Dennis Doros writes:

>Actually, what happens is one or more leaders are replaced with leaders from
>other films (citing other aspect ratios) and even if this happens to only one
>reel, confusion reigns. This explains the Tabu incident, by the way.

Hmmm.... it would take a monumentally thick projectionist not to spot that
a leader is printed on different stock from the picture footage, has
different aperture markings, and possibly even has a different film title
printed somewhere on it!

If any Academy or SMPTE worthies read this list, then I'd like to make the
following proposal.  British standard 1492:1948 (the British standard for
head leaders still adhered to by most labs over here) contains the
following specification for 'part title':

"Shall contain 24 frames (1) in 6 of which shall be plainly printed
lengthwise with the film, in white letters on a black background, (a) reel
number, (b) picture title; (2) in 18 of which shall be plainly printed in
black letters on a white background (a) type of print [see note below] (b)
reel number (Arabic numerals of not less than one quarter of the frame
height), and (c) picture title.

For 2 (a), the example given says 'Sound Print: Film and Disc' - gives you
some idea of how long ago these standards were introduced, I guess!  I
would like to propose that 2(a), and its equivalent in other standards, be
updated to read something like:

'Type of print, this information to include [i] aspect ratio in which the
film is intended to be projected (either a speherical ratio in the format
height:width, e.g. 1:1.85, or the word ANAMORPHIC, or the phrase SILENT -
FULL GATE), [ii] all sound formats included on the print, and [iii] part
number in the format 'X of Y' where Y is the total number of reels.  The
figures 6 and 9 are underlined wherever they appear.'

A typical ID section of a head leader would thus contain 18 frames marked
as follows:

4 OF 8


2 OF 4

This would surely remove any possible ambiguity or potential for cock-ups.
If, as this standard specifies, the title of the film is printed on the
same frame as format information, then it shouldn't matter if one or two
reels of a print lose their original leader during the course of their

Leo Enticknap
Technical Manager
City Screen Cinemas (York) Ltd..
13-17 Coney St., York YO1 9QL.
United Kingdom
Telephone: 01904 612940 (work); 01904 625823 (home); 07710 417383 (mobile)
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