How to archive a 16mm film of an RCA 501
rollerton at gmail.com
Sun Feb 4 02:36:47 CST 2007
(opps, sorry for the spelling goofs, hit send to quick)
On 2/4/07, Robert Ollerton <rollerton at gmail.com> wrote:
> I have a pretty large connection of family 16mm film dating from the
> early 30's up thru 1970, and have been busy with conservation projects for
> the past year.
> Acetate film that exhibits the "VS" symtoms will shrink over time and
> start to curl, in the extream the spacing and size of the sprocket holes
> will change and this will make it diffucult to impossible to project. A
> good projector can tollerate quite a bit of curling and still put on an
> acceptable show.
> There are many professional shops that will do a Telecine conversion of
> film to dvd (or tape if you perfer). Google. The going price is between
> .20 and .40 (usd) per foot. Cleani ng is ususally included. Fixing bad
> splices, torn sprocket holes, and replacing leader are usually extra
> charges. There was a boom in home film conversion to Tape about 20 years
> ago, most of this was at the local 1 hr photo place and pretty poorly done
> by projecting into a mirror and pointing a camcorder at it, if any of these
> fast shops are still around you probably want to avoid them.
> There are also places that will actually digitize the film frame by frame
> using a modified projector, camera and computer.
> If the film is acctualy yours then you would probably want to do some
> conservation in addition to getting it converted. There are some good web
> sites out there to get and education and some of the points have been
> mentioned already. In summary from what I have learned and use:
> - If it has signs of VS you need to segragate that film from all others as
> the acid vapors stimulate continued reaction in the reel and in any reels
> near it. Much like ripening fruit.
> - Store the reel in the open air. Don't keep it in a sealed can but
> rather where its in fresh clean air so the vapors can disapate. There are
> newer stable plastic storage cans that incorporate venting in their design.
> - The reaction is nearly stopped at cool & dry tempratures and accelerated
> with warm and moist conditions. I don't have the exact temprature (check
> Kodak web) but its around the low 40Fs as the optimal for long term
> - Clean the print, and then consider soaking it for a week or more in
> Filmrenew and then clean it a couple more times and let it dry for a week.
> This will do a lot to slow the damage, lube the film and will make it
> somewhat more flexible, Running the film thru a couple of passes on the
> rewinder is recommended to relax the film. Filmrenew is considered by many
> to be the most gentle and least toxic cleaner. It is a petro solvent,
> seemingly to me to be based on Naptha.
> - Remove any tape (scotch or masking) and its adheisive. Some solvents
> can be used for this but you want to make sure you remove all traces of this
> before you store the film. check both ends of the film for wrong tape.
> Note that on acetate film the usual splice was with cement, but later film
> was not acetate and they used a special tape splice. Your film may have
> tape splices, as long as its the right tape its ok to leave them although
> some will say to replace them with cement splices for permenance. Film
> conservation has its differing opinions too.
> - Wind the film firmly but not tightly onto its reel (prefer metal reel)
> and make sure the film is even on the sides with nothing sticking up that
> could get piched or bent over. Once its on the reel, dont pull on the film
> to tighten it as this will drag it over itself and perhaps scratch
> - Kodak sells a product called a "Micro Sieve" which is a fabric bag
> filled with an absorbant chemical that can be placed between the reel and
> its storage can to absorbe the acid vapors and moisture. Check the Kodak
> web. This may be over the top for most VS problems.
> If you clean, and air it out, and keep it cool and dry it will probably go
> another 20+ years and still be projectable.
> I would be happy to talk with you more about this off the list if you
> On 2/3/07, Bob Rosenbloom <bobalan at sbcglobal.net> wrote:
> > Thanks for all the suggestions. This film definitely needs professional
> > attention and may be too far gone to save, but I will try.
> > I've contacted the National Film Preservation board, and also SMPTE for
> > their ideas., but would still be interested in talking to others. Jim,
> > please contact your film editor and have him contact me, I get down to
> > LA all the time so could bring the film down there to have someone
> > evaluate it if I can't find someone local.
> > One problem is I don't know what the film actually contains, if it's
> > really interesting at all. It needs to be viewed, even if it's one frame
> > at a time on a Movieola type machine, to see what it's actually about.
> > Could be just an ad for RCA that mentions the 501, but with the label
> > "RCA 501 demonstration" on the cover it's sure worth a look.
> > Bob
> > National Film Preservation Board
> > jim wrote:
> > > Richard wrote:
> > >
> > >> In article < Pine.GSO.4.55.0702022327210.8730 at helios.cs.csubak.edu>,
> > >> David Griffith <dgriffi at cs.csubak.edu > writes:
> > >>
> > >>
> > >>
> > >
> > >
> > > I have a film editor who works for NBC in los angeles. If you would
> > > like for
> > > me to contact him, I'll do so and connect you to him. He also
> > > collects film
> > > industry memorabilia, and probably can connect you with someone who
> > can
> > > restore nitrate substrate film. This should be done asap, as it may
> > > already
> > > be too far gone to be restored if it is putting off acetic acid
> > > fumes. this is
> > > just one component of decaying substrate, and is the one which erases
> > the
> > > image from the film.
> > >
> > > Remember, the image is not a dye image totally but may contain silver
> > > which
> > > is very reactive, and having acid fumes present from decaying
> > > substrate doesn't
> > > make for a long time line to act to save it.
> > >
> > > jim
> > >
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