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You open a mag and oops!


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#1 Mitch Lusas

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 07:24 PM

There is a roll of film and you quickly shut the mag closed.. The mag was left unlabelled, and you've exposed the film. Luckily this has never happened to me. However, my 1st AC and I were discussing nightmarish situations, and that was one of them. Then we started wondering what would happen to the film. If exposed in low light conditions (25 foot candles) for a second would all of the film be exposed?

A cam-op buddy theorized that the outer layer of film, and the top millimeter or so would be developed and that the rest would be useable.

So what do you theorize? Better yet, what have you found from experience and how did it happen?
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#2 Frank DiBugnara

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 07:57 PM

I'll be honest enough to admit I did that once: 7 years ago.

We were shooting a music video the day before. I was directing and shooting and an actor crashed a $45K BMW on the set (it was borrowed from a friend of the producer). I was close to the end of my rope emotionally so in all the confusion the mags did not get labeled correctly.

I was in a room with florescent lighting on overhead and I think the stock was a 200T single perf 16mm. I opened the door and saw 400 feet of film when I was expecting to see none. I screamed as if I'd seen a ghost and closed the door.

As it turns out all that footage was usable. There was a little bit of red on one side of the frame. We did a little repo in transfer and it was fine. I had predicted that the results would have been much worse.

On the Arri SR, if I remember correctly, on the take-up side the perfs face up. If that is the case (I don't have a mag in front of me) then the fact that the perf area took most of the damage really helped us out.
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#3 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 08:32 PM

It happened to me once, too...

I was just finished a TV film in 35 mm ARRI BL (where the take up is on the left) I had shoot for several weeks and was "used" to it, when I replaced an AC on a low budget feature shot in S16 (where the take up side is on the right)

As I was going to unload a mag in the truck, after a 15 hours day work of shooting a very special way : 1 take, no rehersal !!!! I was sort of "emotionally confused" as well, since I was focus pulling and it was on tracks in the street all the time, all improvised and I was really sort of messed up (not to mention the fact it was unpaid and supposed to be a short that actually was a feature...)

I began to unload the mags in the truck and began with one there was no short end in, so decided to get rid of the core first, from the feed side (f*** knows why ! always take care of the rushes first ! leave the short end or core for later job, I tell you !) I opened it, where the rushes were...

I very quickly closed it back. It was night but there was a pratical light street like 20 meters away. It may have stayed open 2 seconds.

I know some people say the light will keep on the edge, but it fogged the edge's film. In the frame. May be a 1/8 of its width. Left side . May be was it 250 or 320 T. You could notice that for sure, but it didn't keep people from seeing the film and the fogged shot as well.. Of course it was edited ! one take I tell you...

That's the kind of thing that happen when some risks are taken...

But, yes, it's a nightmare...
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#4 Mike Kaminski

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 08:38 PM

I've actually had nightmares about this happening but luckily I've been spared this grief. Once in film school i loaded a roll slightly wonky and the edges got fogged; it was just film school and the footage was usable but I remember how that felt--i cant imagine what flashing a whole reel would feel like.
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#5 Chris Keth

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Posted 12 May 2006 - 09:32 PM

I've actually had nightmares about this happening but luckily I've been spared this grief. Once in film school i loaded a roll slightly wonky and the edges got fogged; it was just film school and the footage was usable but I remember how that felt--i cant imagine what flashing a whole reel would feel like.



Well, that's when you take a big gulp and go tell the 1st AC or the DP what you did. It's not fun to do but it's the right thing to do. :unsure:
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#6 Bob Hayes

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 10:12 AM

I was working as an AC in the Caribbean shooting 100 ASA 16mm with an Éclair NPR. I was loading mags under a large white lunch canopy. It was very bright under its cover. When I pulled the tape off the mag, which I did with a flourish, the door flew off the mag and two feet into the air. I caught the door mid air and slammed it back on the mag. By luck it fit perfectly. The whole time it was off the mag was maybe half a second. We had edge fogging on picture side of perfs but only slightly.
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#7 Chad Stockfleth

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 10:20 AM

Slightly off subject, but in film school I was downloading a shot mag of 16mm in the tent, maybe the 5th time ever I had done it, and the first time with real/exposed film. I pulled the film out of the mag but alas, the core stayed put! It started to telescope and unravel in the bag and that is about the time one of my instructers noticed me sweating bullets. We had to do a switch where I took my arms out and he put his in to re-spool the film. i was sooo nervous about ruining everyones work! Fortunately everything worked out and I learned a valuable lesson about releasing the core! ;-)
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#8 Laurent Andrieux

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 10:33 AM

Nearly the same happened to me first time i unloaded a 1000' mag on a arri bl 35.. This has been discussed in the forums btw, make a research
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#9 Phil Thompson

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 11:01 AM

Guess what i did. Tried to put in a reel of already exposed film. I only realised after id broke loads of holes at the end.. Guess what.. it all came out apart from the last 9 seconds. RESULTY
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#10 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 03:35 PM

Hi,

I had a mag door swing open on an SR-1 - first time I'd ever shot film, of course. Swung open maybe an inch or two before the AC leapt on it like a hyperactive gerbil being pursued by a man with a flamethrower.

Some fogging of the edge, but not in picture.

Phil
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#11 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 05:48 PM

If the roll is wound even and tight, the first effect will be edgefog. How far the fog penetrates depends on the light intensity and color, how long the film gets exposed, and how tight the roll is. Any film that is not wound on the roll will have overall fogging. One factor that really helps is that motion picture color negatives hava a carbon black "rem-jet" layer for anti-halation protection --- this layer is also very effective in absorbing any "light piping" of light into the roll from the sidewall of the wound roll.
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#12 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 15 May 2006 - 08:31 PM

Guess what i did. Tried to put in a reel of already exposed film. I only realised after id broke loads of holes at the end.. Guess what.. it all came out apart from the last 9 seconds. RESULTY

Hey another good reason to use Single perf film....
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