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Any new developments with the FilmFabriek HDS+?


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9 hours ago, Andrew Wise said:

You realise the length of the film path was designed that way for the wetgate right? Or was did you think it was another terrible design fault? 

Yes, I was just saying it's a pain for home movie clients because the path was so long. You can't just "thread up" a roll of film, it's impossible 

9 hours ago, Andrew Wise said:

I keep a long length of leader on my 1200ft Elmo reels ready for the scanner. The leader is not an issue.

It's a huge issue. 

Is anyone giving you 1200ft rolls of 8mm film? Who is doing the labor of going through every single 50ft roll of film and splicing them together? The leader is only 1/20th of the problem, but it IS one of the problems that kills the ability to just scan 8mm film, unlike 16mm which generally has lengthy leader already on it. 

We actually paper tape leader onto our super 8 runs if they don't have long enough leader, it actually works well. 

9 hours ago, Andrew Wise said:

the Pictor cannot scan as fast while using the wetgate due to the short film path, only about 1/3rd the speed. Although I have thought about adding a little arm bolted on the table with another roller on it to extend the film path to assist with drying. 

But are you actually wet gating 8mm film for every roll? 

9 hours ago, Andrew Wise said:

I’m charging more than others scanning home movies, and my customers are very happy with how they look. I hate the whole numbers game you constantly play making it sound you’re incredibly busy at top of your game, but I’ll participate- I’ve paid off my HDS in less than 12 months only scanning home movies, charging 60-80c per ft.

Oh gosh, ours has been paid off for a while and we also took 1/2 of the profits to keep our lights on. We actually paid for nearly the entire scanner on a single job, all camera negative. No cleaning, no assembly nada. Just thread it up, run it off, do the next roll. No wet gate slowness, we ran the entire job at 10 - 12fps in 4k, it was amazing. We actually bought the scanner to do that job and it's an award winning documentary filmmakers new movie. Our 2nd job was another documentary feature, that covered the rest of our payment. So within a few months, we had the thing paid off charging around .30/ft for 4k super 16 scans. That's considered a "reasonable" rate here in Hollywood. Some people are under that actually. So the idea you can charge home movie people .80/ft just blows my mind away. I also don't even need to advertise, the scanner makes money from all the commercial stuff me and my friends shoot, which is a pretty regular stream. I'm not setup for consumers, only industry clients who like the smaller boutique house experience. 

9 hours ago, Andrew Wise said:

What archives are projecting old home movies? Statements like this make it sound like you’re too good for home movies, it’s bottomfeeder business. 

I again, do not do home movies. I did one small personal library of 50 x100ft rolls of 16mm Kodachrome, Ektachrome and B&W reversal. It was a total nightmare (though fun), the film was warped, it was scratched to shit, so it all needed wet gate running. Took way too much time and reality is, had I charged .80/ft, the client wouldn't have even bothered scanning. We got the job because it was a friend of a friend and he was going to throw it all away and we negotiated so at least it would be saved properly. 

The bulk of our archival work is actual libraries. Mostly prints of films that are long gone, were we scan picture and sound from 16mm prints. We run the film twice, once with wet gate and once for audio. 

But as I said above, most of our work is 16mm. 8mm home movies are a different business model. If it works for your, great! 

9 hours ago, Andrew Wise said:


I don’t know why I keep replying to these stupid comments, but I guess on this forum it’s who has the most contribution points hey 

It's funny you think our business and my comments are stupid. You don't even work in our business. Your clients are fine with a camcorder shooting the film being projected on a wall. They just want to see something. My clients are working on stuff seen on broadcast TV, theatrical, streaming platforms, etc. I've done half million dollar commercials on our system and we're doing a multi-million dollar feature right now. So we're not even on the same planet. My shit has to be perfect, or they won't come back. I don't NEED the business, but I like being involved in these jobs, where we shoot, process, scan and color the products, it's really good money for very little work. 

Edited by Tyler Purcell
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On 12/19/2022 at 8:19 AM, Andrew Wise said:

But just looking at the price, would one say it’s about half the cost of an Lasergraphics archivist (happy to be corrected, I’m not 100% sure on the price)

The pre-pandemic prices were €30K for the HDS+ which is supplied without a host computer, and USD $40-60K for the Archivist depending on the options with a host computer. So yeah, once you add all the sound heads, both gates, etc etc it gets pricier, but most 8mm film is silent, so if it's for 8mm the price is similar. That said, the resolution is also lower - the advertised 2.5K resolution for 8mm on it will have tons of overscan, even the ScanStation only gets about 3K horizontal resolution for 8mm I think when you use "6.5K" there's just that much beyond the image area in the overscan you need to crop.

  

1 hour ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Yes, I was just saying it's a pain for home movie clients because the path was so long. You can't just "thread up" a roll of film, it's impossible 

Well you CAN and believe me people will do it - it'll result in loss of frames. However you're overstating this: you need to clean the film first anyway unless you want to give someone a scan that has dirt all through it, so you can add leader to each side at the same time you do that - or just build up to whatever the maximum length of the scanner is and break-down afterwards.

1 hour ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Your clients are fine with a camcorder shooting the film being projected on a wall.

No they're not, one of my mates has re-scanned home movies that were transferred that way. You're right though that many of them may tolerate Retroscan transfers.

1 hour ago, Tyler Purcell said:

My clients are working on stuff seen on broadcast TV, theatrical, streaming platforms, etc. I've done half million dollar commercials on our system and we're doing a multi-million dollar feature right now. So we're not even on the same planet.

Yeah that's right, the home movie client might tolerate you dropping frames, or even scratching/damaging film as they probably won't know, but no professional client would tolerate either of those things.

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4 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

So the idea you can charge home movie people .80/ft just blows my mind away

Prepare to have your mind blown: $.80/ft is pretty much the same as you're charging. Let me help you with the math:

16mm: 40 frames per foot at $.30 = $.0075/frame (this price is well below market, by the way, assuming it's 4k)

8mm: 80 frames per foot at $.80 = $.01/frame

Take a look around and you'll find that some places are charging more than $2/ foot for super 8 scans. 

4 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

It's funny you think our business and my comments are stupid. You don't even work in our business. Your clients are fine with a camcorder shooting the film being projected on a wall. They just want to see something. My clients are working on stuff seen on broadcast TV, theatrical, streaming platforms, etc.

Hold on a minute, Tyler. First off, you need to check your arrogance here. Film is film and just because you sometimes work with clients who have bigger budgets doesn't make that work more important than any other client's film.

While a relatively small percentage of the film we scan is home movies, we treat those films with the same respect as we do films coming from world renowned museums and film archives. It doesn't matter if you send us a 35mm camera original cut neg, a truckload of outtakes from a documentary, or your great aunt's 8mm films from the 50's. They are all equal, and we handle them all with the same care, regardless of the gauge or content. Your idea that someone's home movies aren't as important and that the customer "just wants to see something" is not only misreading the market, it is, quite frankly, offensive. 

For what it's worth, almost all of the home movies we scan are done at 4k, with HDR. And that work is done on a proper archival film scanner. We scan everything from a single 50' roll someone found in a closet to 20,000' collections of film shot over decades. All of these customers come to us with one request: they want the best possible quality, and they are always happy with what they get back. You should see some of the emails I get from people who have seen dead relatives for the first time in 40 years and are able to print high res still images from the scans because they were 4k. People care about quality.

Of course you're going to have some people who don't want to spend money and there will always be bottom feeder services to cater to them. They'll send their film to Kodak Digitizing Services, or Legacy Box or some other similar high-volume, low quality service, or bring it to Walgreens or Walmart (who sends it to one of them, we're pretty sure), or they'll buy a Wolverine or some clone. But many of them will end up having it properly rescanned (we do this all the time), because what you get from those services is terrible. 

You are demonstrating that you have no knowledge of the market you so readily disparage and it's clear you're basing your assertions on assumptions, not data. You've only done one home movie job, by your own admission. You are not qualified to speak to that market and its dynamics. Trust me on this, you're 100% wrong in your assessment of what the home movie scanning market is like. 

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On 12/18/2022 at 6:18 AM, Dan Baxter said:

You're supposed to clean the PTRs between every full reel that goes through them, that's the problem with PTRs.

I'm breaking my rule and responding to Dan because this is misleading. Cleaning PTRs is not a big deal and it's not time consuming.

Residue picked up from one pass is removed by running a bit of high quality adhesive tape over the roller. Kodak sells overpriced tape for this purpose, but good packing tape works fine. This should be done after each reel, and it takes all of 10 seconds. It will remove all dust residue but will not remove oils left behind by the fools who treated their prints with god knows what (for that you have to clean with soapy water - see below). Additionally, for some smaller gauges, and depending on your scanner, you can simply flip the PTR roller around because the film will be in contact with a different part of the roller. This lets you get two scanning passes in, before you have to waste half a minute cleaning a couple rollers. 

The PTRs should be rinsed with lukewarm water, and oil removed with some kind of mild detergent (like dish soap), then air dried. We use a half sheet pan and cooling rack from a restaurant supply store and the rollers are typically dry in 20 minutes. If you have multiple sets of rollers and you feel they need a more thorough cleaning between reels, you can rotate sets of rollers out while one is drying. 

The above methods were recommended by @John Pytlak RIP - who developed PTR-based cleaning systems at Kodak, and absolutely knew what he was talking about.

Edited by Perry Paolantonio
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19 minutes ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

While a relatively small percentage of the film we scan is home movies, we treat those films with the same respect as we do films coming from world renowned museums and film archives. It doesn't matter if you send us a 35mm camera original cut neg, a truckload of outtakes from a documentary, or your great aunt's 8mm films from the 50's. They are all equal, and we handle them all with the same care, regardless of the gauge or content. Your idea that someone's home movies aren't as important and that the customer "just wants to see something" is not only misreading the market, it is, quite frankly, offensive. 

See we do agree on something, although I wouldn't use the word "offensive" I'd just say it may demonstrate the difficulty those customers face. However it's long been the case the post-production scanning houses only cater to one type of client. FWIW I do not share your view that Tyler is "arrogant". Stubborn perhaps, but not arrogant.

5 minutes ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

I'm breaking my rule and responding to Dan because this is misleading. Cleaning PTRs is not a big deal and it's not time consuming.

This is all well and good, but the guys I know with ScanStations like yours don't use the PTRs, they bypass them, which the scanner is designed to allow. They clean the film first, so PTRs don't really help especially at 7fps or faster. Let's call a spade a spade here - if you're putting film that hasn't been cleaned on it you're probably doing an "evaluation scan" so running at 30-60fps to see what's on the film and you don't need PTRs for that. Maybe if you have to slow down to 2fps you may want to use them to remove ambient dust collected.

FYI I could point out stuff you've said that's misleading like microscaning taking just two exposures. Microscanning was developed for scientific imaging not film scanning, it only works with monochrome cameras, and to make the matrix with the sub-pixel imager shift takes nine exposures to get to 3x the resolution (or four exposure to get to twice the resolution as used in some film scanners). So you take a 1.3K imager, 9 exposures, it's now 4K. Film scanners that do this so far as I know started with 2K-3K imagers and did only 4 shifts at incredibly high speeds. If you did it with Bayer, well:

BG
GR

Would become:

BBGG
BBGG
GGRR
GGRR

So it wouldn't work. So to correct you: if a Director is doing microscanning and 3-flash HDR on colour film it's 36 total exposures and the damage matte would add either 1 or 4 extra exposures (I'm not sure whether it would be microscanned but a 1-bit damage matte definitely does not have HDR exposures). Assuming it is microscanned though, an assumption, that's a total of FORTY exposures per frame.

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12 minutes ago, Dan Baxter said:

This is all well and good, but the guys I know with ScanStations like yours don't use the PTRs, they bypass them, which the scanner is designed to allow. They clean the film first, so PTRs don't really help especially at 7fps or faster.

Not all film can, or should, be cleaned. Especially with delicate film you want to minimize the handling of that film so a cleaning pass (whether it's manual or machine cleaned) is an extra step. Sometimes it's best to just get it on the machine and do the scan, then cleanup can be done digitally if necessary. 

You make a big deal about dust in the room. I'm not sure what kind of environment your friends are working in, but we have a standard office with a standard HVAC system. We keep it clean. There isn't much dust floating around, and we use the PTRs on every scan, except when the film is so delicate that the additional contact might harm it, or if the film was treated with something that we can't clean off (because it mucks up the PTRs).

We use our film cleaner when the client requests it, or after we've had to handle negative on the rewind bench. Many archives have pretty strict policies about not putting film through cleaners. Some film archives that scan in-house will require the client to sign a waiver before they clean the film (I think this is a little paranoid, but it is what it is). Cleaning isn't always an option. 

17 minutes ago, Dan Baxter said:

FYI I could point out stuff you've said that's misleading like microscaning taking just two exposures.

You are correct. Minimum of 4 exposures. It's been a while since I worked with a pixelshift camera. I don't know what you're talking about regarding Bayer sensors. I never said anything about pixelshift with those. I was only talking about it in the context of the Lasergraphics Director, which uses a mono camera. 

And now, back to ignoring you. 

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1 hour ago, Dan Baxter said:

FYI I could point out stuff you've said that's misleading like microscaning taking just two exposures. Microscanning was developed for scientific imaging not film scanning, it only works with monochrome cameras, and to make the matrix with the sub-pixel imager shift takes nine exposures to get to 3x the resolution (or four exposure to get to twice the resolution as used in some film scanners). So you take a 1.3K imager, 9 exposures, it's now 4K. Film scanners that do this so far as I know started with 2K-3K imagers and did only 4 shifts at incredibly high speeds.

The Arriscan was the first microscanning application to film scanning and it is one microscanning step per color.

So for 3K it is R,G,B +IR for 6K it is R,G,B +IR (step) R,G,B +IR

And for 3K HDR it is R,G,B - R,G,B + IR and 6K HDR R,G,B - R,G,B +IR (step) R,G,B - R,G,B +IR

So 14 exposures per frame max in 6K HDR and it runs at about 1.6 FPS in this mode with IR (and that is hardly used)

The ALEV Mono sensor in the Arriscan is shifted in both X and Y for the microscan

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9 minutes ago, Robert Houllahan said:

The ALEV Mono sensor in the Arriscan is shifted in both X and Y for the microscan

interesting. The Vieworks cameras and most of the DSLR cameras do more shifts. I wonder if (for the DSLRs) it's to overcome bayer issues? The Vieworks we were going to use in sasquatch originally is a mono camera, and does either 1x, 4x, or 9x shots per frame. The pixelshift in that camera is 0.5 pixels distance, but I see that some (many) of the DSLR cameras do a full pixel. 

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Just now, Perry Paolantonio said:

interesting. The Vieworks cameras and most of the DSLR cameras do more shifts. I wonder if (for the DSLRs) it's to overcome bayer issues? The Vieworks we were going to use in sasquatch originally is a mono camera, and does either 1x, 4x, or 9x shots per frame. The pixelshift in that camera is 0.5 pixels distance, but I see that some (many) of the DSLR cameras do a full pixel. 

Yeah I have one of those VieWorks too but Rennie found it to be complex to integrate into the Xena especially for the speed.

I think the Arri (and probably the director?) do a single 1 pixel X-Y shift per microscan.

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31 minutes ago, Robert Houllahan said:

Yeah I have one of those VieWorks too but Rennie found it to be complex to integrate into the Xena especially for the speed.

 

Yeah you had to use a Matrox capture board and drivers. While the boards are readily available, cheap, you can't buy the drivers easily and they're insanely expensive. So we ditched it. I was able to get a non-pixelshift capture going with a much nicer NI cameralink board, but they couldn't provide me with instructions for making the pixelshift work with that card and its software, so I ended up abandoning it. One more thing I need to get rid of!

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3 hours ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

Hold on a minute, Tyler. First off, you need to check your arrogance here. Film is film and just because you sometimes work with clients who have bigger budgets doesn't make that work more important than any other client's film.

If you're charging full restoration prices, you're right, it doesn't matter. 

The problem is clients not willing to pay restoration prices. 

There is a moment where as a business person, you have to look at the complexity associated with certain jobs and either take or walk. With 8mm style home movies, there are so many issues that come up in prep and even during the scan, that it just makes it far more challenging than it's worth for the money. 

Oh and yes, I have scanned plenty of 8mm and S8mm movies for friends and family, they don't count because there was no money involved and they were purely passion restoration projects. So I do have experience dealing with fragile, poorly stored 8mm home movies. 

3 hours ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

While a relatively small percentage of the film we scan is home movies, we treat those films with the same respect as we do films coming from world renowned museums and film archives.

Well yea of course, that IS the problem. Everything has to be treated with "kid gloves", like a restoration job. 

3 hours ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

Your idea that someone's home movies aren't as important and that the customer "just wants to see something" is not only misreading the market, it is, quite frankly, offensive. 

No, my idea is that consumers, not restoration clients, don't really care. You think they do because they send you nice messages, Had you run that film off on a 5 blade projector and a decent 4k camera, they would have still sent you accolades. The thing is, you actually don't understand the home movie market. Are you even on the Facebook groups? Do you actually listen to them talk? Have you seen their home brew projectors that they've re-motorized so they can do frame by frame capture? They go to all that effort just to capture their home movies since they can't afford to pay anyone. Those are "home movie" people. It's their families archive, decades of film and they don't have $4000 to properly scan them. 

Why do you think the shitty shops are in business using Wolverines? There are dozens of them nation wide and I know many owners myself thanks to Facebook and they charge pennies on the dollar and clients are obviously happy enough! 

Just because you randomly get rich people to send you home movie stuff and pay top dollar, doesn't mean that is the market. I too have worked with rich people sending me their archives (16mm) of finished films they shot. It's lovely because they actually care. 

It has nothing to do with the importance of the content, it has to do with the type of client and how much they care about their content, IE: how much are they willing to pay to get it done right. 

If the client treats their box of film like a library restoration, where we'll wet gate every frame, use cleanup tools to stabilize and clean in post, then charge them for such work, then it's fine. I will gladly take those jobs for $2.00 a foot. 

We just can't run a business when we have to stare at the scanner at 3fps (the fastest you can run with a wet gate) waiting for the film to break due to fragility (another issue the HDS+ has). It's 3x the amount of work and again, the clients generally have no idea what they're talking about and would be fine with a 5 blade projector shot from a screen with a 4k camera. As you said, all they want to see is their dead relatives. 

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3 hours ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

Prepare to have your mind blown: $.80/ft is pretty much the same as you're charging. Let me help you with the math:

16mm: 40 frames per foot at $.30 = $.0075/frame (this price is well below market, by the way, assuming it's 4k)

8mm: 80 frames per foot at $.80 = $.01/frame

Take a look around and you'll find that some places are charging more than $2/ foot for super 8 scans. 

The difference is that my OCN scans don't need to be wet gated or babysitted. 

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8 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

If you're charging full restoration prices, you're right, it doesn't matter. 

Huh? We're not really charging any more than most services offering the same level of quality,

 

8 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

The problem is clients not willing to pay restoration prices. 

No, it's not. 

 

8 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

With 8mm style home movies, there are so many issues that come up in prep and even during the scan, that it just makes it far more challenging than it's worth for the money

No, there aren't. I have no idea what you're talking about. We've scanned nearly 750,000' of 8/S8 film in our ScanStation. All of that had to be prepped by us. It's simply not the big deal you're making it out to be. 

 

11 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Well yea of course, that IS the problem. Everything has to be treated with "kid gloves", like a restoration job. 

No, it doesn't. It needs to be handled carefully but there's nothing special about working with small gauge film. It's just ...smaller. 

 

12 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

No, my idea is that consumers, not restoration clients, don't really care. You think they do because they send you nice messages, Had you run that film off on a 5 blade projector and a decent 4k camera, they would have still sent you accolades. The thing is, you actually don't understand the home movie market. Are you even on the Facebook groups? Do you actually listen to them talk?

Haha. ok, whatever you say. Yeah I'm on those groups, and active. Which you'd know. And we've gotten a lot of work out of my posts on those groups. Once people know what's possible, they're willing to pay a little more to do it right. And FWIW, even at the prices Andew is charging, it would be profitable on our scanstation. 

But I bow to your superior knowledge of the film scanning market. I guess my 30 years of industry experience and 22 years of being in business was all a waste because I clearly have learned nothing.

 

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9 hours ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

Huh? We're not really charging any more than most services offering the same level of quality,

Oh so you prep, clean, wet gate and post cleanup every roll you scan? I've never heard of such a thing. 

So you'd charge me the same rate if I send you a brand new cleaned, prepped roll of color negative per foot, then you would for old home movies? 

9 hours ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

No, there aren't. I have no idea what you're talking about. We've scanned nearly 750,000' of 8/S8 film in our ScanStation. All of that had to be prepped by us. It's simply not the big deal you're making it out to be. 

So you've never had brittle film, with bad splices and cracked perfs? 

Heck, we've gotten 16mm libraries where the film is so brittle and warped, ya get a few feet of scanning before something breaks, either a failed splice or even a section of perfs just missing. 

The one 50 roll 16mm restoration job we did, which added up to be around 4200 - 4400 feet total, required days of prep work. The client wanted all the film back on the daylight spools in back in the original boxes. So we had to label the spools, boxes AND figure out a fool proof method to identify each roll. The wet gate clears off any writing on leader, so our first step was to create little sections of leader with etched markings to identify the rolls. Then we built the transfer reels. Wet gated the film at 3fps. We had to re-do several sections because the exposure was all over the place on some rolls. Then we rewound each roll back onto it's daylight spools and returned the film back to the client as he requested. 

This work is about the same I've had on my friends home movie rolls as well. They all wanted the film back in the original boxes, though what reel they go on, didn't matter.

So my experiences are different then yours. Again, it's not my business. 

9 hours ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

No, it doesn't. It needs to be handled carefully but there's nothing special about working with small gauge film. It's just ...smaller. 

Totally different planet, you're the only person who thinks this way. 

9 hours ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

Haha. ok, whatever you say. Yeah I'm on those groups, and active. Which you'd know. And we've gotten a lot of work out of my posts on those groups. Once people know what's possible, they're willing to pay a little more to do it right. And FWIW, even at the prices Andew is charging, it would be profitable on our scanstation. 

Yea, if you're scanning fast and doing no restoration work. 

So how do you deal with scratched up film? Just deliver it back to the client as is? 

9 hours ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

But I bow to your superior knowledge of the film scanning market. I guess my 30 years of industry experience and 22 years of being in business was all a waste because I clearly have learned nothing.

Sure, but I've been needing scanning services for over 25 years. So as a consumer and someone who lives/works in Hollywood, it's all about bottom line. 

If I were to hazard a guess, the reason you've been successful is because you got a few contract jobs very early on, which helped guarantee you a consistent nut. You bragged about doing 750k feet of home movie stuff from one batch. That's not a grandson dropping off a box of home movies, you're talking about a huge contract job. At the same time, who the F is going to ship that much film across the country or for that matter, around the world? You're talking pallets worth of film. So it's probably a local job if I were to hazard a guess. 

All of the archives on the west coast have their own scanners. In fact, the UCLA archive has it's own photochemical machines as well. So the idea they'd "sub out" any of this kind of work, just doesn't happen. The luck you needed to have in order to secure a contract with a company that doesn't have a scanner, blows my mind away. 

So no, we are not in the same business at all. Not even remotely close. We both touch film, but it's apples to oranges. We work directly with kodak and the labs to provide high speed, fast turn around results for professional productions. Where we have done plenty of restoration work, even attempting to secure the type of contracts you're referring to, just don't exist here.

For the record, I'm friends with many archives up and down the coasts, they all have their own staff and machines. Finding an archive that has the funding and hasn't already been scanned or who doesn't have their own machine, is not easy, we've tried. In fact, there are people lurkers reading this right now, who have tried as well. 

I don't shun 8mm home movie stuff, work is work, but to classify it as "identical" to freshly shot and cleaned 16mm or 35mm color negative is asinine. 


 

Edited by Tyler Purcell
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I lurk and hope to pick up a bit of knowledge along the way. 

Meanwhile, thanks to a few folk here, in the private messages and on the Resolve forum, I am making some progress on the learning curve. This clip does have some jitters but it is mostly in the actual print from negative done some 40 or more years ago when 16mm film was still the go for news and current affairs. 

If anyone has invented a wet-gate for the Retroscan Universal Mark II, I am all ears. It could be doable by re-routing the path through the existing rollers, with hollow pillars through the tank for mounting to the existing guide threads and working out a way to project the light pin through the fluid or if the lightpin itself can swim without harm. 
 

 

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10 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Why do you think the shitty shops are in business using Wolverines? There are dozens of them nation wide and I know many owners myself thanks to Facebook and they charge pennies on the dollar and clients are obviously happy enough! 

It's because their customers don't know where else to go, and those places are masters of the grift. Also they're run by people (the "mom and pop" crowd) that would be too frightened to invest in something that costs $40K or more, even $12K is expensive to them. On top of all that they may even genuinely believe the quality is professional. Roger Evans consistently feeds them this story, he refuses to acknowledge Filmfabriek as his real competitor for the home movie market (or Kinetta that has I believe a similarly priced scanner for 16/8), and instead consistently tells them (incorrectly) that the Lsaergraphics ScanStation is $250,000 giving them the impression that they have no better option if they can't afford that.

By the way - there are "home movie" people who do spend $13,000+ buying brand new Moviestuff Retroscans just to scan their own family archives, including just for 8mm. The reason they buy them is because they don't know Filmfabriek exists - it's a Dutch company and not exactly a household name, but the Pictor appears to be aimed at them.

10 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

We just can't run a business when we have to stare at the scanner at 3fps (the fastest you can run with a wet gate) waiting for the film to break due to fragility (another issue the HDS+ has). It's 3x the amount of work and again, the clients generally have no idea what they're talking about and would be fine with a 5 blade projector shot from a screen with a 4k camera. As you said, all they want to see is their dead relatives. 

If it's about drying time, why not try adding "air knives" to dry the film? That's how the film gets dried with actual wetgate systems.

14 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

The difference is that my OCN scans don't need to be wet gated or babysitted. 

Well that's another important difference between a Filmfabriek and a Lasergraphics. If a splice opens on a LG the scanner halts and alerts the operator "hey come and fix this before you continue". As far as I'm aware you don't need to babysit them and you can multitask.

4 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Oh so you prep, clean, wet gate and post cleanup every roll you scan? I've never heard of such a thing.

I have it's called archival scanning.

4 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

So you'd charge me the same rate if I send you a brand new cleaned, prepped roll of color negative per foot, then you would for old home movies? 

I obviously can't speak for Perry, but the way it works with some places that specialise in archival scanning is they might have a standard price say something around .80/ft for 16mm that covers everything: cleaning, minor repairs, and 2K scanning including a simple "wetgate" if required with isopropyl or film-guard (or whichever chemical they choose to use) and/or a damage matte (with 4K being extra, but 2K RGB is above UHD for 16mm as it is). If a company is set up for archive scanning then of course they can charge less for dailies and make it profitable. Archives might have scanners, but they don't have perc converted ultrasonic cleaners so just cleaning the really filthy film is going to take them forever, even ultrasonics can't do dirty dirty film in just one pass.

5 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

For the record, I'm friends with many archives up and down the coasts, they all have their own staff and machines. Finding an archive that has the funding and hasn't already been scanned or who doesn't have their own machine, is not easy, we've tried. In fact, there are people lurkers reading this right now, who have tried as well. 

You don't have an RGB scanner though. You'd need a better scanning system than what the archive has available to purchase for themselves.

3 hours ago, Robert Hart said:

If anyone has invented a wet-gate for the Retroscan Universal Mark II, I am all ears. It could be doable by re-routing the path through the existing rollers, with hollow pillars through the tank for mounting to the existing guide threads and working out a way to project the light pin through the fluid or if the lightpin itself can swim without harm. 

Yeah that's been done. Which version do you have - there's two?

RUMkII-v1.0.thumb.jpg.e9d737fa0e0a0f924e823f76de490ea2.jpg142759924_mark_ii_3k_film_scanner(1080p).mp4.thumb.jpg.432b670b60427939fbec691e41d05d0a.jpg

On the first version you'd be able to fit in little "wetgate" sponges like the pictor, but that probably won't work for the second version. The second one you're probably better off applying an even coat of film-guard using a Film-O-Clean (or modified Kelmar) prior to scanning.

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On 12/20/2022 at 7:22 PM, Tyler Purcell said:

Yes, I was just saying it's a pain for home movie clients because the path was so long. You can't just "thread up" a roll of film, it's impossible 

Who does this? I’d never just take a 3 inch reel out of the paper bag and put it on the scanner. You add leader, clean,  fix crap splices, load it on a larger reel with larger hub diameter.

On 12/20/2022 at 7:22 PM, Tyler Purcell said:

It's a huge issue. 

Is anyone giving you 1200ft rolls of 8mm film? Who is doing the labor of going through every single 50ft roll of film and splicing them together? The leader is only 1/20th of the problem, but it IS one of the problems that kills the ability to just scan 8mm film, unlike 16mm which generally has lengthy leader already on it. 

What? This is a weird exaggeration. 

nobody gives me 1200ft Elmo reels full, you just didn’t read what I said. 
I take the variety of reels they give me - 3,5,7 inch reels and splice them together using leader to separate them. I load them on one of my 1200ft reels so I can run through a large batch in one sitting. It’s really not difficult to splice 3 inch reels together, I’m pretty quick at it. 

On 12/20/2022 at 7:22 PM, Tyler Purcell said:

But are you actually wet gating 8mm film for every roll? 

Yes I wet scan pretty much every home movie I scan. It’s very rare to get perfect, untouched film. They all have projector scratches and emulsion cracks

with 8mm, I can run run wetgate at arpund 18fps if I have the AC on dehumidifier and have a strong fan blowing over the film path after the gate. 
otherwise it’s around 10-15fps

 

On 12/20/2022 at 7:22 PM, Tyler Purcell said:

Oh gosh, ours has been paid off for a while and we also took 1/2 of the profits to keep our lights on. We actually paid for nearly the entire scanner on a single job, all camera negative. No cleaning, no assembly nada. Just thread it up, run it off, do the next roll. No wet gate slowness, we ran the entire job at 10 - 12fps in 4k, it was amazing. We actually bought the scanner to do that job and it's an award winning documentary filmmakers new movie. Our 2nd job was another documentary feature, that covered the rest of our payment

It’s funny how I was just making a Joke about it always being a numbers show off,

and you just double down on the number show lol

that’s incredible you paid off the scanner with one job. You should have a few scanstations by now right? Why are you even bothering with the HDS

On 12/20/2022 at 7:22 PM, Tyler Purcell said:

It's funny you think our business and my comments are stupid. You don't even work in our business. Your clients are fine with a camcorder shooting the film being projected on a wall. They just want to see something. My clients are working on stuff seen on broadcast TV, theatrical, streaming platforms, etc. I've done half million dollar commercials on our system and we're doing a multi-million dollar feature right now. So we're not even on the same planet. My shit has to be perfect, or they won't come back. I don't NEED the business, but I like being involved in these jobs, where we shoot, process, scan and color the products, it's really good money for very little work.

This comment has superiority complex written all over it. 
 

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19 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

The difference is that my OCN scans don't need to be wet gated or babysitted. 

I'm assuming you're referring to me, since you quoted me? The scanstation doesn't have (or need) a wetgate. And someone should always be with the scanner when it's running in case of a problem. Not sure what you mean by babysitting, but there's an operator in the room with the machine when it's scanning

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10 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Oh so you prep, clean, wet gate and post cleanup every roll you scan? I've never heard of such a thing. 

So you'd charge me the same rate if I send you a brand new cleaned, prepped roll of color negative per foot, then you would for old home movies? 

As I have already said in this thread, We charge a nominal prep fee, which includes adding the necessary leader, and inspecting for and repairing any bad splices. Cleaning is extra, though it's not always necessary.

We charge for scanning by the foot. If your reel arrives prepped from a lab, you pay the per-foot rate. If your reel requires prep, you pay an extra $5 to prep the roll plus THE SAME per foot rate, yes. If your reel requires cleaning, you pay extra for cleaning. We recommend that newly shot film is prepped and cleaned at the lab, since that's just best practice. 

10 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

So you've never had brittle film, with bad splices and cracked perfs? 

All the time. The ScanStation doesn't really care about broken or even missing perfs in most cases, unless the film is so damaged and brittle that it can't be scanned without further treatment. That is not a service we currently offer in house, we refer the client to a third party with proper ventilation, who can treat the film (a slow process of soaking in something like FilmRenew, to bring some pliability back to the acetate base). We evaluate each reel and let the client make the call about what they're going to do with their very damaged films. 

If the film has an unusually large number of bad splices, then we confer with the client and will fix them all, for a small additional fee. But we do splice repair as a matter of course when prepping old film. It doesn't take that long, it's simply not worth it to get all nickle-and-dimey over something so trivial unless the film is literally falling apart and it will take someone more than 30 minutes to fix it. That happens sometimes (we just did this with an old 16mm workprint with maybe 100 splices or so that had to be replaced), but it's rare. You make it out like all home moves are like this - most, the vast majority - are not. 

 

10 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

If I were to hazard a guess, the reason you've been successful is because you got a few contract jobs very early on, which helped guarantee you a consistent nut.

You'd be wrong.

10 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

You bragged about doing 750k feet of home movie stuff from one batch. That's not a grandson dropping off a box of home movies, you're talking about a huge contract job.

No, I never said this. I said we have scanned approximately that much film on our scanner. I never said one job. That's over several years. And the number is actually higher. The scanner reports frames of 8/S8 combined, since they share a gate. there are different frame counts per foot, so it's probably closer to a million, since we have done a lot more Super 8. 

 

10 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

All of the archives on the west coast have their own scanners. In fact, the UCLA archive has it's own photochemical machines as well. So the idea they'd "sub out" any of this kind of work, just doesn't happen. The luck you needed to have in order to secure a contract with a company that doesn't have a scanner, blows my mind away. 

You have a very limited view of how this world operates. Hollywood is not the center of the universe and is not representative of the hundreds, if not thousands, of film archives around the world. UCLA is a unique archive in its scale and the type of collection it has (and FWIW, we have scanned film that lives there, though for a filmmaker, not for the archive - they don't scan everything in house). Some of our archive clients own perfectly capable scanners, ScanStations even, but continue to bring work to us because of the quality and turnaround times we offer. Sometimes it can take months to get something done internally because of bureaucracy and budget machinations.

 

10 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

This work is about the same I've had on my friends home movie rolls as well. They all wanted the film back in the original boxes, though what reel they go on, didn't matter.

So my experiences are different then yours. Again, it's not my business. 

Only the archives, and collectors of specific kinds of movies (prints, or in some cases things like Super 8 concert footage), want to keep them separate. We are almost never asked to return the film in the original boxes, but we always return the boxes with cross-referenced numbers for the film on the reels. 

 

10 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

I don't shun 8mm home movie stuff, work is work, but to classify it as "identical" to freshly shot and cleaned 16mm or 35mm color negative is asinine. 

You absolutely do, and are, shunning home movies. You just did it in this very sentence. My point here is that you're treating small gauge film as if it's a second class citizen in the film world. That's wrong. It's not, and the people who own that film, even if they're "just" home moveis, are as interested in seeing high quality transfers of it as anyone. They deserve, and get, the same treatment we give any of our commercial clients. 

 

10 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

For the record, I'm friends with many archives up and down the coasts, they all have their own staff and machines. Finding an archive that has the funding and hasn't already been scanned or who doesn't have their own machine, is not easy, we've tried.

Just a thought, but maybe you're having a hard time trying to sell scanning services because you're using a completely inappropriate machine for that task, while simultaneously telling the world how bad it is and that it scratches your film!

FWIW, I have yet to meet an archivist who has a completely scanned collection of film, or even a hope of getting there. It's a years-long task that requires multiple people to pull off, even for medium-sized film archives. It simply isn't done. It's such a rare feat, in fact, that the University of Indiana's Media Digitization an Preservation Initiative just did it and felt it was a monumental and rare enough task that they built a web site to show how they did it. https://mdpi.iu.edu/

I have no idea where you get these ideas.

Edited by Perry Paolantonio
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Dan Baxter.

The machine is the later version with all rollers being the same. 

For an immersion version and for a version using a wetting pad, I had been contemplating feeding the film around an inner roller first, over and out to the outer roller, up and around that then into an immersion tank/gate. That would achieve an entry and exit of the film higher than the gate area which could become a fluid reservoir. The film would travel under, not over the guide pins.

The light pin would need to be relocated. 

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3 hours ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

FWIW, I have yet to meet an archivist who has a completely scanned collection of film, or even a hope of getting there. It's a years-long task that requires multiple people to pull off, even for medium-sized film archives. It simply isn't done. It's such a rare feat, in fact, that the University of Indiana's Media Digitization an Preservation Initiative just did it and felt it was a monumental and rare enough task that they built a web site to show how they did it. https://mdpi.iu.edu/

 

I have visited that archive and met their staff and saw their gear.  It was a MASSIVE effort.  I can't believe they did it.  

I have an HDS+ and a personal 600+ film archive whose clips I am uploading to Getty Images in order to make passive income.  I have one friend who has my machine in his house, and he digitizes select films from my collection.  He uses Resolve to grade or re-colorize them and Diamant to clean them up (to an extent).  Then he sends those digitized prints to me, and I do further cleanup with Dustbuster+.

It's an extraordinarily labor intensive effort.  I would never undertake it just to share the content with the world.  I do it to make passive income.  (And the only thing that makes it worth all that effort is knowing that I can literally license these clips forever.)  In between, my partner and I transfer film and digitize videos for the consumer market.  And I will probably never finish digitizing all of my films.  I will certainly never get all of them in an acceptably remastered condition.

The HDS+ is perfectly fine for all of these endeavors (although, Perry, I would feel more comfortable sending vintage negative 16mm to you after hearing Tyler's comments about the HDS+ scratching negative prints!)

All of this is to say that my experience with the HDS+ has been a positive one.  Tyler, if you ever get to a place where you would sell your modified gates, please let me know.  I would love to be able to deal with warped film better, and I would appreciate a price quote if you consider selling your mods to others.

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1 hour ago, Todd Ruel said:

Tyler, if you ever get to a place where you would sell your modified gates, please let me know.  I would love to be able to deal with warped film better, and I would appreciate a price quote if you consider selling your mods to others.

Yep we will absolutely be selling the manufactured finished product, gotta make back our R&D time. 

Oh and we don't have any scratching issues anymore, that was how the scanner was delivered. The gates we are using never touch the picture area of the film, so it's impossible to scratch. I'm not in love with the design, it has a few flaws that need to be solved, but I think our final version will be substantially better and chrome coated as well. 

We are currently working on recouping our investment on our CAD/3D printing system, so once we have that recouped, we will get back to work on the scanner. For now, it works good enough. As long as it doesn't damage film and is stable enough, I'm happy for the time being. 

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5 hours ago, Perry Paolantonio said:

Not sure what you mean by babysitting, but there's an operator in the room with the machine when it's scanning

Babysitting is being by the scanner and waiting for a splice to snap. 

You know that 5 of our last scan jobs, sent us camera negative that had failed splices? Some rolls were fine, others weren't. If you drop a splice, it's now costing you more money to scan that film. We do charge clients for the extra labor, but it's very time consuming when you have hundreds of 400ft rolls, some with and some without splices. 

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18 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Babysitting is being by the scanner and waiting for a splice to snap. 

You know that 5 of our last scan jobs, sent us camera negative that had failed splices? Some rolls were fine, others weren't. If you drop a splice, it's now costing you more money to scan that film. We do charge clients for the extra labor, but it's very time consuming when you have hundreds of 400ft rolls, some with and some without splices. 

Failed splices in camera negative, including 50 year old A/B roll cut neg like the one we have on the scanner as I type, are so rare I can probably count on one hand the number of times we've had to deal with that. If you're having this problem with newly processed film, you need to talk to the lab. Either that, or the scanner is putting too much tension on the film. 

We deal with failed tape splices on workprint and on home movies occasionally, but most of them go through the ScanStation without issues. Those that do fail, only require that you fix the splice and press a button, and the Scanner will figure out where it is and resume the scan (a feature exclusive to Lasergraphics scanners, I believe). We mostly see this with old presstape splices on 8mm because either the adhesive failed or the person who applied the splice only did one side, or didn't burnish the tape enough to really get good adhesion. Even so, this doesn't happen that often. maybe once every few months we'll get a reel that's just riddled with bad splices and like I said earlier, we confer with the client and if they approve we fix it and bill them for the time it took. 

Honestly this is not the major profit-killing problem you're making it out to be. If your scanner is having this problem this frequently, I'd question how much tension the scanner is putting on the film. 

Edited by Perry Paolantonio
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