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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Film Handlers' Forum   » is it that hard to get a movie in frame? (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: is it that hard to get a movie in frame?
Keith Richardson
Film Handler

Posts: 11
From: Bartlett, New Hampshire USA
Registered: Jul 99


 - posted 07-24-1999 08:51 AM      Profile for Keith Richardson   Email Keith Richardson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
how hard is it to get a movie in frame...even once? A few months ago a guy at our theatre was trained as a projectionist, and he has STILL not been able to thread up a projector in frame, after four months!!! he has been shown a few times more recently and i think in the time period he has gotten it right once, and that was with help.
Now, i probably haven't been a projectionist for as long as some of you people, but seriously, it isn't that friggin hard to get a movie in frame!

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Jim Ziegler
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 753
From: West Hollywood, CA
Registered: Jul 99


 - posted 07-24-1999 02:16 PM      Profile for Jim Ziegler   Email Jim Ziegler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Is he hand turning the motor so that the intermittant is not in the middle of a cycle when he threads? Odds are this is his problem, he threads it in frame and then when it starts, the intermittant completes it previous cycle and takes the film out of frame.

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17674
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 07-24-1999 02:42 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
I must agree with Jim here. Many people actually put the film into the projector and then either with the motor switch or turning the motor over by hand simply rotate the framing control until it looks in frame in the aperture or framing window. HOW LAME! With scope films there's the frame line to deal with, but with flat films many times the movie can be way out of frame, but the idiot projectionist doesn't see a frame line...thus it must be in frame.

Personally, I lock my framing controls down so it is either perfectly in frame out way out of frame and there's no correcting it once the movie has started. Try that and it'll teach you newbie to get it right the first time.

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Joe Redifer
You need a beating today

Posts: 12859
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: May 99


 - posted 07-24-1999 03:29 PM      Profile for Joe Redifer   Author's Homepage   Email Joe Redifer   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I also lock my framing knobs. Since I have done this, out of frame threads have been a thing of the past. All of the projectionists know that they are not allowed to thread out of frame. Otherwise they have to stop and rethread the projector! One guy once threaded out of frame, and he said it took him 20 minutes to fix it (this was after I locked the knobs). That tought him to thread in frame!

[This message has been edited by Joe Redifer (edited 07-24-99).]

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Tim Spencer
Film Handler

Posts: 9
From: CA
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-24-1999 08:39 PM      Profile for Tim Spencer     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
that is how i was taught to thread. i was taught to put the film in the projector and rotate the framing knob until the picture was centered. it did not take very long for me to figure out that i could position the intermittent and avoid such nonsense. somebody needs to put out some good threading manuals or maybe a videotape for the basics. no one wants to share their tips in this business for some reason.

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Bruce McGee
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1776
From: Asheville, NC USA... Nowhere in Particular.
Registered: Aug 1999


 - posted 07-24-1999 10:38 PM      Profile for Bruce McGee   Email Bruce McGee   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I was taught to try and move the intermittant sprocket with my finger before I put the film on it. If it has any slack or movement in it, turn the motor shaft until it is locked tight.

No tips? I have learned a bunch of things on this forum! These guys are A1 in my book. I'd like to tour their booths and see just how they present a show. I could learn a thing or two.

I'm not griping. Thats a subject for another collector site.

Bruce

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6417
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-26-1999 08:18 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I just trained a new girl in my booth. She gets almost every picture dead-on the first time! She's been working here for a little over two weeks! I say there are two things you can do to teach people to thread in-frame:

1) Tell them that they are REQUIRED to get it in-frame. Also say that customers will laugh at them if they don't. (When I watch a movie, I laugh at the projectionist if (s)he doesn't.)

2) Teach them to thread the right way. (The way you have to thread a Norelco AA-II.)

I tell people to time the int. & center the framing. (Century = carriage 1/2 way up -- Simplex = red line vertical.)

THEN I tell them to put the film in the gate and line up a frame with the framing landmark. (Simplex = framing window. -- Century = frame line even with the little screw at the top of the trap.)

THEN I tell them to set the film on the int. sprocket and ahut the trap.

THEN thread the feed & holdback sprockets and continue on with the rest of the machine.

When I was taught, I was told to put the film on the feed sprocket and work down through the projector. I always felt it was wrong. Later, I did some research and found that the Mfg. recommends that you thread the gate first. Then, even later, I had to figure out how to thread a AA-II by myself. It turns out that you can't thread it any other way because you'll hit the buckle sensor or any number of crazy things. Hell, you can't even OPEN the projector without timing it because the thing locks shut.

Frankly, I think it all boils down to quality of training!

P.S.: On the Century, I took a red Sharpie marker and put red marks on the silver bushing on the end of the int. the way the Simplex has. I did this on two projectors (out of 17) without telling anybody. Those two are the only ones that are almost NEVER out of frame. I can tell because the framing always stays the way I set it. I guess it's kind of a subliminal thing!

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17674
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 07-26-1999 08:34 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Forget that red Sharpie...lock the framing controls down. That always puts an end to it.

Any projector can be threaded in either direction. I have threaded AA2s running reel to reel top to bottom and running platters from bottom to top. Threading the gate first does not provide any benefit. It's either in frame or it's not.

On Christies, I put a piece of masking tape around the holdback sprocket and put little marks where the frame lines should be assuming the lower loop is correctly sized and the framing is centered in the gate. We start by "framing" the film on that holdback sprocket and thread all the way up through the digital penthouses. Upon inspection, all the loops are always correct and the picture is in frame...set the timer and let it go.

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6417
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-26-1999 09:27 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
As I think about it, you're right. I should have qualified myself there. It IS possible to thread AA-II's any way you want, but I had to figure out the AA-II by myself without manuals. The only projectors I used up to that time were Century and Simplex. I guess I should have said, "That's the only way **I COULD FIGURE OUT*** to thread a AA-II.

None-the-less, I still think it boils down to training...

It will be a snowy day in August before I get promoted where I work because I'm such an A-Hole about training people. (and other things too.) Most trainers give their students about 15 minutes of "instruction" and put the people to work. I always teach people "Heuristicly", if you will: Teach them what each part does first. Then teach them how to work the machine. It takes all of about 2 extra minutes to explain what an intermittent sprocket does! It pays off. I guarantee that if you let a new recruit turn the flywheel by hand and look at the sprockets turn for a minute before you even put a piece of film in their hand they'll be 90% less likely to thread out of frame.

That little exercise also gives you a chance to see if they have the "Right Stuff" to work projectors because the ones that don't will just stare blankly at the machine. With the "good ones" you can see the gears turning in their heads just as fast as the gears in the projector are turning! The "bad ones" can be weeded out right there before they have a chance to destroy something. It works for ME, anyway. Everybody has their own different style of teaching. To each, his own.

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17674
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 07-26-1999 09:36 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
I couldn't agree with you more on "extended" training and not just teaching the monkey how to thread.

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6417
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-26-1999 11:05 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Isn't that what a projectionist's license is SUPPOSED to be for. Or is it just a joke, nowadays?

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George Roher
Master Film Handler

Posts: 266
From: Washington DC
Registered: Jul 99


 - posted 07-26-1999 11:42 PM      Profile for George Roher   Email George Roher   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
When I was trained as an operator, setting the intermittent was the very first thing I learned. For the first few weeks, all I was allowed to do was open the gate and set the intermittent. But I was trained by a real operator, thank goodness.

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Erika Hellgren
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 168
From: Denver, Colorado
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-27-1999 04:17 AM      Profile for Erika Hellgren   Email Erika Hellgren   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Lots of things to say:
First of all -- a projectionists license? Aren't those extinct? I don't know anyone in my city that has one. It's a shame, but the projectionist's union is a thing of the past here.
Second -- Getting a movie in frame has never been a problem for me. I think I got about two of them wrong when I was in training, then never, ever, ever, ever did it again. It ain't that hard, my GOD!
Third -- Randy, the reason the person you are training seems so smart is because she's female! Sorry, I have to stick up for the chicks since there aren't many of us in this field. Notice I'm the only one on this forum! My head projectionist wants to hire another female for our booth cause he says he's never had to explain things to me more than once. Know why? Chicks LISTEN!

[This message has been edited by Erika Hellgren (edited 07-27-99).]

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9451
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-27-1999 03:42 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In Ontario Canada there is still a government license that requires a form of appretiship and exam. Needless to say the circuits are constantly lobying the government to abolsih it.
The IATSE still operates about half of the screens here but under less than prime conditions
Also The toronto local had the first female projectionist in North America. She is pictured in with the JJ in the gallery under music hall

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Stephen Jones
Master Film Handler

Posts: 314
From: Geelong Victoria Australia
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-28-1999 12:31 AM      Profile for Stephen Jones   Email Stephen Jones   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dont let your government in Canada abolish the licence system if you can. We had to be licenced in all states here in Australia except N.S.W. The major companies here got the state governments to drop the system and now are paying the price of damaged film etc.I strongly believe that there should be a apprentice system operating were they train with qualified people for 12 to 18 months or so if not longer so they are trained to a high level of skill and recieve a certificate saying they are competent to work in bio and do everything well. I cant stand seeing candy bar floor staff being trained by other candy bar floor staff people its just takes away the all the skills that have been used over the years with good results. We have a lot of females working in the bios now and they are better than the guys a lot of the time. I would like to see the licence come back but i think thats just a dream now. As for threading out of frame its a no no with me and I let trainees know that, I do not let them use the racking handle.
, only if there is out of frame join that has been missed again I drum into them I wont tolerate doing joins out of frame or not checking joins etc. I admit that I am tough and hard to get on with when trainig trainees but thats the way it is if they are to be trained properly and put on a good fault free show.

------------------

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