While a film is fairly
useless without a projector, a bad projector is unacceptable if you want
a long life for your film. In general, projecting a film carelessly is
one of the worst things you can do to a film. Bent or damaged take-up
reels or projector spindles can cause edge damage that can weaken or break
a piece of film. Oil on projector parts can contaminate the surface of
the film. If film becomes stuck in the gate it is subject to the intense
heat of the bulb, frequently resulting in a blistered or burnt frame.
Perhaps the most obvious and aggravating types of damage done to film
during projection are scratches and abrasions.
Make a loop of black
leader to run through your home projector before each use. Run it for
a few minutes and then check it for any scratches. Do not run your film
on a machine which scratches! A scratch on the base side of your film
won't show up if you have it copied in a diffused light or liquid gate
printer, but an emulsion side scratch removes the picture information
forever. In either case, the film in hand, once scratched, is scratched
forever. Make sure your equipment is clean!!
Always inspect the
film before you project it. Do not attempt to project the print unless
you have determined that it is in good enough condition to run through
a projector without being damaged. The film must not be too shrunken to
run smoothly through the projector's sprockets, and must be clean and
free from tears and improper splices.