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TOPIC: ID frames

ID frames 17 May 2005 15:01 #10318

  • leeler
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OK, here's what happened this weekend:

I was playing 'Upside of Anger' this weekend. I had it booked several weeks ago. It was not released very wide so I had difficulty getting a print when I wanted it and this was the earliest it was available. Anyhoo, I confirmed the print delivery with ETS early in the week and they said everything was fine. However, Thursday came and went and I still didn't get my print. So, I call ETS and they say, "oh yeah, we didn't have a copy so it was getting overnighted and you'd get it Friday". OK, I'm a little frustrated but whatever, these things happen. My biggest frustration is nobody feels like they have to keep me in the loop when things like this happens. So, Friday comes and I'm waiting and waiting and I finally get my print at 1:30. I have a 7pm show so, I figure no biggee but I better get a move on. I proceed to build up the print. I notice that the ID frame has been cut off of the heads and tails of each reel, but I figure there really isn't anything I can do about it at this point. I'm on reel '5' when I suddenly feel the tell-tale sign of a cue tape. Sure enough, there are credits towards the end of what has the head of reel '5' on my six reel print.

So, I'm stuck. I have no idea which reel is which and I now can't trust the idiot who had it before me to get it right. So, I call New Line and see if they can help me identify reels. Nope, they suggest ETS. So, I call my local depot and he doesn't have anymore copies still so he can't help either. I call the ETS home office and they haven't made up their copy of the print ID report so he'd make it up quick and e-mail it to me. I finally get the report at about 5pm. At this point I know I have reel one on correctly because it had a trailer attached but I have no idea about reels two through five. Reel six I knew about because it had the credits. So, I remove everything beack to reel one and wait for the report to come in and then go through them one by one with the report. It turns out that only reels five and six were mislabeled but that didn't help me get it put back together any quicker. I finally get it all put together and in the right order by ten minutes before showtime.

Now (finally) is my question. Is there any short-cut I could have used or did I do the only real thing I could of in that situation?

Thanks in advance as always

Leeler
"What a crazy business"
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Re: ID frames 17 May 2005 15:59 #10319

  • rodeojack
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Looks like you covered most available bases.
Another board has a reel ID section, but you need a user ID to get in there.

You might also look for any other theatre that's playing the show, then find an inside number to their booth (if available). If nothing else, they might pull their leaders and tell you what their ID frames look like.
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Re: ID frames 17 May 2005 21:58 #10320

  • puzzlegut
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What is even more fun is when the previous theater just cuts the film where ever they feel like it when they break it down, and there are no id frames on the headers. We had a print come in that way once, where the frames at the beginning of the reel didn't match anything that Technicolor had for id frames. They ended up sending us a new print the next day. Lucky for us, we had received the circuited print Thursday night so we were able to have the replacement print ready for the Friday shows.
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Re: ID frames 18 May 2005 07:47 #10321

  • leeler
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Ah, yes, I forgot to mention that. That happened Friday too. I had to do a search through the print at every splice (and there were plenty of 'em) for the ID frames. I did find them and that is one more reason I almost was dark for the first time......

"What a crazy business"
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Re: ID frames 18 May 2005 12:02 #10322

  • Large
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Film-Tech maintains a Reel ID database. It is open to members and people who register. The Upside of anger is in the database.
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Re: ID frames 18 May 2005 14:58 #10323

  • Dominic
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The reel ID database on film-tech.com is useful if you need it, but there are other ways to identify a reel.

For example, if you've at least got the head or tail for at least all but one of the reels you can identify them by matching the serial number on the edge of the film.
In the green bar oposite the soundtrack (where the SDDS track would be) is a small batch of purple lettering which tells you what the brand of film stock is and what type it is.
Just match the numbers up.
ID frames should not be used, at least not on the tail leaders. Doing this will shorten the changeover and could screw up the presentation if the next guy who plays it is running changeovers.
If you absolutely have to have an ID frame you can leave one on the head leader.
At your theater the reels should never be in such a state of disarray that you've got them all mixed up.
There's a film building 101 in the manuals sectin of film-tech that gives you some good pointers, though the ID frame bit isn't in it, I don't think.

Good luck.
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Re: ID frames 18 May 2005 20:35 #10324

  • BurneyFalls
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One ID frame on the head on one on the tail is common practice and common sense.

Are those serial numbers written to identify the reel numbers?
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Re: ID frames 18 May 2005 21:14 #10325

  • leeler
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every other print I've gotten has had at least one frame on the head and tail leaders and I was under the impression this was common practice. I think it would be a helluva nice thing if they identified the ID all the way thorugh the print, but I had no idea that actually was the case. When I break this print down I plan on cutting off the next frame of the head and tail and putting it on the head and tail leaders so the next guy will have an easier time of it than I did.
"What a crazy business"
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Re: ID frames 23 May 2005 14:30 #10326

  • Dominic
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<BLOCKQUOTE><font size="1" face="Verdana, Arial, helvetica">quote:</font><HR>One ID frame on the head on one on the tail is common practice and common sense.

Are those serial numbers written to identify the reel numbers?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Just because it's common practice doesn't make it right.
Using a grease pen or shoe polish to mark splices used to be common practice but it's certainly film done WRONG.

As I said before the print shouldn't ever be in such a state of dissarray that the head AND tail leaders need an ID frame.
Moreover, it's easy enough for the next guy because if you're running platters and you break it down it's going to be heads out anyway, with an ID frame sticking out.

However, if the next guy is running changeovers when the last frame or last 3 frames or last 4 frames or whatever rediculous ammount is there his changover is going to be off.
It's SUPPOSED to be 24 frames from the last cue mark to the end of the reel, what do you think happens when it's shortened? He's going to miss his changever thus making his presentation suffer.
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Re: ID frames 23 May 2005 19:07 #10327

  • rodeojack
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I don't care enough about an ID frame at the end of the reel, though I realize there are those who make even this an indicator whether a film is being handled properly. Unfortunately, for some, perceived adherance to their personal film-handling beliefs is an all-or-nothing indicator whether a person even warrants access to the booth.

One thing that might be considered here: I'd bet the days when a print saw 6 or 7 theatres before it got recycled are pretty much gone... 2 or 3 might be more like it, if that many. Even if every theatre cut off another frame, and many do not, there aren't a lot of projectionists who would be frame-accurate enough to manually take a changeover that close to the end on a consistent basis. Note I didn't say "all". Some still do take pride in being able to cut it awfully close.

I don't cut frames needlessly. If I have the time to take off the tape, and the frames match up well enough on my splicer, I'll just clean off the end and resplice the reels. I've even heard some people will splice over a former splice, though that's not the point.

Is this really such a big issue?

[This message has been edited by rodeojack (edited May 23, 2005).]
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Re: ID frames 23 May 2005 19:34 #10328

  • leeler
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I agree. I just want to know I've got the blasted film in the right order. This thing had splices all over it so a little reassurance in the head & tail ID frames would have definitely been helpful. As it was, the doofus before me put the head for reel 6 onto the film of reel 5.
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Re: ID frames 24 May 2005 08:34 #10329

  • sals
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I think this issue is mostly present when the film is being shown in preview screenings, where it'll go from a plex to a screening room, and have multiple screenings of a graded print.

Or when it's a limited release, foreign film etc. the print will see many more theatres.

A regular wide release print sees fewer theaters.

I peel the tape off if I can.

And if I'm doing changeovers in a screening room, if it has digital sound, there's really no problem if a frame is lost. If 6 or 7 were gone, that'd be bad, though I can't remember any like that.

You'd be surprised how many changeovers are way too close to dialogue though. They usually try to have them on scene changes etc.
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Re: ID frames 24 May 2005 12:41 #10330

  • John Pytlak
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If you still have all the original head and tail leaders (even if you aren't sure they were reattached to the correct reels), you can match the magenta-colored edgeprint on each reel to the edgeprint on each leader. Kodak's magenta edgeprint ID is unique for each roll of print film we manufacture, so it's a fairly safe bet that if you have the same number on the head leader and on the head end of the reel, you have a unique match.

The Kodak magenta edgeprint is repeated every meter along the edge (SDDS area) of the print, and will read something like this:

2383 803 074 0 27 20 K.ODAK 2005

John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: +1 585-477-5325 Cell: +1 585-781-4036 Fax: +1 585-722-7243
E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion
John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: +1 585-477-5325 Fax: +1 585-722-7243
E-Mail: This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it
Website: http://www.kodak.com/go/motion
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Re: ID frames 24 May 2005 16:36 #10331

  • leeler
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great tip John. Thanks!
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