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Archive-Name: movies/tech/part1
Posting-Frequency: monthly
Last-Modified: 2/98
Version: 2.00

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
                      Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
                               (with answers)
                                Version 2.00
                     (supersedes all previous versions)
                             February 14, 1998
                      Compiled, Edited, Maintained by
                              Scott E. Norwood
             Copyright İFebruary 14, 1998, by Scott E. Norwood
   This document may be freely distributed by electronic, paper, and
   other means, provided that it is distributed in its complete,
   unmodified form for non-commercial and/or educational purposes.
   Commercial use of the material contained herein is not permitted,
   unless prior written permission is obtained from the copyright holder.
   Others who have contributed to this document retain the rights to
   their own contributions (which are noted).
   The compiler of this document has attempted to make every reasonable
   effort to ensure that any information contained herein is accurate and
   complete. However, the compiler is unable to assume responsibility,
   legal or otherwise, for any inaccuracies, errors, or omissions
   relating to the information contained below. All of the information
   contained in this document is believed by its compiler to be held in
   the public domain. The compiler is not affiliated with any of the
   companies whose products are mentioned here, nor does he necessarily
   endorse these products. All statements about such products are for
   informational use only. U.S. trademarks are indicated by (tm) where
   applicable, and are used here without the permission of their owners.

     * Contents
     * 1 Introduction
          + 1.1 Purpose of
          + 1.2 Purpose of this FAQ list
          + 1.3 Standards of ``netiquette'' for news posting
          + 1.4 Credits
          + 1.5 Where is the latest version of this FAQ available?
          + 1.6 What is the best way to print this FAQ?
          + 1.7 What changes have been made to this FAQ since previous
               o 1.7.1 Version 0.01 (6/7/96)
               o 1.7.2 Version 0.02 (6/17/96)
               o 1.7.3 Version 0.03 (11/17/96)
               o 1.7.4 Version 1.00 (11/15/97)
               o 1.7.5 Version 2.00 (2/15/98)
     * 2 Motion Picture Formats (original cinematography)
          + 2.1 Which film gauges are currently in common usage for
            original cinematography?
               o 2.1.1 35mm - Standard Theatrical Gauge
               o 2.1.2 16mm - Home Movies/Television/Low-Budget
               o 2.1.3 8mm - Cheaper Home Movies
               o 2.1.4 Super 8mm - Better Home Movies
               o 2.1.5 65mm - Better Theatrical Features
          + 2.2 Which formats are common for 8mm cinematography?
          + 2.3 Regular 8mm/Super 8mm (standard 8mm/super 8mm frame)
          + 2.4 Which formats are common for 16mm cinematography?
               o 2.4.1 16mm (standard 16mm frame)
               o 2.4.2 Super 16mm (HDTV/35mm blowup frame)
          + 2.5 Which formats are common for 35mm cinematography?
               o 2.5.1 35mm (old silent frame)
               o 2.5.2 35mm (standard Academy frame)
               o 2.5.3 35mm Anamorphic (standard `wide screen' theatrical
               o 2.5.4 35mm VistaVision (visual effects frame)
               o 2.5.5 Super 35mm (production format for release prints
                 of various formats)
          + 2.6 Which formats are common for 65mm cinematography?
               o 2.6.1 65mm (standard 65mm theatrical frame)
               o 65mm (IMAX (tm) /OMNIMAX (tm) )
               o 65mm (SHOWSCAN (tm) )
     * 3 Motion Picture Formats (release prints intended for projection)
          + 3.1 Which film gauges are currently in common usage for
            release prints intended for projection?
          + 3.2 Why is wide-gauge film manufactured in the 65mm width for
            motion- picture cameras, and in 70mm for release prints?
          + 3.3 Which formats and aspect ratios are common for 8mm
            release prints?
               o 3.3.1 Regular 8mm/Super 8mm
               o 3.3.2 Regular 8mm/Super 8mm Anamorphic
          + 3.4 Which formats and aspect ratios are common for 16mm
            release prints?
               o 3.4.1 Regular 16mm
               o 3.4.2 16mm Anamorphic
               o 3.4.3 Super 16mm
          + 3.5 Which formats and aspect ratios are common for 35mm
            release prints?
               o 3.5.1 35mm Silent Frame
               o 3.5.2 35mm Academy Frame
               o 3.5.3 35mm `Flat' Wide Screen Formats
               o 3.5.4 35mm Anamorphic Frame
               o 3.5.5 Projecting Multiple Formats
          + 3.6 Which formats and aspect ratios are common for 70mm
            release prints?
               o 3.6.1 70mm Standard Frame
               o 70mm IMAX (tm) /OMNIMAX (tm) 15-Perf Frame
     * 4 Motion Picture Sound Formats (release prints intended for
          + 4.1 What analog sound formats are common for 8mm release
               o 4.1.1 Regular 8mm Magnetic (monophonic)
               o 4.1.2 Regular 8mm Magnetic (monophonic or stereo)
               o 4.1.3 Regular 8mm Optical (monophonic)
          + 4.2 What analog sound formats are common for 16mm release
               o 4.2.1 16mm Optical (monophonic)
               o 4.2.2 16mm Magnetic (monophonic)
          + 4.3 What analog sound formats are common for 35mm release
               o 35mm Optical (monophonic, stereo, or Dolby Stereo (tm) )
               o 4.3.2 35mm Magnetic (four-track stereo)
          + 4.4 What analog sound formats are common for 70mm release
               o 4.4.1 70mm Magnetic (six-track stereo)
          + 4.5 What are the three commonly used digital sound formats
            for 35mm release prints, and how do they work?
               o 4.5.1 General Information
               o Digital Theater Systems (DTS) (tm) 
               o Sony Dynamic Digital Stereo (SDDS) (tm) 
               o Dolby (tm) Spectral Recording Digital (SR-D) (tm) 
          + 4.6 What methods have been used for digital sound in formats
            other than 35mm?
     * 5 Motion Picture Presentation (theatrical projection)
          + 5.1 What type of projection and sound equipment is commonly
            used for commercial theatrical presentation?
               o 5.1.1 Projector/Lamphouse
               o 5.1.2 Sound System
          + 5.2 What are some specific examples of a common projection
          + 5.3 What are the differences between xenon, and carbon-arc
          + 5.4 How are `seamless' manual reel changeovers accomplished?
               o 5.4.1 Shipping Configurations for 35mm Prints
               o 5.4.2 Changeover Procedures
          + 5.5 How does a platter system work?
               o 5.5.1 Platter Configurations
               o 5.5.2 Platter Operation
          + 5.6 How are multiple projectors interlocked to run the same
            piece of film in multiple auditoria?
          + 5.7 What are the industry standards for image brightness and
            screen reflectivity?
          + 5.8 What are the industry standards for sound levels in a
            mono setup?
          + What are the industry standards for sound levels in a Dolby
            Stereo (tm) setup?
          + 5.10 How does a dual-format (35/70) projector work, and how
            is the changeover made between formats?
          + 5.11 What are the differences between nitrate-, acetate-, and
            polyester-based print stocks?
               o 5.11.1 Nitrate Base/Triacetate (Safety) Base
               o 5.11.2 Polyester Base
          + 5.12 What is the best way to avoid the static and shedding
            problems common in polyester prints?
          + 5.13 What precautions are necessary when projecting nitrate
          + 5.14 What are the proper procedures for print inspection
            prior to showing a film?
          + 5.15 What other problems are common in film projection, and
            how does one fix them?
     * 6 Film Laboratories
          + 6.1 What are the differences between reversal and negative
            film, and which is the most common?
               o 6.1.1 Differences Between Reversal and Negative Films
               o 6.1.2 Uses for Reversal and Negative Films
          + 6.2 What is a `one light work print'? A `timed work print'?
          + 6.3 What does a negative cutter do?
               o 6.3.1 General Information on Negative Conforming
               o 6.3.2 A & B (& C) Roll Conforming and Printing
          + 6.4 What is timing/color timing, and how does it affect the
            look of filmed images?
          + 6.5 What is an `answer print'?
          + 6.6 What is an `interpositive'? An `internegative'?
          + 6.7 What is a `check print'?
          + 6.8 What is a `release print'?
          + 6.9 What is the difference between release prints made for
            projection with tungsten lamps and release prints made for
            projection with xenon lamps?
          + 6.10 What is a `low-contrast print'?
          + 6.11 What is `green film'? Why isn't it green?
          + 6.12 What are currently the standard reel/can sizes for the
            various film formats?
          + 6.13 How can I process reversal films at home?
     * 7 Film for Videotape and Television (and vice-versa)
          + 7.1 How is the frame-rate difference worked out when film is
            displayed on television?
               o 7.1.1 European Television Standard
               o 7.1.2 U.S./Canada/Japan Television Standard
          + 7.2 What are the various methods used to display film on
            television or videotape? Which are the most common?
               o 7.2.1 Film Chains
               o 7.2.2 Flying Spot Scanners
          + 7.3 How are film negatives cut to match an edit done on
          + 7.4 How is the sound re-synced to the film to match an edit
            and mix done on videotape?
          + 7.5 What formats of videotape are most commonly used for film
            post- production?
               o 7.5.1 Television Films
               o 7.5.2 Theatrical Films
          + 7.6 What formats of videotape are most commonly used for
            television broadcast of filmed material?
          + 7.7 How are 70mm films displayed on television or videotape?
          + 7.8 How is material originated on videotape transferred to
            film for theatrical projection? How is the sound synced?
     * 8 Opinions
          + 8.1 What is the most workable method of projecting super-16mm
            workprint with separate fullcoat magnetic soundtrack?
               o 8.1.1 Double-Band Interlock Projector
               o 8.1.2 Standard Projector Interlocked With Dubber
          + 8.2 What is the likely future for 2.5-perf 35mm release
          + 8.3 Which films are good examples of wide screen composition?
          + 8.4 Which films are good examples of multi-channel sound
          + 8.5 What are some recommendations for long-term film storage?
     * 9 Obsolete Film Formats
          + What was `Cinerama' (tm) ? How did it work? Why did it become
          + 9.2 What was `Techniscope'? How did it work? Why did it
            become obsolete?
          + What was `Ultra Panavision 70 (tm) ' a.k.a. `MGM Camera 65
            (tm) '? How did it work? Why did it become obsolete?
          + What was `CinemaScope (tm) 55'? How did it work? Why did it
     * 10 Miscellaneous
          + What is THX (tm) certification, and what standards are
            necessary for a theater which wishes to obtain it?
          + 10.2 What equipment is necessary for a `home cinema' for 16mm
            and where can it be begged for/purchased?
          + 10.3 What equipment is necessary for a `home cinema' for 35mm
            and where can it be begged for/purchased?
          + 10.4 Where can one purchase or rent release prints in
          + 10.5 What are the various processes used for color in motion
          + 10.6 What are the various frame rates which have been used
            for motion pictures?
          + 10.7 What are the three different types of perforations used
            for 35mm release prints?
          + 10.8 What is a `reverse scanning solar cell' and how does it
            improve sound reproduction?
          + 10.9 Who is R. Michael Hayes, and why are they saying those
            things about him?
          + 10.10 Why are `trailers' called `trailers' when they are
            spliced after the `leader' of a movie?
          + 10.11 What books are useful for one interested in film
            formats and presentation?
          + 10.12 What magazines and other publications are useful for
            one interested in film formats and presentation?
          + 10.13 What online resources exist for one interested in film
            formats and presentation?
     * 11 Reference Information
          + 11.1 What are the footage/time conversions for the various
            film formats?
          + 11.2 What are the lens focal length/image size conversions
            for the various film formats?
               o 11.2.1 16mm Chart
          + 11.3 What are the standard locations for reel-change cue
            marks on U.S. release prints in the various film formats?
                                1 Introduction
1.1 Purpose of

    This is one of many USENET newsgroups in the rec.arts.movies.*
   hierarchy; its purpose is to facilitate the discussion of the many
   technical details associated with motion pictures. Topics often
   include questions about projection issues in theaters, film and sound
   formats and aspect ratios, equipment used in film production and
   presentation, and, occasionally, visual effects used in motion
   pictures. This group is intended for text messages only. Binaries
   should be uuencoded and posted to the appropriate groups within the
   alt.binaries hierarchy, or, preferably, made available through the
   World Wide Web or anonymous FTP. As is the case with most USENET
   groups, messages posted in HTML or any other non-plaintext format are
   strongly discouraged.
1.2 Purpose of this FAQ list

   As is the nature with USENET groups, similar questions and topics are
   often raised. Thus, in order to save network bandwidth
   (information-carrying capacity), the time of those who read the
   groups, and to promote more interesting discussions, a list of
   frequently asked questions (FAQs) and their answers is often
   assembled, and posted regularly to the newsgroup. It should be
   mentioned that the purpose of the FAQ is not to inhibit or restrict
   newsgroup discussions, but rather to encourage more enlightening
   discussions by freeing the group's readers from the burden of
   regularly answering the same or similar questions.
1.3 Standards of ``netiquette'' for news posting

   New readers of USENET news would do well to spend a few minutes
   reading the information posted in the group news.announce.newusers, as
   well as reading the posts made by other readers of prior to posting their own messages to it.
   Additionally, it would likely benefit everyone who reads the group if
   the few points below were kept in mind when posting:
          Make subject lines descriptive! While is
          not overflowing with posts, it still saves time for its readers
          to ensure that subject lines are reflective of the content of
          the post. Don't use ``70mm'' as a subject head. Instead, use
          something like ``Correct Aspect Ratio for 70mm?''. Don't use
          ``projector,'' but rather use ``FS: Bell and Howell sound
          super-8 Projector.''
          Don't post excessively long messages (see warning about posting
          of binaries above in  1.1).
          When quoting from someone else's message in a followup post, be
          sure to check that the person whom you're quoting actually
          wrote the material you quote. Also, try to edit quoted material
          for length (but never content)-don't quote 700 lines of
          previous posts and then type ``I agree'' at the bottom. This
          type of post serves the interests of no one.
          Don't post blatantly commercial material, particularly if the
          material does not fall under the charter of
 ``Garage Sale''-type posts are considered
          to be acceptable, as long as they are non-commercial in nature,
          and are not posted regularly.
          Don't type in all caps (LIKE THIS). Nearly all terminals in use
          today (as well as personal computers) will support lower-case
          letters, which are easier to read for most people.
1.4 Credits

   [perpetually under construction]
   Thanks to the following individuals for reviewing the first edition of
   this FAQ, and correcting my numerous errors and omissions: Andrew
   Shepherd, David Richards, Martin Gignac, David Pomes, Scott Marshall, Gordon McLeod, Stephen Bradley, and
   Clive Tobin I am duly humbled. Special thanks to Ed
   Inman for his great information on home processing
   of reversal films (included in the 'Film Laboratories' section). Ralph
   Daniel provided the Cinerama Features List
   (included in the 'Cinerama' section), which was appended to by Vince
   Young Jim Harwood and Frank Wylie provided the valuable recommendations on film
   storage, located in the `Opinions' section.
1.5 Where is the latest version of this FAQ available?

   The current version will always be available for viewing on the World
   Wide Web at:
   The current version of the FAQ is also posted monthly to
   rec.arts.movies. tech, rec.answers, and news.answers. It is available
   via anonymous FTP from the various FAQ archive sites, most notably and is located in the
   /pub/usenet-by-group/ directory.
   I will also send this document by email to anyone who requests it.
   Just send your request to the following Internet address: I will send it out as soon as possible.
   Comments, corrections, additions, and suggestions are always
   encouraged. Please either post them to, or,
   preferably, email them directly to me, and I will incorporate them
   into future versions of this FAQ.
1.6 What is the best way to print this FAQ?

   Beginning with version 2.00, this file is available in several
   formats: a plaintext version (which is posted to r.a.m.t), an HTML
   version (designed for viewing on the World Wide Web), a raw PostScript
   version, and a DVI file.
   The plaintext version is formatted for 80 columns, and can be printed
   on a standard 80-column dot-matrix or laser printer (it looks best at
   six lines per inch vertical spacing). This file may be loaded into
   almost any word processor or text editor, and printed from within that
   environment, or may be sent directly to the printer device. If a
   choice of typefaces is offered, be sure to select one of the
   `monospace' variety (Courier, Prestige, Monaco, etc.) to ensure that
   the ASCII diagrams below are properly reproduced; also, be sure to set
   the margins to allow for at least 80 characters of text per line.
   For those who have access to the World Wide Web, the HTML version of
   this document can be printed from within a standard web browser (Lynx,
   Mosaic, Netscape, etc.). The content is identical to the plaintext
   version, although the HTML version looks slightly better.
   The PostScript file provides the best-looking output, and can be
   viewed online using software such as ghostscript or ghostview, or it
   may be printed using a PostScript-capable printer.
   The DVI file can be printed on DVI (Device Independent) printers, or
   may be converted into other formats.
1.7 What changes have been made to this FAQ since previous versions?

  1.7.1 Version 0.01 (6/7/96)
          (no previous version)
  1.7.2 Version 0.02 (6/17/96)
          Record of modifications (this list) begun.
          FAQ broken up into four sections (from the original two) in
          order to accommodate future additions and modifications;
          hopefully, four sections will be enough to accommodate all
          foreseeable changes and additions, as more than four sections
          can be confusing to new readers (who most need to read the
          Third hierarchy of section numbering added to many sections of
          Disclaimer modified slightly, and reformatted to take up fewer
          Trademark indications added to trademarked format/process names
          (I know they look silly, but I need to protect myself!).
          Names added to `Credits' section.
          Numerous corrections/additions/rearrangements/wording changes
          made to entire FAQ.
          ASCII diagrams of film frames `flipped' to conform to standard
          film-frame diagram format (i.e. to show what it would look like
          to project a `complete' film frame onto a large screen).
          Information on home processing of reversal film added.
          Various categories relating to obsolete processes have been
          deleted, as they all can be included in the section devoted to
          obsolete formats.
          `Opinions' section substantially reduced, due to liability
  1.7.3 Version 0.03 (11/17/96)
          Numerous corrections/additions/rearrangements to entire
          document, in preparation for v.1.00.
  1.7.4 Version 1.00 (11/15/97)
          General overhaul of all sections; long-overdue extensive
          corrections and updates.
          Expansion of several sections (most notably those regarding
          Cinerama and other widescreen processes).
  1.7.5 Version 2.00 (2/15/98)
          Entire file reformatted in LaTeX, to automate production of
          multiple formats (ASCII, HTML, PostScript, etc.). Although this
          document was originally posted to r.a.m.t in four parts (for
          compatability with older news software), it will now be posted
          as a single large file.
          Many sections re-worded for clarity and style.
          Several factual corrections made.
              2 Motion Picture Formats (original cinematography)
2.1 Which film gauges are currently in common usage for original

  2.1.1 35mm - Standard Theatrical Gauge
   The standard gauge for theatrical motion pictures has always been
   35mm. This rather arbitrary width supposedly originated with an
   agreement made between Thomas Edison's associate, William K. L.
   Dickson, and George Eastman in the early days of motion pictures,
   because the original Kodak (tm) box camera used film which was 70mm
   wide, and a 35mm motion-picture stock could inexpensively be derived
   from this stock by slitting it lengthwise and perforating the edges.
   This gauge remains the most widely used for theatrical features, and
   is also commonly used for television work.
  2.1.2 16mm - Home Movies/Television/Low-Budget Theatrical
   In 1923, 16mm was introduced by Kodak (tm) for home-movie use (just
   after 9.5mm, now a nearly dead amateur format, was introduced in
   Europe). Supposedly this width was chosen instead of 17.5mm (half of
   the commercial standard) for safety reasons-at the time 35mm stock was
   manufactured on a nitrate base, making it extremely flammable. This,
   of course, would be too dangerous for home use, and so 16mm was
   manufactured on a so-called `safety film' acetate base, which was not
   flammable. This non-even division of 35mm discouraged the cutting of
   16mm film from dangerous nitrate stock. Since its early days, 16mm has
   become the `jack-of-all-trades' of film formats, finding use for
   everything from home movies through medium-budget features. Most
   current use is for television work and low-budget features. The
   Super-16 format, described below, originated in the 1970's, as an
   inexpensive means for providing additional negative area within the
   16mm format.
  2.1.3 8mm - Cheaper Home Movies
   In 1932, 8mm film was introduced in order to bring home movies to the
   masses. This `regular 8mm' is standard 16mm film which has twice as
   many perforations as 16mm. It is run through an 8mm camera normally,
   exposing one half of its width. The take-up spool then is flipped and
   the film is reloaded, so as to run through the camera opposite to its
   original direction, exposing the other half of its width. After the
   film is developed at the laboratory, it is slit down the middle and
   the pieces are spliced together, resulting in an 8mm film. Regular 8mm
   is not commonly used now, given the superiority of Super 8mm, and the
   film is difficult to find now (although it is still available). Unlike
   the other major formats mentioned here, cameras for regular 8mm are no
   longer manufactured.
  2.1.4 Super 8mm - Better Home Movies
   In 1965, it was found that the perforations on 8mm film could be made
   smaller in order to allow for a larger image area, and thus a sharper
   picture. This resulted in `super-8mm' film, which is sold pre-loaded
   into plastic cartridges (as opposed to the metal spools of regular
   8mm), which snap into the camera. Unlike other gauges, the `pressure
   plate' (the piece which provides pressure on the back of the film in
   the gate area, in order to ensure that the film lies flat when it is
   exposed) is plastic and is built into the cartridge. In other gauges,
   it is a (usually) removable (for cleaning) metal plate which is part
   of the camera. Super 8mm is now used mostly by students, those
   shooting no-budget films, portions of feature films which demand a
   super 8mm 'look,' music videos, and some direct-to-TV/video work. A
   variant of the Super 8mm format, ``Single 8,'' was sold by Fuji and
   possibly other manufacturers, which used the same film stock, packaged
   in somewhat different-shaped camera cartridges; cameras were made
   specifically for this format. Once processed, film can be projected on
   any Super 8mm projector. Current availability of Single 8 cameras and
   film stock is unknown.
  2.1.5 65mm - Better Theatrical Features
   Despite a brief experimental period in the 1920's and 1930's, `wide
   screen' motion pictures did become popular among film producers until
   the 1950's and 1960's, when television began to pose a threat to their
   business. At that time, wide film stocks existed in a number of
   widths, but eventually 65mm became the standard film stock for
   large-format cinematography. This offered a picture of substantially
   higher resolution, steadiness, and apparent color saturation than
   standard 35mm film. This format is now used for some theatrical
   features, as well as 'special-venue' and 'ride' films (see below).
2.2 Which formats are common for 8mm cinematography?

          regular 8mm camera frame: .192" x .145"
          super 8mm camera frame: .224" x .163"
2.3 Regular 8mm/Super 8mm (standard 8mm/super 8mm frame)

   As mentioned above, there are two `varieties' of 8mm film, both of
   which are still in use. Both of these varieties are commonly shot
   `flat' (i.e. without any `anamorphic' horizontal compression), using
   standard lenses.
   Several frame rates are used in these formats: films shot for silent
   projection (no sound-on-film) are usually photographed at 16 frames
   per second (fps), 18 fps, or 24 fps. Films shot for sound-on-film
   projection run at 18 fps, or, more commonly, 24 fps. Different cameras
   provide different combinations of shooting rates.
   Regular 8mm commonly comes in 25' and 50' spools, as well as 100'
   spools (although the Bolex regular 8mm is the only camera which takes
   the 100' spools). Super 8mm comes in 50' and, less commonly, 200'
   cartridges. Most cameras are only capable of accepting the 50'
   cartridge, though. Eastman Kodak (tm) once produced super 8mm `sound'
   cartridges, which contained film with pre-applied magnetic stripes
   along the edges, designed to be recorded in camera. Production of new
   pre-striped super 8mm film was discontinued in the fall of 1997, due
   to lack of demand.
regular 8mm film frame:                 super 8mm film frame:
  (note big perforations)                 (note small perforation)

  |                  |               |                  |
  | -------------- O |               | ---------------- |
  | |    Small   |   |               | |     Larger   | |
  | |    Image   |   |               | |     Image    |o| <--- Smaller
  | |    Area    |   |               | |     Area     | |    Perforation
  | -------------- O |               | ---------------- |
  |                  |               |                  |

  |<------ 8mm ----->|               |<------ 8mm ----->|

2.4 Which formats are common for 16mm cinematography?

  2.4.1 16mm (standard 16mm frame)
          standard 16mm camera frame: .404" x .295"
   Like 8mm and super 8mm, 16mm films are almost always shot `flat,' as
   few anamorphic camera lenses are currently available, although they
   were somewhat more common in the 1960's for sophisticated amateurs.
   The 16mm film stock itself has not changed since the format's
   introduction, and it is almost always double-perforated (i.e. it has
   sprocket holes on both sides), though few cameras actually require
   this (the Maurer and the Mitchell 16mm models do, however).
   Double-perf camera stock is becoming rarer, however, with the increase
   in Super 16mm production; it is now special-order from Eastman Kodak
   (tm) and other manufacturers.
   The film itself comes either wound tightly around a plastic `core,'
   for loading into a camera magazine (either in a darkroom, or a
   portable `changing bag'), or, for 100' and 200' lengths, mounted on
   small metal spools (like those for regular 8mm), which can be loaded
   into the camera in moderately bright daylight. Professionals usually
   use 400' and (rarely) 1200' lengths of the film. (The Panavision 16 is
   the only currently-available camera which will take the 1200' rolls;
   old newsreel cameras, such as the Auricon (which is still available on
   the used market), also can take this large size).
   Films shot in 16mm almost always run at 24 frames per second (fps),
   with the exception of many silent home movies which are sometimes shot
   at 16 fps. European television films are photographed at 25 fps to
   match the frame rate of the PAL television standard. Occasionally,
   U.S. television films are shot at 29.97 fps or 23.976 fps to match or
   nearly match the TV standard, respectively.
   As with super 8mm, magnetic-striped 16mm raw stock was once available
   for use in cameras with built-in recording heads, although pre-striped
   stock is no longer available. It was primarily used for TV newsfilm
   applications, until 3/4" videotape replaced 16mm for newsgathering in
   the late 1970's/early 1980's.
  2.4.2 Super 16mm (HDTV/35mm blowup frame)
          super 16mm camera frame: .488" x .295"
   In the 1970's, super 16mm was developed as a filming format primarily
   for productions which were to originate on 16mm (supported heavily by
   Aaton (tm) , the French camera manufacturer), but be ``blown up'' to
   35mm for theatrical release (as few commercial theaters have 16mm
   projectors). The image was made wider, extending into the far edge of
   the film, formerly occupied by an extra set of perforations on camera
   film or a soundtrack on release prints (unlike regular 16mm, camera
   film for super 16mm shooting must be `single-perf'-i.e. it has
   sprocket holes on only one edge, with the other edge left for the
   image). This provides a higher-resolution image when the film is blown
   up to 35mm, because there is a larger image area, and because there is
   less cropping of the image to fit the usual American 35mm aspect ratio
   of 1.85:1, or the European ratio of 1.66:1. The disadvantage, though,
   is that it is not a projection format, as a single piece of 16mm film
   cannot accommodate both the larger image and a soundtrack.
   Some producers are shooting TV shows on super 16mm, with the intent of
   re-transferring the negatives to videotape when and if high definition
   television (HDTV) comes into widespread use. The wider aspect ratio is
   very close to the proposed U.S. HDTV standard of 1.77:1 (16/9), and so
   super 16mm films could be shown with little cropping, whereas a 1.37:1
   picture would either have the top and bottom edges cropped, or the
   sides masked inward to fit on an HDTV screen (yielding a very small
   picture). Presumably, then, super 16mm is a way for producers worried
   about upcoming technological changes in television to `future proof' a
   television show, so that it can be presented in any form, with the
   highest quality images allowed by the format chosen for future TV
16mm film frame:                   super 16mm film frame:

  |                  |               |                  |
  | O--------------O |               |-----------------O|
  | |     Image    | | Image area -->|      Image      ||
  | |     Area     | | extends to    |      Area       ||
  | O--------------O |    edge of    |-----------------O|
  |                  |     film.     |                  |

  |<----- 16mm ----->|               |<----- 16mm ----->|

2.5 Which formats are common for 35mm cinematography?

          35mm silent camera frame: .980" x .735"
          35mm Academy camera frame: .864" x .630"
          35mm ``Super 35'' camera frame: .980" x .735"
          35mm VistaVision camera frame: 1.485" x .991"
          35mm Anamorphic camera frame: .864" x .732"
  2.5.1 35mm (old silent frame)
   Early films were all shot with this camera apeture prior to the advent
   of sound-on-film. When sound was first introduced, a variety of odd
   aspect ratios (including an almost 1:17 square picture) were
   considered, as the image area had to be narrowed in order to leave
   space for the soundtrack. Silent 35mm films were shot at roughly 16
   frames per second (fps), using hand-cranked cameras and projectors. In
   practice, speed varied substantially even throughout a single roll,
   and among different titles.. For this reason, running times are almost
   never listed for silent films; instead, length is listed as number of
   reels or number of feet. The advent of sound standardized filming
   speed at 24 fps. When silent films are shown today at 24fps, they
   often appear `sped up' and tend to look unnatural.
  2.5.2 35mm (standard Academy frame)
   In order to maintain a similar projected aspect ratio for both sound
   and silent films, the Academy frame was introduced, and has since
   become standard. It used the greatest possible width (allowing for
   soundtrack space on prints), and reduced the height somewhat in order
   to make the projected image retain a 1.37:1 projected aspect ratio.
   Earlier silent prints were designed to be projected in a 1.33:1 ratio.
   During the `wide screen' craze of the late 1950's and early 1960's,
   anamorphic cinematography (a.k.a. `CinemaScope (tm) ,' and, later,
   `Panavision (tm) ') became commonplace. In order to advertise their
   films as being `wide screen' movies, many producers who had a large
   collection of yet-to-be-released 1.37:1 films just cropped off the top
   and bottom edges of the frame (including titles and other important
   elements), leaving a 1.66:1 or 1.85:1 ratio movie. Later, continuing
   through the present, non-anamorphic (`flat') films were composed to
   fit on a 1.85:1 screen. These films, however, are still photographed
   with an Academy camera frame, although the camera's viewfinder usually
   does not show the top and bottom edges. Occasionally, a 'hard matte'
   is used in the camera or printer, masking off the top and bottom edges
   of the frame. When films are shot `soft matte,' projection errors can
   cause undesired elements (such as boom microphones) to show up in the
   frame; sometimes, extra area above and below the intended framelines
   is visible in TV broadcasts of thse films, as well.
   Nearly all 35mm film is shipped wound around plastic cores, and it
   comes in 200', 400', and 1000' lengths. Small 100' metal spools are
   also available, for use in small windup cameras like the Bell and
   Howell (tm) Eyemo.
   Most 35mm sound films are shot at 24 fps, as the faster frame rate
   both improves the sound quality (with respect to the synchronization
   with the image-lower frame rates look strange with lip-sync sound). As
   with 16mm, though, some European television films are shot at 25 fps,
   to match the TV frame rate, and some US television films are shot at
   29.97 or 23.976 fps, to match or nearly match the U.S. TV frame rate,
   It should be noted that sound is never recorded directly on the 35mm
   film while shooting-filming is done in `double system' fashion,
   usually using a crystal-controlled camera motor which runs at an exact
   speed, along with a crystal-controlled 1/4" tape machine (usually a
   Nagra 4.2) or DAT machine.
  2.5.3 35mm Anamorphic (standard `wide screen' theatrical frame)
   As mentioned above, during the late 1950's and early 1960's, in order
   to compete with television, the motion picture industry developed a
   number of systems to achieve a wider aspect ratio than previously
   used; the idea was to provide a `larger than life' movie experience,
   combining huge, curved screens, with improved sound quality. Besides
   simply cropping off the top and bottom of the frame, the most
   successful such system was `anamorphic cinematography,' initially
   introduced as `CinemaScope (tm) ' with The Robe, in 1953. This process
   involves photographing a film with a lens which has an anamorphic
   element in it. This element `squeezes' the image horizontally by a
   factor of 2x. The `squeezed' image fills a large space on the
   negative, but, when `unsqueezed' upon projection, yields an image with
   a wide aspect ratio. This ratio actually varies slightly depending
   upon the exact projector mask which is used, as well as the sound
   The disadvantage to shooting in anamorphic is usually that the lenses
   used introduce weird types of distortion and lack the depth of field
   (front to rear sharpness) of standard `spherical' lenses. For example,
   a night scene in a film might contain out-of-focus points of light in
   the background; if they were filmed with spherical lenses, the lights
   would appear to be circular, but would appear to be vertical ellipses
   if they were filmed with anamorphic lenses.
   Anamorphic cinematography is still in common usage for major
   theatrical films, and is often indicated by the phrase `filmed in
   Panavision (tm) ' (if the lenses/cameras were made by Panavision (tm)
   ), which has displaced `CinemaScope (tm) ' as the usual term for this
   process, although many people still refer to anamorphic films as
   `scope' films. It is worth noting, though, that companies other than
   Panavision (tm) manufacture, rent, and sell anamorphic camera lenses.
   Also, the phrase `filmed with Panavision (tm) cameras and lenses'
   indicates that Panavision (tm) gear was used, but the film is not in
   anamorphic (they rent spherical [non-anamorphic] lenses, too).
  2.5.4 35mm VistaVision (visual effects frame)
   During the `wide screen' heyday, Paramount developed the `VistaVision'
   format (``Motion Picture High Fidelity''), which involved running the
   film through the camera sideways, exposing an image eight perforations
   wide (the same format as used by 35mm still cameras). This negative
   was then optically printed onto a standard release print, of various
   aspect ratios, or projected horizontally, with a soundtrack printed on
   one edge of the film. This format is now rarely used for feature film
   cinematography, although it is often used for background plates and
   other visual effects scenes which benefit from the extra negative area
   and resulting high resolution of that format, as the negative contains
   an area which is four times that of a standard 1.85:1 projected frame.
   The actual prints made from this format (at the time when it was
   common for features) were intended to be projected in a variety of
   aspect ratios. Common ones include: 1.66:1, 1.85:1, and 2:1. Other
   aspect ratios were used for projection as well, but never gained wide
  2.5.5 Super 35mm (production format for release prints of various formats)
   A recent development has been `super 35mm,' which, like super 16mm,
   extends the photographed image out into the soundtrack area (it uses
   the same frame area as old silent movies), and must be optically
   printed onto print stock in order to make projection prints. The
   possible advantage to this is that it allows a cinematographer to use
   `spherical' (standard) lenses to shoot a film which may eventually be
   printed in anamorphic. Spherical lenses are less expensive to rent
   than anamorphics, and do not have the characteristic optical
   distortion which is common to anamorphic lenses. The disadvantage is
   that the images are often grainier than those originally shot with
   anamorphic lenses, and the optical printing stage is expensive and
   adds its own type of distortion.
   Super 35mm is also used by some directors and cinematographers because
   they feel that it allows for a less problematic full-screen television
   version of the film. Because super 35mm negatives carry more picture
   than will eventually be projected, a nicer-looking TV version of the
   film can be created. This works by manipulating the area of the film
   which is displayed on the television screen, using the extra picture
   at the top and bottom of the frame to `fill in' areas which would
   ordinarily lack a portion of the image, when the TV frame must center
   on a specific area at the edge of the theatrical frame.
   Super 35mm prints can be 'extracted' from various portions of the
   negative. A `top-extraction' or `common headroom' extraction is made
   such that the very top frameline of the super 35mm negative
   corresponds to the very top frameline of the print. A `symmetrical' or
   `center- extraction' print is made such that equal top and bottom
   areas are cropped off of the super 35mm negative. The viewfinder
   markings are adjusted to match the chosen format.
   Interestingly, super 35mm is nearly identical to the `Superscope 235'
   process used in by RKO Pictures. The first film to use this format was
   Run for the Sun in 1956. This was photographed using almost the same
   frame area as Super 35mm, and then optically printed onto CinemaScope
   (tm) release prints, leaving extra image area at the top and bottom of
   the frame for TV prints.
35mm film frame:                   35mm film frame:
  (Academy ratio)                    (1.85:1 ratio)
                                     (note inefficient use of negative space,
                                      which is photographed in the camera,
                                      but not projected)

  |                        |         |                        |
  |O   -------------------O|         |O    (unused space)    O|
  |    |                 | |         |    ------------------- |
  |O   |       Image     |O|         |O   |      Image      |O|
  |    |                 | |         |    |      Area       | |
  |O   |       Area      |O|         |O   |                 |O|
  |    |                 | |         |    ------------------- |
  |O   -------------------O|         |O    (unused space)    O|
  |                        |         |                        |

  |<-------- 35mm -------->|         |<-------- 35mm -------->|

super 35mm/silent film frame:      35mm anamorphic film frame:

  |                        |         |                        |
  |O----------------------O|         |O   -------------------O|
  | |                    | |         |    |                 | |
  |O|        Larger      |O|         |O   |    'Squeezed'   |O|
  | |        Image       | |         |    |      Image      | |
  |O|        Area        |O|         |O   |      Area       |O|
  | |                    | |         |    |                 | |
  |O----------------------O|         |O   -------------------O|
  |                        |         |                        |

  |<-------- 35mm -------->|         |<-------- 35mm -------->|

Vista Vision film frame:

  --------------------------   ---
    O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O     /|\
    |--------------------|      |
    |     Very Large     |      |
    |                    |     35mm
    |     Image Area     |      |
    |--------------------|      |
    O  O  O  O  O  O  O  O     \|/
  --------------------------   ---

NOTE:  The blank space to the left of the image area in the above diagrams
       (except for Vista Vision and super 35mm) is reserved for a soundtrack
       which is printed on release prints.

2.6 Which formats are common for 65mm cinematography?

          5-perf 70mm camera frame: 2.066" x .906"
          15-perf 70mm IMAX (tm) camera frame: 2.772" x 2.072"
  2.6.1 65mm (standard 65mm theatrical frame)
   The 65mm theatrical film frame is five perforations high (rather than
   four for 35mm), and is capable of accepting a wider frame than 35mm
   when photographed `flat.' While there have been attempts at fitting
   anamorphic lenses onto 65mm cameras (such as `Ultra Panavision (tm)
   70'/`MGM Camera 65 (tm) ,' most notably for the film Ben Hur, which
   was originally presented in a 2.75:1 aspect ratio), none are presently
   in use. While 65mm was once a popular shooting format, it is no longer
   in wide usage, with the 1996 production of Kenneth Branagh's Hamlet
   being the last major feature to use this film gauge.
   It is hoped that the new digital sound formats will eliminate the
   magnetic striping used in the past for soundtracks, which contributed
   greatly to the cost of this format. Also, the potential exhibition
   market for this format is larger than it has been in the past, since
   many of the recently-built multiplex theaters have at least one screen
   which is capable of showing 70mm, which was often originally installed
   in order to show blowup prints of 35mm with the six-track stereo sound
   which only the 70m print could provide (prior to the advent of
   digital). The DTS digital format was successfully used for the 1996
   70mm restoration prints of Vertigo (photographed in VistaVision). In
   1997, several 70mm blowup prints of Titanic were struck from the super
   35mm negative, also employing the DTS system.
  65mm (IMAX (tm) /OMNIMAX (tm) )
   The 65mm format is gaining popularity in the growing `ride film'
   industry and for `special venue' production in various formats like
   IMAX (tm) and IMAX DOME (tm) (formerly known as OMNIMAX (tm) ), which
   use film frames of fifteen perforations wide. The film is run through
   the camera and projector sideways, just like VistaVision, at fifteen
   perforations of length per frame. IMAX (tm) has a projected aspect
   ratio of about 1.43:1, but uses a very large screen to achieve its
   effect. IMAX DOME (tm) /OMNIMAX (tm) films are shot with the same
   cameras and lenses, but are projected onto a domed screen through a
   fisheye lens. The screen itself is tilted somewhat toward the
   audience, who sit in reclining chairs, arranged in a steeply-sloping
   arrangement. Films photographed specifically for the domed screens use
   wider lenses which help to reduce the distortion around the edges of
   the screens.
   There is a similar process to IMAX (tm) , known as IMAX-HD (tm) ,
   which uses the same setup, running at 48 frames per second, in order
   to achieve a more life-like, better-looking picture.
   It is worth noting that none of the formats yet designed by the
   Canadian IMAX (tm) company carries a soundtrack on the print. In older
   setups, the sound is reproduced from a 35mm 6-track magnetic film
   which is run on a dubber-type device, interlocked to the speed of the
   projector (and if the power fluctuates significantly during a show,
   sync is lost). Newer installations also have the capability of running
   the sound off of a CD-ROM disk (as with DTS (tm) ), driven by a
   tachometer output from the projector or a timecode on the film; even
   when the sound is reproduced from CD, magnetic film is often still run
   as a backup. A few films (such as Grand Canyon) used soundtracks
   reproduced from 1/2" audio tape, using an 8-track recorder synched to
   the projector.
  65mm (SHOWSCAN (tm) )
   SHOWSCAN (tm) is somewhat of a competitive format to IMAX (tm) and
   IMAX-HD (tm) , conceived and supported primarily by Douglas Trumbull
   and his Showscan Corporation. It uses 65mm film running vertically at
   a rate of 60 frames per second (fps), five perforations per frame,
   whereas standard IMAX (tm) , like almost every other format, runs at
   24 fps. Supposedly this could give a clearer picture with fewer
   `strobing'-type artifacts of the usual double-bladed shutter used for
   35mm and standard 65mm (Showscan (tm) and IMAX-HD (tm) both use
   projector shutters which show each image only once) and other
   shortcomings of the 24 fps standard, in which the projector normally
   shows each frame twice (using a double-bladed shutter, which makes one
   revolution for each frame), which reduces apparent flicker somewhat.
   Formats using the higher frame rate do not appear to flicker anyway,
   and thus do not need this `fix.'
       3 Motion Picture Formats (release prints intended for projection)
3.1 Which film gauges are currently in common usage for release prints intended
for projection?

          8mm (primarily amateur/low budget)
          16mm (primarily nontheatrical)
          35mm (theatrical)
          70mm (theatrical/special-venue)
3.2 Why is wide-gauge film manufactured in the 65mm width for motion- picture
cameras, and in 70mm for release prints?

   [under construction]
3.3 Which formats and aspect ratios are common for 8mm release prints?

          standard regular 8mm projection frame: .172" x .129"
          anamorphic regular 8mm projection frame: .172" x .129" (rare)
          standard super 8mm projection frame: .209" x .156"
          anamorphic 8mm projection frame: .209" x .156" (rare)
  3.3.1 Regular 8mm/Super 8mm
   Regular 8mm has a projected aspect ratio of 1.33:1, matching the 35mm
   silent frame. Super 8mm has a similar projected aspect ratio of
   1.34:1. Release prints in regular 8mm usually do not have a
   soundtrack, although a few rare prints do. Super 8mm prints often have
   a magnetic or optical soundtrack, located on the edge of the film
   opposite the perforated edge. Films with magnetic sound also have a
   `balance stripe' on the perforated edge in order to keep the film
   thickness even, although sound is not normally recorded on it.
  3.3.2 Regular 8mm/Super 8mm Anamorphic
   Many 8mm reduction prints of 35mm anamorphic original films are
   printed in a 2:1 squeeze ratio, which retains the original side
   framing, but crops off a small portion of the top and bottom of the
   frame. The final aspect ratios are 2.66:1 and 2.68:1 for regular 8mm
   and super 8mm, respectively. Projection of these films, obviously,
   requires an anamorphic lens for the projector in order to `unsqueeze'
   the image. These lenses are, unfortunately, difficult to find, and
   often expensive, despite their less-than-perfect image quality.
regular 8mm release print frame:   super 8mm release print frame:
  (note big perforations)            (note small perforation)

  |                  |               |                  |
  |s-------------- O |               |s---------------- |
  |o|    Small   | | |               |o|     Larger   | |
  |u|    Image   | | |               |u|     Image    |o| <--- Smaller
  |n|    Area    | | |               |n|     Area     | |    Perforation
  |d-------------- O |               |d---------------- |
  |                  |               |                  |

  |<------ 8mm ----->|               |<------ 8mm ----->|

3.4 Which formats and aspect ratios are common for 16mm release prints?

          standard regular 16mm projection frame: .373" x .272"
          anamorphic regular 16mm projection frame: .373" x .272"
          super 16mm projection frame: .468" x .282"
          1.85:1 super 16mm projection frame: .468" x .253"
  3.4.1 Regular 16mm
   When 16mm was first developed, 35mm silent films were shot for
   projection in an aspect ratio (width to height ratio) of 1.33:1; thus,
   the 16mm aspect ratio of 1.37:1 was designed to be relatively close to
   the 35mm one. Unlike 35mm, however, no modification of aspect ratio
   was needed in order to accommodate sound-on-film prints (the sound is
   printed on one edge of the film, in the space formerly occupied by a
   second set of sprocket holes [which are still present in todays
   `double-perf' camera films]), and so the aspect ratio of 16mm remains
   Unlike camera films, 16mm release prints are almost always single-
   perforated-i.e. the film has perforations on only one side of the
   image. The other side is reserved for a soundtrack. The only exception
   to this are lab workprints from double-perf camera stock, which are
   also printed on double-perf stock, mostly for convenience in splicing
   with a `guillotine'-style tape splicer, commonly used by editors.
  3.4.2 16mm Anamorphic
   Although it is not a 16mm shooting format, 16mm reduction prints of
   35mm anamorphic original films are often printed in a 2:1 squeeze
   ratio, which retains the original side framing, but crops off a small
   portion of the top and bottom of the frame. Projection of these films,
   obviously, requires an anamorphic lens for the projector in order to
   `unsqueeze' the image. Almost all 16mm anamorphic prints are
   reductions from 35mm anamorphic originals.
  3.4.3 Super 16mm
   This is designed as a shooting format, and not for exhibition
   purposes, but projectors are manufactured for this format, primarily
   for the purpose of screening super 16mm dailies for a project which is
   intended for television or 35mm blowup. Standard 16mm projectors can
   also be modified for this purpose, by filing out the gate (a fairly
   simple procedure). Most super 16mm projectors are found in laboratory
   screening rooms or are owned by location rental houses. They are
   almost never used for general film exhibition, except maybe for the
   occasional film festival.
16mm release print frame:

  |                  |
  |sO--------------O |
  |o|     Image    | |
  |u|     Area     | |
  |nO--------------O |
  |d                 |

  |<----- 16mm ----->|

3.5 Which formats and aspect ratios are common for 35mm release prints?

          silent 35mm projection frame: .94" x .71"
          Academy 35mm projection frame: .825" x .602"
          1.66:1 European 35mm projection frame: .825" x .497"
          1.75:1 35mm projection frame: .825" x .471" (obsolete)
          1.85:1 US 35mm projection frame: .825" x .446"
          anamorphic 35mm projection frame: .825" x .690" (current
  3.5.1 35mm Silent Frame
   In the early days of 35mm silent film, the standard aspect ratio was
   1.33:1, and the image covered nearly the whole area of the film, four
   perforations high, and extending out to the edges of the perforations
   on the sides. These prints are almost extinct today, as they leave no
   space for a soundtrack, and, thus, the format became obsolete upon the
   introduction of sound on film in 1926. At this time, the frame was
   simply narrowed, to the almost-square 1.15:1 ratio in order to
   accommodate an optical soundtrack. This is the area used by the
   current anamorphic format, and is the most image area one can fit onto
   a piece of 35mm film with a soundtrack. As very few venues are
   equipped to project silent-frame prints, this format is almost
   non-existent today. Many silents have been re-printed such that the
   image fits within the Academy frame.
  3.5.2 35mm Academy Frame
   When it became clear that nearly all future prints would contain
   sound- tracks, the 35mm frame was cropped at the top and bottom
   slightly in order to achieve a 1.37:1 frame, nearly matching the old
   silent frame. This Academy frame is the basis for nearly all future
   `flat' (non-anamorphic) formats, as well as the various television
   formats currently in use.
  3.5.3 35mm `Flat' Wide Screen Formats
   With the introduction of CinemaScope (tm) in 1953 (see below), there
   came a demand to release all films in a `wide' aspect ratio. This was
   most easily achieved by cropping off the top and bottom of the Academy
   frame in the projector. While most prints still contain the full
   Academy frame-size image, the tops and bottoms of it are cropped off
   in the projection process.
   There are several commonly used formats which use this principle, of
   which the most common currently is the U.S. standard of aspect ratio
   1.85:1, used on almost all `flat' prints currently in circulation. One
   of the major disadvantages of this format, however, is its terrific
   inefficiency of negative space. Although the camera and projector both
   move the film four perforations at a time (the height of the Academy
   frame), the actual projected image only takes up 2.5 frames. Thus,
   images are grainier and less sharp than those of Academy films
   projected on the same height screen.
   The proposed 2.5-perf and 3-perf formats (described elsewhere in this
   FAQ) do not change the area of the 1.85:1 frame, but simply move the
   film a shorter distance (2.5 or 3, rather than 4 perforations) between
   frames, using less film per unit of running time. As proposed now,
   these are strictly release-print formats; 35mm cameras will continue
   to move the film 4 perforations per frame (although 3-perf is gaining
   acceptance as an cheaper alternative for TV work).
   A few films made in the 1950's were made to be projected in the 1.75:1
   aspect ratio; while this is no longer a common projection ratio, it is
   interesting now, because it corresponds very closely to the 1.77:1
   proposed U.S. High Definition Television (HDTV) standard, designed as
   a compromise in order to fit both 1.37:1 television material and wide
   screen feature films onto the same size screen.
   The standard frame ratio in Europe is still 1.66:1, the same as the
   super 16mm standard. These films are almost never shown properly in
   the U.S., however; most are simply cropped to fit onto screens masked
   for 1.85:1.
  3.5.4 35mm Anamorphic Frame
   This frame is nearly the same size as the 1.15:1 frame used just after
   the introduction of sound-on-film, and represents the most efficient
   use of film area possible, while allowing space for a soundtrack. The
   2.0x `unsqueeze' achieved during the projection of the film with an
   anamorphic lens provides one of several aspect ratios, depending upon
   the projector mask to be used.
   The first CinemaScope (tm) (anamorphic) feature was The Robe, released
   by Fox in 1953. These prints were made with tiny `Fox hole'
   perforations, and contained four tracks of magnetic sound (quite
   impressive, particularly in a time when most movie-goers had not even
   heard regular stereo!). Due to the narrow perforations, an aspect
   ratio of 2.55:1 was achieved for early Cinemascope (tm) pictures,
   including The Robe, the first Cinemascope (tm) production.
   In 1956, the 'scope ratio was narrowed to 2.35:1 in order to
   accommodate both magnetic and optical tracks on the same print (so
   that it could be shown in theaters not yet equipped with magnetic
   sound equipment). This ratio was retained until 1971, when the height
   was reduced slightly, resulting in a 2.39:1 aspect ratio, in order to
   better hide lab splices.
   In 1994, the height and width were reduced proportionally, retaining
   the 2.39:1 aspect ratio, which is the current standard.
  3.5.5 Projecting Multiple Formats
   These formats are all standard, although each requires its own
   projector mask (to cover up the unused image area) and lens (to ensure
   that the image properly fits the screen). If necessary, the anamorphic
   lens and mask can be used to show 1.37:1 Academy films, provided that
   the anamorphic lens element is unscrewed and removed first, and the
   curtains are adjusted to mask the 1.37:1 area (which will be very
   small). Most theaters keep the top and bottom edges of the screen at
   the same heights, and open curtains on either side of the screen in
   order to accommodate the wider formats, as shown below (not to scale):
                c)  |  |   |  |                  |  |   |  |  (c
                u)  |  |   |  |                  |  |   |  |  (u
                r)  |  |   |  |      Movie       |  |   |  |  (r
                t)  |  |   |  |      Screen      |  |   |  |  (t
                a)  |  |   |  |                  |  |   |  |  (a
                i)  |  |   |  |                  |  |   |  |  (i
                n)  ----------------------------------------  (n

                    ^  ^   ^  ^                  ^  ^   ^  ^
                    |  |   |  |----- 1.37:1 -----|  |   |  |
                    |  |   |-------- 1.66:1 --------|   |  |
                    |  |------------ 1.85:1 ------------|  |
                    |----------------2.39:1 ---------------|

   It should be noted that having separate lenses and masks for each
   format is highly idealistic, and is not standard practice, except at a
   few conscientious art houses, which must show prints from all time
   periods and all countries. Most U.S. theaters are only equipped to
   properly show 1.85 and 2.39:1 ratios, lacking the appropriate
   lenses/masks and ability to move the curtains to other ratios. Thus,
   when prints intended for other formats are shown, some of the image is
   usually cropped. Some theaters show everything at 2:1 (eliminating the
   need for changing the screen masking), cropping some from all formats.
   In any event, there is a wide degree of variance in image cropping,
   depending upon the equipment in place in each venue.
                                   35mm release print frame:
                                     (1.85:1 ratio)
                                     (usually, picture is visible above and
                                      below 1.85:1 framelines, but it is
35mm release print frame:             masked off, and does not show up on
  (Academy ratio)                     the screen)

  |                        |         |                        |
  |O   -------------------O|         |O    (unused space)    O|
  |  s |                 | |         |  s ------------------- |
  |O o |       Image     |O|         |O o |      Image      |O|
  |  u |                 | |         |  u |      Area       | |
  |O n |       Area      |O|         |O n |                 |O|
  |  d |                 | |         |  d ------------------- |
  |O   -------------------O|         |O    (unused space)    O|
  |                        |         |                        |

  |<-------- 35mm -------->|         |<-------- 35mm -------->|

3.6 Which formats and aspect ratios are common for 70mm release prints?

          5-perf 70mm theatrical projection frame: 1.912" x .870"
  3.6.1 70mm Standard Frame
   The standard 70mm frame has always has an aspect ratio of 2.2:1, which
   is slightly narrower than 35mm CinemaScope (tm) . Often, 70mm blowup
   prints were made of 35mm CinemaScope (tm) films (mostly for the
   improved sound quality of 6-track magnetic). These blowups are `flat,'
   and often provide better image quality due to the superior
   registration (image steadiness) of the 70mm format, as well as the
   reduced grain imposed by the release print (more grains per square
   foot of screen area). This was done more in the past (1970's through
   1980's) because the high-quality six-track discrete (as opposed to
   matrixed) soundtracks on 70mm prints could not be equaled by 35mm
   optical Dolby Stereo (tm) tracks. Several innovations in 35mm,
   however, most notably digital sound (along with Dolby (tm) SR, and
   reverse-scanning solar cells) rendered 70mm blowups unnecessary if
   sound is the only consideration. Further, the recent shift toward
   10-20-screen multiplex theaters, and the resultant smaller screens,
   has lessened the impact of the larger, better-quality image.
   Much of the expense of making 70mm prints in the past has been the
   magnetic striping which is necessary for the soundtrack, as there is
   no such thing as 70mm optical sound. With the possibility of printing
   a DTS (tm) timecode on the 70mm print, and providing the actual
   soundtrack on DTS (tm) CD-ROM disks (like with 35mm DTS (tm) ), this
   may no longer be necessary, possibly paving the way for a 70mm
   revival. This remains to be seen, however, although it was done
   successfully for the 70mm release of Hitchcock's Vertigo in October,
   1996; the prints had no analog tracks and entire soundtrack was
   reproduced from a DTS (tm) disk (most theaters used two disk readers
   with identical disks in them for redundancy), driven by DTS (tm)
   timecode printed on the outside edge of the perforations on the
   left-hand side (relative to how the film runs in the projector) of the
   In addition to the conventional sprocket holes, all 70mm prints also
   have a small `registration hole' punched every 5 perforations.
   Theoretically, this is supposed to line up with the frameline, but, in
   practice, this is ignored, and it just occurs at a random point. The
   primary purpose served by the registration hole is for use as a
   splicing reference, so that splices can always be made at the
   frameline, even in the middle of a fadeout or a dark scene.
  70mm IMAX (tm) /OMNIMAX (tm) 15-Perf Frame
   These special formats are simple contact prints made from the
   negatives (or intermediates). Although they are wider (by 5mm) than
   the original negatives, they never contain a soundtrack printed
   directly on the film. Sound is provided either by a separate,
   interlocked magnetic tape, or by a CD-ROM disk, which is driven by a
   timecode on the film (as in the DTS (tm) system used for 35mm digital
70mm standard release print frame:
  (courtesy David Richards \texttt{})

  |XX X|                                    |X XX|  'o' = sprocket hole
  |XXoX|                                    |XoXX|
  |XX X|                                    |X XX|  'X' = mag. track area
  |XXoX|                                    |XoXX|
  |XX X|                                    |X XX|  (registration hole not
  |XXoX|                                    |XoXX|   shown in this diagram)
  |XX X|                                    |X XX|
  |XX X|                                    |X XX|

  |<---------------- 69.95mm ------------------->|
  |<---------------- 2.754in ------------------->|
    4 Motion Picture Sound Formats (release prints intended for projection)
4.1 What analog sound formats are common for 8mm release prints?

          regular 8mm magnetic: 56 frame advance
          super 8mm magnetic: 18 frame offset
          super 8mm optical: 22 frame offset
  4.1.1 Regular 8mm Magnetic (monophonic)
   While regular 8mm was never designed to have a soundtrack, someone
   figured out that the edge opposite the perforations could have a thin
   magnetic stripe applied to it in order to carry a recording of film's
   soundtrack. This, of course, uses the same principle as an ordinary
   tape recorder. Unfortunately, though, this format was never
   standardized, and never received wide usage. Complicating the issue
   was the wide variety in the `sound offset'-i.e. the number of frames
   ahead of the picture that the sound must run. If a film with an
   18-frame sound offset were run in a projector which supported a
   20-frame offset, then the sound would run slightly behind the picture.
   Sound quality here is quite variable, depending upon the quality of
   the striping job, the age of the print, and the quality of the
  4.1.2 Regular 8mm Magnetic (monophonic or stereo)
   Soon after super 8mm displaced regular 8mm as the standard home-movie
   format, people began to demand sound capabilities for their cameras
   and projectors. The easiest way to record sound while shooting is to
   record the sound within the camera on a magnetic stripe pre-applied to
   the edge of the film, in the same manner as the various regular 8mm
   systems. A `balance stripe' is also applied on the sprocket-hole edge,
   but not usually used for sound; its purpose is to maintain an even
   film thickness. Aside from having two differing frame rates (18 fps
   and 24 fps), this method became standardized for both cameras and
   projectors, with a standard sync offset. Sound quality is potentially
   quite good, with some recording devices and projectors offering stereo
   reproduction by recording twin soundtracks, one on the `balance
   stripe' and one on the regular sound stripe.
   The primary disadvantage to this system of recording sound in the
   camera is that it makes good editing extremely difficult. Super 8mm is
   usually shot with reversal film (see below), meaning that the camera
   original is edited and then projected. In this case, after every
   splice, there will be a delay of about one second between when the
   picture edit shows up on the screen, and when the sound edit is heard;
   this is a result of the sync offset of the soundtrack. For this
   reason, professional films (except old television news films) almost
   never record sound within the camera, but rather use a `double-system'
   method, in which the sound and picture are kept on separate strips of
   film through the editing process, until the final release prints are
   made. Home movies, though, rarely undergo substantial editing; thus,
   `single-system' sound recorded in camera is useful and convenient.
  4.1.3 Regular 8mm Optical (monophonic)
   While magnetic sound is of high quality, it can be expensive,
   particularly for large print runs. For this reason, optical
   soundtracks, of the type used for 16mm and 35mm prints, eventually
   found their way onto some 8mm films (usually, commercially released
   ones). Only a few models of projector could reproduce this type of
   soundtrack, however, and quality is less than desirable, due to both
   the relatively slow linear speed at which the film moves past the
   soundhead, and the inherent limitations of frequency response and
   noise on an optical track (see description for 16mm optical for more
4.2 What analog sound formats are common for 16mm release prints?

          16mm optical: 26 frame offset
          16mm magnetic: 28 frame offset
  4.2.1 16mm Optical (monophonic)
   The first sound-on-film 16mm prints, made in the 1940's, used an
   optical system, like that used on the 35mm prints of the time. An
   optical track consists of an image of a `wave'-like clear band which
   allows differing amounts of light to pass through it upon playback
   (this is called a `variable area soundtrack'; `variable density
   soundtracks' were also tried at one time-they did not use a band of
   clear film, but rather the entire soundtrack area varied in density,
   or transparency. This gave a slightly better frequency response than a
   variable-area track, but resulted in increased background noise, due
   to film grain. They are no longer used). The sound is reproduced by
   means of an exciter lamp, which shines through a small lens onto the
   optical track area of the film. This light is focused onto a solar
   cell on the opposite side of the film. The solar cell varies its
   electrical resistance based upon the amount of light which is shining
   on it. Thus, as the `wavy' band gets wider, more current can pass
   through the solar cell, which causes the loudspeaker to vibrate more,
   which results in a louder sound. This system is rather primitive, but
   it is inexpensive, as the sound is printed on the film at the same
   time as the picture, whereas magnetic systems require a separate
   `sounding' step after the picture is printed.
   Sound quality is not particularly good, but has been improved in
   recent years by various methods, including the printing of two
   identical tracks which are adjacent to each other. This method allows
   the two tracks to cancel out each other's flaws or at least to cover
   them up (in theory). Whether or not this actually improves sounds
   quality is a topic of debate. Thus, Although it is technically
   possible to produce a stereo optical track in 16mm, no one has yet
   exploited this potential on a wide-scale basis, as there is no
   commonly available equipment to shoot a stereo track, or to reproduce
   it. A few test prints were made in this format, however.
  4.2.2 16mm Magnetic (monophonic)
   In an attempt to improve the sound quality for 16mm prints, magnetic
   sound was developed in the early 1960's. This, like 8mm magnetic, used
   a magnetic stripe which was placed in the same location as the optical
   track (or slightly to the outer edge, if both types of tracks were to
   be used on a single print). The problem with this system was that,
   while it sounds quite good, few projectors are capable of reproducing
   it. Thus, its use was pretty much reserved for television news (until
   the late 1970's, when news film was replaced by videotape); news
   cameras, such as the Auricon and the CP-16, were modified to record
   magnetic sound directly onto pre-striped reversal stock. This film was
   developed at TV stations, and was then run through a `magnetic offset
   recorder,' which simultaneously played the soundtrack, and re-recorded
   it 28 frames earlier, so that the film could be edited with the sound
   in perfect sync. The film was again run through the offset recorder,
   this time to re-advance the soundtrack 28 frames after the picture so
   that it could be played back in sync on the station's film chain
   machine. This was the solution to the sync problem common with super
   8mm films with recorded-in-camera-sound.
   By now (1998), 16mm magnetic is almost a dead format for new prints,
   having been replaced with 35mm blowups of 16mm-originated material or
   by double-system digital systems (usually with a DAT machine synched
   to the movie projector).
4.3 What analog sound formats are common for 35mm release prints?

          optical (20 frame offset) - 35mm
          magnetic (?? frame offset) - 35mm
  35mm Optical (monophonic, stereo, or Dolby Stereo (tm) )
   The standard sound-on-film system for 35mm has always been optical
   sound. This works like the variable-area system described above under
   `16mm optical.' This system is inexpensive and standardized, so that
   almost every projection setup in the world is capable of reproducing
   it. Of course, the disadvantages are as with any optical sound system:
   lousy frequency response, noise, and `pops' when splices pass through
   the soundhead.
   Eventually, in the 1970's, the standard monophonic track was modified
   to permit stereo reproduction. This allowed optical tracks to offer
   competition to the four-track magnetic systems in use at the time. The
   reproduction of stereo tracks required modification of the projector's
   soundhead to accept a stereo solar cell. The optical stereo approach
   was not used commercially, however, due to background noise and hiss
   issues. In the mid-1970's, Dolby (tm) Laboratories developed methods
   of `matrixing' the SVA (stereo variable area) track in order to encode
   four tracks worth of information within the twin stereo tracks. This
   allowed for the additions of a center (dialogue) track and a rear
   `surround' track to the usual left and right stereo tracks. In
   addition, Dolby (tm) type `A' noise reduction was used to reduce
   background noise.
   This `Dolby Stereo (tm) ' system soon became standard, and nearly all
   commercially released films since about 1980 have been encoded with
   it. Of course, one must use a Dolby (tm) Cinema Processor (or a clone
   thereof [e.g. `Ultra Stereo']) in order to decode and reproduce all
   four tracks; otherwise, it just reproduces as two-track stereo. `DTS
   Stereo (tm) ' uses the same principles as Dolby Stereo (tm) and is
   decoded with the same equipment, but the term applies to optical
   tracks produced by DTS (tm) , without the use of Dolby (tm) equipment
   (Dolby (tm) encoding equipment is usually rented out for higher
   rates). Note that `DTS Stereo (tm) ' is distinct from the DTS (tm)
   digital sound system described below.
   In the late 1980's Dolby Stereo (tm) was improved upon by `Dolby SR
   (tm) .' The `SR' stands for `spectral recording,' which incorporated
   better channel separation and noise reduction than standard Dolby
   Stereo (tm) , but which supposedly retained compatibility with Dolby
   (tm) type `A' processors, although this is debatable. A Dolby (tm) `A'
   processor can be upgraded to support SR prints, if desired. Type `A'
   prints do not reproduce well when played back through a processor set
   up for `SR' mode (all modern processors also contain the `A' NR mode
   as well).
   Incidentally, Dolby (tm) `A' noise reduction is one of several noise
   reduction schemes developed by Dolby (tm) Laboratories. It (and SR)
   are capable of reducing noise across the entire audible frequency
   range. Dolby (tm) also developed type `B' noise reduction, which
   reduces the high- frequency noise common to audio cassette tapes, and
   type `C' noise reduction which is also used for cassettes, as well as
   the Beta SP videotape format.
  4.3.2 35mm Magnetic (four-track stereo)
   When the first CinemaScope (tm) films were produced, Fox had special
   release print stock made up, which contained very narrow perforations
   (known as `Fox holes'). The idea behind this was to allow for a
   magnetic sound- track containing four discrete (not matrixed) tracks
   (in the same L/C/R/S configuration as the modern Dolby Stereo (tm)
   setups). At the time, the 'scope image was wider than it is now
   (because it extended into the area now used for optical tracks), and
   thus could not fit an optical track on the print. The magnetic stripes
   were applied in the same manner as to 70mm prints.
   This idea worked reasonably well, and was used for a number of years
   (through the early 1970's) on 35mm prints of all formats (only 'scope
   prints required the Fox holes, though), and the sound quality was
   excellent, even by today's standards, provided that the magnetic
   tracks were in good condition. The problem of this scheme was that,
   unlike optical sound, the information recorded on magnetic tracks was
   not a permanent part of the film, and could be intentionally or
   accidentally erased, simply by being placed too close to magnetic
   fields, like those found in electric motors (such as those used on
   rewind benches). Even reels and cans can become magnetized, sometimes
   erasing all or part of the magnetic track, requiring that it be
   re-dubbed, at great expense. Further, the magnetic sound heads
   required frequent cleaning in order to keep them sounding good.
   With the invention of Dolby (tm) `A' noise reduction and the
   application of this technology to optical tracks, magnetic sound lost
   some of its quality advantage over optical, and it has always been
   substantially more expensive than optical to print (as prints had to
   be dubbed in real time, whereas optical could be printed at the same
   time and speed as the picture). Thus, magnetic sound fell into disuse,
   and is no longer commonly used, although, before digital sound became
   workable, special prints were made with magnetic tracks for showing in
   select theaters for `special engagements' and the like.
4.4 What analog sound formats are common for 70mm release prints?

          magnetic (?? frame offset) - 70mm
  4.4.1 70mm Magnetic (six-track stereo)
   This system is capable of carrying six separate tracks on four wide
   magnetic stripes on the film. It is usually set up to reproduce left,
   left-center, center, right-center, right, and surround tracks. This
   was long considered to be the premier film-sound format, prior to the
   advent of digital, because the tracks were relatively wide, because
   the film runs through the projector at a slightly higher rate of
   linear speed than 35mm film, and because the sound is recorded in
   discrete (separate) tracks, rather than being `matrixed.'
   As mentioned above, in the late 1970's (beginning with Star Wars)
   through the late 1980's, it was common for distributors to produce
   70mm blowup prints of films shot on 35mm in order to improve sound
   reproduction in the movie theater. With the introduction of digital
   systems, which are capable of reproducing higher quality sound at a
   lower cost than a complete 70mm projection system and 70mm print
   rental, exhibitors no longer saw much reason to show blowup prints,
   except for special `one-time' shows. In the future, magnetic striping
   (a major cost of making 70mm prints) may be eliminated, in favor of a
   digital soundtrack (currently, DTS (tm) has been used for 70mm
   prints). This may encourage the printing (and 65mm original
   cinematography) of more films for 70mm exhibition.
   Unlike other formats, where the soundtrack runs ahead of the picture,
   with 70mm, the sound runs behind the picture, as the magnetic sound
   heads are placed before the picture head. Thus, the 70mm print runs
   through the magnetic soundhead, picture head, then around the 35mm
   optical soundhead, then to the takeup reel or platter. When 35mm films
   are run in a combination projector, they are simply loaded through the
   70mm magnetic soundhead, without difficulty.
4.5 What are the three commonly used digital sound formats for 35mm release
prints, and how do they work?

  4.5.1 General Information
          Digital Theater Systems (DTS (tm) )
          Sony Dynamic Digital Stereo (SDDS (tm) )
          Dolby (tm) Digital (SR-D (tm) )
   Digital sound differs from analog sound in that it represents sound by
   a series of consecutive `samples' of the sound (each of which is
   represented by the digits zero [0] and one [1]), rather than by a
   continuous waveform. Digital is neither inherently better nor
   inherently worse than analog, but simply a different method of
   representing sound (music, dialogue, etc.). In practice, though,
   digital film sound almost always sounds cleaner and brighter than
   analog, and is capable of greater dynamic range, due to the
   limitations of the optical track as a means of recording sound.
   Despite the differences among the various digital sound formats, most
   people cannot tell a difference in quality, as they all sound
   excellent. Perceived differences among the formats are usually a
   result of a different sound mix for each format (such as an 8-channel
   SDDS (tm) mix versus a six-channel Dolby (tm) Digital mix).
  Digital Theater Systems (DTS) (tm)
   This was the first digital sound system to come into widespread usage,
   with the release of Jurassic Park in 1993. The system was promoted
   heavily by MCA/Universal Pictures, which uses it on most of its
   prints. The system originally was sold in two versions: a low-end
   version which could reproduce four tracks, and a high-end version
   capable of reproducing six- tracks (left, center, right,
   left-surround, right-surround, and subwoofer. These systems were
   referred to as DTS-4 (tm) and DTS-6 (tm) , respectively. The
   four-track version has since been discontinued.
   DTS (tm) uses a timecode printed on the film between the picture area
   and the optical track. The timecode, which looks like a dot-dash
   pattern resembling Morse code) is read by an optical reader placed in
   the film path, between the platter or reel and the projector's picture
   head. This timecode information is fed to a specialized, souped-up 386
   or 486 computer which in turn reads compressed soundtracks from a
   CD-ROM disk; the compression factor, though, is the least of the three
   digital systems. The current systems have three separate CD-ROM
   drives: one holds a `trailer' disk which is sent to theaters
   periodically, and contains the soundtracks to all of the trailers
   currently showing, including trailers from studios which do not use
   DTS (tm) for their films; the other two contain disks for the feature.
   Shorter movies require only one disk; others require two. Slightly
   over four hours of digital sound can be accommodated for a two-disk
   feature. There is no provision for mid-show disk changes.
   As with all digital sound systems, the film reader can be placed a
   variable number of frames ahead of the picture head. This is
   calibrated upon installation with a test film. The computer is capable
   of accommodating splices within the film, and adjusting the soundtrack
   to match. Further, because the soundtrack is not on the film, no
   `popping' noise is heard during splices and/or changeovers (unless the
   timecode reader cannot read a certain section of timecode, in which
   case it reverts back to the standard analog track, causing a small
   As with all of the current 35mm digital systems, all prints (except
   70mm DTS prints) contain a standard optical track (usually recorded in
   `DTS Stereo (tm) ,' a system which is compatible with Dolby (tm) -type
   processors) as a backup, should the timecode not be found, or be
   unreadable for more than 40 frames. The analog track is also used when
   the CD-ROM disk does not match with the movie being shown (at least in
   theory-there have been reports of theaters' showing one movie with
   another's soundtrack).
  Sony Dynamic Digital Stereo (SDDS) (tm)
   Sony has entered the cinema sound market with the SDDS (tm) system.
   Unlike the other two digital systems, SDDS (tm) is capable of
   reproducing eight tracks of sound (left, center, right, left-center,
   right-center, left-surround, right-surround, and subwoofer),
   potentially a great advantage for films mixed for eight tracks, as a
   small number are at present. This, of course, requires that theaters
   install additional loudspeakers (left-center and right-center) behind
   the screen in order to take advantage of the potential of this format,
   In SDDS (tm) , the sound is actually recorded on the film itself,
   along both edges of the print. SDDS (tm) uses a middle level of
   compression of the digital information of the three current digital
   systems. Like the other digital systems (except for Dolby), the reader
   (which uses an LED to shine through the track) is placed somewhere in
   the film path prior to the film's entrance into the picture head (the
   offset is variable, as convenience dictates, and is set up at
   installation). The reader reads the track, which is then decoded,
   decompressed, and processed in a separate processor unit, which
   contains custom electronics designed for this purpose. Just as with
   analog sound, splices are accommodated without difficulty.
   SDDS (tm) is probably the most expensive of the three digital formats,
   although actual cost varies substantially among different theaters and
   chains. The expense is largely due to the fact that all of the
   electronics within the entire processing system are digital, whereas
   DTS (tm) and Dolby (tm) Digital are both designed to simply be plugged
   into existing analog Dolby (tm) (or similar) cinema processors.
   However, the extra cost may be somewhat justified by the extra tracks
   and the fact that the marketer of this system also owns companies
   which produce many films each year, almost ensuring that there will be
   material in this format for many years to come.
   Although it is expensive, SDDS (tm) is very popular, particularly in
   the AMC, Sony, and United Artists theaters, where SDDS (tm) is or will
   be used in most of the theaters. Many technicians like it because it
   is the only system with electronic equalization, allowing the system
   to be properly set up very quickly.
  Dolby (tm) Spectral Recording Digital (SR-D) (tm)
   Dolby (tm) Digital, also known as SR-D (when an SR track is used for
   the analog backup), is the digital system from Dolby (tm)
   Laboratories. Like DTS (tm) , it is capable of reproducing six tracks
   (left, center, right, left-surround, right-surround, and subwoofer),
   which are read by a reader (which works much like a TV/video camera,
   capturing images of the track) placed before the picture head, or, in
   some installations, within the standard projector soundhead. Like the
   other two systems, the offset can be varied, and is calibrated at
   installation. The actual soundtrack on the film runs 26 frames ahead
   of the picture.
   The actual digital sound information is printed on the film in between
   the perforations, generally considered to be a safer location for the
   sound information than the edge of the film (where SDDS's (tm) track
   lives). Thus, Dolby (tm) Digital is potentially more reliable than
   SDDS (tm) , although it compresses the digital information to a lesser
   extent than SDDS (tm) does. Like SDDS (tm) , the track is read, and
   then decoded, decompressed, and processed by a separate unit. Splices
   can create small `pops,' (and will revert to analog if more than five
   perforations are obscured, but this is unlikely..
   This format appears to be increasing in popularity at this time, both
   in terms of the number of theaters installing the system and the
   number of prints available in that format. It is also considered to be
   slightly more reliable than the other two digital formats, as the
   sound is printed directly onto the film in a relatively `protected'
   location. All prints still contain an analog optical track (usually
   recorded in Dolby (tm) SR), in case the digital system fails, or is
   unable to read five consecutive `blocks' (between perforations).
   Technically, it is possible to, with minimal cost, print all three
   types of digital track (or, in the case of DTS (tm) , timecode), along
   with analog optical Dolby (tm) on a single print, and a few films have
   been printed this way. These multi-format prints are now quite common
   (containing at least two formats), especially on movie trailers.
   Similarly, it is possible to have a projection system which can
   accommodate all of these formats, without excessive difficulty.
4.6 What methods have been used for digital sound in formats other than 35mm?

   [under construction]
   As mentioned in the 70mm section, DTS (tm) timecode has been printed
   on 70mm prints (most notably the 1996 restoration prints of Vertigo),
   and used to drive a DTS (tm) CD-ROM disk, from which sound was
   reproduced as with the 35mm implemetation of DTS (tm) . A standard DTS
   (tm) setup is required for this type of system, as well as 70mm
   timecode readers (which are swapped in for the 35mm variety as
   needed), and, often, a second DTS (tm) CD unit, which holds a
   duplicate set of CDs and provides a backup should the first unit fail.
   As of February, 1998, there is no indication as to whether Dolby (tm)
   or Sony (tm) were planning to adapt their 35mm digital systems for use
   with 70mm.
             5 Motion Picture Presentation (theatrical projection)
5.1 What type of projection and sound equipment is commonly used for commercial
theatrical presentation?

  5.1.1 Projector/Lamphouse
   The projector is the most critical part of any theater's projection
   setup. Many newly installed theaters in the US use new or rebuilt
   Simplex or Century 35mm projectors. The most common Simplex models are
   the Simplex XL (a.k.a. Pro 35, a currently manufactured model), the
   older Simplex E-7, and the really old Super Simplex. The most common
   Century models are the SA, the older C, and the 35/70mm JJ.
   Larger theaters built from the 1960's through the 1980's may instead
   be using combination 35/70mm projectors, like the Norelco AA-II (known
   in Europe as the Philips DP-70), and Century JJ, although, with the
   decreased availability of 70mm features of late, most of these
   machines are either used exclusively for 35mm shows or are sitting
   Most modern theaters use xenon bulb lamphouses of between 2 and 4
   kilowatts. This provides a picture of adequate brightness on the
   medium-sized screen common in multi-screen cinemas. A larger lamphouse
   of up to 5-7 kilowatts is needed for a very large screen, such as that
   of a drive-in theater; larger lamphouses offer little increased
   benefit for 35mm. Older theaters often still use carbon-arc lamps,
   which require more attention on the part of the projectionist than
   xenon, but some feel that they offer a light of better color
   temperature (i.e. not as cold-looking) than xenon. The general rule of
   thumb for xenon lamphouse size is roughly 1kw of power for every ten
   feet of screen width; thus a 30-foot screen should require about a 3kw
   As for the film handling system itself, automated cinemas usually use
   film `platters,' in which the entire print is loaded onto a large
   plate-like device (with the film from the individual shipping reels
   spliced together into one continuous roll), permitting one
   projectionist to operate the projection equipment for many auditoria.
   Smaller theaters and older theaters often use two projectors with
   small reels, each holding either 2000' each (just like the shipping
   reels) or 4000-6000' each (with the contents of two or three shipping
   reels spliced together). Between the reels, the projectionist operates
   a changeover mechanism, simultaneously switching over machines and
   soundtracks. He then rewinds the next reel, reloads it on the idle
   projector and prepares for the next changeover.
  5.1.2 Sound System
   The sound system in a typical mid-size theater installation is capable
   of handling from 200-400 watts of power for the front channels. In a
   mono system, several loudspeakers are located behind the screen,
   reproducing a single channel of sound. A Dolby Stereo (tm) or other
   multichannel system involves at least three loudspeakers behind the
   screen to reproduce the front channels, as well as several
   loudspeakers along the side and rear walls of the auditorium to
   reproduce the `surround' channel of sound. The soundtrack itself is
   read from the film by a solar cell arrangement within a soundhead,
   commonly a Simplex SH-1000 or similar.
   Typical Multi-Track Dolby (tm) Stereo/Dolby (tm) Digital/DTS setup:
   (This is the same setup used for Dolby (tm) Stereo, DTS (tm) , and
   Dolby (tm) Digital setups, although the digital systems have separate
   L and R surround channels, as well as a channel for a subwoofer [which
   is located behind the screen]. Complete SDDS systems and 70mm also
   have Left Center [LC] and Right Center [RC] loudspeakers, not
   indicated here)
      Left Stereo     (L) -- behind left side of screen
      Right Stereo    (R) -- behind right side of screen
      Center/Dialogue (C) -- behind center of screen
      Surround        (S) -- in rear of auditorium (separate L/R in digital)
      Subwoofer     (sub) -- behind screen (separate channel for digital)

|        *  L   *         *  C   *         *  R   *        |
|        * spkr *  (sub)  * spkr *         * spkr *        |
|      ------------------- screen -------------------      |
|                                                          |
|                  (front of auditorium)                   |
|                                                          |
|        UUUUUUU  UUUUUUU audience UUUUUUU  UUUUUUU        |
|        UUUUUUU  UUUUU seating area UUUUU  UUUUUUU        |
\                                                          \
/                                                          /
\                                                          \
|*spkr*                                              *spkr*|
|        * S  *                              * S  *        |
|        *spkr*     (rear of auditorium)     *spkr*        |

   Digital sound systems use similar loudspeaker arrangements as Dolby
   Stereo (tm) setups, possibly with additional loudspeakers to support
   SDDS (tm) eight-channel mixes. The sound is read by specialized
   readers placed between the reels/platters and the projector head; this
   contrasts with the placement of the analog soundhead, which is located
   between the projector head and the take-up reel/platter.
5.2 What are some specific examples of a common projection setup?

   [under construction]
5.3 What are the differences between xenon, and carbon-arc lamphouses?

   Most commercial theaters currently employ xenon bulbs; these are glass
   tubes containing a highly pressurized xenon gas through which high
   electrical current is passed (usually 220V, 50 amps or higher). They
   typically last for several thousand hours prior to needing
   replacement. Aside from being rotated and changed at regular intervals
   (they start to flicker as they get old), xenon lamphouses need very
   little maintenence (unless the bulb explodes due to the high pressure
   inside the bulb, in which case the rear reflector in the lamphouse
   must be re-silvered). Bulb glass tends to weaken as it ages, and thus
   extreme care should be taken when replacing bulbs to ensure that the
   bulb does not explode.
   Older installations may use or have once used carbon-arc lamphouses;
   in these setups, high electrical current is passed between two carbon
   rods (one positive and one negative), creating an electrical arc and a
   very bright flame in the gap between the two rods. In order to operate
   such a lamphouse, the projectionist inserts the rods into their steel
   holders, closes the lamphouse, switches on the power, and, watching
   through a shielded piece of glass, carefully brings the rods together
   (using positioning knobs on the side of the lamphouse), causing them
   to touch. At this point, the arc will strike, and he can bring the
   rods apart and allow the current to stabilize. As the carbon burns
   down during the show, a motor brings the rods together, maintaining a
   constant distance between the tips of the rods, which must be tweaked
   by the projectionist as the show goes on, in order to maintian
   consistant on-screen light. Every 30 minutes to an hour of use, the
   rods will burn down and must be replaced.
   Separate rods are used for `positive' and `negative' poles; a longer,
   thinner one is placed in the positive holder, and a shorter, fatter
   one is used for the negative holder. These designations should be
   marked on the box of carbon rods. Fumes from carbon-arc lamphouses are
   highly noxious, and should be well ventilated.
   Note that both xenon and carbon-arc lamphouses require DC power,
   provided either by DC mains or by a rectifier circuit (which converts
   standard AC power to DC). Older theaters may use motor-generator sets
   to generate DC power.
5.4 How are `seamless' manual reel changeovers accomplished?

  5.4.1 Shipping Configurations for 35mm Prints
   Nearly all 35mm prints are shipped on metal reels which hold 2000' of
   film. Ideally, the films are shipped `tails out,' meaning that the
   beginning of the film is at the middle core of the first reel, and the
   end is at the outer edge of the last reel. These reels are shipped in
   so-called `S-wind,' meaning that the emulsion (dull side) winds facing
   `in' when the `tail' is `out,' and that, when rewound, the `head'
   should face `out,' and the emulsion will wind `out.' This confusing
   standard is designed to help prevent print damage, although there are
   conflicting views on this. When the film runs through the projector,
   the top reel spins counterclockwise, and the lower reel spins
   At some undetermined time, new prints are likely to be shipped on the
   so-called Extended Length Reel (ELR), which is capable of holding
   6800' of standard triacetate film or 8000' of the thinner polyester
   stock. Trials of this began in Summer 1997, with prints of Addicted to
   Love and Batman and Robin. These prints were also available on 2000'
   reels for theaters which requested them. This is expected to reduce
   the amount of time needed to build up a print on platters, and
   possibly reduce the damage done in the buildup/breakdown process. This
   standard is supported primarily by the exhibitors (who will save in
   labor costs) and film laboratories (although some will need to buy new
   equipment to handle the larger reel sizes). Presumably, at least for a
   certain amount of time, 2000' reel sizes will also be distributed for
   these films, in order to accommodate theaters which do not have
   platters or 6000' reel arms, and must instead run the films with 2000'
   reels. Eventually, these houses may have to convert to 6000'
   changeover or platters or cut up the ELR prints themselves.
   It should be noted, also, that nitrate prints have sometimes been
   shipped on 1000' reels, due to fire-hazard concerns. This
   configuration presents less of a danger, should one reel catch fire,
   as there is less film to burn. These nitrate films also are usually
   stored on metal shelving, in asbestos-insulated fire-proof rooms.
   Modern triacetate or polyester films, of course, do not require these
   When the film arrives at a changeover house, the head projectionist
   rewinds the film onto cast-iron house reels, inspecting the print for
   damage and splices, as well as (hopefully) ensuring that the
   changeover cue marks are properly positioned: 4 frames "motor" cue,
   then 10 ft. 8 frames, then 4 frames "changeover cue" then 20 more
  5.4.2 Changeover Procedures
   Just before the show starts, the first (house) reel is loaded in one
   projector and the second reel is loaded into the other. The first
   projector is started; a few minutes before the first reel ends, the
   projectionist then stands before the second machine, looking out at
   the screen, waiting for the first cue mark (a small dot in the
   upper-right-hand corner of the picture for four consecutive frames
   [made by punching holes into the internegative; they appear round on
   `flat' prints and, due to the `unsqueeze,' elliptical on scope
   prints]). Upon seeing this, he hits a button on the changeover
   controller, striking the lamp (if this is the first changeover;
   otherwise, the lamp (if xenon) will have already been struck, and will
   probably not be turned off until the end of the show; this avoids
   excessive thermal stress, which causes bulbs to explode, and avoids
   the embarrassment of having the bulb blow up when first struck, right
   before a changeover), and starting the motor on the second machine.
   The second reel has, hopefully been loaded up properly in the second
   machine, with the framelines lined up with the top and bottom edges of
   the gate (if this is not done, the film will probably appear out of
   frame, and the projectionist will have to manually adjust the
   projector's `framing' knob in order to position the picture correctly
   on the screen. Two types of leader are currently found on release
   prints. New SMPTE Universal Leader is marked off in seconds of time
   (considered to be more useful for television stations), and counts
   down from `8' to `2'. This is used on nearly all new prints. Older
   Academy Leader is marked off in feet of film, counting from `11' to
   `3,' and is common on older prints. The projectionist simply remembers
   which frame of each type of leader needs to be loaded into the
   projector in order to give the correct `run-up' time between cue
   marks. If the leader is not complete and the projectionist is not able
   or willing to replace it, he must wait after the first cue mark
   (before starting the motor on the second machine) until roughly where
   the next reel was loaded.
   Once the second projector is going, the projectionist waits for a
   second dot, located 20 frames from the end of the first reel. Within a
   half-second or so after seeing this, he hits another button, which
   switches over the soundtrack, and simultaneously opens (on the machine
   holding the second reel) and closes (on the machine holding the first
   reel) a metal `changeover' blade, which allows the passage of light
   through the film and, of course, onto the screen. The first reel is
   either stored in the film's metal shipping case, or rewound back onto
   a house reel on a rewind bench. The process is repeated for every reel
5.5 How does a platter system work?

  5.5.1 Platter Configurations
   Platter systems are used commonly in `automated' booths, allowing one
   projectionist to run several shows (such as in a multi-screen theater)
   simultaneously by eliminating the need for manual changeovers and the
   rewinding of reels. The platter itself is a large, flat, circular,
   metal table, mounted on a column of like plates, on which the film is
   wound, tails out, with the shipping reels all spliced together.
   Platters are usually installed in stacks of three, allowing two films
   to be ready to run at any one time, along with a takeup platter for
   either. This setup also allows one print to be made up/broken down
   while another is running.
  5.5.2 Platter Operation
   After the print is spliced together, soundtrack edge facing up, the
   projectionist removes the metal core, (a.k.a. the `donut') around
   which the film is wound `tails out', from the center of the platter,
   loads the film across a series of rollers and through the projector,
   and attaches the donut to an empty platter. The film feeds out the
   center of the first platter, and is taken up on the second one. In
   this way, a show may be started, and, as long as no problems occur,
   run through its end without continual supervision. Because the film is
   taken up with the head at the center of the platter, there is no
   rewinding necessary. To run the same film again, the film is fed from
   its current platter onto another empty one. This can potentially save
   time by eliminating the rewind stage, allowing the same show to be run
   almost continuously.
   So-called `endless loop platters' also exist, and work similarly,
   although they omit the donut, and instead require that the head and
   tail be spliced together, allowing the same film to be run multiple
   times with no interruptions. Unfortunately, though, these systems
   discourage the cleaning of the projector gate, and, as dust and dirt
   accumulate there (an inevitable result of showing films), can lead to
   print scratches and other damage.
   After building up a print on a platter, it is good practice for the
   projectionist to run it once in order to preview the print for any
   problems which may have been introduced in print buildup (like bad
   splices) and other defects, which may have been introduced elsewhere
   (like deep scratches, or lousy lab work). Splices used to build up
   prints on platters are usually made with `zebra' tape, which has
   yellow markings which help the projectionist to locate the splices
   when breaking down the print onto the shipping reels.
5.6 How are multiple projectors interlocked to run the same piece of film in
multiple auditoria?

   (information courtesy David Richards
   This is occasionally done in multiple-screen theaters; the projectors
   which are going to be interlocked need to be adjacent to each other
   (or at least reasonably close), and must be fitted with synchronous
   motors, whose speed is controlled by the 60hz (in the U.S.; 50hz in
   many other countries) AC line frequency. The film is loaded from a
   platter through the first projector (as usual), and then passes over
   several rollers, mounted on a wall or ceiling, across the booth to the
   second projector, into which it is then also loaded normally.
   Somewhere between the two machines, there is usually a bit of slack in
   the film, where a weighted roller is placed in order to keep the film
   running smoothly if there happens to be a small speed variation during
   the show.
   Both projectors must be started at exactly the same time in order to
   maintain the proper amount of slack between them. This is done either
   by two projectionists, or by an automation system capable of handling
   this function.
   It should be noted that the term `interlocked' is also commonly used
   in the context of a sound mix facility, where several magnetic
   dubbers, and, usually, a projector, must be mechanically or
   electronically interlocked together in order to ensure that the
   multiple soundtracks being mixed are in perfect sync with each other
   and with the workprint being projected.
5.7 What are the industry standards for image brightness and screen

   According to the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers
   (SMPTE), the generally accepted standard-setting organization for the
   industry, films are to be projected at a brightness level of 16
   footlamberts (+/- 2 footlamberts). There is no standard for screen
   gain, and it varies substantially from theater to theater (from 1x to
   3x is common). Screen gain deteriorates over time, and thus requires
   that screens be replaced periodically.
5.8 What are the industry standards for sound levels in a mono setup?

   [under construction]
What are the industry standards for sound levels in a Dolby Stereo (tm) setup?

   This is widely ignored, but officially, a CAT-85 pink noise generator
   card in a Dolby processor should generate a sound level of 85 decibels
   at the `average' seat, and this should be calibrated to the `7' on the
   volume dial (which ranges from 1 through 10). Mixing stages are set up
   in this way, although theaters are often calibrated for lower sound
   levels, as films (and, more frequently, trailers) sometimes get mixed
   too loud.
5.10 How does a dual-format (35/70) projector work, and how is the changeover
made between formats?

   (courtesy David Richards
   These comments apply to the Century projector. There are two
   significant differences between a 35/70 projector and a standard 35mm
   projector. First of all, it must acommodate two gauges (widths) of
   film. This mainly impacts the gate. Typically, the gate is easily
   removable. Whereas the 35mm projector is restricted to accepting a
   35mm gate, the 35/70 projector comes with two gates, one for each
   gauge of film. These gates are precision machined to slide onto
   dovetails on the frame, and should not be interchanged between
   projectors. The gates are stamped with the frame serial number to
   prevent mix-ups.
   The second difference is the frame pitch. Standard frame pitch for
   35mm film is 4 perforations, or .748". 70mm film uses the same
   perforation pitch, but 5 perfs per frame, or .935". Both must advance
   at 24 frames per sec. There are two possible ways to accomodate the
   faster linear speed of 70mm. One would be to simply turn the sprockets
   faster, with gearing for example. But this would not work with the
   existing geneva movement, and would also throw the shutter timing off.
   The way it is actually ac- complished is by using dual sprockets.
   There are 3 critical sprockets: the upper feed sprocket, which pulls
   film off the reel or platter at a constant speed, the intermittent
   sprocket, which advances the film at the gate, and the lower sprocket,
   which smooths out the pulsations from the intermittent sprocket once
   again. There are additional sprockets in the area of the sound head,
   but they do not need to be used for 70mm, as there is a separate
   magnetic sound reader for that.
   Typically, these sprockets have 16 teeth for 35mm film. Since one
   frame is 4 perfs, exactly 4 frames could be wrapped around each
   sprocket. Another way of saying this is that each sprocket turns 90
   degrees per frame. Since 70mm film requires a 5-perf advance, we can
   simply increase the number of sprocket teeth by 5/4, to 20 teeth, and
   the speed and intermittent advance distance are increased exactly the
   right amount, without changing the Geneva movement, motor, or anything
   else. By a happy coincidence, the 70mm film requires both a larger
   diameter sprocket, and one with the two sets of teeth further apart to
   accommodate the greater width. So, by using stepped sprockets, both
   may co-reside on the same shaft. The 35mm film rides in-between the
   larger 70mm sprocket flanges.
   The only thing remaining is the pads that hold the film against the
   sprocket. Since there are two different sprocket diameters, there are
   two different places the pads must stop. This is accomplished on the
   Century with two different diameter pad rollers, which rotate
   individually, the assembly of both of them revolves on a common shaft
   with a knob. By turning the knob one way, the 35mm pad roller comes
   against the film. By turning the knob the other way, the 70mm pad
   roller comes against the film. With 35mm film threaded on the machine,
   turning the knob the wrong way does no damage, however, the film will
   not be held securely against the sprocket. With 70mm film threaded,
   care must be taken, because turning the knob the wrong way will damage
   the print.
   This combination 35/70 idea, while good in theory, has some drawbacks
   in practice. Even with everything set correctly for 70mm, it is
   sometimes possible for the base side of the film to touch the 35mm pad
   rollers. This can cause base side scratches, which show up as dark
   lines about 1/4 of the picture width from each side. Those "in the
   know" will remove the 35mm pad rollers when showing a 70mm print, and
   replace them with spare 70mm rollers. This allows them to turn the
   knob either way without creasing the print, and at the same time
   eliminates the risk of base-side scratches.
   As a footnote, the lamphouse generally must be readjusted for 70mm as
   well, to cover the larger frame area.
5.11 What are the differences between nitrate-, acetate-, and polyester-based
print stocks?

  5.11.1 Nitrate Base/Triacetate (Safety) Base
   Early motion pictures were all shot and printed on nitrate-base film.
   This became extremely flammable as it aged, and thus unsuitable for
   use in non-fireproofed environments (such as homes and schools). Thus,
   `safety film' was invented, which had a biacetate (later, triacetate),
   or similar, base. This was initially used for 16mm films (which were
   never manufactured on nitrate [except in Russia, for a short time],
   due to concerns about home use), and eventually came into use for 35mm
   presentation as well. The last nitrate film manufactured by Eastman
   Kodak (tm) was delivered in 1953. With the introduction of safety
   film, the projection and storage of nitrate films was outlawed or
   severely restricted by many communities. As film librarians have
   found, nitrate, being an unstable base by nature, tends to decompose
   easily, and many old nitrate films which have not been re-printed onto
   safety film have deteriorated beyond the point of recovery. When
   nitrate prints are shown today, it is common to remove a small piece
   of head or tail, and light it. The speed at which the film burns can
   be used to determine whether or not the film can be run in relative
   safety. Kodak (tm) distributes a booklet on "Safe Handling and Storage
   of Nitrate Motion Picture Films."
  5.11.2 Polyester Base
   Polyester stock (`ESTAR (tm) ' is a trademark for polyester stock
   manu- factured by the Eastman Kodak (tm) company) is a fairly new
   development for print film. Like triacetate stock, it is nonflammable.
   The primary differences between it and the older nitrate/triacetate
   stocks are strength and thickness. Unlike other films, polyester stock
   does not break. If stressed, it simply stretches. This can be either
   good or bad, depending upon the degree to which it is stressed; for
   example, a jammed platter feed mechanism can cause the still-running
   projector to pull an essentially immovable piece of film through it,
   causing great damage to the projector itself, and, of course, damaging
   several feet of the film. If this circumstance occurred with
   triacetate film stock, the film would have simply broken, and no
   damage would have occurred.
   The severity of this and other problems varies substantially among
   films manufactured by different companies. Further, the resistance to
   breakage is the primary reason why polyester is not used on camera
   films, as the risk of damage is much greater when the film is run
   through expensive camera equipment. (Polyester camera film is
   manufactured and used for high-speed cameras used to capture
   slow-motion images for scientific and engineering work, as the
   mechanisms of these cameras run so quickly that they would be severely
   damaged if the film were to break while the camera was running).
   Polyester stock is also thinner and lighter than acetate stock (one
   can identify it as polyester by holding a reel up to a light source in
   a sideways position (such that it appears round from the viewer's
   point of view); if one can see light through it, then it is
   polyester). This can reduce the number of shipping reels, and the
   shipping cost, but may require adjustment of gate pressure in the
   projector in order for the film to run properly. Also, the stock is
   more sensitive to low humidity than triacetate, as it tends to pick up
   static electrical charge, sometimes preventing it from running
   smoothly on a platter system. The most often recommended solution to
   this ailment is to ensure that the platters are properly grounded, and
   that a humidifier is present in the projection booth. This will also
   help to avert unnecessary dust accumulation on the print.
   The texture of polyester stock is substantially different from that of
   triacetate stock, and cement splices are not useful on polyester films
   (either tape or ultrasonic splices must be used). Thus, projectionists
   usually use the more-visible tape splices to join film together.
   The static and strength problems were particularly acute with many
   prints of American President, one of the first major features to have
   35mm prints distributed on polyester stock. Commonly, when run on
   platters, the film layers would `stick' together, jamming the feed
   mechanism, and, usually, causing the whole projector to stop (by means
   of `failsafe' assemblies which stop the motor when there is excessive
   tension on the guide rollers).
   It should also be noted that the IMAX (tm) format requires that
   polyester-based film be used, due to the relatively high linear speed
   at which the film moves through the projector (about three times that
   of 35mm), and the potential damage to the projector should there be a
   film break in the middle of a show. However, IMAX (tm) equipment was
   designed for polyester film, and has several safeguards not present in
   most 35mm projection equipment in order to avert potential disasters
   in the projection booth.
5.12 What is the best way to avoid the static and shedding problems common in
polyester prints?

   Opinions and experiences on this topic vary widely; most, however,
   agree that the following suggestions are at least somewhat helpful for
   reducing the problems associated with polyester prints; these prints
   can be identified by their inability to break (for example, by trying
   to tear off a bit of head or tail leader) and their apparent
   translucent quality when a reel his held sideways near a light source.
   Humidity in the booth needs to be kept at a moderate level, in attempt
   to avoid the static problems which come along with polyester film.
   Additionally, if using platters, the platters should be grounded
   and/or made of non- conducting material. As is always the case, the
   projector gate should be cleaned as often as possible between shows to
   minimize the scratching and dust effects of shedding prints. As an
   extreme measure, metal objects (grounded) may be placed near the film
   path in attempt to drain static away from the film as it runs through
   the rollers.
5.13 What precautions are necessary when projecting nitrate prints?

   [note that the compiler of this FAQ takes NO RESPONSIBILITY for the
   application of this information, which is provided for educational
   purposes only]
   Perhaps the most important task prior to running a nitrate print is to
   determine whether it is permitted by local laws to do so. Many com-
   munities have outlawed the projection or storage of nitrate film
   material due to the grave safety concerns associated with its use.
   Assuming that projection of this film is legal in the local area, and
   that the booth in question meets all necessary specifications (metal
   plates which can be dropped down to cover portholes in case of
   accident, fireproof construction, metal door, outside ventilation,
   etc.), then one would most likely want to snip off a piece of head or
   tail leader of the film and ignite it in order to determine its
   flammability, as this varies widely as film goes through various
   stages of decomposition. The print should be thoroughly inspected to
   ensure that it is not damaged in such a way that it may jam in the
   gate and ignite (more likely if the print has shrunk significantly or
   has lousy splices). The print should then be run in an attended booth
   off of 2000' or 1000' reels, and certainly on a platter or on large
   reels, in order to minimize the outcome of any possible disaster. In
   between shows, the reels should be stored in metal containers away
   from high heat sources.
5.14 What are the proper procedures for print inspection prior to showing a

   This varies substantially from theater to theater, ranging from no
   inspection whatsoever, to thorough, frame-by-frame inspection. Most
   commonly, however, the film is rewound from the shipping reels onto
   either a platter or house reels, while the projectionist checks for
   breaks, torn perforations, or bad splices. If the theater in question
   is a changeover house, cue marks are commonly checked to ensure their
   correct positioning, and more are added if need be.
   A more thorough inspection would involve running the film through a
   sync block to ensure that no out-of-frame splices had been made, as
   well as possibly running the film through some type of cleaning device
   in order to remove any dust or dirt which may have accumulated on the
5.15 What other problems are common in film projection, and how does one fix

   [under construction]
                              6 Film Laboratories
6.1 What are the differences between reversal and negative film, and which is
the most common?

  6.1.1 Differences Between Reversal and Negative Films
   The difference is quite simple: with negative film, the images on the
   camera film are reversed such that light areas become dark, and dark
   areas become light (just like a still photographer's negatives). The
   camera negative cannot be properly projected, as a positive print
   (duplicate film) (with the light areas light and dark areas dark) must
   first be made, and then this print is used for projection. With
   reversal film, the camera original can be properly projected.
  6.1.2 Uses for Reversal and Negative Films
   Home movies, old television news footage, and some military and NASA
   films (as well as most of the NFL Films library, until quite recently)
   were/are shot on reversal film for convenience and the cost savings of
   not having to make a separate print for projection. Nearly everything
   else is shot on negative film, as prints made from it are cheaper than
   those from reversal; additionally, it has far greater exposure
   latitude (tolerance for over/underexposure) than reversal film.
   Finally, professional film-makers do not want to damage the camera
   original in the editing process, and so the convenience and cost
   advantages of reversal film are negated.
6.2 What is a `one light work print'? A `timed work print'?

   Film `dailies' (quickly made prints of camera negative) are often
   known as `work prints,' as, after they are viewed by directors and
   cinematographers, they are the actual prints with which film editors
   (assuming they actually are editing on film) `work' as they cut and
   splice the film together to appropriately reflect a film's story. Work
   prints come in two varieties: one light and timed. A `one light' print
   is simply a print made without extensive scene-to-scene exposure and
   color (if the film is in color) correction (known as `timing'). A
   timed print, on the other hand, is more expensive, and involves
   several `lights' (exposure/color corrections) in order to make the
   images look prettier. These timed prints can help the director,
   editor, and cinematographer gain a better idea of how the final prints
   will look.
6.3 What does a negative cutter do?

  6.3.1 General Information on Negative Conforming
   After a workprint (or videotape transfer of camera negatives) is
   edited, the original camera negatives must be matched (`conformed')
   back to the workprint, so that prints can then be made from the
   negatives. This is a job done by a negative cutter, who uses the `edge
   numbers' or `keycodes' printed (by the manufacturer of the raw stock)
   on the edge of the camera negative and then printed through on the
   workprint. These numbers are printed every 20 frames in 16mm and every
   16 frames in 35mm, and are the reference points for the negative
   cutter. `Keycodes' are simply barcode versions of human-readable edge
   numbers, and permit the cutting of negatives to match edited videotape
   transfers from negatives (provided that the transfers have `window
   burns' in the corner of the picture, showing the proper keycode
   numbers for the film being transferred).
  6.3.2 A & B (& C) Roll Conforming and Printing
   Films in 16mm and sometimes 35mm are cut into so-called `A & B rolls,'
   in a `checkerboard' fashion in order to ensure that splices will not
   appear on the screen when the prints are projected. This technique is
   best described with the following diagram:
'A roll'  | <----scene 1----> | <----black leader----> | <----scene 3----> |

'B roll'  | <--black leader-> | <-------scene 2------> | <--black leader-> |

   The print film is then run through the printer (at the lab.) thrice,
   first exposing it to the `A roll,' then rewinding, then exposing it to
   the `B roll,' then rewinding, then exposing it to the soundtrack. The
   completed print (if printed properly) contains all scenes in order
   without visible splices in between, as well as an in-sync soundtrack.
   If white titles are needed, then the print film is run through again,
   this time being exposed to a `C roll,' containing main or subtitles.
   Fades and dissolves (cross-fades between scenes) are made at this time
   too, using either a punched paper tape or notches in the edges of the
   negatives as cues.
   This A & B roll method is not always necessary for 35mm, as enough of
   the area around the frameline is masked off in projection to permit
   splicing the film negatives into a single strand which can be printed
   in one pass through the printer, instead of two. The A & B rolls are
   necessary, though, for dissolves between scenes, and for superimposed
6.4 What is timing/color timing, and how does it affect the look of filmed

   Color timing has a great effect on filmed images, as it controls the
   `look' of the film, with respect to exposure and color balance, as
   well as scene-to-scene continuity. The color timer uses a machine
   known as a `Hazeltine' (tm) which reverses images on the original
   negatives and displays them on a television-like screen, and then
   turns dials to assign the image `printer's points' for each of the
   three primary colors (red, green, blue). These `points' range from 0
   to 50, with about 25 being `normal,' with higher numbers making the
   image darker, and lower numbers making the image lighter. In practice,
   the `normal' values vary depending upon the camera stocks used and the
   cinematographer's personal preferences for exposure.
   When working with black-and-white films, only one set of points is
   used, as there is no color balance to worry about. In this case, the
   `timer' simply manipulates the exposure of the image. Incidentally,
   the term `timer' comes from the days before automated printers when
   the `timer' actually had to determine how long certain portions of the
   print should be allowed to sit in the developer. Of course, this is no
   longer necessary, and all print films are processed in the same
   Each scene is timed, and the printer's points for each scene are
   encoded onto a punched paper tape (or, in older arrangements, as
   notches in the edges of the negatives to indicate the changes, which
   would be manually set by the printer operator, just like
   fades/dissolves). The printer then reads these cues and electronically
   adjusts its lights and filtration to match the cues. Other methods for
   cuing the timing changes have been employed, although the paper tape
   appears to be the most common at this time.
6.5 What is an `answer print'?

   The first print made from original camera negatives is called the
   `answer print,' and it is intended to give the cinematographer and
   director an `answer' to their questions about how certain scenes are
   to be timed. This print is commonly screened at the lab's screening
   room, with the color timer present to discuss the timing of certain
   scenes. If adjustments need to be made, additional answer prints are
   made until everyone is satisfied with the `look' of the print.
6.6 What is an `interpositive'? An `internegative'?

   Large print runs (like the 1500-2500-print orders for today's feature
   films) are potentially damaging to the valuable camera negatives, and
   so most theatrical prints are made from `intermediate' films. Some
   image quality is lost in the process, however. The process generally
   goes as follows: The A, B, and C (if necessary) rolls, are all printed
   onto an interpositive, which has lower contrast than ordinary
   release-print stock (contrast builds up in the internegative and
   release print stages). This interpositive is then printed onto one or
   more internegatives, which is/are then used (along with a separate
   soundtrack negative, containing optical tracks and any digital
   tracks/timecode that might be used for that particular film) to print
   theatrical prints. If foreign distribution is expected, the C roll
   (containing titles) is sometimes printed separately on its own
   interpositive, and then both interpositives are printed onto the
   internegative(s). This allows for different versions of a film's
   titles, which can be made in different languages for foreign prints;
   subtitles for foreign prints can also be added by splicing them into
   the `title' interpositive.
   Note that prints made from internegatives must be run through the
   printer only once, as the internegative contains all of the elements
   (A/B/C rolls, optical track) necessary for the print, whereas
   original- negative prints must be run through the printer at least
   three times. Thus, prints made from internegatives are about 1/3 less
   expensive than original- negative prints.
6.7 What is a `check print'?

   A `check print' is the first print made from an internegative, to
   ensure that all of the elements are lined up properly, and that the
   sound- track is in sync with the picture. If a check print is
   acceptable, then all release prints will look similar, with everything
   in sync, because they will be printed from the same internegative(s).
6.8 What is a `release print'?

   The `release print' is made from the internegative (as mentioned
   above), or, for very small print runs or special engagements, from
   camera negatives. These are the prints which are shipped to theaters
   and other exhibitors for the exhibition of motion pictures. Release
   prints differ from answer prints, check prints, and intermediates, in
   that they are mounted on metal reels for projection (the others come
   on small plastic lab `cores' and must be mounted in `split reels' for
   projection), and, like check prints, have reel-change cues at their
   tails. They are the least-expensive type of final print.
6.9 What is the difference between release prints made for projection with
tungsten lamps and release prints made for projection with xenon lamps?

   The color balance. Tungsten lamps have a 3300 degree Kelvin `color
   temperature,' whereas xenon lamps have a 5500 degree Kelvin color
   temperature. Basically, xenon lamps give a `bluer' light than tungsten
   lamps (carbon-arcs fall somewhere in between). To compensate for this,
   a small filter is changed in the printer to make prints for both types
   of lamps. This change is independent of the print timing, and so can
   be made well after the timer is completed with his job. In practice,
   however, all theatrical prints are balanced for xenon, as no
   commercial theater commonly uses tungsten lamps.
6.10 What is a `low-contrast print'?

   It is similar to an interpositive, and is used for television/video
   tape transfers. These transfers often increase image contrast, and so
   are improved when they are mastered from a low-contrast print. These
   prints can be projected as well, but lack the color saturation and
   (obviously) contrast of a standard release print.
6.11 What is `green film'? Why isn't it green?

   `Green film' is simply a term used for film which is fresh from the
   lab, and is still somewhat moist from the processing chemicals and
   lubricants used at the lab. It requires slightly more attention upon
   projection, as the moisture and lubrication can prevent this film from
   running steadily through the projector. This is why some perfectly
   good prints seem to have lousy registration when they have just been
   returned from the lab.
6.12 What are currently the standard reel/can sizes for the various film

   In 8mm/16mm/35mm: 100', 200' (not 35), 400', 800' (not 35), 1000',
   1200' (not 35), 1600' (not 8, 35), 2000' (not 8)
6.13 How can I process reversal films at home?

   (courtesy Ed Inman
> From: edinman <>
> Newsgroups:
> Subject: (no subject)
> Date: 7 Jun 1996 01:50:18 GMT
> Here is my advice on how to reverse process your Super 8 or 16mm black
> and white movies at home. Why would you want to do this? There are
> several reasons. For example, the film may be of a personal or sensitive
> nature that you would feel uncomfortable sending out to a lab. But the
> best reason to home process your film is that you get to see it right
> away, instead of sending it off and waiting.
> There is not much that has been written on this subject in years, so the
> following suggestions are based only on my personal experimentation. If
> anyone who has experience with this sort of thing would care to make
> suggestions on how I could improve or refine this process, or would like
> to ask any questions, feel free to e-mail me.
> The only home movie processing tank still sold that I am aware of is the
> G-3 Daylight Processor sold by Doran Enterprises in Milwaukee,
> Wisconsin, USA. Their phone number, if you wish to order one is
> 414-645-0109.
> The tank is not ideal--the good news is that it only takes one liter (or
> one quart) to process up to 200 ft. of Super 8 or 16mm film (or about
> 1.5 liters for 35mm film). The bad news is that it is kind of tedious to
> use.
> Since it is a "rewind" tank, the operator must continuously wind the
> film back and forth from one reel to another. At recommended winding
> speed of 2 turns per second, a complete wind of one 50-ft. Super 8 film
> would be about 45 seconds from one end to another. For 100-ft spool of
> 16mm (or two Super 8 films stapled together) the time would be one
> minute. At 200 ft., time would be 90 seconds.
> 1. Emulsion should be face out.
> 2. Unless Prebath PB-3 is used when film is first submerged, tilt the
> tank and pour in enough water so that the reel with no film is wet and
> reel with film is dry. Then wind dry film onto wet reel so that emulsion
> is uniformly made wet.
> I do not have recommendations for developing Ektachrome film but for
> developing B&W films like Tri-X Reversal 7278 or Plus-X Reversal 7276,
> use the following processing steps:
> SOLUTION and suggested NUMBER OF WINDS AT 68F (20C):
> FIRST DEVELOPER: 12 (Or 8 at 80F--This is the most critical step.
> Decrease number if fully processed films are consistently too light;
> increase if too dark.)
> RINSE: 4 (change water each time)
> BLEACH: 10 (8 at 80F)
> CLEARING BATH: 8 (6 at 80F)
> Now remove cover of tank, add water, and re-expose film under a bright
> 200 to 500 watt light or in sunlight for two to three complete winds.
> Cover tank and continue:
> SECOND DEVELOPER: 8 (6 at 80F)
> You may now rinse film (5 winds running water) and dry, OR if you want
> to harden emulsion and make film less prone to scratches (recommended if
> the film is expectd to have heavy usage) add the following steps:
> RINSE: 2
> RINSE: 5 (running water)
> PHOTO-FLO (optional):2
> To dry film, string a line across the room and loop film over and over
> the line, emulsion side up, for uniform drying. Spool onto projector
> reel emulsion side out.
> FIRST DEVELOPER: Add 9.5 grams of sodium thiosulfate to 1 liter of Kodak
> D-19 developer regular strength.
> BLEACH: To one liter of water add 9.5 grams of Potassium Dichromate and
> 12 ml of concentrated Sulfuric Acid.
> CLEARING BATH: To one liter of water add 90 grams of Sodium Sulfite.
> SECOND DEVELOPER: Use standard paper developer like Dektol or Polymax T
> regular strength.
> FIXER: Use Kodak Rapid Fixer or similar.
> HYPO CLEARING AGENT: Use Kodak Hypo Clearing Agent, or similar.
> PHOTO-FLO: Use Kodak Photo-Flo or similar.
> These solutions can also be used to make B&W slides from almost any 35mm
> B&W film. The recommended starting point times for a standard
> (non-rewind) tank at 20C (68F) is:
> RINSE: 2-5 min. (change water frequently)
> BLEACH: 1-2 min.
> RINSE/RE-EXPOSE (You can't overexpose at this point)
> RINSE/FIX/DRY normally.
> As a general rule, just remember:
> If too dark, increase time or temp. of first developer.
> If too light, decrease time or temp. of first developer.
> TO ORDER HARD-TO-FIND CHEMICALS call Photographer's Formulary toll free
> at 1-800-922-5255. (Note: They only sell sulfuric acid in a 48 percent
> solution so you will need to use 25ml for a liter of bleach instead of
> the 12ml you would use of concentrated solution.) If you want to get
> really fancy, try some of their many toners, intensifiers, or reducers
> on your films or transparencies--experiment first with unwanted films
> since you don't want to risk ruining your good films.
> DISCLAIMER: Potassium Dichromate and Sulfuric Acid are hazardous
> chemicals which should be treated with extreme care and handled as
> hazardous waste. If in question, the bleach formula should be made by a
> qualified chemist. Also, bleach does not keep as well as the other
> solutions when mixed. For best keeping, you may want to add the
> potassium dichromate to one-half liter of water to make BLEACH PART A
> and the sulfuric to a separate half-liter of water to make BLEACH PART
> B. The two then are mixed together in equal amounts just prior to usage.
> 1. By adding an optional rinse between the bleach and the clearing bath,
> you can probably extend the useful life of the clearing bath. But for
> most consistent results always use fresh chemistry.
> 2. If highlights appear to be not fully reversed (I.E. gray image where
> there should be white) the bleach is exhausted or you need to increase
> bleach time.
> 3. If yellow stain appears anywhere in film, clearing bath is exhausted
> or you need to extend clearing bath time.
> 4. If fixer erases part of the final image, you did not fully re-expose
> or redevelop the film or your redeveloper is exhausted.
> 5. To use the G-3 tank for negative processing, use regular D-19, then
> fix, wash and dry normally.
> 6. For high contrast applications (such as titles or line work) use
> Kodalith developer in both the first and second development stages, or
> as a negative developer.
> Best of luck--let me know how you come out.
> Ed Inman -- E-mail --
             7 Film for Videotape and Television (and vice-versa)
7.1 How is the frame-rate difference worked out when film is displayed on

  7.1.1 European Television Standard
   European television conforms to the PAL (Phase Alternation by Line)
   standard, which runs at 25 frames (50 fields, or half-frames) per
   second. This is close enough to the film standard of 24 fps, that 24
   fps films are often simply run at 25 fps, with possibly a bit of
   pitch-shifting on the soundtrack to make it sound less `screechy.'
   Films shot for television broadcast are often shot at 25 fps, and many
   cameras have an option of a 25 fps crystal, and tape recorders are
   made with 50hz (rather than 60hz) crystals for syncing to 25 fps film.
   Both PAL and SECAM (another television standard, used mostly in
   Eastern Bloc nations) use 625 scan lines, running at 50 fields per
   second. These standards are able to provide higher-quality images than
   the U.S. standard described below.
  7.1.2 U.S./Canada/Japan Television Standard
   In the United States, Canada, and Japan, modern color television
   conforms to the NTSC (National Television Standards Committee)
   standards, which were devised in an attempt to make color television
   signals compatible with black-and-white receivers. The standards
   provide for a frame rate of 29.97 frames (59.94 fields) per second
   (versus the film standard of 24 fps), and 525 scan lines. These scan
   lines are `interlaced,' meaning that every other line (one `field') is
   scanned once, and then the alternate lines are scanned in another
   `field.' Thus 262.5 lines are scanned once, then another 262.5 line
   are scanned. The two fields combine to form one `frame,' which is the
   full set of 525 lines, and is analogous to a `frame' of film (although
   there are more of them per second in television).
   It should be noted that the original U.S. television standard for
   black-and-white transmissions provided for 30 frames/60 fields per
   second, but had to be revised to allow for color. When black-and-white
   shows are broadcast by a color station, the TV station can either
   broadcast at 30 fps, or broadcast a color burst signal at 29.97 fps.
   In practice, though, this standard is now ignored.
   Early broadcast setups were designed to simply repeat every fourth
   film frame when a film was to be shown on television. This method
   comes very close to showing the film at the proper speed (it makes the
   film about 5% longer (with respect to running time) when it is shown
   on television, because this method assumes that television runs at 30
   fps, rather than the actual 29.97). This results in the following
   frame relationships:
     Television           Film
      Frames #           Frame #

         1                 1
         2                 2
         3                 3
         4                 4
         5                 4
         6                 5
         7                 6
        ...               ...

   Modern film-broadcast setups work by making each film frame reproduce
   alternately on two or three consecutive fields. This scheme provides
   more-accurate representation of motion, and leaves fewer motion
   `artifacts' of the film on the television display. This results in the
   following frame relationships (with fields designated by half-frames).
     Television           Film
      Frames #           Frame #

         1                 1
         1.5               1
         2                 1
         2.5               2
         3                 2
         3.5               3
         4                 3
         4.5               3
         5                 4
         5.5               4
         6                 5
         6.5               5
         7                 5
        ...               ...

7.2 What are the various methods used to display film on television or
videotape? Which are the most common?

  7.2.1 Film Chains
   The equipment used to display film on television is known as
   `telecine' equipment, and comes in two basic varieties. The older and
   cheaper type (called a `film chain') involves a standard movie
   projector whose shutter blades have been modified so as to sync with
   the television camera, eliminating the `flicker' which appears when an
   unmodified projector is used. This modified projector is set up to
   project into a `multiplexer' which directs the light through a field
   lens (by means of several high-quality mirrors) and into a telecine
   camera (a high-quality three-tube or three-chip television camera,
   whose lens is attached to the screen, so as to photograph the
   projected images. This setup can `reverse' black-and-white negative
   film to produce positive images, but cannot do so with color negative,
   due to the complex color shifting which must be achieved due to the
   orange-y tint of color negatives. Also, this system is incapable of
   anything beyond very basic color and exposure correction, making it
   unsuitable for production work, but useful for low-end television
   stations, which need to broadcast from release prints.
  7.2.2 Flying Spot Scanners
   The more modern equipment, usually a Rank (tm) or Bosch (tm) telecine
   machine, is large and expensive (making it impractical for television
   station use, but appropriate for labs and post houses), and involves
   the use of a `flying spot scanner,' which does not depend upon the
   intermittent movement of a projector, but rather is capable of
   scanning the film as it moves past the scanner head. This process is
   similar to that used by the newer CCD scanners (such as those from BTS
   (tm) /Philips (tm) , which use CCD sensors to read the images from the
   Because of its high quality and sophisticated electronics, as well as
   its ability to easily and gently shuttle film back and forth, it is
   suitable for production work, and, when used with additional
   electronic equipment, allows for a huge degree of latitude in color
   and exposure `correction' (much more so than is afforded a lab's color
   timer), and allows for much additional creative use, as is often seen
   in television commercials and music videos. Further, it is capable of
   producing a transfer of camera negative to which sound may later by
   synced (from an original sync 1/4" or timecoded DAT tape). Sound
   synching may also be done during the film transfer.
7.3 How are film negatives cut to match an edit done on videotape?

   (information courtesy Martin Gignac
   The original film negatives, after processing, are transferred to
   videotape, with the film's keycode (barcodes printed on the edge of
   the film negative by the manufacturer, and containing the same
   information as the visible `edge numbers') encoded on the tape, often
   in the Vertical Interval Time Code (VITC) region of the tape.
   Non-drop-frame timecode is recorded as well. Visible timecode/keycode
   are `burned in' to the picture as well. The tape is synched with the
   production sound and is then ready for editing. For non-linear
   editing, the pictures and sound from the tape are digitized along with
   the timecode and keycode information.
   After editing, the an EDL (edit decision list) is created, with the
   video non-drop-frmae timecode numbers, along with a keycode number
   list. Each cut is then verified and the list is sent along with a
   videotape of the edited version and the negatives to the negative
   cutter, who then verifies everything again, and produces a cut
   negative to match the video version.
7.4 How is the sound re-synced to the film to match an edit and mix done on

   The video timecode on the edited tape is converted to 24/25 fps film
   timecode. This is then used to drive a standard magnetic film dubber,
   which then records the sound from the tape directly onto magnetic
   film. This is then used to make an optical soundtrack for film release
   in the conventional fashion.
7.5 What formats of videotape are most commonly used for film post- production?

  7.5.1 Television Films
   High-end productions often use the new digital videotape formats,
   which, when used with digital switchers and edit controllers, are
   capable of being dubbed many times, without sustaining any significant
   `generation loss' of picture or sound quality (what loss occurs is a
   result of the compression and decompression of the image as it goes
   through the various stages of production). These formats include: D1,
   D2, D3, and Digital Beta. The use of these formats is mostly confined
   to productions which will end up on television, and thus demand the
   high quality that they offer.
  7.5.2 Theatrical Films
   Films which are intended for distribution in theaters often are edited
   on non-linear editing systems (such as the Lightworks (tm) , or the
   AVID (tm) for later negative matchback, and release prints to be made.
   Because they do not require the high quality and often cannot afford
   the high cost of the digital formats (because the video transfer is
   just used as an editing reference, and not for distribution), they
   often use the old, relatively cheap 3/4" Umatic format for `video
   dailies' and editing, with `window burns' of Keycode numbers and video
   timecode for later negative matchback. During the transfer, the `head'
   of the film is `punched' (one frame has a circular hole punched in it)
   to provide a reference for the negative cutter to relate the timecode
   to the keycode.
   Of course, theatrical films which are edited in the conventional
   manner (using a Steenbeck (tm) or Moviola (tm) or similar editing
   machine, and manually cutting and splicing workprint and magnetic
   film) do not even need to use videotape formats at all, unless the
   film will be released to the television or home-video markets, in
   which case a low- contrast print (or interpositive can be run through
   a flying-spot scanner with minimal color/exposure correction (this
   will have been done in the color timing stage of production).
7.6 What formats of videotape are most commonly used for television broadcast
of filmed material?

   Network broadcast is now using digital masters, often in D1 or, more
   commonly and less expensively, D2. Older productions and those with
   lower budgets are sometimes broadcast off of analog 1" C-type tape,
   though. Very few local broadcast stations can afford digital, and use
   1" almost exclusively. For news broadcasts (which almost never involve
   film), the lightweight and portable Beta SP format is used. A few
   low-end stations also use 3/4", though its use for broadcast is fading
7.7 How are 70mm films displayed on television or videotape?

   There are two ways to do this. The simpler method is to use a 35mm
   (or, gasp!, 16mm) reduction print, which can be transferred to
   videotape in a conventional fashion. The more complicated method,
   though the one which provides better quality, is to transfer a 70mm
   print at Crest National Film Laboratory, which has modified a Rank
   (tm) machine to accept various formats of 70mm material at various
   frame rates.
7.8 How is material originated on videotape transferred to film for theatrical
projection? How is the sound synced?

   This has been done for several films and portions of films with
   varying degrees of success. The simplest method is known as
   `kinescoping' and has been used since the introduction of television
   to preserve important pro- grams on film (prior to the introduction of
   videotape). This method varies widely in quality, from unwatchable, to
   almost-acceptable. It works with a movie camera which has been
   modified much like a telecine projector, using a shutter with
   additional blades (or, more commonly, a single 72-degree blade with a
   288 degree opening). It is simply pointed at a television screen, and
   started. The resultant pictures are commonly of very low con- trast,
   and sometimes have edges cropped. Sound is recorded either in-camera
   (with an old-fashioned optical-sound galvanometer) or on a magnetic
   tape which is later transferred to magnetic film, and synced normally.
   The more complicated method (which is substantially more expensive),
   is available from companies such as 4MC (tm) (formerly Image Transform
   (tm) ) in the Los Angeles, California area. They (and others) have
   developed sophisticated equipment which increases the effective number
   of lines of resolution in a particular television image, making the
   film version look somewhat clearer than the TV original. In this
   system, each of the three primary colors of the image (red, green, and
   blue) are recorded separately onto separate pieces of film, which are
   then printed successively onto an interpositive in order to produce a
   full-color image. The soundtrack is usually recorded from the original
   videotape onto timecoded DAT or 1/4" tape, which can then be used
   directly to cut an optical track for the print. This process has been
   used for several widely distributed films, most notably Hoop Dreams,
   and, considering the low quality of television images, makes
   reasonably good-looking films.
                                  8 Opinions
8.1 What is the most workable method of projecting super-16mm workprint with
separate fullcoat magnetic soundtrack?

  8.1.1 Double-Band Interlock Projector
   There are several possibilities, since it is not possible to make a
   super-16mm print with a standard optical or magnetic track. The most
   common method is to file out the edge of the gate (opposite the claw)
   in a Siemens or Palmer double-band projector (which were both made in
   the early-to-mid-1970's, and are used to project 16mm workprints with
   an interlocked magnetic soundtrack). Unfortunately, parts are
   apparently not available for these machines anymore, and the
   projectors themselves are difficult to find, fairly expensive, and
   clunky to work with.
   This type of system can be improvised, using an ordinary projector, by
   mounting a `sync block' after the second projector sprocket, and by
   mounting a magnetic head on the sync block. The picture film is then
   loaded into the projector, and passed through the sync block, and the
   magnetic film is on reels, mounted on manual rewinds, and passed
   through the sync block. Since the film and magnetic film are both in
   the same sync block, they are guaranteed to stay in sync throughout
   the reel. Of course, the projectionist must crank the takeup rewind
   throughout the show, in order to take up the magnetic stock.
  8.1.2 Standard Projector Interlocked With Dubber
   The alternative method (which is used by many film laboratories for
   their screening rooms) is to file out the gate of a standard 16mm
   projector (or just buy and install a super-16mm gate for it), and
   interlock the projector to a Magnasync-type magnetic sound dubber,
   which will follow the speed of the projector and reproduce the
   soundtrack in perfect. This method is reliable and widely used, but
   almost requires a permanent setup (not good for location work), and
   can be expensive.
8.2 What is the likely future for 2.5-perf 35mm release prints?

   [under construction]
8.3 Which films are good examples of wide screen composition?

   [under construction]
8.4 Which films are good examples of multi-channel sound mixes?

   [under construction]
8.5 What are some recommendations for long-term film storage?

   Two opinions from a thread:
> Subject:      Re: Vitafilm availability and film cleaning
> From: (JHarw91601)
> Date:         1996/10/23
> Newsgroups:
> [snip]
> There is no known cure for vinegar syndrome.  There are many "wive's
> tales" out there, but none of them has had any scientific backing as of
> yet.
> What causes vinegar syndrome?  Well, there are many.  The most common
> cause is improper storage in overly humid environments.  Other causes are
> poor processing and some types of scratch rejuvenation.
> So what are molecular sieves?  They are small packets which are placed in
> the cans of deteriorating film.  They absorb most of the acetic acid
> vapors which are being released from the film base.  These vapors (which
> smell like vinegar) are what attack the emulsion as well as the plastic
> acetate base support.  If the sieves are used in tandem with proper cold
> storage (below 50 degrees F and 40% relative humidity) then this will slow
> the deterioration down to a crawl.


> Cleaning your film with commercial film cleaners should be limited to
> those which do not have any oils in them, if you're cleaning films with
> vinegar syndrome.  Trichloroethane based cleaners, or just straight
> trichloroethane, is very good.  Ecco brand and J&R Film cleaner are good.
> Vitafilm and Surfaset have silicons &
> oils in them.  Oils tend to trap in the acetic acid vapors, which will
> hasten the deterioration.  Make sure you use a clean velvet or Webril Wipe
> when doing a cleaning.  Unless the print is dirty, however, it's best to
> leave well enough alone.  Passing a film through a cloth can potentially
> cause scratches.  Be very careful to stop periodically and shake out the
> rag in case dirt builds up in it.


> Sincerely,
> Jim Harwood
> Subject:      Negative Storage
> From: (Frank Wylie)
> Date:         1996/10/25
> Newsgroups:
> wrote:
> >I have heard conflicting advice on the best method for long term storage of
> >film negative.  Room temperature, cool, or frozen?
> > What humidity is best?
> Jim,
> The National Film Board of Canada has begun tests on freezing monopack
> color negs, but beyond that I couldn't tell you the long-term effects
> of freezing your negative.  Some members of the AMIA-L (Assoc. of
> Moving Image Archivists) listserv expressed concern that if the
> proceedure was not carried-out with great control, then the base,
> emulsion or both could be fractured by the excessive moisture content
> of the emulsion, due to expansion of the freezing water.  There were
> other issues as well, but I don't remember them off-hand.
> At the present time, I believe the consensus is that the optimal
> storage temperature is near, but not below, freezing with a relative
> humidity of 30 - 40%.
> >Will dessicants in the film cans dry out the film too much?
> In a word, yes.  Unless you are storing the film in a very humid
> place, I would not put sillica gel in the cans.  If you are storing
> the film in a humid environment and cannot control the atmosphere in
> any other way than using sillica gel;  store the film in an oversized
> can, on cores and laying flat (you should always store film on cores
> and laying on-edge - never store on reels and in the upright
> position). I would suggest you attach the gel canister to the can lid
> with pop rivets (or other non-chemical based method to avoid harmful
> adhesive fumes) over the center of the core.  If you lay the packet in
> on top of the roll, you may cause the film to dry-out in the area
> direcly beneath the gel and cause dimensional problems in the future.
> Check the canister and gel every two-weeks and turn the roll over to
> equalize the absorption across the web of the film.  I really don't
> know how you would monitor the relative humidity of the can, but a
> stable atmosphere is critical.  Cycles of humidity and extreme dryness
> can cause severe stress on the emulsion;  causing fractures, across
> the web shrinkage and maybe even vinegar syndrome.  Who knows?
> Also, don't store film in tight-fitting cans;  let it breathe.  Safety
> has a tendency to go vinegar if sealed-up in a can (not so much if the
> temp is low), so keep the film in loose-fitting, oversized cans.
> If you can afford it, throw in a few molecular sieves per can;  can't
> hurt (at least as far as we know!).
> >       I definitely appreciate Jim Harwood's helpful post.  If the ideal
> >condition is below 50 degrees at 40% relative humididy, would it be a
> >good idea
> >to devote a refrigerator to storing my original negative for my films?
> I think so. The greater volume of air would be easier to stabilize and
> maintain a good relative humidity level.  A fairly inexpensive weather
> station (indoor/outdoor type) could be mounted on the door to keep a
> check on the interior without opening the door.  I would NOT suggest
> you use a "frost-free" type of refrigerator, as they remove humidity
> to keep-out frost and could freeze-dry your film.  If the fridge tends
> to keep a dry atmosphere;  put a few damp rags in a film can, punch a
> few holes in the top and place it in the bottom of the refrigerator.
> If too damp, use sillica gel cansiters to lower the RH.  You will have
> to experiment to find a method of regulation, but it should not be too
> hard.
> >freezing it worse than refrigerating it?  Will the wrong temperature or
> >humidity wreak havoc (sp?) on glue splices?
> At the present time, I would say cold storage, but don't freeze just
> yet.  Until more testing is conducted, try a method that has had some
> success in the past.
> As for the splices;  they would be my least worry.  A cement splice
> can be remade without too much fuss; and without loosing a frame.  I
> would worry about fungus, mold, air pollution, solvents and other
> nasties attacking the emulsion;  along with the natural tendency of
> dyes to fade over time.
> The biggest problems in preservation of color negative are:
> 1.  Dye fading  - solution:  copy when dyes start to fade.  That's
> about all you can do.  Forget digitizing; the storage medium won't
> last as long as the original negative and "Who the heck can afford it
> anyway ?".
> 2.  Shrinkage of base - solution:  maintiain proper humidity and temp.
> Make new dupe preservation neg when approaching 0.5% linear shrinkage
> of the film.  Shrinkage should be measured over the length of one-foot
> of film and expressed as a percentage of the total original distance
> on a fresh piece of properly-pitched stock (get the right pitch, it
> matters!).  We use shrinkage-gauges built by Mauer in the 50's;  I
> don't know what to suggest for a homebrew measuring device.  You start
> having printing problems (movement and breathing in the printer gate)
> at about 0.6 % on "standard" printers.  When you exceede that amount,
> you have to have it printed on a modified printer;  one with the
> sprocket teeth cut-down and movement is almost assured when you print
> that way.
> 3.  Emulsion damage - don't handle the film excessively, but do
> exercise the roll at least once a year by rewinding.  Some claim you
> should store the film emulsion-in (contrary to lab practice!), but we
> at the LOC store all our originals emulsion-out.  Why?  I guess it's
> just easier to handle when printing when would emulsion-out.
> 4.  Environmental damage - Solvents, ozone, gases, etc. attack the
> base, emulsion or both.  Keep storage areas clean and free from
> volatile chemicals and or liquids.
> Whew!  Hope that helps somewhat.
> __
> S. Frank Wylie
                            9 Obsolete Film Formats
What was `Cinerama' (tm) ? How did it work? Why did it become obsolete?

   [under construction]
   Cinerama (tm) is arguably the most-discussed film format here on
   rec.arts. It was the first of a series of film formats
   developed in the 1950's and 1960's in an attempt to bring the audience
   a larger, more-realistic, better-sounding film experience. The system
   consited of a six-perf film format, run from three separate strips of
   film (shot and projected with three cameras or projectors
   simultaneously), photographed with wide-angle lenses and intended to
   be projected on a large, curved screen, made up of several hundred
   individual strips of screen material. Cinerama (tm) sound was
   reproduced from a separate seven-track magnetic sound reproducer
   running magnetic film (much like a standard film dubber). Cinerama
   (tm) equipment utilized standard 35mm-width film, but the three strips
   combined to feature an image area far larger than even 70mm prints
   today. This format persisted through the early 1960's, before it was
   deemed by the producers and distributors as a clunky format, which
   could easily be replaced with such later (and inferior) formats as
   CinemaScope (tm) and 70mm/Todd-AO. Nonetheless, many theaters were
   designed with Cinerama (tm) presentations in mind, and featured the
   name `Super Cinerama (tm) .'
   The following features were shot in Cinerama (tm) :
   (courtesy Ralph Daniel

There are three schools of thought regarding Cinerama motion
pictures.  The first insists that only productions using three
interlocked films in both filming and projection qualify as
"true" Cinerama.  The second believes that anything shown on a
Cinerama screen qualifies.

This third school is a list of features conforming to the
following criteria:  Each was INTENDED BY ITS PRODUCERS to be
shown on a deeply-curved Cinerama screen, regardless of the
filming technique used.

YEAR    STUDIO     TITLE                               NEGATIVE CINEMATOGRAPH
1951    C'rama     This Is Cinerama                     3x35mm     Cinerama
1955    C'rama     Cinerama Holiday                     3x35mm     Cinerama
1956    C'rama     7 Wonders of the World               3x35mm     Cinerama
1957    C'rama     Search for Paradise                  3x35mm     Cinerama
1958    C'rama     South Seas Adv.                      3x35mm     Cinerama
1958    C'miracle  Windjammer                           3x35mm    Cinemiracle
1960    C'rama     Renault Dauphin (ad)                 3x35mm     Cinerama
1962    MGM        Wond World Bro's Grimm               3x35mm     Cinerama
1963    MGM        How the West Was Won                 3x35mm     Cinerama
1963    UA         It's Mad (4) World                    65mm      U.P. 70
1964    C'rama     Best of Cinerama                     3x35mm     Cinerama
1964    BMP        Circus World                         35mm(h)    S.T. 70
1965    R-S        Mediterranean Holiday                   ?           ?
1965    UA         Greatest Story Ever Told              65mm      U.P. 70
1965    UA         Hallelujah Trail                      65mm      U.P. 70
1965    WB         Battle of the Bulge                   65mm      U.P. 70
1965    C'rama1    Golden Head                          35mm(h)    S.T. 70
1966    C'rama2    Russian Adventure                    3x35mm  70mm composite
1966    UA         Khartoum                              65mm      U.P. 70
1966    MGM        Grand Prix                            65mm      S.P. 70
1968    Security   Custer of the West                   35mm(h)    S.T. 70
1968    MGM        2001: A Space Odyssey                 65mm      S.P. 70
1968    MGM        Ice Station Zebra                     65mm      S.P. 70
1969    ABC        Krakatoa - East Java                  65mm      S.P. 70
1970    ABC        Song of Norway                        65mm      S.P. 70
1972    MGM        Great Waltz                           65mm      S.P. 70
1973    C'rama     This Is Cinerama (reissue)           3x35mm  70mm composite
19??    C'rama     (untitled--military nuclear test)    3x35mm     Cinerama

MGM     = Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
UA      = United Artists
ABC     = American Broadcasting Company Productions
R-S     = Reade-Sterling
BMP     = Bronston-Midway-Paramount
C'rama1 = Cinerama-Hungarofilm
C'rama2 = Cinerama & Mosfilm (Soviet Kinopanorama)

3x35mm  = three 35mm films run simultaneously
35mm(h) = 35mm film run horizontally (VistaVision)

U.P. = Ultra Panavision
S.P. = Super Panavision
S.T. = Super Technirama

   And this interesting tidbit:
> Date: Fri, 14 Nov 1997 15:05:09 -0500 (EST)
> From:
> Subject: Mediterranean Holiday
> Scott, I have some information I've dug up that you might want to add to the
> FAQ.
> M.Holiday was shot in 65mm in a process called MCS-70 (that was either Modern
> Camera Systems or Modern Cinema Systems).  The exhibitor/distributor Walter
> Reade brought the rights to the film, and converted it to a really bizarre
> 35mm process called ARC-120 (renamed Wonderama), and it played at least one
> theatre in North Jersey, but I can't remember which.  It flopped.  They
> revived the 70mm print and ran it at the Manhattan Warner advertised "in
> Cinerama."  I've been debating with myself for years whether it should be
> included in a list of Cinerama70 films since it was not filmed with
> Cinerama70 projection in mind. Hope you find this helpful.
> vince

> Date: Mon, 8 Dec 1997 13:41:57 EST
> From: VEYOUNG <>
> Subject: Mediterranean Holiday again
> Hi, Scott
> Some more stuff about Med Holiday. A while back I e-mailed you some info abou
> MH, but I couldn't remember the name of the theatre in New Jersey where it ha
> played. In Dan Sherlock's most recent listing of errors in the Hayes/Carr
> book, he writes: "The first showing of Mediterranean Holiday using the
> Wonderama name was March 5, 1964 (not 1965) at the Strand Theatre in
> Plainfield, NJ on a screen 61 feet wide and 21 feet high."
> Vince

9.2 What was `Techniscope'? How did it work? Why did it become obsolete?

   [under construction]
What was `Ultra Panavision 70 (tm) ' a.k.a. `MGM Camera 65 (tm) '? How did it
work? Why did it become obsolete?

   [under construction]
What was `CinemaScope (tm) 55'? How did it work? Why did it fail?

   [under construction]
                               10 Miscellaneous
What is THX (tm) certification, and what standards are necessary for a theater
which wishes to obtain it?

   THX (tm) is neither more nor less than a set of standards developed by
   George Lucas and his cohorts, designed to ensure that the sound and
   picture which were heard and seen in the mixing studio/screening room
   are similarly reproduced in the theatrical setting. The theory behind
   this is that a movie will look and sound best when the audience hears
   and sees exactly what the director and sound mixers saw.
   Most of the standards relate to the proper positioning of the loud-
   speakers, screen brightness, presence or absence of sound-absorbing
   material (e.g. seat coverings) in the auditorium, and such. The
   standards are different for auditoria of differing sizes. A theater
   which wishes to advertise its THX (tm) certification must not only
   meet these standards, but also pay a yearly fee to Lucasfilm. THX (tm)
   theaters receive promo- tional materials and trailers to promote their
10.2 What equipment is necessary for a `home cinema' for 16mm and where can it
be begged for/purchased?

   The cheapest way to start is to pick up a portable, tungsten-bulb,
   `classroom-style' projector. These are very common surplus items right
   now, and can often be acquired for well under $100. When cleaned
   carefully and completely, and properly loaded, a manual-loading
   machine in good order is usually very gentle on the film and will give
   many years of service, with minimal maintenance, other than bulb
   changes, occasional lubrication, and regular cleaning).
   Plenty of these machines (most commonly, Bell & Howell, Graflex, or
   RCA (tm) ) can be found from schools and industrial users who have
   switched over to videotape equipment for presenting
   instructional/promotional materials. They are also available, usually
   with warranties, from various dealers in used motion picture
   equipment. New machines are available from the Japanese manufacturer
   Eiki, but they cost in excess of $1200, and are sold by audiovisual
   For those who want screen images larger and brighter than a tungsten
   bulb will allow, Bell & Howell and Graflex both made 300-watt portable
   MARC projectors, which use an external power supply to drive a small
   metal-arc bulb (much like modern HMI lamps). The power supplies are no
   longer made, and are difficult to find; if broken, they may be
   difficult to repair. These machines generally go for $300-500.
   When buying a projector, make sure that it is capable of holding at
   least 1600' reels (a two-hour feature usually comes on 3 1600' reels),
   as some older models do not hold this size. New projectors take reels
   up to 2300'. Be sure to get several take-up reels of the largest size
   the projector will hold. If a big images is desired from a short
   `throw,' then a shorter length lens is needed (most projectors come
   with a 2" lens; 5/8", 1", and 1.5" are also available and give bigger
   pictures). If possible, try to get an extra set of belts (motor drive,
   front feed arm, rear take-up arm) for the projector to have on hand in
   case one breaks. 'Scope lenses are available for showing anamorphic
   It's always good to have a splicer on hand, and there are several
   models which are commonly used. The Bolex cement splicer,
   guillotine-style tape splicer, and Maier-Hancock hot splicers are all
   commonly available, and usually go for $50-150.
10.3 What equipment is necessary for a `home cinema' for 35mm and where can it
be begged for/purchased?

   Gear for 35mm is harder to come by and more difficult to assemble for
   a home cinema. Nonetheless, surplus projectors are available (such as
   an old Super Simplex, Brenkert, or RCA), and are still quite useful.
   In addition to the projector head, one needs a pedestal (which is
   usually quite heavy), a lamphouse (a small 500w-750w xenon is
   appropriate), a soundhead and preamp, and reel arms (usually 2000'
   size is good for a home). Finally, a `flat' and (longer) `'scope' lens
   and aperture plates are needed. This type of gear usually goes for
   $1000-2000, and can be accumulated from movie theater basements, and
   equipment dealers. Further, since 35mm projectors don't rewind, one
   will need several 2000' house reels, and a rewind bench, with a pair
   of 2000' rewinds.
   For 35mm, most people like the guillotine-style tape splicer (which is
   what editors use), which usually goes for $150. These can be acquired
   from dealers or from editing supply houses.
10.4 Where can one purchase or rent release prints in 8/16/35/70mm?

   For purchasing used prints for home use, one should read the following
   periodical, published monthly and containing a large quantity of ads
   from collectors selling their prints:
   Big Reel
   P.O. Box 1050
   Dubuque, Iowa 52004-1050
   Prints for public performance showings can be rented from several
   companies, all of which have catalogs of their films, most notably:
   Swank Motion Pictures, Inc.
   350 Vanderbilt Motor Parkway
   Hauppauge, N.Y. 11787-4305
10.5 What are the various processes used for color in motion pictures?

   [under construction]
   Coming soon - information on two- and three-strip Technicolor,
   Eastmancolor, and a whole bunch of other processes. In the meantime
   see texttt for some information on
   early color film processes.
10.6 What are the various frame rates which have been used for motion pictures?

   [under construction]
10.7 What are the three different types of perforations used for 35mm release

10.8 What is a `reverse scanning solar cell' and how does it improve sound

   [under construction]
10.9 Who is R. Michael Hayes, and why are they saying those things about him?

   [under construction]
10.10 Why are `trailers' called `trailers' when they are spliced after the
`leader' of a movie?

   [under construction]
10.11 What books are useful for one interested in film formats and

   [under construction]
10.12 What magazines and other publications are useful for one interested in
film formats and presentation?

   [under construction]
10.13 What online resources exist for one interested in film formats and

   [under construction]
                           11 Reference Information
11.1 What are the footage/time conversions for the various film formats?

   Frames per foot:
   16mm - 40 35mm - 16 70mm - 12.8
|   Time   |  Reg. 8mm   |  Sup. 8mm   |    16mm     |    35mm     |
|  1 sec.  |  24 frames  |  24 frames  |  24 frames  |  24 frames  |
|          |  3.6 inches |  4 inches   |  7.2 inches |  18 inches  |
|  10 sec. |   3 feet    |  3 1/3 feet |  6 feet     |  15 feet    |
|  30 sec. |   9 feet    |   10 feet   |  18 feet    |  45 feet    |
|  1 min.  |   18 feet   |   20 feet   |  36 feet    |  90 feet    |
|  3 min.  |   54 feet   |   60 feet   |  108 feet   |  270 feet   |
|  5 min.  |   90 feet   |   100 feet  |  180 feet   |  450 feet   |
|  10 min. |   180 feet  |   200 feet  |  360 feet   |  900 feet   |
|  20 min. |   360 feet  |   400 feet  |  720 feet   |  1800 feet  |
|  30 min. |   540 feet  |   600 feet  |  1080 feet  |  2700 feet  |

11.2 What are the lens focal length/image size conversions for the various film

   [under construction]
  11.2.1 16mm Chart
Lens    | <---------- Distance in Feet From Screen to Film -----------> |
Focal   |                                                               |
Length  |  8'   |  10'  |  12'  |  15'  |  20'  |  25'  |  30'  |  35'  |
        | 4'9"  | 5'11" | 7'2"  | 9'0"  | 12'0" |   Width of Picture    |
 .64"   | 3'6"  | 4'5"  | 5'4"  | 6'8"  | 8'11" |   Height of Picture   |
        | 3'11" | 4'11" | 5'11" | 7'6"  | 9'11" | 12'6" |   -   |   -   |
 .75"   | 2'11" | 3'8"  | 4'5"  | 5'7"  | 7'5"  | 9'3"  |   -   |   -   |
        | 2'11" | 3'8"  | 4'5"  | 5'7"  | 7'5"  | 9'4"  | 11'3" | 13'1" |
  1"    | 2'2"  | 2'9"  | 3'4"  | 4'2"  | 5'7"  | 6'11" | 8'4"  | 9'9"  |
        | 1'11" | 2'5"  | 2'11" | 3'8"  | 4'11" | 6'2"  | 7'6"  | 8'9"  |
 1.5"   | 1'5"  | 1'10" | 2'2"  | 2'9"  | 3'8"  | 4'7"  | 5'7"  | 6'6"  |
        |   -   | 1'10" | 2'2"  | 2'9"  | 3'8"  | 4'8"  | 5'7"  | 6'6"  |
  2"    |   -   | 1'4"  | 1'8"  | 2'1"  | 2'9"  | 3'5"  | 4'2"  | 4'10" |
        |   -   | 1'5"  | 1'9"  | 2'2"  | 2'11" | 3'8"  | 4'5"  | 5'3"  |
 2.5"   |   -   | 1'1"  | 1'3"  | 1'8"  | 2'2"  | 2'9"  | 3'4"  | 3'11" |
        |   -   |   -   |   -   |   -   |   -   | 3'1"  | 3'8"  | 4'4"  |
  3"    |   -   |   -   |   -   |   -   |   -   | 2'3"  | 2'9"  | 3'3"  |
        |   -   |   -   |   -   |   -   |   -   | 2'7"  | 3'2"  | 3'8"  |
 3.5"   |   -   |   -   |   -   |   -   |   -   | 1'11" | 2'4"  | 2'9"  |
        |   -   |   -   |   -   |   -   |   -   | 2'3"  | 2'9"  | 3'3"  |
  4"    |   -   |   -   |   -   |   -   |   -   | 1'8"  | 2'1"  | 2'5"  |

Lens    | <---------- Distance in Feet From Screen to Film -----------> |
Focal   |                                                               |
Length  |  40'  |  45'  |  50'  |  60'  |  75'  | 100'  | 125'  | 150'  |
        | 10'0" | 11'3" | 12'6" |   -   |   -   |   Width of Picture    |
 1.5"   | 7'5"  | 8'4"  |  9'4" |   -   |   -   |   Height of Picture   |
        | 7'5"  | 8'5"  | 9'4"  | 11'3" | 14'0" | 18'9" | 23'5" | 28'2" |
  2"    | 5'7"  | 6'3"  | 6'11" |  8'4" | 10'5" | 13'11"| 17'6" | 21'0" |
        | 5'11" | 6'8"  | 7'5"  | 9'0"  | 11'3" | 15'0" | 18'9" | 22'6" |
 2.5"   | 4'5"  | 5'0"  | 5'7"  | 6'8"  |  8'4" | 11'2" | 13'11"| 16'9" |
        | 4'11" | 5'7"  | 6'2"  | 7'5"  | 9'4"  | 12'6" | 15'7" | 18'9" |
  3"    | 3'8"  | 4'2"  | 4'7"  | 5'7"  | 6'11" |  9'3" | 11'7" | 14'0" |
        | 4'3"  | 4'9"  | 5'4"  | 6'5"  | 8'0"  | 10'8" | 13'4" | 16'1" |
 3.5"   | 3'2"  | 3'7"  | 3'11" | 4'9"  | 5'11" | 7'11" | 9'11" | 12'0" |
        | 3'8"  | 4'2"  | 4'8"  | 5'7"  | 7'0"  | 9'4"  | 11'8" | 14'0" |
  4"    | 2'9"  | 3'1"  | 3'5"  | 4'2"  | 5'2"  | 6'11" | 8'8"  | 10'5" |

11.3 What are the standard locations for reel-change cue marks on U.S. release
prints in the various film formats?

   From the tail of the reel:
          20 frames of picture
          4 frames with 'changeover' cue marks
          10 feet, 8 frames of picture
          4 frames with 'motor' cue marks
                   -- End of FAQ --

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Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM