This is topic How do 35mm prints get into circulation? in forum General Yak at 8mm Forum.

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Posted by Tom Photiou (Member # 130) on September 29, 2018, 01:10 PM:
While we all know super 8 was made for home use,
16mm has become very available worldwide, but i am seeing quite a few 35mm prints come up for sale, mainly on ebay. I was wondering about the legality of these being for sale as i would assume that these prints were produced by the film companies for the cinemas.
How did the cinema chains receive these and return them? I assume at some point some the prints got "lost" somewhere along the line.
Posted by Mark Todd (Member # 96) on September 29, 2018, 01:16 PM:
I hope your not getting tempted Tom ?

Keep your hand on your Ha`penny.

Oh Dearie me !!!!!

Best Mark.

PS I don`t think they are too fussed these days with BR pirating and downloading etc being more of a worry. Most people who buy a 35mm print probably already bought it on VHS, DVD, and Blu Ray so paid anyway really.
Posted by Tom Photiou (Member # 130) on September 29, 2018, 01:28 PM:
Mark, if i had the dosh i would but its way out of my range, i think theirs more than enough for me on 16mm [Big Grin] [Wink]
Besides, imagine the space you would need.
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on September 29, 2018, 01:59 PM:
35mm cinema prints were sent from a distribution agency and returned to them after showing. In Somerset they usually came from Cardiff.

First run houses often had prints direct from a British lab. After showing they were often sent to a local second-run cinema.

For many years transport was by FTS, Film Transport Services, who would be waiting outside the cinema from about 10 o'clock to collect. The films would travel overnight to the next cinema.

I realise that this does not answer the original question but maybe 35mm prints get into circulation the way 16mm prints did.
Posted by Tom Photiou (Member # 130) on September 29, 2018, 02:05 PM:
Thanks for the information Maurice, that makes me wonder even more how some of these big prints, (inc 70mm) got out to the general public and end up being sold on auction sites.
I remember Bob Monkhouse getting into trouble for having a 16mm collection.

It seemed that even though he was acquitted, he still didn't get all of his films back as he would have had to go back to court to establish the rights for each title

[ September 29, 2018, 03:39 PM: Message edited by: Tom Photiou ]
Posted by Brian Fretwell (Member # 4302) on September 29, 2018, 03:31 PM:
I believe we have to thank Bob Monkhouse for as it was this case that proved the legality of owning 16mm prints by collectors.
Posted by Tom Photiou (Member # 130) on September 29, 2018, 03:38 PM:
Yes your right there, he also helped to recover and restore a number of the films he had.

[ September 30, 2018, 11:31 AM: Message edited by: Tom Photiou ]
Posted by Winbert Hutahaean (Member # 58) on September 29, 2018, 04:21 PM:
The legality issues of owning 35mm films not only about the copyright issues but also because this format has never been sold by studios to anyone.

Similar to cars from Budget or Avis as long as they are not sold to public, the cars still belong to these companies no matter what.

Who ever found driving this type of car need to return it, no matter he/she legally rented it, or found a car unattended in a parking lot, or he/she bought the cars from someone.

So how the 35mm can now be outside the studios, I guess someone took it out from the circulation when cinemas were asked to return the prints after screening them.

My 2 cents,
Posted by Graham Ritchie (Member # 559) on September 29, 2018, 05:36 PM:
Winbert when I worked for "Avis" back in the 1970s we used to sell them to the public as X rentals after a couple of years of use. [Smile]
Posted by Joe Vannicola (Member # 4156) on September 29, 2018, 10:32 PM:
Back in the eighties, National Screen Services would occasionally toss 35mm prints in the garbage. I knew a film collector who would go dumpster diving when he was alerted the NSS in his area was getting rid of film(that's how he acquired his print of Who Framed Roger Rabbit). Anyhoo, on one such trip he grabbed a print of Mothers Day not knowing it was the non rated gore fest. After viewing part of it, he wound up throwing it it back into the garbage.
Posted by Panayotis A. Carayannis (Member # 1220) on September 30, 2018, 01:21 AM:
Tom- Haven't you still read "A Thousand Cuts" and "Magnificent Obsessions"? Tsc,tsc,tsc!! [Wink]
Posted by Maurice Leakey (Member # 916) on September 30, 2018, 02:32 AM:
I believe that Bob Monkhouse was accused of fraud, but not of owning 16mm films.

I seem to recall that he was asked by a friend to supply a 16mm film for a party, so Bob loaned one of his own prints. The distributors who had this film in their library sued Bob for fraud, saying that they had lost out on the rental fee.

A fiend of mine (now deceased) had a large collection of 16mm prints and used to show them at his local village hall where the audience paid for admission. However, he always got the permission of the library which owned the film's copyright and paid them the correct fee for public exhibition. He told me he didn't want a knock on the door like Bob had received.
Posted by Brian Fretwell (Member # 4302) on September 30, 2018, 03:06 AM:
As for getting the 35mm prints I have read on a Facebook Group of people splicing back to together prints that have been band-sawed.
Posted by David Hardy (Member # 4628) on September 30, 2018, 04:49 AM:
Yes some 35mm prints were disposed of at the backdoors of Deluxe Films here in the UK. Some may have also simply "fallen off the back of a lorry" as the saying goes. [Big Grin] [Smile]
Posted by Winbert Hutahaean (Member # 58) on September 30, 2018, 06:57 AM:
Winbert when I worked for "Avis" back in the 1970s we used to sell them to the public as X rentals after a couple of years of use. [Smile]
Graham, I fully understood that way, that is why I wrote:

"as long as they are not sold to public" so if the cars have not been sold to public no one can claim the car as his/her own. And for the case of 35mm prints, studios never sold them to public.

Posted by Dave Groves (Member # 4685) on September 30, 2018, 07:52 AM:
A few years ago we went to a cinema in Anaheim. While visiting the projection gallery of the multi-screen building I noticed a 70mm print of Diney's Christmas Carol in 3D sitting on the floor. It appears it was one of the last films shown before conversion to digital projection and no-body wanted the print. I reckon if I could have made use of it they'd have been glad to see the back of it. Probably a lot of prints entered the market around this period when individual cinemas didn't bother to return their final film showings.
Posted by Tom Photiou (Member # 130) on September 30, 2018, 11:29 AM:
Panayotis, Unfortunatly i havnt, [Embarrassed] ( i know i should and i will get around to it one day),

"I guess someone took it out from the circulation when cinemas were asked to return the prints after screening them".

This is what i was mainly thinking, I also understand that some were probably disposed of as David mentioned, I guess on Winberts, (and my) way of thinking, is, did the film companies who required these prints back never investigate the dissapearing prints.
What made me start thinking about it was seeing this recent release on ebay, ON-The-Film-full-feature-2012-Film-cells/263946898979?hash=item3d74760e23:g:VnUAAOSwoHVbcDTe

While its a God awful movie and one i sat through on TV for 5 minutes then switched it off, utter trash, But seeing this turn up on ebay and only released in 2012 there is surly a source out there somewhere.

Mind you, it isn't something i am bothered by, i just wondered how cinema only intended movies actually get out. They dont exactly fit your back pocket do they?
I am guessing if they are not thrown then the only other answer is to send in Inspector Clouseau [Big Grin] [Wink]
Posted by Kevin Clark (Member # 211) on September 30, 2018, 11:38 AM:
Any I have just magically appeared at the end of our garden from time to time, delivered by Fairies and left just behind our Unicorn stable. [Big Grin]

Posted by Joe Caruso (Member # 11) on September 30, 2018, 11:48 AM:
Private Collectors, even the powers that be have and had their own libraries in 70, 35 and 16 - Occasionally someone gets careless and a few fly through the net - Find their merry-way through the pedestrian collector grapevine and there you are - We're fortunate that such prints are tended to faithfully by these stalwart individuals - Legality at this juncture is, for the most non-descript - Shorty
Posted by Tom Photiou (Member # 130) on September 30, 2018, 01:11 PM:
Ahh, kevin. I knew fairies were real. Thanks for confirming [Big Grin] [Big Grin] [Wink]
Posted by Winbert Hutahaean (Member # 58) on September 30, 2018, 04:40 PM:
did the film companies who required these prints back never investigate the dissapearing prints.
My good guess is because studios never thought it would have a (significant) value to anyone.

When I was in Canada, I wanted to screen an Indonesian F/L movie who won several international awards. I contacted the director to get his permission screening this via DVD. He said that he would not charge me for screening it but I had to screen it via 16mm print, the way he shot the film. I checked DHL for one way cost of shipping 2 cans (2400 feet) 16mm between Jakarta - Toronto.

The quotation I got was better to pay a ticket v.v for someone bringing the film to us [Razz]

Paying someone a v.v ticket would be no hassle with custom people, no need to fill any document, and faster because only point to point between the director and me. I canceled the screening because that was a non-profit event, and we were running out the budget.

That is a 16mm can guess what will be the cost for 35mm prints.

So perhaps during that time, many 35mm films were circulated but studios only need a statement from the cinemas that they have destroyed the prints without need to return the print physically. There is no point for studios paying the return shipping cost, knowing prints would have been worn/scratched.

For some reason, cinemas did not do this and studios did not also investigate it due to non significant value of that. In Indonesia, I have seen someone screening 35mm print of Spider-man (2002) . Coool heh...! [Cool]

Posted by Nantawat Kittiwarakul (Member # 6050) on September 30, 2018, 09:45 PM:
And here's the practice in this faraway land - namely Thailand.

The practice varies considerably from each distrubutors. Most major studios would be relatively strict - explicitly requesting every single prints to return to their warehouse after every thearical release (and being destroyed thereafter). Only a few of them were leased for sub-distributor running open-air cinema shows ("หนังกลางแปลง"). Not every prints come back after that...

For other distributors,they're pretty "flexible" for their rules. After initial countrywide theatrical realese,most prints would go to sub-distributors running open-air shows. 99% of them would be one way ticket - they're practically "sold" to the sub distrobutor,and eventually used to death. [Eek!] Some prints that survived this normal route would end up in collector's hand. Rest assured that they're worn out beyond presentable condition of course.

And this is how the story goes...

BTW and here's what those "used to death" prints look like and how it runs through the projector,go figure...




PS this is quite an extreme case...but you got the idea. [Roll Eyes]

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