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TOPIC: Automation cue application & removal

Automation cue application & removal 19 Sep 2003 17:28 #21660

  • BurneyFalls
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I recently upgraded to an Component Engineering TA10 with a timer. It is very cool. Before buying it my automation was nearly non-esistant. Now I have to be extremely careful to find and remove cues left on by previous theatres. As most of you know, those metal cues are difficult to remove when they have been applied directly to the film, once they have been on for awhile. We have been applying a piece of clear splicing tape over a frame of the film and applying our small, 3/8", piece of cue tape on that. When the movie is over, it is very easy to remove the splicing tape & cue in one step and it leaves no residue on the film. I wish everyone would remove their own cues, but if they miss one, if they applied them this way, it would be much easier for the next theatre to remove them. If anyone is in the market for an automation unit, I highly recommend the TA10.
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Re: Automation cue application & removal 05 Oct 2003 11:34 #21661

  • RoxyVaudeville
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I am in complete agreement about removing cues. It should be a no brainer... you put on the cues, you take them off. It's called common curtesy. However, it's not done by many in this industry probably because the teenage usher-operators either haven't been told to remove them, or are too lazy, or just don't have the time as they may have 5 or 6 shows to tear down that night.

Last year I kept record of the number of shows I recieved with the cues still on from the previous theatre. 68% still had them on. Why on earth are some cues so long? Are they afraid that the automation won't detect the cue tape? I often find cues 5 to 6 inches long. My Eprad automation suggests a one inch cue, but I have found 1/2 inch will work just as well. On several occasions I have received prints with cues 5 or 6 FEET long. Can you imagine putting those on? And worse, what a hassel taking them off. Just think what would happen if I, or other theatres that use 6000' reels, would leave our changeover cues on. In the middle of the next theatres show it would either shut down or the houselights would come up. Fortunately for me, virtually no first run theatres still use reel to reel, but I still look for that cue at the end of reel 3. If when making up the show I find a reel that has a leader or tail that has never been removed, that's a sure sign to check for a changeover cue.
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Re: Automation cue application & removal 05 Oct 2003 14:47 #21662

  • outaframe
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Yes, unless the print is brand new, you are likely to find nearly anything when you set it up... Heads and tails not even attached, or stuck on with masking tape (sometimes on the wrong reel), defective and/or out of frame splices, damaged sprocket holes and torn film, hideous cue markings, scrapes and scratches, missing film sections, sprocket run film, white shoe polish slopped everywhere, and of course, automation cue tape are not uncommon... I normally check every inch of every reel by hand rewinding it, but sometimes it arrives too late to do that, and you just have to check the first few feet at the head and tail of each reel, and watch it like a hawk during the first pass... Back when cement splices were common, I just remade ALL the splices because so few were trustworthy... Now, with tape splices, only about half of them are that bad (I guess that's an improvement)... The metallic cue tape will usually come off OK if you can hook a fingernail under one corner to get it started, but the extra thin type with white paper backing is a "bear" if it has been there for a while... A small amount of lighter fluid (naptha) on a rag will remove the adhesive residue without damaging the film, but you need to be sure the film is completely dried before you rewind it further... The white shoe polish is the nastiest stuff to remove: a wet rag will usually eventually soften it, but you have to be especially careful of the emulsion side of the film, and that the film is completely dry before going further... There is no courtesy, once the previous handler is through with the print, he doesn't give a damn... And if the print has been "inspected," all you can depend on is that it has a sticker on the band... The projectionist's life involves MORE than just pushing a button!...
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