Repairing film


Steps required for films to be safely viewed or copied on motion picture film printers, telecine, projectors and any other viewing equipment.

The motion picture printers at the NFSA Australia have been modified to handle shrunken material. The film is transported through the gate by a claw mechanism pulling on the perforations on one side only. It is therefore important to determine which will be the ‘drive side’ before commencing any repairs. The ‘drive side’ is the side of the film which will be sprocket driven through a printer.

Determining drive side
If the film is to be printed from the head , the drive side will be the edge closest to you when winding a film with the head to the right and emulsion up.Conversely, if printing from the tail , the edge furthest away from you would be the drive side, (with head to the right, emulsion up)Make a note of the extent and type of damage on each side of the film during the initial examination of content and technical details.

There are many techniques that are required to repair the film enable it to safely move through the printer. The following techniques are used at the NFSA Australia to repair material:

1. Perforation damage and bridges
2. Rips, tears, holes and light notches
3. Splices
4. Lace-up and sync marks
5. Frameline creep and shift
6. Bloops and projection prints