jason, can you post a picture of an optical film? In Italy we had 8mm optical too, but with the optical track on the perforation side

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Jason Smith
Master Film Handler

Posts: 344
From: Tohoku, Japan
Registered: Oct 2015


 - posted January 17, 2018 06:56 PM      Profile for Jason Smith     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here is a picture of the box my 200ft standard 8 optical fim came in.

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Here is a picture of the spool that the standard 8 optical release came on. As you can see it says Toei Talkie 8 on it.
I believe that all of the standard 8 optical releases in Japan may have been released by Toei specifically for this projector...more on that later.

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Here is the picture of a few frames from the standard 8 optical film that I own. Fabrizio, it looks like the standard 8 optical track is on a different side of the film here in Japan.

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Here is a picture of the teachers notes on short distance sprinting. In the bottom right hand corner, the writing translates in English to Toei Company Ltd, Educational Films Division.

I really think Toei released this projector and made standard 8 optical films for the educational market. I believe the cost of an optical standard 8 film would have been less than a magnetic version in the early 1960s. On top of that, in an educational environment, I don't think that many schools needed to ability to add their own soundtracks to educational films.

Besides selling projectors, I'm going to guess that Toei was keeping their film studio busy shooting these educational films and selling the films to school districts around Japan.

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The last picture comes from the back page of the teachers notes.

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It has different contact numbers for local Toei Company Ltd, Educational Film offices around Japan. In addition, it shows the costs of a 200ft standard 8 optical film and the 16mm version. The standard 8 optical film is one-fifth of the cost of a 16mm film.

At one-fifth of the cost of a 16mm film, I think standard 8 optical films would have been an inexpensive way to show educational films in schools. I haven't seen too many of these Toei Talkie 8M or standard 8 optical films for sell here in Japan. So I'm curious just how popular standard 8 optical films were here in Japan.

I think standard 8 optical films may have been primarily used in the educational environment in Japan. The Toei Talkie 8M may have been the only projector capable of showing them here in Japan.

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Kenneth Horan
Film Handler

Posts: 44
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted January 17, 2018 09:44 PM      Profile for Kenneth Horan   Email Kenneth Horan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here are the differences between film formats. Note the 'Maurer 8' optical sound format which was popular in Italy.

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Here is a Viewlex 'Maurer 8' optical sound projector.

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Ken Horan

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Bill Brandenstein
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1624
From: California
Registered: Aug 2007


 - posted January 18, 2018 08:28 AM      Profile for Bill Brandenstein   Email Bill Brandenstein   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Amazing stuff. Jason & Kenneth, thank you for those definitive pictures. The print looks like first-rate quality, too.

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Fabrizio Mosca
Master Film Handler

Posts: 344
From: Milano, Italy
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted January 18, 2018 09:53 AM      Profile for Fabrizio Mosca   Email Fabrizio Mosca   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Looks like the frame is letterboxed.
Jason, is it a common feature in the Toei Talkie movies you have? Is the frame aperture in the projector reduced compared to the silent standard 8?

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 9949
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted January 18, 2018 12:40 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Fascinating!! Truly fascinating! I would have originally thought that the optical track would be on the sprocket side of things on standard 8mm!

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Allan Broadfield
Master Film Handler

Posts: 449
From: Bromley, Kent
Registered: Nov 2010


 - posted January 18, 2018 01:04 PM      Profile for Allan Broadfield   Author's Homepage   Email Allan Broadfield   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Very interesting info on the Toei. I had one of these in the late sixties, in fact it was my first sound projector, though never had an optical print. The gate could be adjusted for optical shows. I seem to remember that it was rather noisy in operation.

[ January 18, 2018, 02:10 PM: Message edited by: Allan Broadfield ]

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Kenneth Horan
Film Handler

Posts: 44
From: San Francisco, CA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted January 18, 2018 02:41 PM      Profile for Kenneth Horan   Email Kenneth Horan   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Fabrizio, The Toei 8 frame is not so much letterboxed as it is reduced in size, keeping the proper aspect ratio, to make space for the optical track. The Maurer 8 format reduces the size of the sprocket holes to make space for the optical track on the sprocket hole edge without reducing the frame size. See the comparison diagram above.

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Ken Horan

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Jason Smith
Master Film Handler

Posts: 344
From: Tohoku, Japan
Registered: Oct 2015


 - posted January 18, 2018 08:16 PM      Profile for Jason Smith     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Allan, I did not even realize the Toei had an adjustable gate. That might explain why it seemed like there was light leaking from the gate when I was playing a film. Also that may explain the two parts that fell from the gate area when I was cleaning it. You wouldn't happen to remember how to change the gate would you Allan?

Kenneth, I see what you are saying about the standard 8 optical film having a reduced frame size.

Fabrizio, here's a few more pictures to better illustrate what it looks like. The first picture is 4 frames from a standard 8 optical film and the second picture is a few frames from a standard 8 magnetic film.

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 9949
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted January 25, 2018 11:43 AM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You know, I wonder as to how many of these standard 8mm optical sound projectors actually made it out of Japan! They have GOT to be quite rare these days, AND in working order!

What a lucky man you are, Jason! [Smile]

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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