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#1 Natalie Saito

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 01:35 AM

I hear that new film should last 6 or so months if refrigerated..but I've been hearing that some cinematographers have used 2-3 year old film and had no problem. Is freezing going to mess up the film? thanks.
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#2 Jonathan Bowerbank

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 01:49 AM

I hear that new film should last 6 or so months if refrigerated..but I've been hearing that some cinematographers have used 2-3 year old film and had no problem. Is freezing going to mess up the film? thanks.


Au contraire, freezing preserves the film even better by nearly completely stopping the aging process of film...thus preventing age fogging.

Usually, you buy film and just refrigerate it since you'll be using it soon. And it'll be fine.

But if you shoot the footage, it's especially a good idea to freeze'em. Because, by exposing the film you've already begun the chemical process of exposure. And freezing the film halts the process and preserves the the images you exposed.
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#3 Brian Pritchard

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 03:10 AM

The most important thing to remember is to allow the film time to warm up before opening the can after removing it from the freezer. If you open the can before it has warmed up you will get condensation on the film which will probably cause marking.

If the can is unopened it will have been sealed by the manufacturer at the correct humidity, if it is an opened can try to make sure that when it is sealed up before freezing you do it at a low humidity. It is a good idea to put the taped can inside a plastic bag to stop it getting rusty.

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#4 Jon Kukla

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Posted 05 May 2007 - 08:38 AM

Another factor to consider is the film speed. No matter how you store the film, atmospheric gamma rays will penetrate the can (and fridge or freezer) over time, gradually increasing granularity and base fog. The more sensitive the film stock, the faster this decay will occur. If you're storing 50D, you're probably fine for even a couple years if kept optimally, but if we're talking 500T, I would try to find an opportunity to pull it out as soon as you can.

Mind you, I've shot 250T film which was kept under rather poor conditions (hot projection booth with no AC) and for a long time (no idea exactly, but probably at least 4 years or more) and gotten interesting results, but on the other hand, we used this film for a dream sequence and we able to get away with it. It looked a bit...stale is the best way to describe it.

Also, a little extra overexposure goes a long way when working with older film. Testing is also HIGHLY recommended. If you have several rolls, test them ALL, since some may have responded differently.
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