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Odd film issue post processing


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#1 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 08:37 PM

So... this is an oddball. 

 

I got this film back from a shoot and MOST of it is totally fine. However, this one roll has a very unusual issue I can't quite explain. 

 

Every once in a while, the exposure increases (edit: with a distinct color shift) all of a sudden and then goes back down again.

 

I don't believe it's related to the camera because it happens mid scene and across the entire frame. It also has no impact on how the camera is moved or positioned. The camera also came from a rental house and it was well taken care of, so I assume it had been used enough for any major issue like this to have shown up prior, but that's an assumption. 

 

It maybe an X-ray issue from shipping across the country, but I was assured Fed Ex ground doesn't go through the Xray machine AND, all of the 16mm I sent in the same box was fine. Heck, half of the 35mm stuff is fine as well, it's only two rolls that have any issues. 

 

Trying to figure out which because if it's a lab issue, it's not a big deal... I can re-shoot the scene. However, if it's the film, that's a big issue because I have a lot of this stuff and if it's all screwed, I'm not gonna be a happy camper... 

 

What do you think? 

 

https://www.dropbox....issues.mov?dl=0


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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 08:39 PM

Is it near the head of the roll where flashing or x-ray damage might be stronger?
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#3 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 08:48 PM

Nope, it's all over the roll, it's very random. 


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#4 Satsuki Murashige

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Posted 03 May 2017 - 10:43 PM

Are there any other indications that the camera motor is slowing down momentarily while running? Maybe a change in motor noise or the image speeding up and then returning to normal?

If not, then it's probably not the motor. Plus, you said it's only on one roll. So it could be flashed film or a light leak in the mag. Did you shoot more than one roll on that mag? That could help sort the situation out.
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#5 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 03:24 AM

Initially I was thinking camera too. However, all of the issues are met with a color shift, just prior to the jump in exposure. So where there is a distinct pattern, the color shift is a pretty huge clue. Here is a new clip that shows this color shift and how "photochemical" it looks. 

https://www.dropbox....ssue 3.mov?dl=0

 

I did just re-watch all the footage and it appears the problem starts on a particular roll of film and continues throughout the next two rolls, but the first roll is 100% fine, outside of the upper loop being a bit tight and the pressure plate wobbling a bit. 

 

The problem comes on like a tun of bricks too, it's the 2nd clip in the first video listed above. That clip is 200ft into a roll and the first 200ft were 100% fine and all of a sudden the entire shot color shifts and goes way over exposed. 

 

I got the film from Reel Good and it came off Westworld, so I'm assuming its good. It was all 430 - 450ft short ends, so I assume they shot x amount on a 1000ft roll and sold the rest. 

 

The negative is still at the lab, it's going to be checked tomorrow. Hopefully we'll figure out what happened.

 

Thanks for the input, it's much appreciated! 


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#6 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 07:18 AM

To me it looks like a break in the processing machine where the film remained in the developer for several minutes. Your lab should explain what happened.


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#7 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 04 May 2017 - 12:25 PM

To me it looks like a break in the processing machine where the film remained in the developer for several minutes. Your lab should explain what happened.


They're on the case... I just don't know how the processor could make a pattern of light and dark in random places. Sure, if the machine stopped, that explains the sudden burst, but it doesn't explain the very random color shifts and exposure patterns.
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#8 Gregg MacPherson

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 05:10 AM

In the first video it almost looks like the shutter angle is unstable,  though I don't know if that is possible...

 

This is for the Aaton 35III...?

 

(EDIT: Oh,  got it right the first time,  no correction required)


Edited by Gregg MacPherson, 05 May 2017 - 05:18 AM.

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#9 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 05 May 2017 - 01:54 PM

In the first video it almost looks like the shutter angle is unstable,  though I don't know if that is possible...
 
This is for the Aaton 35III...?


Yes, this is the Aaton 35III

The shutter angle on the XTR Prod and 35III can only be adjusted a small amount, from 180 to 144, it can't go any lower then that. So if it were a physical camera issue with the shutter, you'd see a decrease in brightness due to blocking more light, not an increase.
Plus, it wouldn't be a perfect line that goes across the middle of a single frame, it would be a gradual change over the course of more then one frame. 

 

I had a fellow cinematography/filmmaker friend come over last night and we analyzed the footage more closely. There are many more issues with the material then what I posted earlier. There are slight color shifts, where the red layer simply vanishes all of a sudden and comes back, usually with a flash and/or some pattern on the frames before and after, mixed with white dots/dirt on the frame. This would lead us to believe the film was either damaged in manufacturing or damaged in the lab work. Neither one of us has ever seen anything like this. 

 

At this point, without further conformation from the lab, I don't want to post any more clips. I've used this lab for years and never had any issues. 


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#10 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 12:36 AM

After 45 years in the lab, I have seen the results of a film break in processing machines more than I like. The first duty of the lab is to inform the customer of the incident. Production insurance should cover this.
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#11 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 06 May 2017 - 02:20 AM

Confirmed today, it was a lab issue. I got a very nice e-mail and the lab isn't charging me for the work and apologizes.

Luckily, it was only 500ft that was damaged and I can easily re-shoot those scenes. Had it been a feature, it may have only been a single angle of a scene. But for a short film with no budget, it's a lot more unfortunately.

Sa'll good! Cast is willing to spend a few more hours re-shooting a scene that I absolutely hated anyway. It was crazy windy out there, so we had no usable audio and we rushed through everything because we were at the whim of the setting sun. Now I can re-shoot with more patience and get it right! Maybe even shoot even more stuff to fill out the scene.

I've shot film for a while and this is the first time it's happened to me and I'm glad it wasn't on an "important" project.

Thanks to everyone's diagnosis assistance, I appreciate the support.
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#12 John E Clark

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 11:45 AM

Confirmed today, it was a lab issue. I got a very nice e-mail and the lab isn't charging me for the work and apologizes.

Luckily, it was only 500ft that was damaged and I can easily re-shoot those scenes. Had it been a feature, it may have only been a single angle of a scene. But for a short film with no budget, it's a lot more unfortunately.

Sa'll good! Cast is willing to spend a few more hours re-shooting a scene that I absolutely hated anyway. It was crazy windy out there, so we had no usable audio and we rushed through everything because we were at the whim of the setting sun. Now I can re-shoot with more patience and get it right! Maybe even shoot even more stuff to fill out the scene.

I've shot film for a while and this is the first time it's happened to me and I'm glad it wasn't on an "important" project.

Thanks to everyone's diagnosis assistance, I appreciate the support.

 

Did the lab indicate what the problem was... like a light leak in the processing equipment, and only when someone opened a door, and 'flashed' the leak, that would cause the effect?


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#13 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 08 May 2017 - 01:43 PM

Did the lab indicate what the problem was... like a light leak in the processing equipment, and only when someone opened a door, and 'flashed' the leak, that would cause the effect?


Yea we talked about a few possible issues, one of which is obvious... the machine stopped for 20 seconds or so. This not only effects the development process, but film that goes between the baths with chemicals on it still, will have odd discolorations as well. These machines are not designed to be stopped, they have to run at a constant speed or shit like this happens. The malfunctioning part (which stopped the machine from running) had nothing to do with the processing portion of the machine either.
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