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TOPIC: Preventing Scratching Of Your Film

Preventing Scratching Of Your Film 07 Jul 2003 11:51 #21544

  • take2
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I found some helpful hints in July Film Journal that may help prevent you from scratching your film. Thought I'd pass them on.

In addition to film coming in contact with your platter during build-up we have.

The rollers in the projection transport system have developed flat spots and do not turn freely.

After threading but before starting the system, the film has ridden up over the roller flange, causing the entire length of film passing over the flange to be scratched.

Due to sporadic platter speed on start-up, a "brain wrap" occurs wherein the film becomes tightly wound around the platter centerpiece, causing severe abrasions.

As the end of the reel approches, the operator fails to reduce the speed of the make-up table, causing the reel end to become battered and damaged.

The film is not aligned properly in the gate as it enters the feed sprocket and leaves the hold-back sprocket. This misalignment causes stressful abrasions that create film scratches.

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Re: Preventing Scratching Of Your Film 07 Jul 2003 12:43 #21545

  • John Pytlak
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The Kodak website has lots of good information too:
http://www.kodak.com/country/US/en/motion/newsletters/pytlak/sept99P.shtml
http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/support/technical/hand.shtml

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: 585-477-5325 Cell: 585-781-4036 Fax: 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: Preventing Scratching Of Your Film 08 Jul 2003 14:22 #21546

  • revrobor
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Isn't it interesting that Film Journal had to publish what is basic knowledge for anyone whi is a true projectionist? And therein probably lies the problem. Real projectionists are now few and far between.

Bob Allen
The Old Showman
Bob Allen
The Old Showman
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Re: Preventing Scratching Of Your Film 09 Jul 2003 10:20 #21547

  • Big Guy
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'Basic Knowledge' only becomes that because it is shared with others, so I don't find it all that interesting that they published this list.
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Re: Preventing Scratching Of Your Film 09 Jul 2003 13:16 #21548

  • outaframe
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This film damage thing has been around since Edison's time... Nothing is quite as enjoyable as finding out the print that arrived at 4:45 PM Friday for a 7 PM opening has been half destroyed by some butcher, and that the inspection sticker means someone at the exchange glanced at the reels and decided it looks like most of it's there... Never mind that there's an 1/8" green scrape down the middle of a reel or two, or that there's no outside sprocket holes left on this or that reel, sometimes just big hunks of film torn out, stretched and wrinkled film, oil and dirt, the list is endless ... The ultimate joy is to have sprocket marks down the middle of the sound track from an open gate!... That produces a lovely BUZZZZZZZ which will bring a rush of customers to the lobby wondering what's wrong with YOUR equipment... So What!... It's the weekend and you have your print of the current blockbuster; you sink or swim on you own... IF you call the booker after hours you can expect a chilly reception and there's nothing that can be done til first of the week, anyway... So, you feverishly cut out, splice, clean, patch, and black out damage until you have something that will run through your equipment, and keep your mouth shut unless you have it booked for long enough that will justify possibly doing much of the same with the replacement they will send (at your expense)... Will you get any compensation for what may end up as most of 2 days spare time?... Fat chance!... You'll be LUCKY if they don't charge YOU for the damage you report!... Education and equipment maintenence are definitely important, but these are secondary to someone (other than the victim) actually giving a damn!...

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Re: Preventing Scratching Of Your Film 10 Jul 2003 09:39 #21549

  • John Pytlak
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"Film Done Right" unfortunately is not high on the priority list of some theatres, who insist on using unskilled/uncaring/stressed-out personnel in the booth, and scrimp on proper maintenance.


As far as new prints, considering that 50 million feet or more of film being printed and processed for a major release is not uncommon, the labs are doing a pretty good job, given that they may be given less than a week or two to turn out 5000 prints. They are usually very good about providing replacement reels when a reel is defective (e.g., bad safelight fog, soundtrack developer splashes, etc.)

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: 585-477-5325 Cell: 585-781-4036 Fax: 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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