From: Stourbridge, UK
Registered: Jan 2018
posted February 28, 2018 08:48 AM
From just examining a film by eye (that is, not running it through a projector), can you identify what speed it should be run at.
My initial thoughts are no.
Which would bring me onto a second question. If one runs the film, a silent film (taking away the ability to identify the speed by slow or fast audio), is it always possible to identify the correct speed? Thanks
From: Long Island, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003
posted February 28, 2018 09:28 AM
Basically anything commercial from about the mid-twenties on really should be 24 FPS, even the silents from that era. If you have something from the 'teens or earlier you can legitimately do 18.
That much being said: I often run twenties silents at 18 because the projector is quieter. I do this at the risk of the pace of the story feeling a little bit lazy, but without audio to cover the machinery sounds...
Home movies will almost always be 18.
-------------------- All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...
From: Calgary, Alberta, Canada
Registered: Nov 2015
posted February 28, 2018 10:16 AM
Chaplin, among others, shot some of his films at 18, to be projected at 24. He did this even into the sound era, in certain scenes of City Lights and Modern Times. I wonder if that's the case with yours.
From: Hamilton, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Dec 2014
posted February 28, 2018 10:38 AM
@steve, If there was a notice originally, it was removed from inside box. However, the spine sticker says 875, so those who know the blackhawk codes could know potentially by seeing the spine. I wonder if it specified in the catalogue? 880=s8s 860=s8silent 875=s8s_18 It was a pleasant surprise for me. I bought 4 mint chaplins from someone here in Canada and one was the 875. I want more!!!
posted February 28, 2018 10:52 AM
The only thing that could be a guide is gravity. If a car in the film seems to bounce on its springs at an unnatural rate (slow or fast) then the film is not being projected at the same frame rate it was filmed at. This is most obvious when chases have been under-cranked and sped up to show a more exciting view. Small changes are more difficult to spot, though.
From: Brussels, Belgium
Registered: Jun 2013
posted February 28, 2018 11:10 AM
I have some silent films with a music score that must be projected at 18fps. One of the film (not Blackhawk) has a specific instruction about the speed. Some (Chaplin) silent films with an optical soundtrack are also at 18fps (but for those I haven't the original boxes).
posted February 28, 2018 11:58 AM
Mechanically speaking you can purchase a strobe light that can be set to 24 flashes per second and aim it at the shutter blade with the gear box open. If the machine is up to speed, the shutter blade will appear to be frozen still position. However if the pattern of the shutter blade seems to turn either direction during this test, then it could be going to slow or too fast.
I saw this done with a 35mm machine and it is a most interesting test to do. Even though I might not be answering the question that was asked....