Jump to content


does xray really ruin film?


  • Please log in to reply
11 replies to this topic

#1 spazboy

spazboy
  • Guests

Posted 14 August 2006 - 10:56 AM

I'm having some (unexposed) film sent over from
UK by plane and I was wondering if they xray the
package..will it fog my film?

what r the marginal risks in your experiences?

a guy told me that about 90% of the time, you'll
be fine because they xray @ such a low level today.

???
  • 0

#2 Douglas Hunter

Douglas Hunter
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 356 posts
  • Other
  • Los Angeles

Posted 14 August 2006 - 11:02 AM

Shipping film is always risky. about a year ago I worked on a show that shipped some film and homeland security opened cans of exposed film!!! yes, they screwed up and film and yes the box and cans were very well marked. X-rays are a threat more than ever because the leves are higher today than in the past. I don't know how other people feel about it but I don't feel safe shipping film these days, unless someone traveles with it and I know what will happen every step of the way etc.
  • 0

#3 John Pytlak RIP

John Pytlak RIP

    (deceased)

  • Sustaining Members
  • 3499 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • Rochester, NY 14650-1922

Posted 14 August 2006 - 11:09 AM

I'm having some (unexposed) film sent over from
UK by plane and I was wondering if they xray the
package..will it fog my film?

what r the marginal risks in your experiences?

a guy told me that about 90% of the time, you'll
be fine because they xray @ such a low level today.

???


Any unprocessed film shipped as CHECKED baggage or cargo on a PASSENGER plane will likely be subjected to high-intensity x-ray inspection that will fog the film:

http://www.kodak.com.../...15.10&lc=en

Posted Image

CARRY-ON baggage usually goes through a low-intensity x-ray inspection. Although a single pass through these devices will usually not produce damaging fog, many times articles are exposed multiple times, and the doses do add up. In the USA, the TSA specifically allows requesting hand inspection of ALL motion picture films, but you need to provide a changing bag and enough time for hand inspection:

http://www.tsa.gov/t...orial_1035.shtm

Cargo shippers like FedEx, DHL, UPS, etc. usually can work with you to properly label and manifest any unprocessed film you are shipping. They may use x-ray inspection for some cargo, but can usually arrange for pre-inspection without risk to the film.

Mail in small packages has usually not been an issue, but I suspect some areas may now use low-dose x-ray inspection.

Kodak has labels to request hand inspection and help avoid x-ray exposure or opening of unprocessed film cans:

Posted Image

Whenever possible, purchase and take delivery of your film locally, and have it processed locally at a lab accessable by ground transportation. Kodak has numerous sales offices around the world:

http://www.kodak.com...w...1.4.5&lc=en

And there are good motion-picture labs worldwide:

http://www.kodak.com.../....4.17&lc=en
  • 0

#4 Charles MacDonald

Charles MacDonald
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1157 posts
  • Other
  • Stittsville Ontario Canada

Posted 16 August 2006 - 10:47 PM

I'm having some (unexposed) film sent over from
UK by plane and I was wondering if they xray the
package..will it fog my film?



You probaly picked the worse week in history to be doing that, as hand bagage seems to be a bit of a problem at the moment. If you really have to ship it, you may want to discuss the matter with a courier company like DHL or fed-ex "over there" and see if they have a workable procedure for MP film at the moment.
  • 0

#5 Hans Engstrom

Hans Engstrom
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 195 posts
  • 1st Assistant Camera
  • Sweden

Posted 17 August 2006 - 12:23 PM

On a feature I worked on last year the production office didn´t want us in the camera crew to order film because we "ordered to much" (we wanted to have aprox 2 weeks of film in the cooler and we where shooting on vision1 that was hard to find at that time). I said that as long as they took the responsibility from my shoulders that was ok, but that I could no longer guarantee that we had film. They sent back half of the film (to reorder it at a later time) and offcourse we ran out of film so that actors and crewmember had to take cans with them on the plane from different locations (it was a circus). At that point the producer actually tried to get an assurance from me that it was ok and that there shouldn´t be any fogging on the film. To make a long story short, there wasn´t any fogging on the film but it´s a really unnecessary risk to take if there´s crew and actors involved. Get the film tested or use it for experimenting or stock shots.
  • 0

#6 Dominic Case

Dominic Case
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1357 posts
  • Other
  • Sydney Australia

Posted 17 August 2006 - 07:33 PM

I don't feel safe shipping film these days, unless someone traveles with it

WRONG WRONG WRONG

Ship your film via competent freight carriers. ALL material carried on passenger flights will be X-rayed. Sure, you may very well get away with hand-carried stock, if it's only x-rayed once or twice - but you might not. Do you want to take that risk?

And while there is much advice around about insisting on hand inspection, at the moment I'd say the bigger risk is that you simply won't be allowed to hand-carry anything, X-rayed or not. And checked bags might be OK for the airline, but a definite NO NO for uprocessed film.

Most reliable solution if you can, is to have the manufacturer supply the stock to you locally, and have it processed locally (or at least within reach of surface transport).
  • 0

#7 Douglas Hunter

Douglas Hunter
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 356 posts
  • Other
  • Los Angeles

Posted 17 August 2006 - 08:34 PM

WRONG WRONG WRONG

Ship your film via competent freight carriers.


right back at ya smarty pants. This stuff gets x-rayed all the time as well, you need to know the specific procedures of the company in question. Using a freight carrier is not a guarntee of an x-ray free environment. In the past (maybe not this week) but since 9/11 an individual traveling with film has been able to request hand inspection without X-ray.
  • 0

#8 Hal Smith

Hal Smith
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2280 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • OKC area

Posted 17 August 2006 - 09:00 PM

right back at ya smarty pants. This stuff gets x-rayed all the time as well, you need to know the specific procedures of the company in question. Using a freight carrier is not a guarntee of an x-ray free environment. In the past (maybe not this week) but since 9/11 an individual traveling with film has been able to request hand inspection without X-ray.

I asked a TSA Supervisor at Will Rogers World Airport about bringing film through inspection. He told me that they would make every effort to not damage undeveloped film and that they had procedures in place. However, he did say that if there's a heightened level of security at the time they can't guarantee film will not be required to be x-rayed going on as hand baggage. I asked him about bringing a changing bag so they could open the cans to check the contents. He said they would probably be willing to do so but get to the airport earlier than normal, I asked "an hour or so?" and he told me that would probably be enough. It might help in that situation to bring a roll of junk film bagged in a taped can so you could show them what to expect while inspecting film in your bag. And be certain to have courtesy tabs on the tape sealing the cans to make it easy to peel it off blindly in the bag.

His level of training and knowledge on this subject was high enough that he was aware that slow films are not harmed by the hand luggage scanners but that higher speed film might get fogged.

What I took away from my chat with him was that TSA doesn't want to ruin your film and is aware of the problem. I good way to look at it is they want to provide good customer service in an impossible situation.
  • 0

#9 Dan Goulder

Dan Goulder
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1259 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 17 August 2006 - 09:27 PM

I asked him about bringing a changing bag so they could open the cans to check the contents. He said they would probably be willing to do so but get to the airport earlier than normal, I asked "an hour or so?" and he told me that would probably be enough. It might help in that situation to bring a roll of junk film bagged in a taped can so you could show them what to expect while inspecting film in your bag. And be certain to have courtesy tabs on the tape sealing the cans to make it easy to peel it off blindly in the bag.

Do you really want some airport security agent to physically put their hands directly on your undeveloped stock? (I didn't think so.) They aren't film loaders or lab technicians by trade. Can they really tell in a changing bag if that core is made of plastic, or plastique? Send it Fedex.
  • 0

#10 Hal Smith

Hal Smith
  • Sustaining Members
  • 2280 posts
  • Cinematographer
  • OKC area

Posted 17 August 2006 - 09:39 PM

Do you really want some airport security agent to physically put their hands directly on your undeveloped stock? (I didn't think so.) They aren't film loaders or lab technicians by trade. Can they really tell in a changing bag if that core is made of plastic, or plastique? Send it Fedex.

Would you like to see the paperwork and email trail I have got from when FedEx destroyed a Senior in shipping on me - and then weaseled out of the claim because it could have been old damage - even though I had a photo of it from the seller? If you ship film FedEX and anything happens to it, kiss it goodby. UPS isn't any better, they lost a lightmeter on me and it took six weeks to get a reimbursement check issued, which went to the "pack-n-ship" store that shipped it, who tried to keep the money.

Here's a flash to the unwary: the only reliable shipper left is DHL, I had an Arri accessory ordered from Munich that didn't arrived when promised. DHL was able to check their German offices for the shipment without a tracking number, they did it from shipper and consignee names and addresses. Try that with Brown and DedeX. "No tracking number? So sorry, we can't help you".
  • 0

#11 Dan Goulder

Dan Goulder
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1259 posts
  • Cinematographer

Posted 17 August 2006 - 09:46 PM

Here's a flash to the unwary: the only reliable shipper left is DHL,

OK, then use DHL.
  • 0

#12 Dominic Case

Dominic Case
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1357 posts
  • Other
  • Sydney Australia

Posted 18 August 2006 - 04:03 AM

right back at ya smarty pants.

please read the whole of my reply and don't quote selectively.
I said "competent". How do you suppose Kodak ship their stock around the place? Of COURSE you check whether your carrier will Xray.

And I did recommend processing locally as a better alternative.

And while I have spent some years recommending hand-carrying, in the present environment, I don't think you can rely on your legal right of a hand-inspection. Certainly not coming out of Heathrow, or probably a lot of other places if you are flying into the US.

If you find you can't even hand carry, then you will have no alternative but having your film checked in - and therefore Xrayed to destruction. Look at the images that John posted.

Be smart, don't risk it .
  • 0


Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

CineLab

Visual Products

Rig Wheels Passport

Opal

Paralinx LLC

Tai Audio

FJS International, LLC

Metropolis Post

Willys Widgets

rebotnix Technologies

CineTape

Glidecam

Wooden Camera

The Slider

Ritter Battery

Abel Cine

Technodolly

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Aerial Filmworks

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Glidecam

CineTape

FJS International, LLC

Opal

Metropolis Post

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Abel Cine

Visual Products

Technodolly

The Slider

Aerial Filmworks

Ritter Battery

CineLab

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Willys Widgets

Wooden Camera

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Rig Wheels Passport

rebotnix Technologies

Tai Audio

Paralinx LLC