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Don't scan your films backwards!


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Posted (edited)

Some films were produced backwards due to playing in coin operated machines. But this film is a home movie and scanned by so called pros...the AV-Geeks for the Prelinger Archives in Frisco.

@ 2.47mark - see writing on circus truck.

Home movie: 000537-2: 1920s wealthy family circus trip and recreation : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

Just in case it gets fixed...

Screenshot%2005-21-2024%2013.30.14.jpg

You would think that with the Geeks and Prelinger, someone would take a peek at it. The only person I have to check my work is me. And moving on in the 70's , my eyes are not as good as they once were. So, I don't see much excuse for doing shitty work with lots of eyeballs on the job. It is the same with all these movies the kids make that you can't understand the audio or see the action because it is too dark...goddamn...what a mess!

I had contacted the AV-Geeks years ago to try and buy scans of some of their films they scanned in hi-res. From what I understand the Internet Archive had bought them a Lasergraphics scanner. Geeks asked me what I would do with it the material. I told them I was an Archive, and that was it. No more replies from them. That is how it goes with most Archives...shit to deal with.

My Archive is one of the best in the world with regards to access, diverse content and high digital quality. It is modeled after the old Getty Museum Open Content Archive. (Before they went downhill.) The diversity of my Archive is very high - one of the highest in the world. That is due to the fact that there is no prejudice in my collection work and my interests are extremely diverse. It is not that I don't have personal prejudice, it is not that I am a DEI freak...it is that I check any prejudices at the door when it comes to collecting and preservation.

In fact...if I hate a person, place or thing...I archive them better, so I can learn more about the subject.

 

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Japanese%20Collotypes%20Colection%20D.D.

Selection from Japanese Collotype Collection 

Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Archival Collection
Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Small Gauge Film Archive
Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Advertising Archive
Daniel D. Teoli Jr. VHS Video Archive
Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Popular Culture Archive
Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Audio Archive
Daniel D. Teoli Jr. Social Documentary Photography

Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.
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What happened I wonder. Were they expedient, unthorough and :-

failed to check the wind of the film before scanning?

flipped the film to scan though the base to avoid false triggers from splices or avoid an eroded emulsion surface which was defeating the triggering system then forgot to flip the image in their post work?

Things happen like somebody interrupting for advice and distracting the operator from task.

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On 5/21/2024 at 2:44 PM, Robert Hart said:

What happened I wonder. Were they expedient, unthorough and :-

failed to check the wind of the film before scanning?

flipped the film to scan though the base to avoid false triggers from splices or avoid an eroded emulsion surface which was defeating the triggering system then forgot to flip the image in their post work?

Things happen like somebody interrupting for advice and distracting the operator from task.

This happens especially with older 16mm films, especially 2R 16mm films, which were spliced together by a enthusiast filmmaker at the time they were shot.

Sometimes it is better to leave the film assembled as it is and scan it than to try to take apart cement splices from the 1940's for example.

Furthermore not every family archive wants to pay for a extensive restoration, sometimes there will be backwards segments in assembled films and that is how they have been for decades.

So as the lab or post house you can go through the films and spend allot of bench time to undo hot splices (if possible) and reverse segments and make a scan reel that is all correct.

Sometimes you end up scanning the reel as it is with issues and then fix the backwards or upside down segments in Resolve or Phoenix after the scan.

Or sometimes the job requirement is to just scan as it is and deliver it to the client and they can edit it.

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Posted (edited)

This isn't really a big deal, to be honest, and certainly isn't a sign that the people who scanned it are incompetent as is being implied here.

We see this a lot - mostly with double perf film like Rob says. You spot check the film to ensure you have the right wind, but sometimes the heads and tails are flipped from the rest of the film, because someone added new titles or leader and did it backwards, or cut a shot out and then spliced it back in with the wrong wind.

You can't look at every inch of the film before you scan it, and if someone flipped something, there's nothing you can really do about it if they used cement splices. It's trivially easy to digitally flip a shot in any edit system - you literally click a button and it's done. This is something you just fix in post. 

Sometimes it's best not to guess either. There are times it's intentional (we do a lot of film for artists and have seen some, um, nonstandard thing).

I can't tell you how many films we see where they ran out of black slug and used whatever random old print was kicking around as filler. The filmmaker knew it was temporary but that was 40 years ago and it never got replaced. These things happen. 

Edited by Perry Paolantonio
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QUOTE Perry Paolantonio: "I can't tell you how many films we see where they ran out of black slug and used whatever random old print was kicking around as filler." 
 

Yes. I am guilty as charged. Some of my archive has inserts of what we called out here "junk spacer" which were out-takes from commercials or faulty prints. It was filling in gaps where a double system sound track remained entire, later to have cutaways, titles or archive footage inserted. 

Modern digital NLEs have certainly made life so much easier.

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I have two entire 3-400' rolls of junk film harvested from lab leaders from the 90s. Some of them are pretty good fragments of comopt prints in various languages. On shows they're great for running on the Steenbeck when the image is going to be replaced by a plate anyway. Some are pretty entertaining as well. One has Michael Eisner, Gerald Ford and Henry Kissinger- I've never tracked down the show.

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