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Keeping the gate clean


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#1 Arni Heimir

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 01:11 PM

How often do you recommend to clean the gate? Isn't after every take too excessive?
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#2 Jamie Metzger

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 01:28 PM

How often do you recommend to clean the gate? Isn't after every take too excessive?


Every "good" take might not be excessive. I think the more you open it up to check, the more prone you make it to getting hairs in there.

I know the Aaton cameras say that their gates are "hairless", or claim to be, but it doesn't hurt to check.

It's that bad luck type thing. You'll check for years, and then decide one day not to, and that's the day it happens to you.

If you check it all the time; it doesn't hurt to keep checking.
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#3 Stuart Brereton

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 02:00 PM

After every good take is sensible working practice. If you're using a zoom lens you can check the gate without opening up the camera
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#4 Dan Goulder

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 02:18 PM

It's that bad luck type thing. You'll check for years, and then decide one day not to, and that's the day it happens to you.

How true. Imagine finding out the hard way, like after you've broken down the set and vacated the location. I wouldn't be surprised if this is just the sort of thing that's driven some filmmakers over to hi-def.
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#5 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 02:50 PM

How true. Imagine finding out the hard way, like after you've broken down the set and vacated the location. I wouldn't be surprised if this is just the sort of thing that's driven some filmmakers over to hi-def.


The only time that I've seen the focus puller never check for hairs after a good take is when shooting with an open gate on 35mm.

The Aaton is extremely good regarding picking up hairs in the gate, but you do need to check. I was shooting in an airport lounge and we had endless hairs in the gate. It could have been due to static being created by the tracking shots over the carpet.

Edited by Brian Drysdale, 23 January 2006 - 02:51 PM.

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#6 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 03:29 PM

There's a difference between cleaning and checking the gate.

Usually, the gate is cleaned every morning when preping the camera, that including lubrificating it with nat'sil (silicon) but that can be done once every few days.

Checking the gate has to be done, for every shot, after the director decides to change shot, considering it's done. There may be 2, 3 or more good takes before that.

But when (s)he is satysfied, the 1st AC checks the gate before the shot is wrapped.

It has to be done quite quickly since everybody waits for the setup change.

Not only "outside" hair can be a problem, but the film being scratched by the gate or a stripe having occured has to be checked.

It has to be done very carefully, with a maglite and a magnifying glass.

Once the 1st AC has done that, (s)he informs the 1st AD that the "gate is clear" so that the next shot can be setup.

Ther is no need for cleaning it at that point.

If ever it's not the case, then clean it and we go for more takes.

I never considered Aaton or whatever camera allows to be less accurate with this. On the other hand, I noticed some cameras are more "able" to occure problems : Arri III, Arri 16 SR for instance.

But it depends a lot on the gate shape and the lubrification.

If you clean it well, the less problems occure.

And, by the way, we sometimes say "get the check" instead, just for fun...
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#7 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 05:50 PM

I find I get hair in the gate in 2 situations more than others.

First if using a changing bag instead of a tent and second in high static and high dust areas (like carpets or jumping castles)

thanks

Rolfe
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#8 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 23 January 2006 - 11:12 PM

I find I get hair in the gate in 2 situations more than others.

First if using a changing bag instead of a tent and second in high static and high dust areas (like carpets or jumping castles)

thanks

Rolfe


Absolutely!

Many times "hairs" sent to Kodak are analyzed as being fibers from the changing bag. We also find skin flakes from the film loader, clothing fibers, etc. The most interesting one I recall was analyzed as "hemp fiber". Hmm. :rolleyes:

Vacuum the inside of your changing bag frequently. Or use a sticky "lint roller" to remove loose debris. Likewise, damp wipe all work surfaces in the darkroom. Electrically ground metal rewinds to discharge static buildup, and consider using a grounding strap to keep from building a charge on yourself.
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#9 Rolfe Klement

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 05:25 AM

it often comes down to how clean the 2nd AC | Film Loader is - which could lead to some interesting personal interview questions :)

thanks

Rolfe
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#10 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 24 January 2006 - 06:23 AM

Many times "hairs" sent to Kodak are analyzed as being fibers from the changing bag. We also find skin flakes from the film loader, clothing fibers, etc. The most interesting one I recall was analyzed as "hemp fiber". Hmm. :rolleyes:


Very interesting ! No white powders then ? B)
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#11 Alex Haspel

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 11:38 AM

in german the gate check is also often called "fussel check" , since fussel means flake ...
the word "fusel" on the other hand describes destilled, hard alcohol.
at the last wrap party we had hours of fun disovering the "fusel check" and permorming it with lots of vodka.

damn.. what a lame anecdote.
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#12 timHealy

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 11:52 AM

Absolutely!

Many times "hairs" sent to Kodak are analyzed as being fibers from the changing bag. We also find skin flakes from the film loader, clothing fibers, etc. The most interesting one I recall was analyzed as "hemp fiber". Hmm. :rolleyes:

Vacuum the inside of your changing bag frequently. Or use a sticky "lint roller" to remove loose debris. Likewise, damp wipe all work surfaces in the darkroom. Electrically ground metal rewinds to discharge static buildup, and consider using a grounding strap to keep from building a charge on yourself.




Hemp can be found all over a film set, especially a stage where it is used in the rigging. Used mostly by grips and secondly electricians.

best

Tim
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#13 Alex Haspel

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 12:48 PM

Hemp can be found all over a film set, especially a stage where it is used in the rigging. Used mostly by grips and secondly electricians.

best

Tim


so you are calling grips and electricians pot heads?

;)
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#14 Daniel Stigler

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 01:28 PM

in german the gate check is also often called "fussel check" , since fussel means flake ...
the word "fusel" on the other hand describes destilled, hard alcohol.
at the last wrap party we had hours of fun disovering the "fusel check" and permorming it with lots of vodka.

damn.. what a lame anecdote.



It's a common phrase with the crew i usually work with. I guess filmcrews are bad company... :P
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#15 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 26 January 2006 - 03:56 PM

Hemp can be found all over a film set, especially a stage where it is used in the rigging. Used mostly by grips and secondly electricians.



It's true second AC are into it... I remember shooting a Cindy Lauper's concert in Paris (35 mm, 13 cameras, Zenith), in the late 80's, I was there as a runner between the loaders and a camera, and the loaders - there were all english, maybe ten of them - loading the mags in a room under the steps and smoking without a break. Never saw so many joints in the same room at the same time... Loaded loaders ! :D

Anybody around here was there, BTW ? I remember a cameraman, who had a scotch bottle nearby his camera's sticks, who was quite a good fellow !, as well as the 1st AC I was working with, but I can't remember any name..
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#16 dd3stp233

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 05:54 AM

Hemp fiber is used to make ropes, twine, cloth, paper, etc. Nobody sensible would want to smoke hemp. Different variety of the same plant that your were speaking of loaders smoking. Only the seedless flowering tops are used for what you described.

That's interesting though, I've never seen a hair get stuck in a gate. I usually have more trouble with wind blown sand and dust. I always use a darkroom, never used a changing bag.
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#17 Max Jacoby

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 08:16 AM

A dirty gate happened only about once or twice per shoot on all the features that I've loaded so far. Sometimes you go for weeks and weeks without a problem and people actually start wondering why the 1st AC always checks the bloody gate, since it's always clean.

The one notable exception was on my own film of course, when we shot with ORWO black and white stock. That filmstock was so poorly manufactured that we had dirty gates on litterally every single shot. We switched to Kodak after 2 days and that was the end of dirty gates.
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#18 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 08:20 AM

I had a DA trainee coming to me once asking : "How can you figure out the shot was good by looking at the gate ?" :lol:
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#19 timHealy

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 04:14 PM

so you are calling grips and electricians pot heads?

;)



in a word ... no. The forum about drug use is on another website.
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#20 Hans Engstrom

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Posted 30 January 2006 - 08:04 AM

I find that keeping the tent and or the darkroom clean and rolling up the sleeves when going into the tent helps alot. When loading I shake the tent atleast twice a day and I allways keep the tent closed when I´m not loading. On one production I worked on last year one of the PA couldn´t understand why I was cleaning the darkroom for 2 hours, that wasn´t my job he said. I explained to him that it´s my job to see to it that no hairs/fibre/dust makes it into the mags. The same PA later asked me why no one ever invented a transparent loadingtent as that would make the loading procedure so much easier (before that I had explained to him really carefully that the reason to use a tent is because it has to be done in total darkness).
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