Film inspection means different things to different people. Generally they fall into two categories. What and who are in the images? What condition is the film in?And then there’s treasure hunting. What might be on the plastic that we didn’t expect? Here are a few of my favorites.
- A filmmaker signed the film in a little bit of clear leader. That makes it another kind of artifact.
- A film started out normal, and then it got weird. Segments of other films were spliced into it, apparently in random places. I wonder what’s the story behind that?
- A film with an optical soundtrack had some splices in the middle, that’s pretty normal. But some of the segments were upside down, so the optical soundtrack was suddenly on the other edge. I’m guessing that film wasn’t heard from again, so to speak.
- A film was clearly a compilation, that’s pretty normal. But each segment of this film was separated with a different color leader. What a clever way to find different sections of the film, assuming you had a table of contents listing the color of leader for each segment. We don’t have that table of contents but now that we have a color workprint video we can easily make one. Or just scrub the video and look for bright colors filling the screen.
- Another film seems to be all of a piece except some segments seemed to go by too fast. Watching the video workprint we could see that they were multiple cameras used in this expedition but they weren’t all shot at the same speed. It’s not difficult to edit that video and make them all appear at the same speed in a video player. That’s much more difficult to do with a projector.
Treasure hunting is fun!