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» Film-Tech Forum   » Operations   » Film Handlers' Forum   » Custom snipes

Author Topic: Custom snipes
Peter Mork
Expert Film Handler

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

 - posted 07-28-2004 05:11 PM      Profile for Peter Mork   Email Peter Mork   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I am attempting to produce some custom squibs - bits of film announcing "Coming Soon", "Starts Friday", etc. - for my cinema. I have the artwork ready to go, but need to get it shot on the cheap. It would involve photographing six different title cards for a few seconds each - no animation, nuthin' fancy, maybe a quick fade in / fade out at the start and finish of each one and that's all.

My brainstorm was to find an animation student with access to a school's 35mm animation stand who I could pay to do it - should be simple here in Boston, but I've had no luck so far. I contacted a regular squib production house, and they wanted an outr-r-r-r-rageous amount of money. Huh, I could buy my own Mitchell camera and start my own business for what they had in mind.

I could shoot it myself in 16mm and have it blown up, but I'd rather not for quality's sake. Does anyone know someone who can do this job to my specifications for $100 - 200 (I supply film and pay lab costs)? Thanks.

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Steve Kraus
Film God

Posts: 4067
From: Chicago, IL, USA
Registered: May 2000

 - posted 07-28-2004 05:32 PM      Profile for Steve Kraus     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
And I thought this thread was going to be about pyrotechnics. I always called them strips or snipes.

1 a : a short humorous or satiric writing or speech b : a short news item; especially : FILLER
2 a : a small firecracker b : a broken firecracker in which the powder burns with a fizz
3 : a small electric or pyrotechnic device used to ignite a charge

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Richard Fowler
Film God

Posts: 2389
From: Ft. Lauderdale, FL, USA
Registered: Jun 2001

 - posted 07-28-2004 07:51 PM      Profile for Richard Fowler   Email Richard Fowler   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Steve, it is just the New England accent [Big Grin] You have good rental and grip houses in Boston....they could probably point you to a cinematographer to shoot your cards while doing camera tests.

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Peter Mork
Expert Film Handler

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

 - posted 07-28-2004 09:40 PM      Profile for Peter Mork   Email Peter Mork   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Oy, snipes it is then. Changing thread title.

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Jim Spohn
Film Handler

Posts: 95
From: Bakersfield, CA, USA
Registered: Jan 2003

 - posted 07-29-2004 09:49 AM      Profile for Jim Spohn   Email Jim Spohn   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Peter... Contact Derrick Maxwell on the 35mm Film Collectors Forum, he has a free DVD of the snips he has to offer. Most of the stuff is for drive-in theatre use but there is quite a lot of indoor stuff too. You wont be disappointed. Jim Spohn

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Tim Reed
Better Projection Pays

Posts: 5244
From: Northampton, PA
Registered: Sep 1999

 - posted 07-29-2004 11:16 AM      Profile for Tim Reed   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
No, contact me. I produce custom trailers and animation. Derek only sells poor dupes made from release prints.

I am making one last custom run as we speak, before shutting that service down for a large project. I'll do the work at cost. Peter, email me at:

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Scott Norwood
Film God

Posts: 7991
From: Boston, MA. USA (1774.21 miles northeast of Dallas)
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 07-29-2004 11:39 AM      Profile for Scott Norwood   Author's Homepage   Email Scott Norwood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi, Peter.

Frame Shop in West Newton can shoot stuff on their Oxberry Animation stand. Cost is something like $150/hour plus stock and processing, plus whatever time it takes to conver their camera over from 16mm to 35mm or vice versa.

I'd recommend taking Tim up on his offer, personally.

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Frank Angel
Film God

Posts: 5198
From: Brooklyn NY USA
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 07-29-2004 12:06 PM      Profile for Frank Angel   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Angel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
OK, not to steer you away from Tim because his Screen Attractions service has been dedicated to producing this exact kind of stuff for the industry, but let me ask this, is there any reason why you are locked into designing your own artwork? Since you did mention on the cheap, the cheaper way to go would be to simply order stock snipes. A number of 35mm production houses like Filmack, Pike or CinemaConcepts, produce very attractive stock snipes for all manner of standard theatre needs: Coming Soon, Our Next Attraction, Starts Friday, No Smoking in this Theatre, etc., the list goes on; they probably have every imaginable text you could think of. Naturally they will be much cheaper than any custom work could be.

You can order stock trailers in any length you need and you can specify with sound (usually SR) or with a black track (silent). I think Filmack has a kind of combination stock/custom offering where they have a stock design background but they can insert your text or logo.

I know it is sure nice seeing your own artwork up on the screen, but that can get a tad costly. And you probably are not really needing to say anything that you can't find in the stock libraries. Unless you can get very creative in your design, you probably will not need only six, but you will need twelve copies as you will want one set designed for flat screen presentations and another version for scope. This will get pricey quite fast. The artwork on the stock trailers on the other hand is designed so it will play either type of projection. If you have designed your artwork for 1.85, you will have to make a redesign for scope using a 1.33:1 frame but creating the art and the text somewhat compressed so that when it is expanded by the scope lens, it doesn't look distorted on the screen (the assumption is that if you are insisting on your own artwork design, you will want that artwork to look the same on the screen in both formats).

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Peter Mork
Expert Film Handler

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

 - posted 07-29-2004 01:10 PM      Profile for Peter Mork   Email Peter Mork   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Tim, thanks for the offer, I will write you.

Scott, the Frame Shop didn't return my emails. Doesn't mean they're no good, but I got tired of waiting. With Tim's kind offer I guess I won't pursue it.

Yes, have used off-the-shelf snipes from Pike Prod., which are bland but bland can be good. Last I checked they were only using acetate release stock, which I want to avoid since it just can't take the wear and tear of heavy use. Plus, I have a nice design ready to shoot (flat and scope versions of "now showing" "coming soon" and "starts Friday" next to a sepia-toned photo of the cinema).

Thanks guys. PM

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John Pytlak
Film God

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

 - posted 07-29-2004 01:14 PM      Profile for John Pytlak   Author's Homepage   Email John Pytlak   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Peter Mork
Last I checked they were only using acetate release stock
That would be very surprising, as all three film manufacturers only supply polyester base color print film. AFAIK, Pike Productions uses only Kodak VISION Color Print Films (ESTAR base), as does Filmack.

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Peter Mork
Expert Film Handler

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

 - posted 07-31-2004 03:09 PM      Profile for Peter Mork   Email Peter Mork   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well, turns out Tim could not do the job I needed, though I do appreciate the offer. So I am still open to suggestions.

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