The Steenbeck flatbed editing suite is an editing table used to manipulate film for post-production. It was patented in 1934 by Wilhelm Steenbeck in Hamburg, Germany, though it was only by the sixties and seventies that it’s more advanced editions became common abroad, especially in Hollywood.

The machine had an edge over its predecessor, the moviola, since a Steenbeck could sync sound with the picture, play footage both forwards and backwards, and run the film at higher speed. It could also accommodate more than one reel, and had a bigger monitor, simple manual controls for playback, and softer rollers which handled prints more gently and safely. The ease with which the Steenbeck could be used to edit films made it a widespread system of technology until the beginning of abstract, digital non-linear editing in the nineties. Today the Steenbeck is still very much used for archiving and restoration of films.

18 October 2019, Friday