Clamping Long Prints

A recommendation for moving 3+ hour prints.

What to do when it comes time to move the latest Titanic sized Costner flick that won't fit in the print moving clamps?  Many operators break down the last 3 reels onto a house reel.  Others move the entire platter deck.  Some just pick the print up without clamps.  (Note:  we do not advocate the third option!)

For booths where the platter model does not allow convenient moving of the entire print deck and time to do a partial break down and re-build up is not possible...we recommend the following clamping techniques.

First, tape the tail end of the film down.  Always do this regardless of the length of the film.

Second, insert the long end of a film clamp.  Try and NOT angle the clamp down, but use your left hand (as shown) to gently push in and "lift up" to allow the clamp to slide in easily.

Third, insert the short end of the clamp.  With platters having fixed center pieces such as this one, this can be difficult to do without a little scratching of the platter deck, so be careful.  A scratched platter surface will cause the film to snag on the abrasions, swing the feed arm into the full speed position and can toss a print.

Next, take another long clamp and slide in over the short clamp.
This will allow the two long clamps to overlap underneath the print.

Then tighten the locking knob THOROUGHLY.
You don't want those clamps coming loose during the move!

Finally, repeat with 3 more in the same manner.  Always use clamps in increments of 2s.  This allows two people to get on exact opposite sides of the print and pick it up with their arm directly under a clamp.  Using 3 clamps does not allow this and can cause a print to collapse.

Note:  using the second long clamp on prints of typical length is not necessary, but with a long print such as this one, the bottom of the two clamps do NOT meet and there is the capability for that section to "fall out" and onto the floor during a move.  This is why we recommend using two long clamps in the manner as shown above.