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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Film Handlers' Forum   » Flattening Polyester

Author Topic: Flattening Polyester
Mitchell Dvoskin
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1830
From: West Milford, NJ, USA
Registered: Jan 2001

 - posted 07-08-2004 03:36 PM      Profile for Mitchell Dvoskin   Email Mitchell Dvoskin   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Does anyone have a suggestion for flattening folded over polyester film. I received a print that was not wound correctly and damaged in shipment, specifically a section had the sprocket area on one side folded over because it was sticking out, and got pressed up against the side of the reel. With the older acetate film, one would just unfold it, and then wind it tightly and the crease would work it's way out. That does not seem to work with polyester, which seems to be once creased, always creased.


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John Pytlak
Film God

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

 - posted 07-08-2004 03:44 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It may be that the crease was so severe that it actually stretched the polyester at the bend. With triacetate film, a crease that severe would have torn or ripped the film.

How long is the creased section? Your idea of trying to fold out the crease and then winding the film is about all you can do. You may find that heating the creased area briefly with a hair dryer or heat gun may help "relax" the crease. But be careful about not overheating the film -- emulsion damage may occur as you approach 180 degrees celsius.

Why can't you request a replacement reel?

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Peter Mork
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 172
From: Newton, MA, USA
Registered: Jun 2002

 - posted 07-08-2004 04:01 PM      Profile for Peter Mork   Email Peter Mork   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
An iron, set to a low setting, will flatten out any crease nicely. Lay out some newspaper on your bench for a base. You only want to iron the part that's affected, so lay out the film and use just the edge of the iron on the creased part, ironing one section then moving the film and doing another. Experiment with junk film to get your technique right. If done right the film will run perfectly with no visible damage.

Even badly crumpled film can be flattened this way and salvaged. Of course, it looks like hell on the screen.

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John Pytlak
Film God

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

 - posted 07-08-2004 07:58 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
If you use the iron technique, try to avoid scratching the image area, iron from the base side, and keep the temperature under 180 degrees Celsius. Again, this is a "last resort", for film that otherwise cannot be run. [Eek!]

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Mark Gulbrandsen
Resident Trollmaster

Posts: 16227
From: Bountiful, Utah
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 07-08-2004 10:12 PM      Profile for Mark Gulbrandsen   Email Mark Gulbrandsen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I thought by now that Kodak would have designed a "Hot" PTR roller just for this sort of fix [Confused] .


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Daryl C. W. O'Shea
Film God

Posts: 3977
From: Midland Ontario Canada (where Panavision & IMAX lenses come from)
Registered: Jun 2002

 - posted 07-08-2004 11:13 PM      Profile for Daryl C. W. O'Shea   Author's Homepage   Email Daryl C. W. O'Shea   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I saw some hot PTRs on eBay the other day.

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Bruce Hansen
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 847
From: Stone Mountain, GA, USA
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 07-09-2004 11:12 AM      Profile for Bruce Hansen   Email Bruce Hansen   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You can try using your finger nail to make a crease in the other direction, canceling out the creae you now have. This has worked for me, at times.

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John Anastasio
Master Film Handler

Posts: 325
From: Trenton, NJ, USA
Registered: Sep 2000

 - posted 07-10-2004 02:34 PM      Profile for John Anastasio   Author's Homepage   Email John Anastasio   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
[Cool] Wind it really tight and then leave it in your car on the next hot day!

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Ethan Harper

Posts: 325
From: Plano, TX, USA
Registered: May 2000

 - posted 07-11-2004 02:26 AM      Profile for Ethan Harper   Email Ethan Harper   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Ehh, Just play digital, and if all else fails, use WD-40. As you know, WD-40 fixes ALL problems.

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