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TOPIC: Plastic Reel from HELLLLLLLLL!

Plastic Reel from HELLLLLLLLL! 04 Feb 2002 15:46 #21146

  • Avalon
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Stop me if you’ve heard this one before . . . . an hour and a half before showtime, two prints to build up, open one can and all the heads, tails, bands are crammed into the bottom of the can with no indicators what reel is what. We all have felt that pain. So, this happens to me Friday. I’m rewinding one reel on the make-up table while building another on the rewind. Now, I’m sure I’m not the only one who does this, but while rewinding the reel on the make-up table, I’m running the film between my fingers to see if the previous crack-smoking moron who broke it down left me any surprise splices (since there will me no time for a preview). For the first time in 23 years of building film, the plastic reel fragments.

<gory details>
A shard of plastic detached from the reel, hits the wall and flies 12 feet to the stairs. The bad news is it went through the side of my finger to get there. It removed a rather impressive hunk of flesh which did a most excellent splatter job on the white Formica surface of my AW-2 two feet away. Since the show must go on, I wrap the damned thing in paper towels, masking tape it in place and build up the rest of the film.
</gory details>

Enter my partner. Not at all amused by the mess, she calls my manager and I’m on my way to the ER (after starting the show) on a Friday night – an experience best avoided. Three stitches and two hours later, I’m on my way home for the weekend with a finger that looks like an odd martial aid.

So, what exactly is it going to take before movie companies stop using these plastic reels? This one came from Reel Easy – not exactly the cutting edge (pun intended) of film delivery technology. Whose fault is it really? Should the manufacturer of the reels wake up? How about the shipper for using them? If I wasn’t in a hurry would I have noticed this was a bad reel? Maybe I should find another business to be in. As sloppy as the new TES reels are, they seem to be made of a softer plastic that may be less prone to breaking into grenade-like shards. Oh, for the days of metal reels – yes, they were always bent, but the could be bent back and I never had one of those draw blood.
Paul Turner
Avalon Cinema
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Re: Plastic Reel from HELLLLLLLLL! 04 Feb 2002 21:06 #21147

I think Rach Gilardi has a good, angry story to share. I got her to register here!

Share the story, Rach

"I don't want you playing with something that has such bizarre hair. Such awful, awful hair!"
-Marge Simpson, on Bart's toy trolls
Since 1987
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Re: Plastic Reel from HELLLLLLLLL! 05 Feb 2002 09:32 #21148

  • poppajoe
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Sorry to hear about the bite out of your finger, ouch! Maybe you should have gone back and looked for the piece of skin and plastic and put them into a baggie and send to Reel Easy. I think what we're talking about here is a money. They,(Reel Easy)have probably had the big discussion about the quality of their reels. But hey, some companies, especially those who aren't cutting edge have to go with the best deals they can. Using this type of reel is probably best for them. Do they care about the accidents that may happen due to the product they use? I tend not to think so,unless of course something real big happened and it became a legal issue. Anyway, I've rambled long enough. Those are my thoughts on the subject.
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Re: Plastic Reel from HELLLLLLLLL! 05 Feb 2002 14:35 #21149

  • John Pytlak
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Ouch!!!


There has been quite a bit of discussion about shipping reel issues on the http://www.film-tech.com Film Handlers Forum.



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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