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X-ray fog disaster?


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#1 Gautam Valluri

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 12:19 PM

Hello All,

I had a friend carry in 6 spools of 100' daylight Double-X film from the US for me and he had put in the stock with his checked-in baggage. There is a good chance it was scanned only once with the heavy scanner in the US. (I had requested him to hand carry it but he was afraid it would be scanned 3 times as he had multiple stopovers).

Is there any hope of me registering a workable image on this? I am going to do a dip test with my local lab to see how bad the condition is but I was wondering if there's anything that can be done in post to 'undo' the fogging?

Thanks,
G

PS: I had bought the 100' film spools in the US because Kodak and Fuji don't stock them in my country (stocks start with 400' cores here).
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#2 Tom Jensen

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 04:58 PM

It should be OK.
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#3 Isaac Brooks

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 08:54 PM

Yeah it should be fine. Airport / security personnel maintain that stocks rated BELOW 800 ASA / ISO are safe. I used to avoid bringing film through the machines in airports, as I didn't trust their info, but I have done it a few times now, with numerous stocks (rated up to 500 ASA) and have not had problems.
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#4 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 11 July 2012 - 09:34 PM

Hey Gautam,
Off topic I know, but I can't help but ask.
Is film processing cheap in India? What about lab costs if one was doing optical blow up from S16?

I was talking to an Indian film maker recently who was quoted here in New Zealand about US$ 185000 for the DI on a feature. He did it in India for about US$50000. I asked him about processing and lab costs and he said visitors need an agent to negotiate for them.

I thought that since you live in India you would know the actual prices that locals pay. Are there small boutique labs that are cheap and approachable or are the best prices from big labs doing high volumes? Where do the short film makers or micro budget feature guys go for film processing or optical blow up?

Cheers,
Gregg.
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#5 Robert Lewis

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 02:02 AM

I am sorry to say that I am not so sure. As I understand it, the advice we have is that one should never send film with "checked in" luggage. It seems that film carried through as "cabin luggage" should be OK provided it is carried through and scanned on "hand luggage" scanners which are not as powerful and hence as damaging as are the heavy duty machines used for "checked in" luggage. Even with the "hand luggage" scanners, one should avoid multiple scanning if at all possible. The greater the number of scans, the higher the risk. I believe also that the higher the speed of the stock, the more likely it is that the film will be damaged by X-ray even when it is scanned as "hand luggage".
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#6 Will Montgomery

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Posted 12 July 2012 - 10:20 AM

Robert's right...if it was checked, it was probably nuked. Just shoot a roll and see. The effect would be inconsistent throughout each reel but probably noticeable. As soon as they see something metal they crank up the power to see what's inside. Checked bags get much more power. One of the first times I shot 16mm I was traveling and totally forgot what I was doing and checked some film. It showed up as crazy heavy grain-like elements.
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#7 Gautam Valluri

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 01:18 PM

Hey Gautam,
Off topic I know, but I can't help but ask.
Is film processing cheap in India? What about lab costs if one was doing optical blow up from S16?

I was talking to an Indian film maker recently who was quoted here in New Zealand about US$ 185000 for the DI on a feature. He did it in India for about US$50000. I asked him about processing and lab costs and he said visitors need an agent to negotiate for them.

I thought that since you live in India you would know the actual prices that locals pay. Are there small boutique labs that are cheap and approachable or are the best prices from big labs doing high volumes? Where do the short film makers or micro budget feature guys go for film processing or optical blow up?

Cheers,
Gregg.


Hey Gregg,

$185000 is attrocious! I'd suggest skipping the agent and finding a local friend who can approach the lab as the film's representative and make it seem like a local production. There are no 'small' labs for independent films but the big labs offer a more 'reasonable' cost to non-studio film productions. All you need to do is haggle! Just like you haggle on the streets, just negotiate negotiate negotiate till you get the price you want.

I recommend Prasads Labs- they are the best and have branches in most major cities in India. Here's their website: http://prasadlab.com/

I really don't know what the exact costs are but I can tell you they will be nowhere in the same galaxy as $185000.

Hope this helps!

Best,
Gautam
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#8 Gautam Valluri

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 01:22 PM

Robert's right...if it was checked, it was probably nuked. Just shoot a roll and see. The effect would be inconsistent throughout each reel but probably noticeable. As soon as they see something metal they crank up the power to see what's inside. Checked bags get much more power. One of the first times I shot 16mm I was traveling and totally forgot what I was doing and checked some film. It showed up as crazy heavy grain-like elements.


Will and Robert,

Thanks for your replies,

I was afraid of this. I intend to shoot a spool and see what happens as soon as I get a chance but will a dip test be any use? Could it indicate how badly the film is nuked?

Best,
Gautam
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#9 Gautam Valluri

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Posted 13 July 2012 - 01:28 PM

Yeah it should be fine. Airport / security personnel maintain that stocks rated BELOW 800 ASA / ISO are safe. I used to avoid bringing film through the machines in airports, as I didn't trust their info, but I have done it a few times now, with numerous stocks (rated up to 500 ASA) and have not had problems.


Tom and Isaac,

Have my fingers crossed! But like Will and Robert have pointed out, these checked-in luggage scanners are atleast 5 times more powerful than hang baggage scanners. I'm hoping since the 100' spools come in non-metallic containers, they didn't nuke it very hard. But I'll just have to find out by doing a test.

I'll keep you guys posted on what happens.

Thanks!

Best,
Gautam
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#10 Kip Kubin

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Posted 16 July 2012 - 11:41 AM

In the future....TSA will hand inspect film stock if asked.

This is also noted on the signs that the films below 800 ASA are not affected by the X Ray machines.

So Always carry on footage when you can and have a hand inspection not a machine one.
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#11 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 17 July 2012 - 03:28 PM

Hey Gregg,

$185000 is attrocious! I'd suggest skipping the agent and finding a local friend who can approach the lab as the film's representative and make it seem like a local production. There are no 'small' labs for independent films but the big labs offer a more 'reasonable' cost to non-studio film productions. All you need to do is haggle! Just like you haggle on the streets, just negotiate negotiate negotiate till you get the price you want.

I recommend Prasads Labs- they are the best and have branches in most major cities in India. Here's their website: http://prasadlab.com/

I really don't know what the exact costs are but I can tell you they will be nowhere in the same galaxy as $185000.

Hope this helps!

Best,
Gautam


Hey Gautam,
I missed that message. How much have you yourself been paying for processing B&W and colour neg?

Cheers,
Gregg
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#12 Gautam Valluri

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 07:38 AM

Hey Gautam,
I missed that message. How much have you yourself been paying for processing B&W and colour neg?

Cheers,
Gregg


Hey Gregg,

Sorry to come back to you so late.

Here is a breakdown of processing 16mm Eastman 7222 Double-X at Prasads Labs in Hyderabad (with approx USD conversions):

Processing: 100' spool = INR 400 ($9)
Prep for Telecine: INR 500 ($10)
The standard Telecine rate currently is INR 4450 per hour ($85)

The only hitch is the Telecine is only done to DVCAM.

Get in touch with them, you'll get a better price for a bulk job.

Hope this helps.

Best.
G
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#13 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 15 August 2012 - 03:32 PM

Hey Gregg,

Here is a breakdown of processing 16mm Eastman 7222 Double-X at Prasads Labs in Hyderabad
Best.
G


Thanks for that,
Cheers, Gregg.
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#14 Gautam Valluri

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Posted 19 August 2012 - 03:02 AM

So here it is! The footage from the test shoot:

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