Jump to content


Photo

Labs and Roll Length


  • Please log in to reply
21 replies to this topic

#1 Josh Hill

Josh Hill
  • Sustaining Members
  • 258 posts
  • Other
  • New York, NY

Posted 14 January 2010 - 02:25 PM

I'm curious, as my search for an ACL 400' magazine seems to be fruitless at the moment, how labs feel about significant projects run entirely on 100' mags. I'm looking at shooting 3600 feet of film and it is now looking like, unless I can get something spooled down to 200 ft loads for my 200 ft magazines, I'm going to be shooting the entirety on the project (much to my chagrin) on 100 ft daylight loads.

Am I likely to incur a penalty of some sort, or just frustrated grumbles from the lab techs?

Also, IS there a way -- short of doing it myself -- to spool 400ft loads down to 200ft loads without significant cost?

Best,

Josh
  • 0

#2 Robert Houllahan

Robert Houllahan
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1582 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • Providence R.I.

Posted 14 January 2010 - 03:15 PM

Am I likely to incur a penalty of some sort, or just frustrated grumbles from the lab techs?

Also, IS there a way -- short of doing it myself -- to spool 400ft loads down to 200ft loads without significant cost?

Best,

Josh



It is not a big deal we just tape them together... you could get a set of rewinds to spool down 400' rolls to 200'

-Rob-
  • 0

#3 K Borowski

K Borowski
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3905 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • I.A.T.S.E. Local # 600 Eastern Region

Posted 14 January 2010 - 03:38 PM

Labs don't really tend to have a problem unless you are sending them lengths under 50 feet, one at a time.


As long as it isn't unreasonable, they just splce all of the film together on a reel feeding into the processor.



Don't send a lab film with SPLICES in it, though, or even worse, regular tape splcies. Also, don't send them film that isn't compatible with the process you request. Some idiot hobbists like to send in old VNF or E6 or B&W film even to process in ECN chemistry.

Big NO NO!
  • 0

#4 John Sprung

John Sprung
  • Sustaining Members
  • 4635 posts
  • Other

Posted 14 January 2010 - 03:45 PM

... you could get a set of rewinds to spool down 400' rolls to 200'


Yup, done that. What you want is a titewind on one of them so you get the film wound evenly like it comes from the factory. And you want to wind back the part that you wind off, so the edge numbers go the right direction.

Better yet, try to buy <200 ft. short ends. You'll pay less per foot, and get rolls that fit.




-- J.S.
  • 0

#5 Michael Collier

Michael Collier
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1262 posts
  • Gaffer
  • Los Angeles, CA

Posted 14 January 2010 - 03:49 PM

I think the question is do you mind? Your basicly going from 9 rolls to 36. That is a pretty steep jump. I am guessing this is for a short, likely shot over one weekend, and I am guessing your loading as you DP. Do you really want to stop every couple of takes to rethread the camera? Will your schedule allow 3 hours devoted to loading the camera (5 mins * 36 rolls)

The cost you'd pay (other than grumbling actors) would be in the leader labs need to process your work. They take a good 10' off the top before processing. That's a 2.5% overhead for a full roll, but 10% for 100' rolls. That means you'll end up wasting 360' compared to what could be 90'. That might be significant to consider.
  • 0

#6 Josh Hill

Josh Hill
  • Sustaining Members
  • 258 posts
  • Other
  • New York, NY

Posted 14 January 2010 - 04:20 PM

Michael,

It's a music video shoot, over two weekends in Texas. I don't really have much of a choice as nowhere I have called has ACL 400' magazines in, and my CP16 is just too heavy for the job (not to mention my batteries are dead and it would be a big hit to buy two or three batteries for one shoot).

I would spool 400' loads down to 200' loads, but I am just not equipped to do it as I live in a New York apartment and there is no way I can make any room a dark room.

I'm not worried about the loading of mags as the ACL is coax and it takes all of a couple of minutes to load the mag. Snap it on the camera and I'm ready to shoot. Actors grumble anyway, so I wouldn't concern myself with that either way.

With luck I'll have a small crew, which means I can have someone loading/unloading mags to cut down on time.

Part of the reason I bought an ACL though was because I like the thought of constrained film, of making a film on one 100' (or 200' if I can get recans, but those are seemingly a little hard to come by as far as I can tell) roll.

Thanks for the thoughts, though.

I think the question is do you mind? Your basicly going from 9 rolls to 36. That is a pretty steep jump. I am guessing this is for a short, likely shot over one weekend, and I am guessing your loading as you DP. Do you really want to stop every couple of takes to rethread the camera? Will your schedule allow 3 hours devoted to loading the camera (5 mins * 36 rolls)

The cost you'd pay (other than grumbling actors) would be in the leader labs need to process your work. They take a good 10' off the top before processing. That's a 2.5% overhead for a full roll, but 10% for 100' rolls. That means you'll end up wasting 360' compared to what could be 90'. That might be significant to consider.


  • 0

#7 Robert Houllahan

Robert Houllahan
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1582 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • Providence R.I.

Posted 14 January 2010 - 05:07 PM

The cost you'd pay (other than grumbling actors) would be in the leader labs need to process your work. They take a good 10' off the top before processing.



I think this is largely not true, you only need about 2" to make a processing splice (see photo) you could ask the lab to retain the 'critical' ends or go to a Lab like Cinelab which does not cut anything but the tape splice off.

-Rob-

Attached Images

  • Splice.jpg

  • 0

#8 Rob Vogt

Rob Vogt
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 437 posts
  • Other
  • New York

Posted 14 January 2010 - 07:01 PM

If you're still in NY I have 2 400' ACL mags that i can rent to you really cheap, and a battery too. Also you can get A minima 200ft loads for your 200ft mags btw. PM me and let me know.

Edited by Rob Vogt, 14 January 2010 - 07:03 PM.

  • 0

#9 Josh Hill

Josh Hill
  • Sustaining Members
  • 258 posts
  • Other
  • New York, NY

Posted 16 January 2010 - 12:09 AM

If you're still in NY I have 2 400' ACL mags that i can rent to you really cheap, and a battery too. Also you can get A minima 200ft loads for your 200ft mags btw. PM me and let me know.


I didn't think the A-Minima loads would work because they are A-Wind. Will send you an e-mail, though, about the mags; I may have a lead on a 400' mag for sale, just waiting on an e-mail back.

If a-minima loads will work that may just be the answer to all of my problems without having to buy new mags anyway.
  • 0

#10 Tom Jensen

Tom Jensen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1234 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • Dallas, TX

Posted 16 January 2010 - 12:35 AM

I think this is largely not true, you only need about 2" to make a processing splice (see photo) you could ask the lab to retain the 'critical' ends or go to a Lab like Cinelab which does not cut anything but the tape splice off.

-Rob-


I think he's referring to the head of the roll. I always rolled off a good 10 feet because these guys at the lab love to let the head of a roll hit the floor and it picks up a lot of dirt.
  • 0

#11 K Borowski

K Borowski
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3905 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • I.A.T.S.E. Local # 600 Eastern Region

Posted 16 January 2010 - 09:56 AM

I think he's referring to the head of the roll. I always rolled off a good 10 feet because these guys at the lab love to let the head of a roll hit the floor and it picks up a lot of dirt.


Do they really "love" to do that?


In actuality, this phenomenon is not caused by film dragging on the floor, unless you are right and the loader at the lab is a f&cktard, but is rather something known as dust migration.

The heads and tails of rolls of film are more susceptible to picking up dust and other physical handling artifacts merely by being exposed to the air, and being handled more. The dust on the film you actually thread through the camera will lliterally migrate up the film too, each time it is wound, so this is, to some extent, unavoidable.


This shouldn't be a big deal though, unless you aren't shooting slates. It's a good idea to put a chart at the beginning of a roll of film, too, and not risk rolling out by shooting to the VERY END of a roll.
  • 0

#12 Tom Jensen

Tom Jensen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1234 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • Dallas, TX

Posted 16 January 2010 - 12:34 PM

Do they really "love" to do that?


In actuality, this phenomenon is not caused by film dragging on the floor, unless you are right and the loader at the lab is a f&cktard, but is rather something known as dust migration.

The heads and tails of rolls of film are more susceptible to picking up dust and other physical handling artifacts merely by being exposed to the air, and being handled more. The dust on the film you actually thread through the camera will lliterally migrate up the film too, each time it is wound, so this is, to some extent, unavoidable.


This shouldn't be a big deal though, unless you aren't shooting slates. It's a good idea to put a chart at the beginning of a roll of film, too, and not risk rolling out by shooting to the VERY END of a roll.


Karl,
Where did you come up with this theory? There is little if any dust going through the camera. It gets picked up mostly at the lab. Film goes from the can through camera to the can to the lab. It's not picking up a significant amount of dirt unless the camera is filthy and then it would probably scratch. Just because it's called a laboratory soesn't make it sterile. The lab people aren't **(obscenity removed)**tards, they're just guys going through thousands of feet of film trying to get it done before the sun comes up.
  • 0

#13 Robert Houllahan

Robert Houllahan
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1582 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • Providence R.I.

Posted 16 January 2010 - 03:39 PM

I think he's referring to the head of the roll. I always rolled off a good 10 feet because these guys at the lab love to let the head of a roll hit the floor and it picks up a lot of dirt.



????? You only need about 2" either head or tail as they both have to be spliced into a roll or to machine leader for processing. Also when the film goes through the processor the turbulation of the chemistry in the tank will generally knock any dust off. I can assure you that no professional lab will let either end of your film hit the floor at any time.


-Rob-
  • 0

#14 K Borowski

K Borowski
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3905 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • I.A.T.S.E. Local # 600 Eastern Region

Posted 16 January 2010 - 08:12 PM

I can't find a sample online, but will see if I can find an old manual with it mentioned.


I didn't make it up though, I assure you. I've even gotten marks on film from the *cotton gloves* I was wearing once, so the emulsion side is particularly susceptible to picking up dirt, dust, and residue. Rob is right that most all dust comes off in the processor, but the film still has to be cut up *afterwards*.

Now, I am not implying that this is lots of dirt or that people in the lab are being lazy, but even with proper handling, there is going to be some dust and dirt that adheres to the emulsion. Film is especially susceptible to this right after processing. It is even worse with print stock. Polyester I find to be particularly dirty. Some of this "dust" is actually polyester (or less-so acetate) scrap from in around the sprocket holes as they were punched out during the film's manufacture, or minute shavings from the film as it was transported through a camera, telecine, printers, or on processors that use sprockets.

And no, I know that film labs are not like white sterile laboratories in a biochem facility. But I have been to labs that *did* have clean rooms for their negative handling, especially in the optical days before digital ice. Even THERE dust still showed up.


Dust, dirt, and scratches are a part of film, although there have been great strides made in minimizing their impact since the beginning of filmmaking.


Anyway, this whole discussion centers around 10 feet (3 meters) of leader. I'm not saying unexposed or exposed film only in that ten feet ( three-m) of film, but I am counting the film used to thread up the camera and magazine. Surely none of you are cutting that off before sending the film to the lab, right? I'm not familiar with the A-minima though besides knowing that it takes special 200-foot loads.
  • 0

#15 Tom Jensen

Tom Jensen
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1234 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • Dallas, TX

Posted 16 January 2010 - 09:12 PM

????? You only need about 2" either head or tail as they both have to be spliced into a roll or to machine leader for processing. Also when the film goes through the processor the turbulation of the chemistry in the tank will generally knock any dust off. I can assure you that no professional lab will let either end of your film hit the floor at any time.


-Rob-


2 inches is all you need? I only know what the lab guy at Deluxe told me. So I just did that.
  • 0

#16 Robert Houllahan

Robert Houllahan
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1582 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • Providence R.I.

Posted 17 January 2010 - 01:38 PM

2 inches is all you need? I only know what the lab guy at Deluxe told me. So I just did that.



Just look at the splice in the picture that is pretty standard some places cut off a length after the run because lame producers are so afraid of even one speck of dust which is not so much the lab's fault as it is the producers.

-Rob-
  • 0

#17 Brian Pritchard

Brian Pritchard
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 328 posts
  • Other
  • Stoke-on-Trent, UK

Posted 18 January 2010 - 04:22 AM

Just look at the splice in the picture that is pretty standard some places cut off a length after the run because lame producers are so afraid of even one speck of dust which is not so much the lab's fault as it is the producers.

-Rob-

Whilst I would agree that a splice only takes up a couple of inches, every lab I have worked at in the UK always took 6 inches of film from the outside of the roll and taped it to the can so that if the processed roll had scratches it was possible to check for camera scratches by examining the section removed from the roll before processing. It also warned the processor if , for example, a roll of B/W negative had been sent in as Eastman Colour negative. You could tell from the colour of the base and emulsion.
Brian
  • 0

#18 Robert Houllahan

Robert Houllahan
  • Sustaining Members
  • 1582 posts
  • Industry Rep
  • Providence R.I.

Posted 18 January 2010 - 03:07 PM

Whilst I would agree that a splice only takes up a couple of inches, every lab I have worked at in the UK always took 6 inches of film from the outside of the roll and taped it to the can so that if the processed roll had scratches it was possible to check for camera scratches by examining the section removed from the roll before processing. It also warned the processor if , for example, a roll of B/W negative had been sent in as Eastman Colour negative. You could tell from the colour of the base and emulsion.
Brian



This is true and we do this as well usually less than 6" though more like 3" or 4" this practice is a long way from 10' of cutoff though.

-Rob-
  • 0

#19 K Borowski

K Borowski
  • Basic Members
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 3905 posts
  • Camera Operator
  • I.A.T.S.E. Local # 600 Eastern Region

Posted 18 January 2010 - 03:14 PM

Don't you usually have to cut off the kinked film from actually threading the camera/mag too?

This doesn't matter of course, since it's fogged anyway. I notice in the shot you posted, Rob, that there doesn't seem to be any "threading leader" on either strip, unless they were attached tail to tail, of course.
  • 0

#20 Charles MacDonald

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

Posted 18 January 2010 - 09:17 PM

This doesn't matter of course, since it's fogged anyway. I notice in the shot you posted, Rob, that there doesn't seem to be any "threading leader" on either strip, unless they were attached tail to tail, of course.


Don't know about Robs post, But I know when I load/unload my Filmo, I often do it in the dark, and the nice folks at NCL have removed mimimal film from the ends. I only try that trick with film I have spooled down myself or factory sealed rolls of course. often my rolls are not 100 ft as if I get a 240ft end, I don't discard the 40 ft.
perfering to make three 80 ft or equivalent. I try to arrange it that I send the lab at least one 100 footer for each short one.
  • 0


FJS International, LLC

Paralinx LLC

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Rig Wheels Passport

The Slider

Ritter Battery

CineLab

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Opal

Broadcast Solutions Inc

Willys Widgets

Abel Cine

Glidecam

rebotnix Technologies

Wooden Camera

CineTape

Technodolly

Metropolis Post

Aerial Filmworks

Visual Products

Tai Audio

Visual Products

Technodolly

The Slider

Tai Audio

Rig Wheels Passport

Media Blackout - Custom Cables and AKS

Glidecam

CineLab

Opal

Abel Cine

CineTape

Gamma Ray Digital Inc

Metropolis Post

Aerial Filmworks

Paralinx LLC

Willys Widgets

Wooden Camera

Broadcast Solutions Inc

rebotnix Technologies

Ritter Battery

FJS International, LLC