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Crazy homemade film cleaner!


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19 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

What camera did it use? I just see him using modern mirrorless cameras to capture MPEG4's and deliver that way. 

Single-chip CCD I believe. That's what everything low-end used.

20 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

For the record, I have never once had a client who has  accepted MP4's for deliverables. I had one consumer client who wasn't a filmmaker not long ago and he wanted MP4. I delivered MOV's and he was so ecstatic how good they looked.

Ha, not surprising! There's way more dynamic range and colour density in GOOD film than people realise. What you can do (if your workflow allows) is deliver both Prores + h264/HEVC.

20 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Anyway, yea his "demo" of which showed him shooting the screen on his laptop, isn't very conclusive of anything. Clearly he doesn't have or understand editorial software, nor does he want to actually show the quality of what he makes, so nobody actually knows what he does.

Well he's been transferring home movies exactly the same way for 22 years, so what was standard 22 years ago (2002) he seems to think is still (or should still be) the acceptable standard today. That's why I mentioned Rank Cintel as doing that stuff "professionally" back in 2002 would have been impossible, and prohibitively expensive even if you did manage to find somewhere that could actually scan 8mm on a real scanner. The TVTs were just there to fill a gap in the market until the professional tech improved and came down in price to allow the "professional" market to properly expand into the Archive/Collection/Home Movie work.

Got Memories knows that their quality isn't great by today's standards. There's a video where that Phil guy admits it directly:

Once you go above $5,000 which is at the top-end of what some of those Elmos and TVT-HD units cost (as well as older Moviestuff units) there's very few people willing to spend the money. Especially while they're still getting work from customers paying $400+ per order at the moment. $400 is a lot of money for individuals, and for what they're spending they should be getting real professional work not work that was "acceptable" for their market back in 2002.

He's not doing any prep or cleaning prior to loading the film, he could at least attach Film-O-Cleans in-line but he hasn't. In fact we probably should have mentioned this way back with the first video and that horrible contraption! My guess is that he just would not want to deal the long threading paths and different process of professional scanners and having to actually build up onto the 400ft reels that he seems to detest dealing with, and that he just wants to get to retirement with the lest amount of expenditure on his ageing equipment as is necessary. Everything he's saying about 400ft reels in that other video, take note that he's putting them back onto plastic reels that look to be in good shape - is he also doing the same when customers send in rusted metal reels and putting the film back onto those? Probably, but he doesn't upload a video showing that.

20 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

There is a reason why I didn't start a transfer company before I had the FF. I could have with a projector and camera, but didn't because I don't like ripping people off. Decent quality or nothing for me. 

If you have access to a professional scanner you can make a DIY device that can come very close or even match the quality of the professional device, with the advancements in the tech it's relatively simple compared to complicated old devices. However when people build things or they have some of that lower-end tech most of the time they will never really see what they're missing if they don't know what a professional transfer would look like or if they don't have a good idea about how film should look.

As Joerg Polzfusz mentioned here, a lot of the assumptions that had been made 30+ years ago about "getting all the dynamic range out of the film" turned out to be incorrect. Here is an example: "In order to provide as much creative freedom in the digital world as is possible in optical printing, it is necessary to digitize the full range of the original negative film. This allows the digital data to be 'printed' up or down without compromise in post production. It also allows color grading decisions to be made in context with elements of the final composite. The full dynamic range of a motion picture negative film can be captured in a 2.0 density range."

Really the full dynamic range could be captured with 10-bit log by 1992? Note the information came directly from a professional transfer device manufacturer closely affiliated with Kodak, so a lot of that really old information came from "official sources" and from within the industry. If you had a time machine in 1992 and you could travel to 2024 and do a top-spec scan and then go back to 1992 and compare it, then you'd know that those old assumptions were incorrect - but they couldn't see it for themselves in the 90's because they didn't have the tech we have today.

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5 hours ago, Dan Baxter said:

but they couldn't see it for themselves in the 90's because they didn't have the tech we have today.

And there lies the problem. It's hard to really see eye to eye on any of these guys theories or ideas when they had very limited tech AND were recording back to film. Today we don't do that nearly as much and modern machines like the Cinevator, do an ok job even with not perfect files. Those blokes back then would be blown away how good stuff is today, they would have hung up their lab coats and started working on other stuff. LOL 😛

Still, those poor Elmo projectors being trashed like that, so sad. I can't imagine using them for this work, horrible. 

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8 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Those blokes back then would be blown away how good stuff is today, they would have hung up their lab coats and started working on other stuff. LOL 😛

Oh agreed. This is actually a 2015 re-enactment of the telecine process for television:

With plenty more information about it on the website here: https://www.adapttvhistory.org.uk/16mm/telecine/

11 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Still, those poor Elmo projectors being trashed like that, so sad. I can't imagine using them for this work, horrible. 

Well that really is all they could use back in the 1980's-1990's for the "home movie" market. Telecine prints for television were printed specially low-contrast so that those Rank-Cintel telecine machines like the one above could do a broadcast-quality job. The Elmo systems only had to be basic VHS quality.

Anyway, the market moves on. Maybe someone will see this thread who has "scanned" their home movies with Got Memories and will send you some for a re-scan. 😛

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On 7/6/2024 at 6:49 PM, Andrew Wise said:

I’ve seen this same thing, someone told me it was a wax they applied to the film after processing. But I’m not sure if they were guessing or speaking from first hand knowledge. 

Thanks, Andrew!  I certainly don't want to be damaging the film even though the intention is to carefully clean it.

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14 hours ago, Todd Ruel said:

Thanks, Andrew!  I certainly don't want to be damaging the film even though the intention is to carefully clean it.

If you're not pinching the film hard you're most likely not damaging it. The same thing happens on the buffer rollers on our Lipsner Smith cleaner, which is why we keep a couple extra sets of rollers around. I wouldn't sweat it. Alcohol is a safe and effective cleaner as long as you use the right kind and you're not rubbing the film hard. Just enough pressure to feel the film running through your fingers inside the wipe, and constant changing of position on that wipe, and you're good. 

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