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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Film Handlers' Forum   » Splicing Techniques (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Splicing Techniques
Thomas Dieter
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 234
From: Yakima, WA
Registered: Jun 2004


 - posted 07-01-2004 01:08 AM      Profile for Thomas Dieter   Email Thomas Dieter   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Okay, I was just reviewing some of the Tips that they have posted for helping you make a splice properly, and I have a question and some comments that I would like to make.

Why do we want to make sure that the film overlaps. I have done some tests when I first started to learn projection about 4 years ago, and found that over lapping the film causes the film to jump on the screen. I also noticed that there was a slight "pop" in the speakers when the film was running in SR*D. So that didn't continue, I took and experimenting, and took some advice from some of the other projectionists that I trained with and worked with. Now I'm open for suggestions and everything on this, so tell me if I'm wrong and why.

When I go to make a splice, I make sure that the part to be discarded is on the right hand side(always making sure that the leader doesn't touch the floor, whether its a trailer, or a reel).

When preparing to make the splice, I close the splicer, and ever so slightly pull the film to the right, causing the film to be cut just off center to the LEFT. In doing this, there is no overlapping of the film, and there is either minimum gap or no gap at all.

With this, it takes and makes the splice run through the projector smoothly not causing a jump on the screen or a "pop" in the speakers when run in SR*D, and from the booth side, it lessens the sound of a splice going through(I don't know about you, but when a projector is threaded to tight or to loose, its really noisy in the booth, and the sound of a splice going through is just that more noise that I have to hear).

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Carl Martin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1377
From: Berkeley, CA, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 07-01-2004 02:10 AM      Profile for Carl Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Carl Martin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
hmm, in srd it shouldn't matter whether or not there's an overlap. the data block right at the splicing point probably can't be read correctly either way, and losing one block isn't fatal anyways.

but for analog sound the overlap will minimize the pop. there still may be a little rustle from the tape edges or if the soundtrack doesn't quite line up or whatnot, but it beats a pop. and even if you don't ever have to use analog sound, someone who gets the print later might, and blooping a gap takes a lot longer than cutting the overlap in the first place.

i haven't noticed that a slight overlap makes the picture jump any more or less, and that's something i was looking for after switching.

actually, what i do is make the cuts on a guillotine splicer with a slight overlap, then apply perforated tape on a butt splicer. i prefer the alignment of the film on the butt splicer, and it's harder to stretch the sprocket holes. i cut 8-perf sections of perforated tape and trim the corners on the soundtrack sides so the tape edge isn't perpendicular to the sountrack. this way the tape itself is perfectly invisible and inaudible. my one concern is that the extra stiffness at the splice may increase the jump, but i'm not convinced of that yet.

carl

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Andrew Shingleton
Film Handler

Posts: 63
From: Richmond, Victoria, Australia
Registered: Feb 2004


 - posted 07-01-2004 02:30 AM      Profile for Andrew Shingleton   Email Andrew Shingleton   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
The opposite effect of having an overlap can result in a splice which is able to fold at the join to form quite a sharp angle. If you're unlucky this can end up feeding into the payout arm which causes all sorts of fun and games that you just don't want.

Obviously this assumes platter use though, which may or may not apply to your situation.

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Dominic Espinosa
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1172
From: Boulder Creek, CA.
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 07-01-2004 02:55 AM      Profile for Dominic Espinosa   Email Dominic Espinosa   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I know the die harders are going to hate me for this but...
When I make my splices I leave as little gap as possible. I never overlap and usually don't have a gap at all. However in my splicer the alignment wont always be correct and I've noticed that it doesn't seem to matter most of the time; I still get a pop.
So what I do, generally just in the trailers, in order to keep the SR track from popping I use a sharpie (with a VERY fine tip) to cover just the SR track on the top of the splicing tape on one side.
I've had no ill effects and the trailers are ever so quiet. I don't advise this on a feature print as sharpie ink is pretty nasty stuff, but for trailers it does the job.
Durring the feature there usually isn't much misalignment with the soundtrack and I find I usually don't get a pop on the features.
But oh those trailers...

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Stephen Furley
Film God

Posts: 3039
From: Coulsdon, Croydon, England
Registered: May 2002


 - posted 07-01-2004 05:24 AM      Profile for Stephen Furley   Email Stephen Furley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Andrew, that doesn't only apply with platters, it can cause problems with changeover operations as well. I recently had to remove two frames from a print, something I never normally do, as the ends of the reel, and its leader, which was just wrapped loose around the roll of film, didn't fit when I tried to splice them back together, The print had a hard matte, and had been roughly cut along the edge of the printed frame with scissors, leaving about a 2mm gap between the ends.

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12088
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 07-01-2004 11:52 AM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Dominic, that technique you are using with the Sharpie is called "blooping" and nobody will hate you for it. It's a common practice. [Smile]

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John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 07-01-2004 12:15 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
With silver+dye analog tracks, dye-based markers are usually ineffective for "blooping", as they transmit infrared energy on tungsten "white light" readers. Special "blooping ink" or India ink which contains carbon is more effective.

For cyan dye tracks, dye-based ink that absorbs red light will work well for "blooping".

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Steve Kraus
Film God

Posts: 3987
From: Chicago, IL, USA
Registered: May 2000


 - posted 07-01-2004 07:01 PM      Profile for Steve Kraus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
John, I think you may wish to amend that last sentence to say that it's not the type of track that determines whether special ink is required but rather the type of light.

If you have a red light reader then common ink may be effective if it's opaque enough, regardless of whether the track in question is cyan or traditional silver + dye. That's because all you have to deal with is visible red light. Whereas if you have an incandescant reader (primarily an IR source) then as you pointed out the ordinary ink will have little effect.

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Carl Martin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1377
From: Berkeley, CA, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 07-02-2004 02:54 AM      Profile for Carl Martin   Author's Homepage   Email Carl Martin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
a little wedge of opaque tape over the soundtrack gap will do the trick, though it's more time-consuming than ink. and either way it has to be redone every time the splice is re-made.

if there's a gap that's liable to fold, rather than chopping a frame or 2 you can cut a tiny strip of film to fit into the gap, maybe with a slight overlap. it's a little sloppy looking and also needs to be redone whenever the splice is remade, but i think it's worth it to preserve continuity.

best to make sure there's no gap in the first place!

carl

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John Pytlak
Film God

Posts: 9987
From: Rochester, NY 14650-1922
Registered: Jan 2000


 - posted 07-02-2004 02:48 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Steve Kraus
John, I think you may wish to amend that last sentence to say that it's not the type of track that determines whether special ink is required but rather the type of light.

You are correct that it's the type of reader that matters. Only a tungsten or IR LED reader would require an ink that is opaque to the infrared, and any ink that has significant density to red light would be effective with a red LED reader. However, any silver+dye track should be blooped with proper blooping ink or other material opaque to infrared, even if you have a red reader, because the print may be sent on to a theatre with a tungsten or IR reader.

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Dominic Espinosa
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1172
From: Boulder Creek, CA.
Registered: Jan 2004


 - posted 07-02-2004 04:13 PM      Profile for Dominic Espinosa   Email Dominic Espinosa   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Would that really be a problem though if we're just doing it in trailers and at reel changes?
The next theater that gets this print would (I would hope) be smart enough to either peel off the tape or lob off the frame if the tape wont come off easily (I hate that sticky goop splicing tape leaves after a while!). If they don't then shame on them.
However if you're going to be fixing a reel I'd say definitely bloop it with something everyone can benefit from.

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Edward Jurich
Master Film Handler

Posts: 302
From: Chicago, Illinois USA
Registered: Jul 2003


 - posted 07-02-2004 04:21 PM      Profile for Edward Jurich   Email Edward Jurich   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If it's a new print, I always peel off the splicing tape when I'm done. I don't splice the heads/tails back on, just loose-tape them on. The next guy can just splice the reels back together without loosing any frames. However, on art films I do splice the heads and tails back on just in case the next show is changeover.

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17587
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 07-02-2004 04:58 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
This thread is about making splices. If anyone wants to discuss breakdown procedures, please do it in one of the many existing threads.

For the record, the vast majority vote is that the professional way to break down a print is with single sided splices...NEVER masking/artist/painter's taped together or just lapped over a layer of film. The films should arrive at the next theater in "playable" condition, meaning spliced on. The general consensus regarding single sided splicing is that the majority of theaters will be plattering or mounting the print to large reels, hence the ease and convenience of disassembling leaders made with single sided splices, while yet those single sided splices will pass through most projectors reel to reel fine. (And if not, the changeover operator can simply lay another piece of tape on the back side.)

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Neil Robinson
Film Handler

Posts: 28
From: Coxhoe, Durham, UK
Registered: May 2004


 - posted 07-02-2004 07:17 PM      Profile for Neil Robinson   Email Neil Robinson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In responce to Thomas about overlapped splices, I use a CIR splicer, again as you mention cutting the film so the part that is discarded is on the right side, when the film is placed on the splicer it should overlap about 1 m/m, this works fine, with no jump on screen, unlike some other film splicers the CIR can be adjusted quite easily to make overlapped slicers by simply adjusting the cutting block on the side,without having to do any kind of modification however it is worth mentioning the CIR splicer also has a regulation knob that moves the pins, this is only for making perfect butt splices and should not be used to make the splice overlap because I have found if this is the case the cutter that removes the tape from the perforations on the film, actually cuts the perforation holes slightly bigger, this causes the film to jump badly in the gate of the projector, so it is best not to use this to make the splice overlap, but to adjust the cutting knife as mentioned, I would be interested to know if anyone else has noticed this problem with the CIR splicer,and this regulation knob, that moves the pins and the way the splice jumps if made with this adjustment.
Neil,

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Thomas Procyk
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1842
From: Royal Palm Beach, FL, USA
Registered: Feb 2002


 - posted 07-03-2004 12:43 PM      Profile for Thomas Procyk   Email Thomas Procyk   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Carl Martin
a little wedge of opaque tape over the soundtrack gap will do the trick, though it's more time-consuming than ink.
Wouldn't this "little wedge of tape" add thickness to that area, the same way simply overlapping by a mm or two would do?

=TMP=

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