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What do you store your film in?


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Im just curious, if you're shipping your film how do you store it? I've seen people put the exposed roll back into the black case it came from (Kodak). 

How do you guys store exposed film? How do you ship it if you have? 

Thanks!

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We use lab rolls for everything. So these are assembled rolls with heads and tails added, usually more than one camera roll spliced together. They are sent back from the lab in white 1200ft boxes with labels. Then we store them in a locked closet, ready for scanning. The boxes the labs use are pretty easy to find online. Spliced rolls are generally stored on a core, not a reel, but the boxes will hold reels as well. The nice thing about them is that any off-gassing from the film won't be trapped. That's the critical part. Most labs will also assemble your film onto these lab rolls and then re-wash them, so you actually get double wash. This is very important for long term storage, left over chemicals are what damages film the most. 

We shoot with 400 and 1000ft rolls. So those are in sealed cans. They're shipped to the lab in those cans (or dropped off locally) and then the lab does all the work and ships us back the lab rolls assembled. With daylight spools, the reel is generally recycled and the box contains just the film you shot, no heads or tails added. This means it's useless to you because you need leader to project it (if shooting reversal) AND you need A LOT of leader to scan it. Which is why it's critical to prep your film for transfer when you're at the lab. 

Picture below is of the lab boxes. The bottom ones are 1800ft and the top ones are 1200ft. The can in the middle is a reel I assembled and didn't have a box for. 
 

IMG_8862.jpeg

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All my film is processed film OP, so here is my perspective on it.

I store my archival footage in vented plastic cans to minimize VS. Film can also be vacuum packed and frozen on cores. But that is what an archive may do with a problem child that has VS. Most people don't freeze film, although archives try to keep them cool.

I ship films directly in metal cans or cans in cardboard boxes. The films shipped in cans direct are usually cheap films I am disposing of on eBay. If I wanted to get a scan I'd ship the can in a proper box. But either way no issues with shipping direct in cans. Just a cheapo way of doing it. If you ship the can direct there is a possibility of the can getting damaged and it wont open. Then the can gets ruined prying the lid off.

In the old days they shipped films in film shippers made for that purpose. I have a large collection of them but have not digitized them all. Some were metal, fibre or plastic.

Here is a small part of the collection from the reel and film can archive.

Small Gauge Reel & Film Can Archive D.D. Teoli Jr. A.C. : Daniel D. Teoli Jr. : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

I recently picked up a 35mm short film can that is built like a tank. Unbelievable. I bought it just to get a photo of it for my collection...and it was $$.

I have some archival film that was processed and stored in the original cans / boxes they came in. It was common to ship out film for processing and store them like that. 

 

 

 

Edited by Daniel D. Teoli Jr.
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On 1/13/2021 at 7:53 PM, Tyler Purcell said:

But you're talking PRINT film, not original camera negative. 

Could be original camera negs, but it is all processed film I deal with, not unprocessed. I think the filmmakers would just store the film in the original cans they came in or similar cans. (before and after processing.)

Film shipping containers is an interesting filed of study, just like film reels. But I only go into it with small gauge films. Here is that heavy metal film shipper I talked about along with a lightweight fiber container from the 1950's. 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Daniel D. Teoli Jr. said:

Could be original camera negs, but it is all processed film I deal with, not unprocessed. I think the filmmakers would just store the film in the original cans they came in or similar cans. (before and after processing.)

Film shipping containers is an interesting filed of study, just like film reels. But I only go into it with small gauge films. Here is that heavy metal film shipper I talked about along with a lightweight fiber container from the 1950's. 

 

 

Storing in can's isn't good because the film can't vent. It needs to breathe a bit. 

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7 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Storing in can's isn't good because the film can't vent. It needs to breathe a bit. 

I have been wondering if I should drill some holes in the cans that hold my camera originals. On the other hand, as far as I know, when films are stored correctly, there is air pushed through. But I guess even having some holes and avoiding air tight cans is better than nothing.

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