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Storing processed Super-8 film

super 8 processed developed storage storing film film stock

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#1 Dylan Gonzalez

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 01:56 AM

I was wondering what the protocol or standard practice is on storing processed Super-8 film. Bagged and in the refridgerator seems to be the concensus for undeveloped Super-8 film, but I've been having trouble finding any specific mention of what to do with processed Super-8 film.

What do you guys typically do with your processed film?
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#2 Bill Rodgers

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 09:41 AM

The processed films I have stored in a cupboard, left in their original 50ft reels with edited films on larger 400ft reels.

I just carefully store them all in boxes in a cupboard away from direct sunlight, moisture and check them regularly. I have family films from the 60's and 70's and my own films from 1992* onwards. The all still seem perfectly fine to me too.

* - In fact today is the 20th anniversary of the final day of directing my first 'proper' Super 8 short film MR. TREE. I shot it on a dozen Agfa Moviechrome 40 cartridges, thanks to getting some of my fellow college students to kindly relinquish their allocated cartridge in order to make a longer short film. I still have the Bolex 5120 we shot it all on too.
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#3 Will Montgomery

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:20 PM

Store in a cool, dry location and make sure they can "breathe." Don't seal them up in an air-tight container. As film decays it releases gases and that process will accelerate if the film can't release those gases.

No refrigeration is needed or recommended as it is with un-exposed film.

If you're lucky enough to have shot Kodachrome you should have 100 years before the film has serious problems if you store it well. The new Ektachrome should be better than the 60's & 70's versions (which were horrible for longevity) however I don't know much about negative stocks' long term viability. I would suspect the Vision films have been formulated with longevity in mind. You can always have prints made of 16 & 35mm which might be a good idea for some films.
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#4 Bill Rodgers

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 12:25 PM

Some of my purchased features and cartoons from the late 70's and early 80's have degraded slightly (with pink and orange hues) but none of the home movies are yet to show any visible signs of deterioration. Most are Kodachrome 40 and Moviechrome 40.
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#5 Mark Dunn

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 02:24 PM

Archive practice is to store reels on their sides, not standing up, to avoid sag. So I do.
Alas some of my Moviechrome 40 from the early 80s is showing fungus now. From what I read it seems to be a risk for that stock. It's always been kept in whatever passed for my office at the time, so just average domestic conditions, complete movies in plastic cases or just the cardboard boxes some of the reels came in. The plastic boxes all have slots in the flaps. The 50' reels are in a cardboard box.
Alas every Kodak print made before the 80s is going to fade; it's built-in to the process of the time. Originals will be fine.
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#6 Dylan Gonzalez

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 07:39 PM

Thanks for the help, guys! I suppose reels on their sides in a drawer or a box will suffice in that case. I guess I can just keep them in my basement. I will be getting all my footage telecined and storing that too, so if these are going to last upwards of a few decades, that's awesome.

And that's great you're still shooting Super 8, Bill. I kind of wish Super 8 was still as ubiquitous now as it was then (well, I guess it was already out of favor by the 90's). I've been having to unearth and find places in the city where I can buy my film, process it and telecine it. There are so few left - I think there's only one last place in my city that processes Super 8.

And its expensive too! Altogether it's going to run me about $70 for every three minutes of footage. Its going to force me to be more economical and organized, at least!

Edited by Dylan Gonzalez, 30 November 2012 - 07:40 PM.

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#7 Bill Rodgers

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Posted 30 November 2012 - 08:21 PM

Yeah, it's not particularly cheap but well worth the added expense and it's really good to be focused.

I shoot in glorious 4K HD a lot of the time for work now but despite all the rapid advances in digital technology, I never get bored of picking up one of my old Super 8 cameras and just shooting something. Well, just about anything.
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#8 Dylan Gonzalez

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Posted 03 December 2012 - 02:14 AM

Yeah, it is worth the expense, although I'm going to limit myself to certain projects. I definitely don't want to do extensive experimentation or improvisation on Super 8, considering my limited funds. What I was planning on doing is rehearsing and blocking out scenes with my HD camera - that way, I can figure out and adjust aspects of the shoot without spending extra money on film.

And I agree, there was something more exhilerating about using the Super 8 camera. Something about that whirring sound felt really food.
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