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Author Topic: VS rears its' ugly head
David Michael Leugers
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 235
From: Fairfield, OH, USA
Registered: Feb 2004


 - posted December 31, 2018 06:26 PM      Profile for David Michael Leugers   Email David Michael Leugers   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I kept smelling an increasingly strong odor of VS and determined that I would ferret out which film reel was the offender. I narrowed the smell down to an area where I keep my 16mm editing equipment in plastic tubs with lids. When I opened the right one, it nearly made me sick. I could not believe the pungent odor and how incredibly strong it was. More than that, there was no 16mm movie film in there. A new, unused 1200ft reel of 16mm fullcoat magnetic sound recording tape was the culprit. This means that the long held theory that improperly fixed 16mm film causes VS is certainly not the only cause. Apparently the film base material (acetate) can turn VS when it feels like it...

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Bill Brandenstein
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1610
From: California
Registered: Aug 2007


 - posted January 03, 2019 05:26 PM      Profile for Bill Brandenstein   Email Bill Brandenstein   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
There are reports of magnetic coatings adding to the acidity of a film base. Some blame it on the coating process itself, others on the magnetic materials, but we all know that anything that seals one or both surfaces of an acetate base will lead to vinegar much more quickly than not.

At least it wasn't a rare IB Tech print or something else precious to your library.

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David Michael Leugers
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 235
From: Fairfield, OH, USA
Registered: Feb 2004


 - posted January 03, 2019 06:34 PM      Profile for David Michael Leugers   Email David Michael Leugers   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Yeah, I was very appreciative that it was not one of my films gone bad. I tossed it in the garbage can outside. I wonder about all the fullcoat sound recordings for films that are out there as original elements of a film...

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David M. Ice
Junior
Posts: 11
From: Glendale, AZ, USA
Registered: Dec 2018


 - posted January 06, 2019 09:57 AM      Profile for David M. Ice   Author's Homepage   Email David M. Ice   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I’m a retired sound editor, and I spent many years at Fox. Our sound effects library was on 35mm mag stripe film, but I noticed that most of the original 35mm fullcoat mag stereo effects (1950’s vintage) had a lot of vinegar syndrome, and the odor was REALLY strong. When we found something like that we immediately had the track transferred to new fullcoat film (usually Mylar or polyester base) and discarded the acetate base original. I never encountered any vinegar on newer mag film, just the original masters. I don’t know if Fox ever started a restoration program of the mag music tracks from early stereo films. I do know that (for a while, at least) Reel 3 (if memory serves) of THE ROBE was missing (the four track stereo release master. At least the copy in the Fox vault!

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David M. Ice
Junior
Posts: 11
From: Glendale, AZ, USA
Registered: Dec 2018


 - posted January 06, 2019 09:58 AM      Profile for David M. Ice   Author's Homepage   Email David M. Ice   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
I’m a retired sound editor, and I spent many years at Fox. Our sound effects library was on 35mm mag stripe film, but I noticed that most of the original 35mm fullcoat mag stereo effects (1950’s vintage) had a lot of vinegar syndrome, and the odor was REALLY strong. When we found something like that we immediately had the track transferred to new fullcoat film (usually Mylar or polyester base) and discarded the acetate base original. I never encountered any vinegar on newer mag film, just the original masters. I don’t know if Fox ever started a restoration program of the mag music tracks from early stereo films. I do know that (for a while, at least) Reel 3 (if memory serves) of THE ROBE was missing (the four track stereo release master. At least the copy in the Fox vault!

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David Michael Leugers
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 235
From: Fairfield, OH, USA
Registered: Feb 2004


 - posted January 06, 2019 02:58 PM      Profile for David Michael Leugers   Email David Michael Leugers   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for the info David. The preservation of film is so important, I hope the studios have taken all the efforts they can to save what remains.

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