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International Film Transport/Transfer


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#1 Villi

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Posted 05 September 2007 - 05:27 PM

Hey,

I'm about to shoot in a country in Europe that has no telecinelabs within It's borders, has anyone here had any experience with this in the past that can help me figure this thing out? I have never transported film negatives between countries before.

Let's say that you can do this without a major effort other then packaging the film correctly and mailing it off in the mail what kind of safety box should I mail it in?
What kind of marking should I put on the box to ensure that customs and mail officials do not open it?

Any other information?

Thank you for your help.
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#2 Freya Black

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 03:04 AM

Hey,

I'm about to shoot in a country in Europe that has no telecinelabs within It's borders, has anyone here had any experience with this in the past that can help me figure this thing out? I have never transported film negatives between countries before.

Let's say that you can do this without a major effort other then packaging the film correctly and mailing it off in the mail what kind of safety box should I mail it in?
What kind of marking should I put on the box to ensure that customs and mail officials do not open it?

Any other information?

Thank you for your help.



You don't say where you are based or what country you would be shooting in.
I'm also not clear if you are saying there is no telecine there or that there are no processing labs there too?

No telecine is not a big deal because you could possibly even carry stuff onto the plane as hand luggage if you don't have too much film.

OTOH unprocessed film is much more of a nightmare as you don't want it near all those nasty x-rays, in which case you need to make special arrangements with a courier firm, print out the special kodak do not x-ray labels and send it that way as fast as possible (you don't want it hanging around in hot warehouse places for too long).

To be honest if it comes to shipping around unprocessed film then you might want to think about shooting on some kind of video based format like HD-Cam or something.

love

Freya
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#3 Villi

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 08:13 AM

You don't say where you are based or what country you would be shooting in.
I'm also not clear if you are saying there is no telecine there or that there are no processing labs there too?

No telecine is not a big deal because you could possibly even carry stuff onto the plane as hand luggage if you don't have too much film.

OTOH unprocessed film is much more of a nightmare as you don't want it near all those nasty x-rays, in which case you need to make special arrangements with a courier firm, print out the special kodak do not x-ray labels and send it that way as fast as possible (you don't want it hanging around in hot warehouse places for too long).

To be honest if it comes to shipping around unprocessed film then you might want to think about shooting on some kind of video based format like HD-Cam or something.

love

Freya


Hey,

Thank you Freya for the information, I think I rushed this a bit by not putting in that there are no telecine labs nor are there any processing labs in the country either. I will be shooting in Iceland.
From what I understand there seems to be a good connection between Icelandic film providers and telecine/processing labs in the U.K. so we are looking into that but the producers are saying the cost of developing the film in the U.K. is much higher than in America and want to ship the cans to the United States. I understand this but seeing the nice connection the U.K. and Iceland has It would seem more prudent to use this proven option rather then take a chance with shipping it off to America not knowing what could happen on the way (X-Ray's, Room Temp. etc.).
In any case I wanted to see if there was some kind of special protection box for film made by Kodak, Fuji or whatever designed to protect film in cases of human error like being opend, X-Rays and so on or is the only option packing it well and put a few X-Ray stickers on the box hoping that nothing will happen to the film?
Video is not really an option on this project, we are using a 16mm camera.

Thank you again Freya, any other information would be great.
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#4 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 02:40 PM

We recommend shipping the unprocessed film via courier service such as UPS, FEDEX or whatever company is convenient. We have never had any problems with film shipped this way, it travels by cargo aircraft. Customers who want to carry their unexposed film in checked luggage are at the greatest risk, and the X-ray damage happens not in darkest Africa but in Paris, London, etc. Carry-on luggage is slightly safer but still a great risk.

Buy your film locally and ship it out to be processed. Digitally repairing x-ray damage is very expensive.
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#5 Freya Black

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Posted 06 September 2007 - 03:25 PM

Hey,

Thank you Freya for the information, I think I rushed this a bit by not putting in that there are no telecine labs nor are there any processing labs in the country either. I will be shooting in Iceland.
From what I understand there seems to be a good connection between Icelandic film providers and telecine/processing labs in the U.K. so we are looking into that but the producers are saying the cost of developing the film in the U.K. is much higher than in America and want to ship the cans to the United States. I understand this but seeing the nice connection the U.K. and Iceland has It would seem more prudent to use this proven option rather then take a chance with shipping it off to America not knowing what could happen on the way (X-Ray's, Room Temp. etc.).
In any case I wanted to see if there was some kind of special protection box for film made by Kodak, Fuji or whatever designed to protect film in cases of human error like being opend, X-Rays and so on or is the only option packing it well and put a few X-Ray stickers on the box hoping that nothing will happen to the film?
Video is not really an option on this project, we are using a 16mm camera.

Thank you again Freya, any other information would be great.


Are the producers really saying the cost of processing is higher in the U.K?
I've not really noticed that it is that much, but I have noticed that clean and prep and Telecine are vastly cheaper in the states so maybe the plan could be to ship it to the u.k. Get it processed and then get the other stuff done in the states! Thats trusting it to the post twice tho which seems twice as scary.

Kodak have a sticker you can print out warning people not to x-ray or do other bad things to the film and I suggest you print that out and stick it on your package.

I've not seen special boxes for 16mm film, there are some weird Kodak boxes for 35mm film. I guess you might cram a couple of cans in one of those? I'm not sure how much protection they offer but they might help. They are kind of slightly difficult to open so it might help in a sort of child safety cap kind of way.

I would suggest you need to discuss it with the courier wherever you are sending it to make sure they can avoid the x-rays.

The way you are talking it sounds like there might already be a fairly risk free process set up to get your film to the u.k. and theres a part of me that just feels you should take that and get your film processed and then ship out for telecine.

It's just that unprocessed film with actual important footage on it is the most scary thing to be shipping around!

Iceland! :) I assume you are already fully crewed and cast? I've always wanted to go to Iceland...

love

Freya
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Visual Products

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Aerial Filmworks

Rig Wheels Passport

Opal

Wooden Camera

Glidecam

FJS International, LLC

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