Universals for Academy and USC Film Archives!

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MovieStuff
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Real name: Roger Evans
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Universals for Academy and USC Film Archives!

Post by MovieStuff » Mon Feb 01, 2016 7:55 pm

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Just got back from installing two Universal Scanners! One for our long time client, the Academy of Motion Picture Film Archives in Hollywood and the other for the Hugh Hefner Archives at the University of Southern California. Both trips went extremely well and they seem to love the flexibility of the units. For USC, I made a couple of custom 28mm and 35mm gates. They also got the full compliment of 8mm, 9.5mm and 16mm gates. I'm now working on two additional custom gates for USC. One is for 17.5mm film, which is pretty straight forward. It's just like 16mm film but sightly wider. The other is something called "The Harper System", which is 16mm wide but has perfs in the center of the film width on the frame line but, in reality, has two alternating sprocket holes patterns. On one frame there is a single perf, just like 9.5mm film. On the next frame, there are two perfs side by side. And, stranger still, there are actually two different films that exist on alternating frames that are distinguished by the projector of the day based on the two perf types just described. So, when running the film one direction, the projector uses the single perf and pics up every other frame. When running the other direction, the projector pics up every other frame by way of the dual perfs. Don't quite understand the reasoning for this, honestly. Seems overly complicated but there were a lot of competing formats back then. Anyway, I'm told that transferring films based on "The Harper System" are damned near impossible using contemporary scanners so this will be a pretty cool project and the Universal's design makes it ideal for a simple adaptation.

I also had a nice dinner with fellow Filmshooting Forum Amigo Chas Doran and his lovely wife Laura and their boy Miles. All in all, it was a great trip to the west coast.

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