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TOPIC: Static, Its Everywhere

Static, Its Everywhere 26 Oct 2001 12:11 #21079

  • poppajoe
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Its Fall on the East Coast and Winter is coming up fast. Here that means static is in the air. What are the best things to do to prevent static in the Booth and other places in the theater where it might be a problem?
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Re: Static, Its Everywhere 26 Oct 2001 14:21 #21080

  • John Pytlak
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Hopefully, "static cling" should be much less of a problem, now that most films are printed on KODAK VISION Color Print film. And most labs are also using a Kodak-recommended antistatic additive when they process prints that helps reduce static on all films. But static problems can still occur, especially in the winter months when the indoor heating reduces the humidity to "shocking" levels.


Over the years, I have written several articles to help theatres control static. Here are links to two of those articles:
http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/newsletters/reel/september99/pointers.shtml
http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/newsletters/reel/september98/pppp.shtml

Summarizing the articles:

1. Measure the relative humidity with an accurate digital humidity gauge, and use a evaporative humidifier to keep it close to the recommended 50-60 percent RH range. Indoor heating and the heat of the lamphouses can quicky dry out a booth to less than 30 percent RH unless moisture is added. (Do NOT use a humidifier that sprays or mists water into the air --- they will leave salt deposits from the water).

2. Electrically ground all platters and film handling equipment. A heavy gauge wire to a metal conduit or cold water pipe assures a path to ground.

3. Treat non-conductive platter surfaces and rollers with a conductive anti-stat (e.g. "Static Guard" or "Endust for Static").

4. Try the opposite winding orientation on the platter, which may allow the natural film curl to better resist pulling in.

5. Use a film cleaner with anti-static properties to clean the print. Many projectionists report good results when using "FilmGuard" applied by slightly dampening the web media on a Christie or Kelmar film cleaner.

6. Apply a conductive anti-static treatment to carpeting or non-conductive work surfaces.

If you have a print that seems especially prone to "static cling", please contact me off-line with the title, print number, full magenta-colored edgeprint ID numbers printed along the edge of each reel, and information about the type of platter, winding orientation used, and the measured relative humidity in your theatre.





John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Worldwide Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: 716-477-5325 Cell: 716-781-4036 Fax: 716-722-7243
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: Static, Its Everywhere 26 Oct 2001 18:19 #21081

  • Avalon
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Last night my print of "Ghost World" was clinging so badly, it was trying to pull four or five thicknesses at a time thru the brain. I was afraid I was going to have to stop the movie. I had Film Guarded the print, but it was still horrible. I'll probably get spanked for saying I did this, but I finally misted the running print on the platter with Film Guard. End of Problem. Not the recommended method of application, but it stopped the problem. Made damn sure the gate pressure is maxed since it makes things slippery. Needless to say, the platter got a good cleaning after the show -- didn't want to toss a print off a slick platter (AW-2, formica surface. Icky!).
Paul Turner
Avalon Cinema
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Re: Static, Its Everywhere 27 Oct 2001 00:26 #21082

  • BurneyFalls
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I had a lot of problems last winter. Since then I have put in a different platter, grounded it with two separate wires to conduit, pulled out the old carpet and put "pretty" linoleum on the booth floors, used cans of static guard and endust for electronics, put in a humidifier and tried to keep the humidity up in the 50-60% range, bought a camera and monitor to keep a constant eye on the film going through the platter, and bought a film cleaner that we finally figured out tonight how it works and are mounting it tomorrow. I hope the film cleaner with the FilmGuard will work, because my print of Hearts in Atlantis was sticking tonight after all that. Before I got the cleaner I used to basically swab the top of my prints with FilmGuard and change the orientation each showing and that seemed to help, but the problem never went away totally. Harry Potter should be a test, since the longer movies seem to be worse.
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Re: Static, Its Everywhere 27 Oct 2001 13:34 #21083

There is an material that can be placed on the platter deck under the print that will tend to seperate the layers of film. It is made in New Jersey and John can probably provide a link to it
Another major culprit is the use of garbage bags or plastic sheets to cover prints at night as removeing them can add to the charge
I sujest the use of an cover that is similar to the vynal ones for barbaques and placeing a damp spoonge in the payout assembly at night to raise the humidity and moisture content of the print overnight
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Re: Static, Its Everywhere 30 Oct 2001 13:30 #21084

  • John Pytlak
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The device Gordon is refering to is the Non-Slip Platter Disk made by Projection Technology Inc., invented by projectionists Stuart Boritz, Edmund Nardone, and Andrew Fetherman. It is a solid disk that fits on each platter surface, providing a non-slip surface that helps separate the film laps if they stick together, and prevents the roll from sliding ("platter fling"). The disks are also useful in moving full-length prints between screens in a theatre. AFAIK, several theatre circuits including Loews and General Cinema use them.

Here is a link to the website:
http://www.projectiontechnology.com

Telephone: 516-576-0767

The Film-Tech "Pictures" section shows the disks in use under "Sony Theatres at Lincoln Square-The show theatre of New York":
http://www.film-tech.com

John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Worldwide Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: 716-477-5325 Cell: 716-781-4036 Fax: 716-722-7243
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: Static, Its Everywhere 11 Nov 2001 02:59 #21085

  • BurneyFalls
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Anybody ever used one of those platter disks? I am playing Bandits and it is sticking badly. The film cleaner has been in operation for about three weeks and the Film-Guard isn't helping with this film. All my efforts seem to have been for naught. (BTW, the humidity was 60% at the beginning of the movie and 50% at the end.) WAHHH.
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Re: Static, Its Everywhere 11 Nov 2001 15:24 #21086

  • John Pytlak
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BurneyFalls: Please remind me. Do your platters have metal surfaces? Or are they made of a non-conductive surface (e.g., Christie AW-2)? Even when the film has a conductive backside layer and has been properly treated by the lab with the Kodak-recommended process anti-stat additive, the platter must be conductive to provide a path to ground for the static. Otherwise, the static just "sits" on the print, causing "cling" under the wrong conditions.

John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Worldwide Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: 716-477-5325 Cell: 716-781-4036 Fax: 716-722-7243
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: Static, Its Everywhere 11 Nov 2001 19:56 #21087

  • BurneyFalls
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John,
Yes, my platter has metal surfaces. It is an AW3-R.
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Re: Static, Its Everywhere 11 Nov 2001 21:46 #21088

  • John Pytlak
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Burney Falls: As long as the metal is clean, and not coated with oxide, the static should bleed off. Continue spraying the platter with the Static Guard to enhance its conductivity.

You say you tried different print orientations, but you seem to be switching back and forth without letting one orientation "settle in". The reason orientation can help is that the natural curl of the film makes it stiffer when wrapped in one direction, and more likely to pull in with the other orientation. The direction and amount of curl depends upon the humidity.

Do your prints "cling" all the way through, or just during the last few minutes? Is the problem pulling extra laps into the control arm, or making the platter speed fluctuate so wildly that the print gets "thrown" off center? I hope you are restraining the roll to keep it from sliding off center.

Another thing to check is whether the platter is level, and that the "timing" of the platter is correct. Brad Miller notes that many "cling" problems can be tracked to poor platter timing. Improper takeup can also cause perturbations or "bubbles" in the roll that tend to be sites for "cling". Check out the "Tips" section on http://www.film-tech.com .

"Static Cling" is like lightning --- sometimes you just can't predict where it will hit.

I've heard the "Platter Disk" can be quite effective if all else fails.

Again, send me the complete magenta-colored edgeprint ID from the prints that seem to act up the most.

John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Worldwide Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: 716-477-5325 Cell: 716-781-4036 Fax: 716-722-7243
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

[This message has been edited by John Pytlak (edited November 11, 2001).]

[This message has been edited by John Pytlak (edited November 12, 2001).]
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: Static, Its Everywhere 13 Nov 2001 03:45 #21089

  • BurneyFalls
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John, I think the Bandits edgeprint number is 305409. This particular print was abused before it came to me. It was missing half its heads and tails, had been crunched in the middle of the 5th reel, and there was footage missing and a yellow splice in the middle of the 4th reel. Maybe that had something to do with the problems I had with this print. The problem started around the 4th reel. It looks like it is going to pull more than one layer into the control arm and probably would if I didn't have someone up there separating the layers (Reminds me of my favorite movie, Shrek) that stick together. The platter is level, but maybe the timing is off. I keep the film restrained with six suction cups; almost lost the Grinch last year when I had only three.
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Re: Static, Its Everywhere 13 Nov 2001 09:30 #21090

Is there a possibility that you have some perf damage and they are grabbing the nexty layer of film
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Re: Static, Its Everywhere 13 Nov 2001 10:58 #21091

When I had this problem in Houston I hooked a bare copper wire to the fin on the bottom of the platter that wiped across a bare wire hooked to the arm that was grounded so with every revolution it discharged the static. This worked fairly well.
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Re: Static, Its Everywhere 13 Nov 2001 14:10 #21092

  • John Pytlak
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Burney Falls: That number does not compute!

Kodak magenta edge identification will be something like:

2383 603 074 0 27 20 K.ODAK 2001

Fuji will be like:

FUJICOLOR CL 99-JS 81

I agree with Gordon that previous damage or stretching may make the film act erratically, sometimes resembling "static cling".

John P. Pytlak, Senior Technical Specialist
Worldwide Technical Services
Entertainment Imaging
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Telephone: 716-477-5325 Cell: 716-781-4036 Fax: 716-722-7243
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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