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Film loading issue


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#1 Renny McCauley

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 11:47 AM

I'm the DP on a 16mm short being shot on the Arri SR. We are having major issues with film loading.

The problem appears to be the film stock. It was purchased through Off Campus Productions at a heavily discounted price. However, it did come factory sealed.

Our problem is that the film is "coned." In other words if you were to lay the film flat on a table, some of the film would be coned up from the table.

So we are able to load the mag and place it on the camera but there is serious resistance and when we run the camera we get mis-hit sprocket holes.

Any ideas for solutions on this? Merely pushing down on the film doesn't seem to be able to fix it.

Thanks,
Renny
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#2 K Borowski

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Posted 17 January 2010 - 01:42 PM

How bad is it? How many inches does it cone out would you say?

If it is bad enough as to cause misregistration, you could always try something drastic, like taking the film out of the can and flattening it with something heavy.

That is a tedious procedure in the dark, though, to be sure.
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#3 John Sprung

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 01:46 AM

Trying to flatten the rolls by just pressing on them risks horizontal scratches and damaged edges. The right approach is to use a darkroom with rewinds and a titewind. Put the film on a split reel, wind it off to another reel. Then wind it back onto the core using a titewind to get it flat and even. You need to wind it off and back to get the edge numbers right.





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#4 Renny McCauley

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Posted 18 January 2010 - 11:23 AM

The AC was able to fix the problem by leaving the film in the bag and pressing down on the film. I'm worried about scratching, but due to time constraints we really had no other option.

Thanks for the advice.

Renny
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#5 Jean Dodge

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Posted 05 February 2010 - 09:32 AM

The AC was able to fix the problem by leaving the film in the bag and pressing down on the film. I'm worried about scratching, but due to time constraints we really had no other option.

Thanks for the advice.

Renny



BAD idea, and I hope you don't have scratches/ pressure marks/ cinching damage. At the worst you might have considered running the film through the camera in the dark while hand holding the coned reel as a way to wind it onto the takeup side of a mag, then reversing it off the takeup reel by running the camera backwards but then your image would have passed through the gate three times before processing. A better way would have been to simply feed the film onto the takeup by hand using the rulon drive gear, possibly. Then with two empty mags in the dark, reverse the wind onto a second takeup side of a mag, using the magazines as a crude rewind table. It would likely take four hands and be a touchy procedure.

Still in an emergency I would trust that over the option of forcing the reel flat.

The proper EMERGENCY remedy is to use rewinds, carefully and slowly so as not to create static electricity sparks. The nearest cinema would have them but of course you would need to move them or construct a temporary darkroom... the best way would be to do it at the lab, at the earliest opportunity.

The recommended way would be to reject the film out of hand as unacceptable. If it is worth shooting it is worth shooting right.

Most importantly I hope the assistant consulted the DP before attempting any remedy. I'm not sure what your time constraints were but a reshoot takes longer than anything.
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#6 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 06 February 2010 - 05:20 AM

Were all the rolls coned? The simplest thing to do would have been to short end/recan the bad roll and just load up another one. Then worry about respooling the bad roll after you finish the day. If you were really short on film, you might have had a PA make a run and buy another roll.

But in my opinion it's really not even worth shooting on a bad roll of raw stock, whether you think it might be flashed, or coned, or whatever. It's a waste of time, money, and film that you'll end up regretting - better to just bite the bullet and throw that film away (or save it for a dummy load).
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