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Lab or bad stock?


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#1 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 11 September 2017 - 09:26 PM

So I'm helping some friends finish their low-budget 70's vibe mystery/comedy on 16mm. They of course, don't really have the money to be shooting on 16mm, but I've been getting them stock for free that people are giving away. We've shot quite a bit of it and never had this problem.

So this is a 100ft spool of Vision 2 200T from probably 2003 - 2005 ish? The box wasn't damaged and always cut off a bit of film to check it to make sure it doesn't have any physical damage and it looked fine.

The client was in a hurry to get it processed and transferred, so he did it over at Pro 8 in Burbank.

This is what we got: https://drive.google...2tQbldLaFU/view

So I'm confused about a few things. One of them is the scratch on the left side of frame that comes and goes. The other is the amount of dirt on the film.

These two things lead me to believe either the film was damaged OR Pro 8 fucked up the processing.

Just seeking opinions on this one. I'm leaning more towards a damaged roll of film. Maybe it was still frozen and the dots are caused by moisture? Maybe it was the rem jet backing falling apart as it unspooled? I've recently seen some odd stuff that I've never encountered before, thanks to using pretty out of date stocks that haven't been stored properly.
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#2 Doug Palmer

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 04:00 AM

2003 surely can't be showing signs of age like this unless it was stored in a hot place before it was coldstored.  I've found very old reversal stock can look similar. Interesting the rounded shapes at left of frame sometimes, maybe a shadow of the perforations ?


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#3 Simon Wyss

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 11:12 AM

Not look good

 

Stock and lab, I’m inclined to say, I see dust on the negative (pos white) and fingerprints.

 

I can give only one advice: never try to save on the film dollar. Film stock is the cheapest element of a production. Make sure the negative is alright, then you can slaughter with the labs. The way it is you have no chance.

 

Reshoot


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#4 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 11:56 AM

Thanks guys... I was leaning more towards lab as well.

I do shoot a lot of short ends and older stock because I rarely have issues like this. Most of the time it comes out noisier then usual, but at least it's a decent image. This is kinda unacceptable in my book and it's clearly something that probably wouldn't have happened at another lab.
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#5 Robert Hart

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 12:01 PM

At some point it seems to have been cinched up tight as there are spot scratches which suggests material on the surface drawn along the emulsion after processing. But there would have had to be some contaminant on there to begin with. The lab folk may be crying in their cups if your film has poisoned their processor chemicals.

The smudges and stains are a curiosity. There is one partial fingerprint I could see. Some condensation may have wicked in from the edges of the winding if the film was taken out of its blackwrap too soon after coming out of the refridgerator and dew formed. That might account for some repetitive artifacts which are consistent with something having come off the film, got onto a roller or sprocket which printed it back onto the film in repetitive patches.

 


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#6 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 12 September 2017 - 09:17 PM

Hey Robert, thanks for your insight! I did go through the camera with a fine tooth comb and it was clean. I would think any issues like this may show up as particulates inside the camera, if it were film that was falling apart for instance.

The 100 foot daylight spool was in a sealed box, stored in the freezer, but it sat in my truck for probably 3 hours before we shot with it. Usually I take film out the night before, but it was a last minute thing. I've made this mistake before, but never seen this outcome. So maybe it still had too much condensation on it?
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#7 Doug Palmer

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 03:51 AM

Maybe your truck was too warm ?  Whenever I take film from freezer I leave it for many hours at room temperature.

A couple of times many years ago, I've had factory-fresh film (Ilford and Kodachrome) that was dusty !  So after shooting, the camera received lots of emulsion dust too, and in the Kodachrome case the processed film was unusable.


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#8 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 13 September 2017 - 02:34 PM

Maybe your truck was too warm ?


Maybe... it wasn't a particularly hot day and I have left film in my truck for extended periods of time before without an issue.

The only difference in order of operations is that normally I take film out of the freezer the night before and let it sit out on the workbench overnight before going to set the next day. It's just I didn't know about this shoot until the day it happened and I store all of the long-term storage film in the freezer. Stuff I use on a weekly basis, is stored in the refrigerator.
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#9 Dirk DeJonghe

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 12:05 AM

I would suggest to have this negative rewashed, preferably at another lab.
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#10 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 01:22 AM

I would suggest to have this negative rewashed, preferably at another lab.


Yea, the filmmakers won a package deal where they got free processing and transfer for X amount of feet. They hated the idea of throwing that away, so they risked using it on this show.

The good news is that the material is for a "film with in a film" so it may play ok being dirty.
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#11 Stephen Perera

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 04:28 AM

regardless of all this i really like the styling and colour of the footage not to mention the actress really looks the part....being born in 1966 i know what Im talking about hahaha.....the 'imperfections' you speak of will be seen by 99% of the audience as some cool 'filter' u have added


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#12 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 14 September 2017 - 12:42 PM

regardless of all this i really like the styling and colour of the footage not to mention the actress really looks the part....being born in 1966 i know what Im talking about hahaha.....the 'imperfections' you speak of will be seen by 99% of the audience as some cool 'filter' u have added


Thanks Stephen, Yea it's kind exactly what I wanted and you're right, most people who watch it won't even notice, especially since some of the project is shot on super 8 as well. I came it to help with re-shoots and I'm a stickler for having the best image come out of the camera, so when I see things like this, I always focus on the negative quality first.
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#13 Samuel Berger

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Posted 19 September 2017 - 09:39 PM

 

so he did it over at Pro 8 in Burbank.

 That's your problem right there.


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#14 Tyler Purcell

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Posted 20 September 2017 - 03:45 AM

That's your problem right there.


99.95% :P
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