Splicing for the Professional

Splicing for the Professional
During the life of a 35 mm motione
picture release print, it is a rare
exception ifsome Splicing is not
necessary. Each reel of a new print
from a laboratory may contain at least
one splice as the result of film stock
consen/ation or normal printing
techniques Furtherinitialsplicing may
be made in some areas by the
distributor as directecl by censor
boards. The maiority ofsplicesin a
print, however. arethe direct result of
theatrical use
When a print arrives at a theater, lt ls
a common practice to wind through
the reelsto checkfordamage, loose
splfces and cleanliness. At thattime,
trailers and short subjects can be
spliced on at the beginning orat the
end of the appropriate reel lf local
censor cuts have been directecl.
additional splicing is done where
indicated. Theaters that employ
automated protection systems require
that the reels be spliced togetherfor
mounting onto one ortwo large reels
or large horizontal platters ln both
cases. the film leaders and trailers
have to be cut from the appropriate
reels and the print sections rejoined by
splicing. At the end of the engagement,
the print has to be disassemblecl and
the film leaders and trailers resplicad
onto the correct reels Upon return to
the distributor or film exchange, if film
inspection is warranted more splicing
may be necessary to repair the print
and replace leaders and trailers. The
history of an average relcasc pririt,
therefore illustrates the importance of
propersplicing ¡fan effective
presentation is to be maintained
Historically, the most commonly used
splice in the industry has been the
overlap cernent type. As the description
implies, the two ends of the film are
ioined by overlapping; then they are
bonded by a suitable film coment This
oversirnplification will be explained in
detail later. The most common ceme¬t
splice used intheaters and film
exchanges is made on a bench-top
splicerthat includes a perforation in
the overlap area Some film cxcharges
employ an automatic splicerthat
places the overlap between
perforations Neithcr has an obvio-us
advantage, but the wider overlap
containing the perforation is considered
somewhat more durable by many
film technicians
Over the past few years, the growing
popularity of automated protection
systems and, more recently, the
limited availability of polyoster base
films, have influenced the emergence
ofthe tape splice This is a splice in
which the film ends are securely
fastened together bya very thin,
perforated polyester tape with a
pressure sensitive adhesivo Although
commonly used for many years in the
8 mm and 16 mm field, the taoe splicc
for 35 mm applications was not
seriously considered be-tores The need
tor multiple splices and the loss of
picture frames when making regular
ƒ  /1*' 3¬¡__
tu , f r Ti
overlap cement splices have motivated
the populantv oftape spticing During
the assetribly and disassembly of the
large reels reouirod in automated
systems conventionalcementsplices
do in time account forthe loss of
significantpictureinformation Onthe
other hand tape sptices can be
disassemblod wiíhout the loss of even
one frame of film and then remade at
the same location Because of the
ielatively shorâtime ir* Which tape
splices have become oopušar, there is
not much delinitfveinfcrmation or
guidance currently available on the
pioperiise ofsplicing tape in making
splioes Tho Film P'oiection Practice
Committee of the SMPTE has been
investigattng commonly used
orocedureswšth the infontion of
drafting suitable guidelines to promote
stanclardization of tape splicing
Tape splices can bc made either with
an overlap orwith the two film ends
butíed together There is an esthetic
advanìage to the butt~type splice on
35 mm prints, but the diffrculty in
iriaking it properfy with splicers now
widely used in theaters and film
exchanges suggeststhe overlaptype
asan ¿alternative Furthermore, the
positfoning pins on the bench~top
spticeis found in rnost theaters and
exchanges are designed to correctly
orient thefilni ends in the overlap
position The Width of the overlap with
tape splicihg is not as important as it
is; in ccrncnt Splicing. but should be
sufficicnt to prevent htiiging tur
collapset whenthe splice is ftcxed
Academy Award for Best Picture
procedures. To make a proper splice,
it is essential that the mechanics of a
film splice become familiar. An overlap
cement splice depends on the solvent
action of a suitable cement which
essentiatly welds the two prepared film
surfaces as one.
American National Standard
PH22178-1971 specifiesthe
dimensions and location of cemented
transverse splices in 35 mm film. When
using the most common bench~top
splicer, the width of the overlap area
will be 0.156 inch (3.96 mm) providing
a full~hoIe positive splice. Othertypes
of tabletop or portable splicers may
produce a positive splice with an
overlap width of0.072 inch (1.83 mm)
between perlorations or a negative
splice where the overlap measures
0.050 inch (1.27 mm). also between
perforations (Figure 1). Similar
standards (PH22.24›t965) are available
for 16 mm cement splices (Figure 2).
Standards for splicing 70 mm are not
as clearty established. There is,
however, an SMPTE Recommended
»1 c ›Lát›oratory-Typeôplice W _;
Practice (HP-23) which describes the
reiriforcement of 70 mm overlap
cement splices with tape.
Motion picture film is constructed
oasically ofthree Iayers: ari emulsion
coating that consists chiefly of gelatin
in which silver or dye lorrning the image
is suspended; the binder, a
microscopically thin ¡ayer between
the emulsion coating and the base; and
the base (or support), a flexible plastic
material. tn addition some films have
an antistatic or antihalation base coat
or gelatin coat for added protection.
Still others have a lubricant added
on the base, edges, or emulsion side.
Any foreign substance or emulsion and
blnder still present on the film surfaces
will prevent the cement from providing
the proper solvent action to make the
Satisfactory spiices demand careful
scraping to make sure all the emulsion,
binder, and any foreign substances are
completely removed. Care must also
be exercised in cutting the film sections
so that they will be joined in frame.

Figure 3
Gfiswold F//m Sp//ce/_
Courtesy Neumade Prom/cts Corporation,
Scarsda/e, New York.
This is not a problem With 8 mm and
16 mm film. Compiete removal of the
emulsion and tiirider iayers from the
spiice area can be accompiished in
severa! ways With the most wideiy
used bench~1op spiicer (Figure 3)` a
combination scraper and †ine~w1re
brush works the best. White a razor
bìade or fine sandpapercan also be
used, there is aiways the chance of
scoring the scraped area or producing
excessive dirt which can be carried
into the roll. Anothertype of bench
splicer (Figure 4) provides a rigid
scraper blade that is drawn back and
forth over the spiice area to remove the
emuision and bmder, This device
makes exceiient splices providingthe
scraper is kepi sharp and correctly
aligned in any case, when the erhuision
and binder have been completeiy
removed, an eveniy frosted scraoed
area wii! be seen (Figure 5).
I5¿§g§u|$i§%i~an§1 Binder  V \
“*`Co;npIetely Removed ,  ,
To test the sp/ice, gently I/ex the film in this way. i   ~`*›/_ fïff
The surtace on the base side of the
tilm to be joined must also be
thoroughly cleaned Caretul scraping
is needed when magnetic sound tracks
are present (do not use film cement
to remove the magnetic track in the
splrce area because too much of the
track may be removed). If the base
surface contains even a slight film ot
oil, some difliculty may be encountered
in obtaining successful splices. Very
often this factor is overlooked and poor
splices are falsely attributed tothe
particularcement usedr tothe splicing
equipment, orto the film base itseli
Sometimes it may be helptul to roughen
tne base surlace slightly When certain
tilrris resistsatisfactory splicrng An
easierand more eltectlvetechnioue
(il no magnetictrack is present) isto
apply a very smali amount of cement
to the base side splice area surface;
then Wioe it ott immediately. This acts
as a primer coating prelimlnary to the
actual spticing operation and itaids
in obtaining thorough adhesion ol the
two surfacesto betoined
When the ernulsion and bincler have
been satisfactorily removed the
Cement should be applied tothc splice
area Enough cement should be used
to wetthe scraped area, but not so
muchthat itwiil run outsidethe splice
when the two sections of filrn are
pressed together. lt is important to
allow sufficient holdingtime under
pressureinthe splicer Mechanical
adiustmentofthe splicershould
l' V -_ , " J r
ll *'11-«
. ,.å,__,
provide unitorrn pressure across the
Width of the tilm, For current safety
film, about 10to tåseconds is
recommended, although some splicers
have heated platens to reduce splice
drying time At the end of the boncling
time, the pressure may be released and
the tinished splice rubbed carefully
with a soft cloth held over the finger
to help seat the cul ends.
As was mentioned previously, a good
splice is actually a weld whereby one
section ofthe film rs partlydissolved
into the others lt should be emphasized
thatit is importantto bringthe two
surfaces under pressure as quickly as
possible atterapplication ot the
cement It is unnecessaryy however to
slam the pressure clamp into position
sincethis resultsin splashing olthe
cement. llthe left clamp of the bench-
top splicer is raised slightlywhen the
ce-ment is applied, the cementwill be
less apt toflow underthe ftlm and a
cleaner back surface wilt be obtained
This will greatly reduce the possibility
of distortion in the spliced area when
the cement has dried. After a sutticlent
holding time, the splice may be tested
by gently flexing the film as shown in
Figure 6 Because a cement splice does
not usually attain full strength for
several hours, some care should be
exercised When handling the him if
immodiate use is contemplated.Awell
made splice should not contain any
bubbles or hazy areas that indicate an
«`.» '¿ W ,~..._ 3"  21
s r '.¬,, .
Some of the more common causes ol
unsalisfactory cement splìces are:
1. Old film cement from Whrch the
essential solvents have evaporated
The practice of checking a fitm
cement by its smell or viscosity is
virtually useless For everyday use
film ce-ment should be stored in smal
bottles that will provide the least
possible air space so as to retard
2. lnsutticientdrying time
3. Emulsion or binder not completely
removed fromthe scraped area
causing an incomplele or *aulty weld
4. Excessivo scraping scrafching or
gouging of the film base wcakenirrg
the base and causing the 'i fn to
cottapse of break at the spl ce
5. Too much delay in bringing the tilm
ends into contact aftercement has
been applied
6. Applying too much cemeni Excess
solvent actioh will cause the spl ce
to buckle During protection the
splice may cause ditticulty ir the
film gate or at a sprocket pad
7. Applying too little cement rcsulting
in an incomplete weld Such splices
should be remade orthey may come
apartduring proiection
B. Poor rneclianical alignrrievt ol the
splicer This can cause a misalignczt
splice which could catch in the
proiectortilm path and tear apart

The following are some hints on the
use ol film cement:
1. Keep the splice clamped at least
10 seconds [longer if practical) after
the film ends have come into contact.
lnsufficient holding timelsa prime
cause of early splice failure.
2. Never add fresh cement to old in a
work bottle. Start with new cement
every day. Clean the bottle with a
little fresh cement before refilling.
3. Keep the work boltle of cement
tightly covered The solvent in film
cement evaporates rapidly,
4. Check the base side of the film for
oil, dirt, or other depositsl Remove
any base coating . . . preferably by
applying and then wiping off the film
cement in the splice area. Using film
cement to remove 35 mm and 70 mm
magnetic sound stripes is not
recommended because too much
stripe may be affected. Carelully
scrape the base side to remove
magnetic coatings.
5. Keep the splicer scrupulously clean
and in correct alignment. Use film
cement to remove cernent buildup
and scraps of film shavings, The
cutting bar and all surlaces bearing
on the film should also be kept clean
and sharp,
A properly made tape splice may be
considered quite permanent but it can
be disassembled at anytime, if
necessary. and usually without damage
to the film Tape splices are becoming
incroasingly popular among the
iheaters that use large reel prolection
or automated proiection systems. For
those who wish to use films with
polyester base (such as Kodak Estar
base), tape splices are essential
because polyester base films cannot
be spliced with ordinary solvent-fusion
methods. Some laboratories and other
special applications use sophisticated
thermal Weld splicers for polyester base
films, but most theaters and film
special devices cannot readily splice
dissimilar materials. such as acetate to
polyester or vice versa. Definitive
guidelines or standards fortape splices
have not been readily available, but
the following procedures and
recommendations are based on
considerable experience and study.
An overlap tape splice made on a
benchvtop splícer can be compared to
a similar cemerit splice with one
exception. instead of cemerit to bond
the two film ends at the overlap, a
piece of 35 mm perlorated polyester
tape is placed overthe overlap on both
sides of the film. With special splicers,
unperforated tape ls used and
perforated during the splioing
operations There is no need to remove
the emulsion and binder from the film,
although it may be desirable if the
splice is to be less noticeable on the
At the present time, splicing tape is
available in 35 mm perforated rolls
 (such as Permacel 96 Kleer~Splice),
35 mm unperforated rolls, and 35 mm
tape tabs [such as “Quick-Splice"
T35fDP, by Hudson Photographic
Industries, lnc.). There are advantages
and disadvantages with each type of
tape, but all types wili make satisfactory
splices. The main advantage of the
perforated rolls is the ability to cut
lapes of any length forfllrn repair as
well as short pieces lorsplicing.
Another advantage is the lower cost per
splice. The only disadvantage is a
possible time loss because the thin
tape is difficultto handle with
unprotected adhesive. Very thin
polyestersplicing tape tends to move
unpredictably due to static attractíon,
and efforts to place it over the splice in
registerwith the film perlorations and
splicer pins can prove very frustratlng
at times. The unperforated 35 mm
tape can be used only with special
splicers, such as the one shown in
Figure 7, that are designed to punch
out the perlorations in the tape area,
- 4 ,

Pefffale lap@ tabs, on the other For esthetic reasons, and for added
hand, are simple to use but tend to be strength, it is desirable to make an
somewhat more expensive. Those overlap tape splice with tape sections
currently available are only four two frames long (Figure 10, eight
P€ff0f6l¡0l¬S (009 frame. Figure B] in perforationsi This procedure places
length. When making a proper splice, the tape ends at a frame line (Figure
the picture area in the adjacent frames, 1 1 ) for invisíbility and provides for a
divided bythe splice will each contain greater adhesive area.
two tape (Figure 9) ends that can be
( W ;?«t=fe;;§¬ ig,
` 3-,m†,V.._¡;.c,¬.. W,  ,,
When making tape splices with a
bench-top or block-type splicer, the
following directions are important:
1. Cut the two ends of the film to be
spliced in the normal manner as you
would do when making a regular
cement splice,
2. It is not necessaryto scrape the left-
hand section unless esthetic
considerations are requested
Simply bring down the right~hand
section so that the two film ends are
¡ri contact on the splicing block
3. If you are using perforated tape on a
roll, it is advisable to have a few two-
frame (eight pertorations) sections
precut and placed on a nearby
surface which will allow for easy
graso and release.
4. Lift both sections of the splicer and
hold the film in position if it tends to
pop up Using your free hand, pick
up a precut tape section and
carefuliy place it overthe splice,
aligning it with the splicer pins and
centering it sothat eithertape end
falls on a frame tine. Press the tape
down casually to hold the two film
sectionstogether. Remove the film
from the splicer and thoroughly rub
the tape section with a soft, |int~free
cloth to eliminete bubbles and
5. Turn the film overand replace it in
the splicert Place a second tape
section on the splice corresponding
to the position of the flrst tape on
the otherside.
.If you are using one~trame precut
tape tabs, fotlow steps 4 and 5, lri this
case, however, the four~perloration
tab should be applied with two
perforations on either side of the cut
film end to provide maximum
strength. To facilitate centering the
tab overthe splice, shiftthe film
sections one perforation either way
so that the spltcer pins may be used
lor proper registration of the tab.
When considering the standard
0.156" (3.96 mm) overlap width,
centering the second tab on the other
side of the film in a similar manner
will dtsplace the tab by the same
amount. The result will be two tape
ends visible in the picture area in
each of the two frames adiacent to
the splice (see Figure 9).

Cinernascope Type
Figure 12
Preparat/'on of Cinemascope and
wide-screen fi/ms for sp/icing with the
K/'dde Automatic Sp//"cer,
Wide-Screen Type
ln 35 mm film exchanges or otherareas
that may be using the Kidde Automatic
Splicer, the following directions should
be read and carefully observed'
1. Make sure that the machine is
switched OFF and in the neutral
2. Place a small metal plate, or
something equally rigid. over the
open gap in the splicing area.
Cut the two ends of the film to be
spliced as illustrated in Figure 12
Use scissors or a small cutting
Place the two ends of the properly
cut film overthe alignment pins so
that the splice overlap is in frame and
nearthe center between the pins.
Bring down the film holding clamp
on the right side. lfthe spliceris
equipped with small pins, make sure
the edge of the film is aligned, or
To make the splice, apply the
splicing tape as described in
directions 4 and 5 for the bench†top
6. If you are using one-frame precut
tape tabs, shift the two film sections
in either direction on the splicer so
that the alignment pins can be utllized
to register and centerthe tapetab
ln this case, since the overlap is
narrower, each tab can be applied
to coincide with the other without the
displacement necessary when using
a bench-top splicer.
A butt tape splice may be considered
somewhat superior to an overlap
tape splice only because it is less
noticeable on the screen. A properly
made butt splioe depends on a precise
cut on both film sections. The two cut
edges must mate perfeotly and be held
in rigid contact while the splicing tape
is applied to both sides. If either of
these requirements is not met, the
splice will be prone to hinging or
collapse during proiection. Butt splices
cannot be readily made on the splicers
most commonly found in theaters and
film exchanges The precise cutting
and rigid holding of the film sections
that are necessary while the splicing
tape is applied cannot be accomplished
with such splicers. By manipulation,
it ls possible to out the film so that the
sections will butt in frame, but the
quality of the cut will generally preclude
a successful splice. Also, the lack of a
means to hold the film tightlytogether
at the butt white the tape is being
applied further lessens the chances for
asuccessfulsplice lfbuttsplicingis
desirable, it is strongly recommended
that you acquire a splicer specifically
designed for that purpose.
Among the bench~top splicersthat can
Guillotine Film Splicer, FGU~013,shown
in Figure 7. The Guillofine splicer uses
unperforated tape, which is perforated
as the spliceis completed. This
splicer can make only butt splices.
Regardless of the instructions, which
may accompany a butt splicer (except
Guillotinel, it is recommended that a
two~frame (eight perforation) tape
section be used to make the splice. If
one-frame precut tabs are being used,
it is obvlous that they need not be
displaced when applied because no
overlap is present.
No matterwhich type of tape splice you
employ, lt is important that the film
surfaces in the area of the splice be
clean and free of oily deposits. Dirt will
cause bubbles and blemishes while
oily film will prevent proper aclhesion.
lf a tape splice is not aligned properly
or produces wrinklescarefullylifta
corner with a razor blade or Knife and
peel the tab off; then replace it with a
new tab. If you are splicing film with
magnetic sound tracks, it might be
desirable to use a one~frame tab on the
track side to rriinlmize sound
IMPORTANT: Do notapply tape in
the picture area only/ The protruding
corners of the film edge could catch
at a sprocket pad roller and cause
ln review, it is important in all phases
of spiicing. whether cement ortape,
70 mm orB mm, that strict attention be
given to cleanliness, technique, and
splicing materials. Relaxation in any of
these areas can causefilm performance
difficulties, possible film damage,
and interruption of the presentation.

No hay comentarios :