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Problems projecting BW and Color 16mm print


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#1 Patricia Dauder

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Posted 09 November 2012 - 03:57 PM

Hi,
I´m projecting a 16mm film print that has both color and black and white stock spliced together with tape splices in a loop system for an exhibition at a museum.
I´ve projected this film once and now I´m trying to project it again, with a brand new copy and I´m always having the same problem.
The projection copy, coming new from the lab is set in the loop system. Once I turn the projector on, the film starts bending in a strange way, (see picture attached) does not circulate in the right way in the loop system until it gets out of the loop circuit after some seconds or minures and it finally causes a jam, having to stop the projector inmediately.
The first time that this happened, the lab that processed the film told me that it is a well-known problem among filmakers that Kodak stock sometimes reacts in such a way, specially under humid conditions and that it is better to use Fuji stock.
But this time I ordered Fuji stock and the problem stays the same.
The projectionist at the musem thinks this might be caused because the print is made out of two different stocks, black and white and color, and that they are reacting differently.
The solution the lab is only offering to me is to digitally scan the whole film and have it print on color stock. But this is way too exensive.
The other solution is to have a new copy made on color stock and try to make the black and white parts on a tonality similar to black and white, such as sepia, but this does not sound so good to me.
Has anyone experienced or heard about such a problem before?

Thanks,
Patricia

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#2 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 11:48 AM

Hello Patricia,

Could it be something with the loop mechanism, not the projector? The film needs lubrication to run smoothly through the projector (it was lubricated) but the lubrication also means that it may 'telescope' more easily in the loop mechanism outside of the projector. It is hard to tell from the small picture that you attached. Some clients in London are very happy with the lubrication procedure we applied and they run 16mm prints in musea too.

Telescoping could be due to too much or too little tension in the loop mechanism, but I am not familiar with the device you are using. I don't think the B&W sections and the splices have anything to do with it.
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#3 Simon Wyss

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Posted 10 November 2012 - 12:58 PM

I know the subject. First of all, the projector must be gentle to film. So-called quick shifters, often japanese offsprings of American brands, hack into the perforation causing burrs on the hole edges. These sooner or later hook up a winding on the next, ending the experiment. Second, the film must be waxed, regardless of the projector make, very thinly only on the edges.

Pressure sensitive tape is okay, but Triacetate is not. Print should be polyester base film.

One projector that I have found very good for looping is the Siemens & Halske 2000. In all humbleness, I was in charge for a museum installation with endless loop projection, and one piece of film, ends joined with self-adhesive tape, then waxed, made over 200,000 runs during several weeks. There were three breakdowns, each time tore the tape. 500 Watt bulb, 24 fps.
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#4 Patricia Dauder

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 02:53 PM

Hello Patricia,

Could it be something with the loop mechanism, not the projector? The film needs lubrication to run smoothly through the projector (it was lubricated) but the lubrication also means that it may 'telescope' more easily in the loop mechanism outside of the projector. It is hard to tell from the small picture that you attached. Some clients in London are very happy with the lubrication procedure we applied and they run 16mm prints in musea too.

Telescoping could be due to too much or too little tension in the loop mechanism, but I am not familiar with the device you are using. I don't think the B&W sections and the splices have anything to do with it.


Hi Dirk,
I´ve used three different loop systems, the one on the picture, very similar to the loops made buy RFS Inc. in Canada, an original one made by RFS, and then one from Studio2M in Amsterdam, and the film reacted the same way with the three of them. Each of those loops independently have worked perfectly fine with other films, so, of course I cannot be totally sure, but I would say the problem is on the film and not the loop system. We will try tomorrow to increase or release tension in the film, but I don´t know if that will do it.
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#5 Patricia Dauder

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Posted 11 November 2012 - 03:18 PM

I know the subject. First of all, the projector must be gentle to film. So-called quick shifters, often japanese offsprings of American brands, hack into the perforation causing burrs on the hole edges. These sooner or later hook up a winding on the next, ending the experiment. Second, the film must be waxed, regardless of the projector make, very thinly only on the edges.

Pressure sensitive tape is okay, but Triacetate is not. Print should be polyester base film.

One projector that I have found very good for looping is the Siemens & Halske 2000. In all humbleness, I was in charge for a museum installation with endless loop projection, and one piece of film, ends joined with self-adhesive tape, then waxed, made over 200,000 runs during several weeks. There were three breakdowns, each time tore the tape. 500 Watt bulb, 24 fps.


Hi Simon,
THanks. I´ve always used Eikis and this is the brand that I see in most museums and film installations at art venues.
We are trying on this occasion the eiki slim line 16mm projector, and the silver blue eiki, I think it´s the RST. Problem stays the same for both. I´ve been projecting many films with loop systems on this machine and I never experienced such a thing, neither the projectionist from the museum I´m working with.
These two machines were recently projecting several films in an exhibition by a famous ducth filmmaker in an exhibition that finished last October, with the same loop systems and all worked fine for three months.
I will pass though the information about waxing the film on the edges to the projectionist to see what he thinks. I´m not totally sure but I think that the film is polyester base and the tape is pressure tape, but I´ll check that tomorrow as well.
Many thanks
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#6 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 12 November 2012 - 12:45 AM

If the tape splices are the problem (the film is 70% colour and 30% B&W polyester print), then one way to get rid of splices is to print as AB roll negative with a special filter pack for the B&W section but without physical splices. Everything would then be printed on a single piece of colour print film and the B&W section would come out slightly less contrasty and maybe with a slight colour bias. I will talk to the London loop specialist and ask his opinion on this, he runs our lubricated loops succesfully in major London galleries (but they are all colour prints only).
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#7 zachary sala

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Posted 17 November 2012 - 07:33 AM

It sounds like either a short loop, possible misconnection between sprockets , lastly recheck your tape splices so that both sides are tapped.
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