At one time, pulling a still image off a film or video wasn't such an easy task. Around 1971, I purchased a camera specifically designed for this task though the results (for me anyway) were less than stellar.
Behold! The Testrite Cinelarger for Super 8! You loaded 620 roll film in the bottom and the selected frame of film in the chamber at the top. Allow me to demonstrate.
First open the back and load the 620 roll film in the camera.
Be sure to wind the film between each exposure or you'll get more than one image per negative and that will make you sooo mad!
Here is a closeup of where the Super 8 film is loaded. Place the frame to be photographed over the aperture and anchor the strip of film on the tooth.
On camera original film, the base (or shiny side) should face up in order for the image to read correctly on the negative. If making copies from a print of unknown origin, you'll just have to check how it reads (left to right, for example) and put the correct reading side up.
Now, close the door Richard. That little white circle is translucent white plastic to disperse the light evenly across the film.
That little tab over my finger opens the shutter. The instructions were a bit vague as to how long an exposure was needed for what kind of light. It was very much trial and error (and screwed up photos) but you could eventually find a proper light source and exposure time.
Normally, my shutter tab would fit into an indent and stay open until I snapped it closed. Age has impaired this so I had to hold it open by hand.
After much fussing with exposure, I finally was getting consistent results although I found that wide shots weren't as sharp as closeups were.
The spaceship, taking up most of the frame, came in clear but the background image is rather soft. Of course, taking a tiny Super 8 image and blowing it up that much wasn't going to win any prizes for clarity.
This closeup of my physics teacher Mr. Matier held up a lot better.
What set me on this tangent was that as I've been posting my earliest films on YouTube I wanted to refresh my memory of the people and circumstances under which they were made. For many years, I used the Cinelarger to grab stills from most of the films, make prints and jot down notes about them. I pulled out the albums and peeled up the photos to jog my memory when I thought I had all the facts straight. Fortunately, I had these stills and their notes to double check.