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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Film Handlers' Forum   » Putting together films with clear tape? (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Putting together films with clear tape?
Todd Cornwall
Film Handler

Posts: 91
From: Madison, WI
Registered: Feb 2004


 - posted 05-22-2004 03:58 PM      Profile for Todd Cornwall   Email Todd Cornwall   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I agree that its best for the presentation, however, how about the poor schmuck who has to tear it down? I believe this task is going to fall upon me, however, I have only torn down films that were spliced using white, yellow, or striped tape. Any tips for finding the splice mark? Also, what if the film had broken and was repaied with clear tape? Seems like more of a hassle for very little presentation benefit.

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9425
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-22-2004 04:22 PM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I use the eprad edge marker kit that puts a thin fine white or silver line on the edge of the film to mark the splice

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7907
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-22-2004 05:02 PM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The trick is that you don't _look_ for the splice--you _feel_ for it.

Brad's method is to mark the approximate amount of film on each shipping reel using a piece of tape. I've never seen the need for this, but it might be useful to others.

As for distinguishing between reel-change splices and mid-reel repair splices, you can look for the cue marks in the upper-right of the frame about 20-24 frames from the end of the reel. If they are there, then the nearest splice is a reel-change splice. If not, then it probably isn't (unless you have a foreign film from one of the few labs that doesn't print cue marks).

I am _not_ a fan of edge-mark tape, shoe polish, paint pens, etc. used to mark the edge of the film. This usually destroys any SDDS soundtrack that might be on the print and also risks getting the stuff into the image or optical track area. It also doesn't really make it any easier to break down a print.

Believe me--getting rid of the opaque tape will improve your presentation dramatically.

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Christopher Seo
Jedi Master Film Handler

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


 - posted 05-22-2004 05:33 PM      Profile for Christopher Seo   Email Christopher Seo   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Marking the shipping reels is a very effective method. Do make sure to mark a piece of tape and not the reel itself, for obvious reasons. If you're dependent on someone else to build up the print who may balk at doing this, a piece of colored tape aligned with the outside of the roll will work too.

Since I run 6000' reel-to-reel I often mark reel changes on the 6000' reels instead, along with locations of lab splices, film damage, the credits, and anything else that might require attention during the show.

If I'm building up a very splicey print I sometimes mark the reel change splices with a Sharpie on the frameline-- not to see the splice while breaking down but to verify that it is in fact the reel change splice.

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17617
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 05-22-2004 05:42 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
Todd, if my guys can find a trimmed post-processing ultrasonic splice at good speed on breakdown, so can you. Finding clear tape splices is a joke. It's soooooooooooooooooooo easy it's pathetic. You just have to learn how to do the breakdown properly.

Yeah, yeah I know...I'll do a breakdown page at some point.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12203
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-22-2004 06:34 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I took two of those 24" flourescent lights that come in standees, and using plastic zip ties, tied them to the platter arms to help light up the bottom two platters better. It's a huge improvement over the pathetic little bulbs that are built into the platter, and the flourescents don't burn out every week. Anyone using this idea should be able to find any type of splice easily.

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Todd Cornwall
Film Handler

Posts: 91
From: Madison, WI
Registered: Feb 2004


 - posted 05-22-2004 07:31 PM      Profile for Todd Cornwall   Email Todd Cornwall   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, Brad, finding a clear splice while breaking down a print maybe sooooooo easy to someone who's done it, but I've never done it, so it seems like quite a task. I'm sure that once I find the proper way to locate the splices, it will be a piece of cake and I'll look back on this post and laugh, but until that time, I still need to find out how most people do it so I can make sure I do it right.

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17617
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 05-22-2004 07:35 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
It's easy. Stop looking for it. Seriously, look at the wall or something, but don't look at the film. You should be FEELING for the splice with a finger on one edge and your thumb on the other, gently cupping the film as it pulls off of the roll on the platter. This also permits you to "brake" with your palm once you feel it fly past your fingers.

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Todd Cornwall
Film Handler

Posts: 91
From: Madison, WI
Registered: Feb 2004


 - posted 05-22-2004 08:20 PM      Profile for Todd Cornwall   Email Todd Cornwall   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In the past, I have marked the reels with masking tape so that I know approximately where the film should be on the reel, however, the problem with that is #1, I'm not always putting the movies together, #2 Others may or may not want to take that extra step for me, #3, its only approximate and I could be already past the splice mark. So it helps a little, but its far from the perfect solution...besides, spining at that high speed, pretty much blurs any marks on the reel and I have to keep stopping to check.

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Mark J. Marshall
Film God

Posts: 3179
From: New Castle, DE, USA
Registered: Aug 2002


 - posted 05-22-2004 10:14 PM      Profile for Mark J. Marshall     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The better you make your splices the harder they are to see, which is why everyone is saying "don't look for them." And never EVER put any crap on the film to help you find the splice. You're only teaching yourself how to find crap on the film instead of how to find a splice.

A trick I like while using Brad's method is to wear a white cotton glove. One, it helps prevent you from getting a paper cut or burn from the film, and two its easier to feel the splice because it tugs on the fabric of the glove when it goes by. It also helps you to distinguish between tension jolts that jerk the film and the actual splice.

After a while, you'll get used to the feel and you won't need the glove anymore.

"Your eyes can deceive you. Don't trust them." -- Obi Wan Kenobi

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6381
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-22-2004 10:32 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I've got four Work Study students working in my booth. They are allowed to work UP TO six hours per week doing jobs in my theaters. Usually they get about four hours each week, including seting up and striking the stage and other chores like cleaning up the stage. That leaves two or three hours of work solely in the booth.

Since they are college students they have other priorities than working for me but I have them trained well enough that they can build, operate and break down without me having to supervise them 100% of the time.

I know... I know... A lot of people don't like Edgemark tape but I think it's a valuable training aid. The first couple-three times I train them to build prints using Edgemark. As I see them getting more proficient we stop using it. By the time the end of the year comes around, all of my students are able to break down a print that's been spliced with clear tape, using no Edgemark, zebra tape or ink of any kind.

I've heard the standard complaints about using the stuff: It leaves stick-umm on the film. It makes the film jump in the gate.

First, if you use a short piece of the stuff (about a frame's length) there's less stick-umm to get on the film. Second, if you take the stuff off right away when you break down the print, there's nothing on the film that a little FilmGuard can't handle.

Unless you are meticulous about splicing or unless you want to spend the $$ for an ultrasonic splicer (or both) your splices are going to jump at least a little bit when they go through the gate. Properly applied, Edgemark only makes the film jump about the same amount that a splice does. If you measure your gate and make sure the Edgemark goes in a space that's about 2/3 the distance from the splice as the gate is long the film will have already jumped when the splice goes through. By the time the Edgemark gets to the gate the jump (if any) will be almost unnoticible.

The final thing is that Edgemark takes extra time to apply. In a commercial theater time is money. Time spent fooling around with yellow tape is time people could spend doing other jobs. Even if you're not an efficiency freak, the stuff is just a P.I.T.A. to work with. However, in the long run, using Edgemark saves me time. On movie nights, I usually work 16 hours. Sometimes more. I don't have the energy to sit there all night and help students find splices.

I only use the stuff as "Training Wheels". To me, it's a teaching aid. Nothing more. By the time a student has worked with me for a few months (working 1-2 days per week) they don't need it. They can break down a print by feeling the film or by looking for the splices extra carefully.

I see no reason why you can't learn to find splices too. If you want to use "Training Wheels", I have no problem if you do it carefully. I guarantee you will stop using Edgemark once you get the hang of things.

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Jeremy Fuentes
Mmmm, Dr. Pepper!

Posts: 1168
From: Corpus Christi, TX United States
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 05-22-2004 10:59 PM      Profile for Jeremy Fuentes   Email Jeremy Fuentes   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
One thing you can do, until you get used to finding the clear splices, is put a piece of artists tape, on top of the print, right at the next splice in the breakdown process. When you start getting close to the tape, you are close to the splice. You should be able to look at a print and see the splices from the top.

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Todd Cornwall
Film Handler

Posts: 91
From: Madison, WI
Registered: Feb 2004


 - posted 05-22-2004 11:00 PM      Profile for Todd Cornwall   Email Todd Cornwall   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Randy,

I appreciate the advice. I don't think I could talk anyone into using edgemark. From what I was told, the clear tape will not be used once it is gone, we will go to yellow tape. Now I'm not so sure I want that. I watched the clear tape go through, and I've had experience with all the other colors, I much prefer the clear...its all about the presentation and if that makes my job take a little longer...so be it. Thanks for all the info!!!

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Randy Stankey
Film God

Posts: 6381
From: Erie, Pennsylvania
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 05-22-2004 11:13 PM      Profile for Randy Stankey   Email Randy Stankey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
<loud whisper>
Clear tape is CHE-E-E-E-EAPER than zebra tape!
</loud whisper>

For the price you pay for that junk, you could buy a tube of clear tape AND a package of Edgemark and STILL spend less money!

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Todd Cornwall
Film Handler

Posts: 91
From: Madison, WI
Registered: Feb 2004


 - posted 05-22-2004 11:50 PM      Profile for Todd Cornwall   Email Todd Cornwall   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I dont order it, so I have no clue as to cost.

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