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AMIA-L  January 2006

AMIA-L January 2006

Subject:

Re: FW: Reply: Fire Walk With Me

From:

Frank Wylie <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Association of Moving Image Archivists <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 11 Jan 2006 20:48:07 -0500

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (52 lines)

Leo Enticknap wrote:

>This is oversimplying the issue, and perpetuating a damaging myth which says that just as long as a theatre doesn't use platters, there's nothing to worry about.  I've seen just as much print damage caused by bad film handling in a two-projector booth as with a one projector plus long play (be that a platter or tower) arrangement.  Hardware doesn't damage prints; people do.
>  
>
Yes, and the preponderance of damage I see is from multiplex-type 
theaters running platter systems.  I witness the damage each year from 
the National Film Registry Tour prints (when it is up and going) as we 
get the prints to clean and rejuvenate.   Anyone can damage or destroy a 
print, BUT it takes much less effort to totally masticate it on a platter. 

>That doesn't have to be the case.  Unless you're making an ultrasonic join (in which case you will lose a frame from each end when undoing it), it's perfectly possible to make a print up on a platter and take it down again with out losing any footage.  I've done it hundreds of times.  The practice of leaving an 'ID frame' on the end of a leader is done by projectionists who are lazy and/or haven't been taught how to make up a print properly, but it is not necessary and professionals don't do it.
>
>  
>
Oh, but it IS the case by in far;  practical experience bears this out.  
With this in mind, I will take the heat of making a generalization, 
unfair or not, and deny platter use of any print I have charge of...

>
>Again, that is the case with some such projectionists and some theatres, but not all.
>  
>
See above...

>Wrong - a possible result is damage.  Damage is not inevitable.
>  
>
Again...

>(snip)
>
>The platter question was discussed in a panel at AMIA 2003, and from the Q & A afterwards it was clear to me that many archivists have a Pavlov's dogs style 'platters = BAD, changeovers = GOOD' mentality, whereby just as long as their prints aren't being run on platters, they don't care what happens to them.  As someone who spent ten years earning my living in the projection booth in venues ranging from the National Film Theatre to a UCI multiplex, I can confidently say that the real world isn't that simple.
>
>
>  
>

Oh and for good reason, dear sir and platitudes won't explain it away!  
You make the simple assumption that archivists don't care about their 
prints as long as they don't run on platters;  wrong.  I don't care what 
they run on, if they ruin my print, they get to pay for the replacement 
footage and are put on a "to watch" list or banned outright;  come put 
six-feet of stripped-off perforations back on a unique print with 
unperforated splicing tape and a art knife and then you will grow more 
comfortable with my unfair generalization.

As you say, "the real World isn't that simple" and neither are those who 
work to make these very prints available.  Please don't be insulting 
with your assumptions.

Frank Wylie

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