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Author Topic: John Whittle, (and others) a question ...
Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10204
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted May 03, 2008 06:41 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I have recently recieved a print of "Shout at the Devil" from Steve Osbourne, knowing ahead of time that the print has fade, but upon perusing the color closely, the actual colors are not faded and if so, barely.

This was the early to mid-seventies eastman stock that was very good. This type of film stock tended to fade rather slowly, and very evenly, and not like the later eastman stock that would immediately go pink and you'd lose a whole color spectrum, (usually the blue or green layer).

I noted that the only fade on it was not due to color layers, but the actual celluloid itself. In the sprocket holes area, it's a dull light yellow.

My question is, John (and all others interested)

would there be a way to rejuvinate not the color layers, but the actual celluloid itself, or are they inseperable.

Bear in mind, that this is not a question of restoring color layers, but restoring the actual celluloid, can it be made clear again? If so, then the color that is actually there, will look quite good again.

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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John Whittle
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 791
From: Northridge, CA USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted May 03, 2008 08:02 PM      Profile for John Whittle   Email John Whittle       Edit/Delete Post 
Don't really understand what's wrong with the print. Is it like the base side has been sanded and is a diffuse base? Or is it an overall "cloudy" appearance when projected?

It was common back in the 70s to treat prints with various snake oils to remove scratches. It worked to various degrees on the cell side but rarely any improvement on the emulsion.

What we know now is that those prints are the most likely to come down with VS.

So in a word I'd say no. If the stock is Estar there is no treatment, if it's acetate anything you do might induce VS.

But then again, I'm not sure I really understand what's wrong with the print.

John

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10204
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted May 03, 2008 08:51 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey John!

It does seem to be slightly cloudy, but that may be due to the slight yellowing of the print in general. What I was talking about is that though the print does have I'd say, at least 85 per cent color, it has faded evenly, not leaving any one spectrum over powering.

... but that slight color change appear to be more due to the film itself getting a slight "cast" to it, (that's all I can think of to call it). It is notable in the non-image parts of the film, (sprocket area), where a brand new sparkling print will be a lovely crystal clear, this area has a slight pale yellowing.

Does that help?

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Jan Bister
Darth 8mm

Posts: 2629
From: Ohio, USA
Registered: Jan 2005


 - posted May 03, 2008 09:14 PM      Profile for Jan Bister   Email Jan Bister   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hmm, but how do you know this particular print didn't always have a yellow cast to the sprocket area to begin with? Truth be told I don't know that I've ever seen a print that was crystal-clear outside the image area... that applies to color prints of course, but even B/W prints are more of a light milky grey instead of 100% clear.
I guess it depends on how the particular print in question was printed from the negative...naturally if the film stock was a negative itself then the area outside the actual images was never exposed to any light - or maybe to some (very little) bluish light that caused that area to turn yellowish (which would be the complement of bluish). I'm only guessing as I don't know the details of how it's done, really...

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Call me Phoenix. *dusts off the ashes*

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Osi Osgood
Film God

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From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
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 - posted May 03, 2008 09:29 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
You do have a point Jan,

On a much earlier post concerning this subject, there was a link to a website describing the assorted film stocks; a very good sight.

It did say that certian stocks do in fact have a certian cast to them from the beginning, but it appears that most of those stocks are what I would call "ancient".

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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John Whittle
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 791
From: Northridge, CA USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted May 03, 2008 09:38 PM      Profile for John Whittle   Email John Whittle       Edit/Delete Post 
A yellow cast would be unusual. One thing that would cause that would be sound track applicator developer getting on the picture area. The would only be seen on 16mm and 35mm optical sound prints and usually only as a blip coming in from the sound track side for a few frames.

If you think it's a processing stain, one possibility would be what was called "re-wash" which was running the print through the processing machine for a second time. The chemicals wouldn't have any density or color effect on a second development but would correct any processing error such as applicator stain (as long as the operator remembered to re-applicate the track and didn't wind up with a dye track).

The area between the sprocket holes is black on reversal stock since there is no exposure. On positive prints, especially those made by reduction, the aperture is wider and there can be spill light exposing the sprocket area. If you've ever seen light stuck color positive stock, you see a dark edge feathering out to red then yellow.

Remember the color positive stock failure on early Eastmancolor was the cyan dye resulting in red prints. The early (1954) Eastmancolor negative failure was the yellow layer resulting in bluish prints from old negatives.

John

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Jan Bister
Darth 8mm

Posts: 2629
From: Ohio, USA
Registered: Jan 2005


 - posted May 04, 2008 01:57 AM      Profile for Jan Bister   Email Jan Bister   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I'd love to see that website, do you happen to have the link still?

Anyway, the mystery thickens... I just wonder, Osi, what exactly you consider "ancient" as that choice of words immediately makes me think of nitrate film. [Big Grin]

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Call me Phoenix. *dusts off the ashes*

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Osi Osgood
Film God

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From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
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 - posted May 04, 2008 01:27 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I was referring to the earlier 30's 40's and 50's stock, Jan.

That's the interesting thing about this earlier eastman stock, it's not like the later stock where your loosing a whole layer rather quickly, (my print of "Gorky park", optical super 8, went pinkish very quickly, shockingly quick, considering the original film cam out in 82 or 83!).

No, this earlier eastman film stock kept the whole range of colors quite well. I have an optical print of "Point Blank" (Lee Marvin, 67) that was manufactured way back when the film came out, (probably in either the first year of optical super 8 features or the second), and yet, it still has decent color, but there is just a slight fade of all the colors, and yet, the print is now 41 years old.)

Shout at the Devil is a good 30 plus years old, and actually faring a little less than Point Blank, but the image just has a slight reddishness, but not much, all the colors are just about fully registering, just faded on the same level; nice browns, yellows, deep reds, (lovely flower in one scene) and slightly fading greens.

It's just curious to me, as, I would love to actually, "re-wash"
(?) the print to renew the actual celluloid itself,to get rid of the slight yellowing to the "base" film itself (?) without touching the dye levels. maybe that is what I have been trying to say all along.

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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John Whittle
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 791
From: Northridge, CA USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted May 04, 2008 02:18 PM      Profile for John Whittle   Email John Whittle       Edit/Delete Post 
Rewashing would do nothing for the acetate, what it would accompolish is removing any processing stain that was due to some problem in the original processing. Normally this would be done within 24 hours of original processing so I have no idea what the effect would be 30 years later--if there was any at all. The other problem is there are no super8 Eastman color poisitive processing machines. All prints are process as either 35mm or 16mm width and then slit. The only Super8 machines were those made for Kodachrome and Ektachrome original camera films so the expense of converting a machine and running your print would be rather costly (in today's dollars probably $100,000 or more if you could find a lab to do it. Alternatiely you could buy and install a machine yourself but the full installation would easily double that amount.)

Try and find another print in better condition--a whole lot cheaper.

John

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Osi Osgood
Film God

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From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
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 - posted May 04, 2008 07:37 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey I only paid 25.00 dollars, american, for the print, and I've already recouped the cost, so no complaints here.

The neat thing about it, is that it's a much longer cut of the film than the edited feature on magnetic sound super 8, which runs about 90 minutes, this one runs very close to 2 hours, perhaps one hour 55 minutes, so it's a much longer cut, much more enjoyable!

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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John Whittle
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 791
From: Northridge, CA USA
Registered: Jun 2003


 - posted May 04, 2008 08:54 PM      Profile for John Whittle   Email John Whittle       Edit/Delete Post 
I didn't know that you had an optical sound print. I think that "yellow stain" is sound track applicator developer. Something that drove labs crazy and ultimately gave the market to Agfa which had better infrared density with their cyan dye than Eastman. The stain shouldn't go into the picture area, but you can see when this was four up on 35mm, the sound track is a tiny area and special rollers applied ("applicated") a developer that kept silver in the track area. The film was pulled from the procesing machine after the first fixer and wash, went thru a drying squeege and then the applicator. After 20 seconds or so, the film developer was washed off which a stream of water (and if it wasn't perfectly aimed you got stains in the picture) and the film returned to the bleach tank and then the final fixer, stablizer and dryer. After processing, the film was inspected and then slit. Since prints were four up, perhaps the other three were good and your print "went out the back door". A lot of collector prints we acquired like that back then.

John

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Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10204
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005


 - posted May 04, 2008 10:13 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I must say, John, I honestly love your posts. Much of what I have learned of optical sound film I have learned from your expertise!

Muchas Gracias!

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"All these moments will be lost in time, just like ... tears, in the rain. "

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Graham Ritchie
Film God

Posts: 4001
From: New Zealand
Registered: Feb 2006


 - posted May 04, 2008 11:07 PM      Profile for Graham Ritchie   Email Graham Ritchie   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
John
Thats very interesting I have a 16mm print that had that yellow stain, fortunately it was for only a few minutes it was more evident where there was a dark scene. I edited that short distracting part out of the film but always wondered what that stain was.

Graham.

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Patrick Walsh
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 723
From: Christchurch, New Zealand
Registered: Jul 2006


 - posted May 05, 2008 03:13 AM      Profile for Patrick Walsh   Email Patrick Walsh   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Speaking of yellow stains, my copy in 16mm of RAISE THE TITANIC on about the 1st 20 minutes of the 1st reel about every foot there is a yellow "triangle that comes out into the picture area on the sprocket side, and the whole edge of the reel is yellow. All the other reels are fine, It is a bit of a pain as at the start of the film there is a b/w sequence and every frame that has the yellow on it has been cut out so there is a splice every foot or so!
I was thinking it was a problem with the dyes when it was developed.
Pat [Smile]

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"Raise The Titanic!", It would of been cheaper to lower the Atlantic!

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