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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Film Handlers' Forum   » Finding the frameline in the end credits (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Finding the frameline in the end credits
Michael Brown
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1517
From: Bradford, England
Registered: May 2001


 - posted 03-20-2002 10:06 AM      Profile for Michael Brown   Email Michael Brown   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I refer to standard end credits with white scrolling text on a black background.


I am not good at this at all . I hope there is sume hidden nack to getting it right. There was an out of rack splice in the end credits of The Prince of Egypt, (there was about 4 or 5 spliced through out the credits, don't know what the last cinemas had done to it) Anyway one of them through the credits out of rack. I think it was the nearest splice to the end. I tried to repair it. But i'm not sure if i was sucessfull.


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John Hawkinson
Film God

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From: Cambridge, MA, USA
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 - posted 03-20-2002 10:33 AM      Profile for John Hawkinson   Author's Homepage   Email John Hawkinson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'll bet there are better techniques than these, but here are 4 alternatives:

  1. Use a frame counter or sync block and start counting from somewhere that the frameline is visible.
  2. Inspect the frames closely until you can find a frame where the text scrolling off the screen is very clearly cut off halfway through a line. This is either the top or the bottom of the frame, and hopefully you can figure it out as appropriate.
  3. If you're really desperate, thread it up in a projector with a piece of paper sticking out around the suspect spot, frame it properly early on, and then shut it down when the paper goes by. Advance the geneva until you reach a new frame, and then mark the edge of the film (sharpie, tape, whatever), then take the film over to the bench. Just count the small number of frames from your mark.
  4. If you're willing to tollerate a splice not frameline registered, you can just visually inspect the 4 perfs of stuff before the splice and make sure it matches up with the text after the splice. Unless there's a lot of film missing, you should be able to match it up. Also, you can take an educated guess by how much the film jumps visually as it goes out of frame.

I'm curious what other ways people have come up with. I suppose what we have on our bench may not be common -- a 17x23" piece of paper with 24+ frames marked on it in ink, which makes it really easy to count seconds and short numbers of frames.

--jhawk



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Leo Enticknap
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From: Loma Linda, CA
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 - posted 03-20-2002 11:18 AM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
My way wasn't anything like as sophisticated as the above options, but if you don't have a footage and frame counter, then the following might help.

Point 1, is the frame line right in the middle of the screen or just above/below? If it's in the middle, then you're two perfs out of rack. Separate the defective join, and remove two perfs of film from one side, or one from both. Make a new join, rack fixed.

If it's above or below, then you're either 1 or 3 perfs out of rack. I'm buggered if I can remember whether above=1/above=3, below=1/below=3, so here is the crude way. Separate the NFG join and remove one perforation from one side. Remake it and run the film through. This will either correct the problem, or make the frame line appear dead centre. If you've centred it, then take two perfs off on the next run and the problem is then fixed.


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John Hawkinson
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From: Cambridge, MA, USA
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 - posted 03-20-2002 11:23 AM      Profile for John Hawkinson   Author's Homepage   Email John Hawkinson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
But Leo, that could lose more film than you have to .

I editted my post to make it clear those were 4 alternatives, not 4 steps of one method.

--jhawk


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Brad Miller
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From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 03-20-2002 01:55 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
The best solution I've found is #2 on John's list above, except once you find a frameline that has half of it's text chopped, count back in 4 perforation increments until you reach the actual splice. That way you only lose 2 frames worth at maximum. The other methods could result in having a clear horizontal flash across the screen if you are into making "butt" splices and don't hit that frame line.


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Leo Enticknap
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From: Loma Linda, CA
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 - posted 03-20-2002 02:56 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
John: I never claimed that way was elegant, only that it worked! I wouldn't dream of treating any film element that way in circumstances where you have the right equipment and lighting conditions to examine it properly.

But I have been in one or two badly lit projection boxes with no footage/frame counter in my time faced with the problem of correcting a rack in the titles, and if you really can't see what you're dealing with, this method will work. But I agree, you risk losing two frames in a situation where theoretically, you only need to lose one and so obviously this is a last resort.

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John Hawkinson
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From: Cambridge, MA, USA
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 - posted 03-20-2002 03:10 PM      Profile for John Hawkinson   Author's Homepage   Email John Hawkinson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Brad, I do wonder what you mean...the first 3 of those methods should result in being properly frameline registered.

The frame-counter should have a mark to indicate the frameline.
And the whole point of using the projector and marking the frameline is to be certain to have it in-frame...

--jhawk


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Brad Miller
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From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
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 - posted 03-20-2002 03:29 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
What do I mean? You don't need a projector nor do you need a frame counter to do this. You can easily double-check splices on used prints before screening them using these instructions:

So we have a stretch of end credits with an out of frame splice in it, but we don't know how many perfs it is out of frame. Simple. Just get that section of film in your hands and examine the splice. 50% of the time just looking a few perfs over from the splice will show a frameline, merely because half of the text is chopped off like you explained in #2 above. Now we have a positive identification on a frame line. Count over 4 perforations at a time until you reach the cut in the splice. Is that cut in frame? If yes, leave it. If not, remember how many perfs you have to cut out (hint, this will be either 1, 2, or 3). Now go to the other side of the splice and locate a frameline using the chopped text trick. Once you positively id a frameline, count back toward the splice again (of course you are on the other side of the splice this time) in 4 perforation increments until you hit the splice. Is that cut in frame? If yes, then leave it. If not, remember how many perfs you have to cut out. Now put it on your splicer, chop the necessary perforations to get it back in-frame and remake the splice.

Thus, nothing is needed but your eyes and a splicer.

The reason I don't like the trick of just remembering how many perforations off the splice jumps when viewing it on a projector is because the cut in the film COULD HAVE been made incorrectly on the lead side of the cut, which would result in the cut being visible on screen after repair, even though it would not go out-of-frame.


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John Hawkinson
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 - posted 03-20-2002 03:35 PM      Profile for John Hawkinson   Author's Homepage   Email John Hawkinson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Indeed, the point of supplying 3 alternatives is that if you choose one of the methods, you don't need to choose the others.

Method #2 (chopped text) can be frustrating if the text block is not registered in the center of the frame, which is most likely in 1.85:1.

You don't need any of the other methods, but you said earlier:

quote:
The other methods could result in having a clear horizontal flash across the screen if you are into making "butt" splices and don't hit that frame line.
and that's not correct. Any of these methods should give you the same result, a perfect frameline registration (except #4, of course).

--jhawk



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Brad Miller
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 - posted 03-20-2002 03:42 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
John, I disagree with your statement that my comment was not correct. While #1 and 3 can accomplish the same task, running the film through a projector and stopping it after the bad splice goes through, only to make a mark on the film to represent the "should be" frameline does NOT guarantee that the person will end up making the cut on the frameline. Let me say that again in case you missed it, it does NOT guarantee that the person will end up making the cut on the frameline. Likewise I've seen people using frame counters to fix an out of frame splice and they ended up having the cut line flash right across the screen because they did not carefully pay attention to the markings. While sure it can be done, both of these options are a ridiculous waste of time in most booths and there is no *guarantee* that they will have the cut on a frameline. The only time using a frame counter is a time saver is if someone is running reel to reel and is fixing the splice during a rewind *or* if the person is inspecting a print before exhibition and wants to make sure the splice is in frame beforehand. Most of the time however I think the need for finding an out of frame end credits splice these days is after a screening when the film is platter mounted. Still, as end credits generally have a chopped line of text at either the top or bottom of a frame, the frame counter is not necessary...much like making marks on the edge of the film with a marker is not necessary. If someone can't handle counting in increments of 4, they can always put a mark on their splicer to count frames with. (This is shown in the tips section under "cutting trailers properly".)

As for 1.85 films, anyone who can assemble a print with the "wide" matted framelines doesn't even need to look for a chopped line of text! The framelines are very obvious. Even if they aren't, any projectionist worth a damn will clearly see that the text is being chopped alongside a perforation, instead of between perforations. I think most people here know the difference. Give 'em a little credit.

I blame it all on the codecs anyway.


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John Hawkinson
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 - posted 03-20-2002 04:13 PM      Profile for John Hawkinson   Author's Homepage   Email John Hawkinson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
OK, Brad, you're entitled to your opinion. Note that as a changeover projectionist, I have some luxuries you don't, making some of those other methods easier than they are on platters.

As for the codecs^H^H^H^H^H^Hcounting, I find it much easier to count
in increments of 24 frames (on the aforementioned 17x23" piece of paper) than to count in increments of 8 frames on a splicer.

--jhawk


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Brad Miller
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From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
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 - posted 03-20-2002 04:19 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Luxuries? Some may agree, some may disagree. Personally I think it's fairly well split 50/50% in terms of repairing a bad splice. If I know there is a bad splice coming, I can fix it on a platter in less time by inserting a foam "boot" into the takeup roll at the bad splice (like you insert a piece of paper into a reel of film). If I don't know it is coming, I can fix it during a rewind in less time. It just depends and I wouldn't use the word "luxury" unless I was being more specific as to why.

Opinion? Well technically yes it is, but it mine as well be considered a fact because no one I've shown this trick to in a platter booth does it any other way anymore, for it IS a waste of time and far more hassle, being equipped only with a splicer. It takes me all of 60 seconds maximum to find the frame lines on a platter and remake the splice. The same can be said of anyone else I've shown the trick to and it is ALWAYS in frame and ALWAYS frameline registered. You and Guttag can spin your reels, but the problem can be fixed quicker on a platter than running reel to reel if you know what you are doing.

BTW, laying film flat on a table could scratch it if you are not extra careful.


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Steve Kraus
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 - posted 03-20-2002 04:25 PM      Profile for Steve Kraus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Depending on the nature of the credits near where the bad join is you may have to go quite a distance to find the cutoff credits to show the frameline plus if the frames are masked you will of course be seeing the mask cutting them off, not the frameline. It's completely do-able manually of course but so much easier with a checker or synchronizer. Plus it makes it possible to easily double check one's work after the new splice is made. Every booth should have one.

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Brad Miller
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From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
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 - posted 03-20-2002 04:33 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Steve, try leaving the screening room and go fix some out of frame splices at your neighborhood platterized 30 plex. You won't be using that frame counter for long. Frame counters and platters do not work well together. (Note my disclaimer above regarding changeover booths.) This is simply a matter of knowing how to work with a particular booth setup (changeover, platter, tower, etc) and the tips of the changeover projectionist do not transfer well to the platter booth, and vice versa.

It would be different if John's argument (and yours) above included a "for reel to reel booths" disclaimer, but when nothing is present, in this day and age "platters" are automatically assumed...and John's argument is very foolish advice for use in a platter booth. Now I know you are running reel to reel, but think of the tons of lurkers that do not know this. Anytime advice is given that is varied from a platter booth, it really needs to have a disclaimer on it. (Picture a platter projectioninst trying to run a film that is on a platter through a frame counter. Can you imagine the tangled mess? If not, I can simulate a picture for you and post it here.)

BTW, in the case of the topic starter Michael, he runs towers. What are the odds Michael has a frame counter mount for that tower? Not good. Unless he does, he is better off treating it like a platter, stopping at the bad splice during a rewind, pulling a couple of feet of slack and working right on the splice like a platter. It would waste even more time to run the last reel off of the tower onto a shipping reel to take it to the bench to use the frame counter to fix the splice so it can be rewound and taken back to the tower and re-attached to the roll, not to mention unnecessary film handling in the entire process.


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John Walsh
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 - posted 03-20-2002 05:48 PM      Profile for John Walsh   Email John Walsh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I often have to fix an out-of-frame in the credits - and I run out of time; I must start the next show. I'm embarrassed to admit this, but when that happens, I just take a guess and splice.

Basically, I do what Leo does: I watch it when it runs through again. Sometimes I've made a lucky guess, but if not, I can see how many perfs (and in which direction) it goes out, so I'm sure to get it in frame the next time.

Of course, it may be in frame, but the splice might not be on the frame line, so I watch it again. I can see the splice go by, and I can fix it for sure then. I don't lose frames, because the new splicing tape peels off easily. It's kinda a drag to run several shows the way, but with many projectors to thread and little time between, you can only do so much.

Frame counters are great tools, but it's too hard to use one with film on a platter. Trying to follow the film around and feed it into the counter while pulling it up out of the wind ... ugh!

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