Projection Standards

Projector Diagram
Projector Diagram

On Projection

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Pre-test the projector; keep a short reel of easily replaceable film stock on hand for this purpose. REMEMBER: Prints rented from Canyon Cinema – and other distributors – are prohibitively expensive, particularly to individuals, and sometimes are absolutely irreplaceable! Your care in the handling of these films determines the extent to which they may be enjoyed by other film users – as well as our handling of your future requests.

CLEAN THE FILM GATE with a soft brush or swab and rubbing alcohol before threading the film. Check for correct loop and proper sound level, and see that the picture is squared on the screen.

After showing the film, REWIND CAREFULLY ONTO THE ORIGINAL REEL PROVIDED WITH THE FILM HEADS OUT. TAPE DOWN HEAD LEADERS. Failure to tape down the leader results in binding, cinching and tearing of the film. REPLACE IN ORIGINAL CAN.

FOCUS: The best friend a sharp-eyed audience ever had is a projectionist with an inexpensive pair of binoculars. Focusing in this manner helps eliminate the inevitable difference in apparent sharpness at the point of projection and actual sharpness at the surface of the screen. Where academy leader is provided, use the leader for fine pre-focusing, then lock and do not attempt to refocus for the remainder of the reel.

PROJECTION SPEED: unless otherwise noted, 16mm films have optical soundtracks, and the projection speed is “sound speed” – 24 frames per second. Films marked “silent” are also marked “24fps” when required; otherwise normal projection is at “silent speed,” which is 16 to 18 frames per second. Always check the film can for special instructions concerning projection speed, framing and focusing, start and end of sound, etc.

Super 8mm and Regular 8mm prints with sound require a projector with magnetic sound. Some silent prints are accompanied by CDs, and more rarely, audiocassettes or 1/4″ tapes. In cases where the projector is not strong enough to throw a sharp, bright image on the screen, the projectionist is urged to move the portable projector closer to the screen.

If you have any questions about the print’s care and handling while in your possession, please do not hesitate to contact us.

Some helpful resources on film care and handling:

Little Film
Film Forever
AMIA (Association of Moving Image Archivists)
National Film Preservation Foundation