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Author Topic: A request for a VERY old post!
Osi Osgood
Film God

Posts: 10034
From: #399R K.O.A. Mountian Home, ID. 83647
Registered: Jul 2005

 - posted August 30, 2017 12:03 PM      Profile for Osi Osgood   Author's Homepage   Email Osi Osgood   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hey Douglas or others who might be able to find it ...

There was a post that I remember, waaaaay back in 2004 or so, that revolved around a visit to an optical sound super 8 feature film lab that was called "Sunstrand", (the lab, not the films). I know that I saw it on here many years ago, and I hope that someone can find it, as I would LOVE to read that one again. I only remember small details of it.

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

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Steve Klare
Film Guy

Posts: 6845
From: Long Island, NY, USA
Registered: Jun 2003

 - posted August 30, 2017 12:51 PM      Profile for Steve Klare   Email Steve Klare   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Hi Osi,

I searched every way I could and found about three mentions of Sundstrand, two of them were by you, another was Keith Ashfield saying he was going to send you a PM about them.

-maybe that PM is what you are thinking of?

Nothing I found was very old or in very much depth.

All I ask is a wide screen and a projector to light her by...

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Maurice Leakey
Film God

Posts: 5680
From: Bristol. United Kingdom
Registered: Oct 2007

 - posted August 30, 2017 01:50 PM      Profile for Maurice Leakey   Email Maurice Leakey   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Any help?


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Keith Ashfield
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 997
From: U.K.
Registered: Dec 2006

 - posted August 30, 2017 02:28 PM      Profile for Keith Ashfield     Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Derek Simmonds of Derann visited the Sunstrand Optical printing unit.
Below is a copy of the script which was taken from “Film For The Collector” magazine.

"A few years ago I was at Rank Film Labs in Denham, having gone there to collect some work they had produced for us. I was having a chat with Roy Hubbard, the manager of the department at that time, when a gentleman entered the room. He was introduced to me and it was explained that he worked for the company that provided 8mm optical prints for the airlines. This fascinated me, and being the film fanatic that I am, I wanted to know more. I stayed and talked with him for nearly two hours, and eventually he said “next time you’re down here, give me a ring and I will come and collect you and take you round our place”. I made sure that I visited the labs the next week, and before setting out I telephoned my new found friend. He promised to come along to the labs and we would then go on to his main depot. When I left the labs, following the car in front, I was more than a little surprised to find we were heading towards the Technicolor Labs, near Heathrow Airport. We swung through the main gates, drove round the main building and ended up at the rear of the labs. There I saw a sign SUNSTRAND, and it was then that I realised that this was the company that I had come to visit.

I was led into a small office, and told that most of the prints were printed at Technicolor Labs in New York, whilst Rank Labs also provided prints of their own titles and some of the British TV material, but it was explained that the airlines preferred the material that was printed in New York since Technicolor ‘coated’ the sound tracks and this rendered much better results.

If you compare an 8mm Optical Print made in the UK against an American print, you will note that the optical track is almost pure black and white, whereas the track on a British print is dark blue. This results in the British track giving a lower level of volume and certainly more track noise, hiss and plops. Rank would never give any reason for not coating the optical tracks on 8mm prints. I hasten to add, that all 16mm prints made by the lab at the lab at that time, were coated to give optimum performances. One can only assume that in their opinion, 8mm was just not important enough for them to provide this extra service.

I was then told that a lot of the prints carried multi-tracks; the main track always being in English. But, on some prints there was another track, just on the edge of the sprocket holes, much like the balance track on a magnetic print, and this track was mostly French, German or Spanish.

I was then taken into the room where the films were checked upon return from the air craft, and where new prints were being put on to giant spools for polishing. I was astounded at the number of prints in the room – it must have been at least five or six thousand! Can you imagine standing in front of five or six thousand full length 8mm sound feature, 99% of which were never going to be offered to the collector?

When the prints came in from the various labs, they were in the same number of roles as the 16mm prints, since they had been taken from the 16mm negatives. For aircraft use they need to be on one continuous reel, so the first job was the splicing together of all the various reels. The films were then coated with a silicone polish, and then flat wound into a giant cartridge, as one continuous roll, ie; the film came form the outer edge of the large roll, went through the projector gate and sound head and wound back onto the inside of the roll. This is the reason