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Author Topic: Technicolor film cans=death
Brad Miller

Posts: 17775
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99

 - posted 06-22-1999 01:23 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Anyone ever hear of anything like this...

I got a print of Idle Hands (from Technicolor) when the film first opened. The film was brand new and had not been ran before. I started inspecting it. Reel one, two, three, whoops! Reel four was stuck together as if someone had let it soak in a bath of super glue! I couldn't even peel the paper reel band off.

So I look at reel 5...same thing. Reel 6? You bet, stuck together almost melted.

Needless I called Technicolor and informed them about the second half of the print. They of course couldn't get another print out to me in time (WHY WON'T THESE PEOPLE SHIP ON WEDNESDAY TO CORRECT FOR THESE SCREWUPS BEFORE THE FILM OPENS!!!!!). Anyway, so basically everything in the second can of film was ruined. They agreed to ship me out replacement reels 4-6 which would conveniently arrive opening afternoon after our first advertised shows.

That next afternoon comes and there are the reels. They look fine, are loaded and ran.

We played the film for a whopping two weeks.

Breakdown time. Time to set up the table and get the film back into the cans. I start with reel 6 and when I reached the splice I find I cannot reattach the head leader back onto the reel. Why? Simple. I HAD STORED THE LEADERS IN THAT PARTICULAR EVIL CAN! What the hell? All the leaders for those replacement reels are ruined and won't unwind!

So again I call the fine folks at Technicolor and explain what is going on. They agree to send me out an empty film can, as I explained to them the film will be dead by the time it gets back to them. Days go by, I call again. "We'll get that can right out to you." A couple of weeks go by. "Well, we decided to just have you wrap the reels in plastic trash liners and ship it back with the original cans." (Of course I got my assurance that they would be fully responsible for the print once it left my theater.) Anyway, since I always wrap the reels in tiny trash liners, the film was ready to ship. I placed the 3 reels of film into the can of death and sent it away. Funny how I had to nag them to pick this thing back up!

So who else has ever heard of such a thing? I never had.

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Jason Burroughs
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 654
From: Allen, TX
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 06-22-1999 04:57 PM      Profile for Jason Burroughs   Email Jason Burroughs   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've had numerous misadventures with Technicolor in the past. Ones that come to mind: Airborne Express RAN OVER a print of The Nutty Professor with one of their van, the film can was so badly damaged that the can could not be opened, we didn't get a replacement for the unacessable reels untill the next day. Annother time Airborn Express LOST a print of The Preacher's Wife. About 2 weeks after the print was picked up by Airborne Technicolor called to ask when the print would be ready for pickup, we explained to Technicolor that the print had already been shipped. Technicolor argued that the print had NOT been picked up and that we must be holding it or (basically saying we were stealing the print) and threated to call in the FBI and MPAA. About 2 weeks later Technicolor calls again, this time to explain that the print had been found at a theatre across town from us, they had been calling technicolor the entire time asking that the print be picked up since they weren't supposed to have it. FINALLY someone at Technicolor got off thier duffs and tracked where the print had been. Turns out that Airborne had INDEED picked up the print and delivered it to the other theatre. No apollogy no nothing, just oh, we found the problem. ARGH.

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Christopher Seo
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 530
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 06-22-1999 05:47 PM      Profile for Christopher Seo   Email Christopher Seo   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sounds bizarre. Was anything different about the can? Do you have any idea of what it could be?

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6539
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 06-23-1999 09:41 AM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Here, Here!

Aside from all of the other bone-headed stories, I think Technicolor has the most instances of FOGGED film out of anybody.

Maybe 1/2 dozen times a year. You'll come to a lab splice and the film will go BLACK for about 10 ft. on the average, then you get all sorts of pretty colors (Yellow & blues) for about the next 20-30 ft. Somebody in the lab GOOFED and exposed the film to the light, I guess!

You often get trahed film too... where the reel gets dished out and then some guy just pounds it back down and slaps the reel on it.
The edges of the film are all crumpled and torn! You're lucky if it runs without fouling in the proj.! Usually it's toward the center (core) of the reel.

As was mentioned, it takes 3 days to get the replacement, leaving you to either run the film as is or PRAY! ...And the customers always complain, "It was right in the middle of the BEST SCENE!!!"


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Aaron Mehocic
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 804
From: New Castle, PA, USA
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 06-23-1999 10:36 AM      Profile for Aaron Mehocic   Email Aaron Mehocic   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In regards to Jason Burrough's post on June 22, 1999, at 4:57 PM CT. Our theater was once threatend by the dopes at Technicolor because they thought we were trying to steal a particular print too. I don't remember which one it was. My manager at the time called me at home to ask if I sent it out. I told him yes, that a taxi from Youngstown, Ohio came to pick it up and I had a receipt from the driver. We faxed a copy of the receipt to Technicolor. They said that the receipt was BS and they do not employ that particular company to move film. My manager let the problem go and boastfully told everyone connected with the situation that our lawyers are better than their lawyers. One weeks later, Technicolor did call to say they found the print at the taxi garage in Youngstown. Turns out that the taxi company did indeed move film for Technicolor, but the driver who picked it up at our place got lost on his way to the next theater to play the print locally and the guy who was supposed to pick it up from the driver at that theater went home. Being the middle of the night, the driver went back to his garage and unloaded the print sticking it a cornor. The dispatcher didn't know anything and told Technicolor (who called the taxi company at our insistance) that the print had been delivered. Only after another driver found the print and knew how to get to where it was supposed to be was the situation resolved. I can't believe Technicolor doesn't know who or even what companies are working for them! Does anyone else have problems regarding the use of taxi cabs to move prints around in your immeadiate areas?

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Tom Ferreira
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 203
From: Conway, NH, USA
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 06-23-1999 04:38 PM      Profile for Tom Ferreira   Email Tom Ferreira   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We have had no problems as of yet with the couriers used by Technicolor, even though I find it strange that we're in western New Hampshire, they employ couriers out of upper state New York to deliver films to Vermont!
The problem I have is with the condition prints off the break are in when they're delivered. Apparently, Technicolor is just snapping reel halves around cores, with no regard to lining up the holes, when the cores have holes, which makes it pretty frustrating when it's time to break down the print. Recently a received a print, took the first reel out of the can, and it immediately fell onto my foot. Oftentimes, the heads are not attached securely, and you never see paper bands any more.
I'm still trying to figure out why Airborne charges us for delivery and pickup-shouldn't the distributor bear the cost of picking up the dead prints?

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 8146
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 06-23-1999 05:31 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Actually, we had fewer problems with Technicolor than with Highway Films (the ETS and former NFS courier). My major complaints with Technicolor were the reels that fell apart constantly and the fact that they would often come to pick up a print before the film had ended. I guess that my other "issue" with Technicolor is their refusal to let individual theatres co-ordinate shipping arrangements; with Highway Films, I could just drive down to another nearby theatre with a couple of 6000' reels and pick up a print that we were going to be opening the next day; with Technicolor, the print had to be shipped through them and we had to pay shipping on the thing, even if it was only going a few miles...

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Brad Miller

Posts: 17775
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99

 - posted 06-23-1999 08:20 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
I'm not really sure about that one Idle Hands can. It didn't smell different or anything. But after seeing what it did to the original reels 4-6 and then seeing what it did to the replacement 4-6 leaders...I wasn't about to take any more chances. If we have someone out there who could hazard a guess, I would really appreciate hearing it. This one has me baffled to no end.

The last theater I worked at we ran the new version of 101 Dalmatians. The theater down the road got 3 prints to run a Saturday morning Disney store sneak preview. They were to open it on 2 screens. Thankfully, this horrible theater decided to only build 2 prints and interlock one of them! Anyway, when they gave me the two cans of film, I had the first half with one print number and the second half with the other print number. I called Technicolor that instant and again when the film shipped out, and they ASSURED me both times there wouldn't be a problem. Need I say more? We had to fight that one pretty good until FINALLY someone in their depot found the screwup! ...and of course, no apologies.

As to their policy of making Airborne ship prints across the street, what most theaters do is ship the empty cans with leaders through Airborne and handle the film themselves. (I think someone at Technicolor must be getting a little something under the table with every shipment...or has a whole lotta stock in Airborne.)

And while we're on the subject of the fine service provided by TES, guess how they inspect their films? They teach their kids (yes they employ kids...I had a friend who worked there briefly) to just unwind the first 20 feet or so of the film ONTO THE FLOOR and check the "identification frame" to see if it matched the first frame on the reel. I didn't know this, but apparently if those two frames match, then the print is perfect and has no missing footage within the reel or damage. Oh yes, and masking tape splices are fine. Wow, all this newfound knowledge.

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