Re: sprocket repair

From: andrew lampert (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Oct 18 2006 - 21:04:53 PDT

Hi Andy

Iím not sure how long the film you are talking about
is, but if by extensive you mean the damage is
consistent throughout the reel then you are looking at
a lot of work. If it is in a section(s) throughout
the print you might be more in luck. Remember that
all splices should be double sided and that, if
possible, you donít want the tape to go over into the
image or especially over the soundtrack. There is a
tape called Perfix that covers the perf edge of the
film without too much bleed over into the frame, but I
donít believe it is commercially available anymore.
It can be laid down in fairly long pieces and is
pretty easy to line up with the perfs. You need to do
this on both sides of the damaged area. Another
method is to use double sprocket pre-perforated 16mm
tape. Cut off as much as you need but keep in mind
that the more frames you try to mend at once the more
difficult it is to apply. You basically need to try
and line the perfs on the tape up with the perfs on
the film and lay it in place. You then flip the film
over and do the same thing with the other set of
perfs. Press the whole thing together and use a razor
blade to trim the tape to the edge of the film. Then
you have to get into the perf itself and make sure
there is no tape hanging or covering the edge of the
sprockets. Make sure that when you run your fingers
along the repaired side of the damaged area that it
feels smooth and projectable. You gotta have clean
hands while doing this otherwise youíll tape in

This is all pretty labor intensive, so make sure that
it is a particularly worthwhile reel. If you canít
handle the job yourself, then a lab might do it for a
fee. What that would be, I donít know. You could try
contacting a few to see. Colorlab is the best
preservation specialty lab that is closest to Atlanta: If they canít do it ask them who

To better understand what I described above you might
look for a copy of the Kodak publication THE BOOK OF
FILM CARE or download the National Film Preservation
Foundationís FILM PRESERVATION GUIDE from their site.
Not extensive info on perf repair methods, but very
valuable all around. The Association of Moving Image
Archivists (AMIA) sponsors a site with more info and
helpful pics at Dwight Swanson,
who may be lurking on the list, co-made this excellent
guide to working with small gauge films. For broader
info about preservation dig Luxís mammoth Keep Moving
Images site here: Bill Brand
and Toni Treadway wrote a Self-Preservation Guide For
Film/Video-Makers in the recent Anthology monograph on
his film/preservation work. The CFMDC in Toronto has
expressed interest in putting it online.

Hope this helps,

--- Andy Ditzler <email suppressed> wrote:

> I'm working in a media library, and a 16mm print
> donated to us has extensive sprocket damage. (The
> print is in good shape otherwise.) Are there any
> recommendations for places that do this type of
> repair?
> And for my own information - we have the repair tape
> that fits only over the sprocket holes, as well as a
> splicer that will keep the film in place while the
> tape is applied manually. For minor repairs of
> sprocket damage, is this the way to go?
> Thanks for any information.
> Andy Ditzler
> Atlanta, GA
> For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at
> <email suppressed>.

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For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.