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Film Processing Protocol


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#1 Joe Perri

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 08:47 PM

Hey,

I'm new to shooting 16mm. I recently purchased a Super 16mm Krasnogorsk K3 Camera. I plan on shooting lots of 100' spools with it. What i want to know is... When i have shot the roll of film, what is the protocol to develop it. How do i send it to the lab? How should I handle the exposed spool? Should i label it somehow? My goal is to send it to the lab and have them transfer the film to mini dv tape. I'm new to this so any help would be appreciated.

Thanks
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#2 Steve Zimmerman

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 09:59 PM

Your name and/or production company

Contact information (phone number or email)

Title of film production

Film emulsion number, say: "7213"

List footage: "300feet"

"Transfer to video"

At minimum, put your name and phone number on your cans/rolls, and the emulsion number and the lab will have the basics to get started and can call you if they need more info.


Good Luck,
Steve

Edited by Steve Zimmerman, 10 December 2011 - 10:02 PM.

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#3 Steve Zimmerman

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 10:09 PM

It's also best to call your lab and discuss personally what you have in mind when sending film to the lab the first time. These days it maybe more convenient (and have less compression), to skip tape and go straight to hard drive depending on the transfer house.
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#4 K Borowski

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Posted 10 December 2011 - 11:27 PM

Steve, I know everyone is in a hurry these days to transfer everything to video, but shouldn't he write to PROCESS the film before the transfer ;-)

I'm kidding here, but I did have a scare once, in my early days of filmmaking, of a roll of reversal film being sent for telecine before it was processed! :ph34r: Fortunately the telecine house had their sh&* together more than the person who put the film in the wrong drop box!
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#5 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 08:39 AM

I also, IN addition to Process, put the Roll # down from the production on the can. Not that all labs will look @ that, but often when they are assembling the flats they will which makes it a bit easier for the editors later on.
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#6 Steve Zimmerman

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 12:32 PM

True, true...

Always mention how you want the film to be developed: "Process Normal, or Push One Stop, or Pull One Stop, etc". It was late... :P

You can mark the film can "Exposed" as well.

One would hope if the lab was unsure they would call the contact info before doing anything, but I'm sure there are horror stories...
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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 12:35 PM

Also helpful is someone happens to send the unprocessed film to the scanning facility before sending it to the lab.... nice for them to know it's "exposed..." before opening it..
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#8 John Woods

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 04:21 PM

When you've rolled out in mid-shot you can also mark "roll out save tail" or just "save tail", the lab will always trim a few feet for their protection in the case of scratched negative but identifying a roll out will make their trim more conservative. In a perfect world you should try to save a couple feet at the end of the roll to protect your image.

Also "clean & prep" for getting your film cleaned and prepped for telecine or "process & print" if you want a traditional workprint.
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#9 K Borowski

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 04:26 PM

Yeah, Steve, I was just pulling your leg. There are people that still come on here that think movie film doesn't need to be processed, though.


In my case, the transfer house was smart enough to figure that a taped, original can, rather than a reel, wasn't the normal way to receive film for telecine, so they sent it back. . .



Mistakes get made when notes aren't clear. It's good practice to always use BLACK tape around the edges of a can of exposed film, and colored tape, or white tape for unexposed film. Usually, processed film ends up on untaped cans, with reels. I'm not sure if there is a standard tape color?


I almost opened a can just a couple days ago that someone had sent to me untaped. Fortunately, there was a black bag inside. At that point I saw the faint pencil note on the back. . .




I WAS TAUGHT "PROCESS AND PREP. FOR TELECINE , PROCESS AND PRINT, PROCESS ONLY, PROCESS PREP. AND TELECINE" the last being if it is all done under one roof. The first is if someone else is handling telecine.

Unfortunately I don't get to write down "process and print" much anymore. . .

Edited by K Borowski, 11 December 2011 - 04:29 PM.

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#10 Steve Zimmerman

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Posted 11 December 2011 - 09:57 PM

Joe:

Do yourself a favor and buy one of the versions of this book. It's got lots of useful technical information about film and film cameras.

http://www.amazon.co...23658172&sr=8-2

Check out page 412

Edited by Steve Zimmerman, 11 December 2011 - 10:01 PM.

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#11 Mark Dunn

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 07:38 AM

Tape across the can, not round the edge, for exposed film always seemed clear enough to me. The tape came off the can, went across the magazine (preferably over the latch) then back across the can.
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#12 Simon Wyss

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 02:12 PM

Discard the manufacturer original tape, thatʼs the most important thing. Tape on magazine, sorry, ruthless for me. Fresh white textile tape round the cans, the label must be left as is with all its information to be legible for the lab technicians. On the white tape you write with a black felt marker: “EXPOSED ISO 100” or whatever exposure index, and nothing else. Less is more.

At the times of photographic sound records those cans would have been taped red. Picture strands are sometimes blue, yet most of the times black. Black gaffer tape will also do but then find a white marker. Perhaps better than the other way!
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#13 Robert Houllahan

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Posted 12 December 2011 - 04:49 PM

Most labs have a order form that they (we) like you to fill out which describes what the film is and what you want done with it.

We see all kinds of film come in many containers. Try not to be the guy who sends his film in a ball wrapped with tin foil. The lab staff will laugh at you and then unravel the ball of film in the darkroom to try to develop it. If you have to send your film in a coffee can make sure it is a decent brand of coffee. You don't need to excessively tape the can of film, the idea is to have the film not be exposed to light before it is developed, not to keep it from escaping as if it were a prisoner.

Mostly (we) the lab staff like things to be labeled so we know who's film it is and how it is to be developed like a push or a pull and a name on the can or box of film.

You can call the lab, but the lab staff might be busy running film....

-Rob-
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