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Film & Airport X-Rays


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#1 Richard Boddington

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 11:12 AM

I know we've had a number of threads here about film and airport x-ray machines. According to this article the show LOST had a airport x-ray disaster. Now I think it's clear from this article that the film "accidentally" went through the x-ray machine that scans checked baggage. It is a much more powerful machine than the one that scans carry ons.

But this situation for LOST raises two questions in my mind. 1) Isn't there a lab in Hawaii they can use to at least process the film and then ship the neg back to LA for post work? 2) If they did simply mark the bags as "no x-ray" and then check them, what a crazy idea! I mean who would trust airport baggage handlers to follow those instructions? (they could have also used fedex to ship the un-exposed film, they can usually be trusted to not x-ray film when it has the right label on it. Usually.)

The producers of hit TV drama Lost have been handed an expensive headache after film canisters featuring master footage was erased by an airport X-ray machine. The show bosses are still trying to figure out who to blame for the costly mistake, which could leave them having to spend an extra $300,000 to reshoot the scenes on the destroyed film. According to sources, film of the show accidentally went through an x-ray machine at Honolulu International Airport in Hawaii, where the series is shot - and was wiped. Lost producers claim security personnel at the airport are to blame because they didn't take note of warning labels asking them not to put the film canisters through an x-ray machine. But airport insiders state the film canisters were mistakenly mixed in with passenger luggage, leading to the error.
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#2 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 12:57 PM

I agree that this kind of error is inexcusable. Probably a case of penny wise and pound foolish.
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#3 Jon Kukla

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Posted 15 February 2007 - 06:06 PM

Random idea - couldn't baggage handlers use some sort of teleradiology technology like ultrasound to safely scan film cans enough to confirm that they are holding film (and not weapons), without either opening the cans or exposing them to damaging radiation?
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#4 Mark Williams

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 06:36 AM

Shouldn't modern airports have a darkroom with facilities to check film? and perhaps a small charge for this? WITH at least one customs officer on duty trained to use it?
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#5 Dan Salzmann

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 09:24 AM

Good idea ultrasound!
Why couldn't it be used instead of harmful x-rays?
It would be too much of a logistical nightmare for airports to maintain darkroom facilities and train the staff to use them.
Plus the production insurance issues that would arise.
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#6 Rupe Whiteman

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 10:34 AM

... How about this for an airport x-ray story...

Some years my brother was shooting a documentary about blue-grass music in the states. Towards the end of the shoot (they made many internal flights) on an internal flight they came across a really moody security officer who was such a bastard - he made them open all 30 cans of 16mm exposed rushes in the airport. As each can was opened in the changing bag by the assistant, he then took over and pushed every single core out of each roll until all 30 rolls now had no core! - He knew he was creating a lot of problems but didn't care...

- when they arrived back in the uk, Technicolor were obviously not happy bunnies and had to wind all the roles out by hand to try to re-core them before the dev. Every single roll suffered scratching/static sparkle at the top and tail of rolls, affecting precious material that was effectively ruined by the airport cretin!

I do hope he doesn't go to heaven or wherever it is airport security guys end up!..
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#7 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 02:14 PM

he then took over and pushed every single core out of each roll until all 30 rolls now had no core! - He knew he was creating a lot of problems but didn't care...


WOW :blink:

My brain nearly had an aneurism just at the thought of that being done to me. Words can't explain how out of line that is.

I'm shipping FedEx
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#8 Stephen Williams

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Posted 16 February 2007 - 02:30 PM

Shouldn't modern airports have a darkroom with facilities to check film? and perhaps a small charge for this? WITH at least one customs officer on duty trained to use it?


Hi,

I know of some 35mm film cans marked "Do Not Xray" got opened and hand checked in Kenya. FWIW there was only very minor edge fogging, nothing lost!

Stephen
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#9 K Borowski

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Posted 17 February 2007 - 08:23 PM

Are there any more informative articles on this other than the rehash of the AP press release? I looked but couldn't find any on the internet, haven't seen anything in the local papers or in the news either.
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