Polyester film (Neil Thompson)

Neil Thompson interviewed by Richard Wallace

Projectionist Neil Thompson describes the characteristics of polyester film, including its static properties, the difficultiy tearing it and the problems that these caused.

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Show Transcript
We started using polyester, and polyester was sometimes problematic because, as I say, it had static problems. And sometimes you would see the film feeding through the feeder unit, and maybe instead of taking one loop out, it would take two or three and it would go round like that and you’d think, “Ah god! That’s gonna pull or snap or do something.” We used to have a solution of stuff, we used to work with, we used to use at the Gate called Film Guard I think it was called. And we used to put this Film Guard on, when we knew it was a polyester copy we used to cover it with this Film Guard and it used to keep the static down but it didn’t eliminate it. But used to reduce it by about 30%. And what they fitted, once we started using static… the polyester prints, there was a device that fitted to the platters. And what happened was if it jammed up due to the polyester, if it sort of tightened itself around the feeder unit, there used to be a cut off system. You see it wouldn’t snap. Polyester was very hard to snap. It would pull all your rollers off and cause a lot of damage. And we used to use one of these, it was an anti-tension unit, and you had to lace the film through this tension unit, it was just a roller. And if the film pulled the roller went down and shut everything off. ‘Cause if it didn’t shut everything off, if you’re using polyester and it jams somewhere and it pulls, it would pull all your rollers right off the wall. It would, it would cause an awful lot of damage. It could be a headache sometimes. If you saw a problem starting like that, you’d say to whoever came on at four o’clock or five you’d say, “Oh, keep an eye on screen six because, you know, it’s polyester and I nearly had a snap with it or nearly had a stop. Because it pulled too much film out at the same time. It wrapped itself round, you know.” And of course, with polyester as well when you lifted it off you would get a crack on your hands because it was static. So you’d be pulling it off and your hand would touch the metal plate and boom! You know.

Title

Polyester film (Neil Thompson)

Subject

Description

Projectionist Neil Thompson describes the characteristics of polyester film, including its static properties, the difficultiy tearing it and the problems that these caused.

Source

Interview with Neil Thompson

Publisher

The University of Warwick

Date

29/12/2015

Format

.mp3

Language

English

Type

Sound recording
interview extract

Coverage

1990-2014

Interviewer

Richard Wallace

Interviewee

Neil Thompson

Date of Interview

11/11/2014

Location

Gateshead

Transcription

We started using polyester, and polyester was sometimes problematic because, as I say, it had static problems. And sometimes you would see the film feeding through the feeder unit, and maybe instead of taking one loop out, it would take two or three and it would go round like that and you’d think, “Ah god! That’s gonna pull or snap or do something.” We used to have a solution of stuff, we used to work with, we used to use at the Gate called Film Guard I think it was called. And we used to put this Film Guard on, when we knew it was a polyester copy we used to cover it with this Film Guard and it used to keep the static down but it didn’t eliminate it. But used to reduce it by about 30%. And what they fitted, once we started using static… the polyester prints, there was a device that fitted to the platters. And what happened was if it jammed up due to the polyester, if it sort of tightened itself around the feeder unit, there used to be a cut off system. You see it wouldn’t snap. Polyester was very hard to snap. It would pull all your rollers off and cause a lot of damage. And we used to use one of these, it was an anti-tension unit, and you had to lace the film through this tension unit, it was just a roller. And if the film pulled the roller went down and shut everything off. ‘Cause if it didn’t shut everything off, if you’re using polyester and it jams somewhere and it pulls, it would pull all your rollers right off the wall. It would, it would cause an awful lot of damage. It could be a headache sometimes. If you saw a problem starting like that, you’d say to whoever came on at four o’clock or five you’d say, “Oh, keep an eye on screen six because, you know, it’s polyester and I nearly had a snap with it or nearly had a stop. Because it pulled too much film out at the same time. It wrapped itself round, you know.” And of course, with polyester as well when you lifted it off you would get a crack on your hands because it was static. So you’d be pulling it off and your hand would touch the metal plate and boom! You know.

Original Format

One-to-one interview

Duration

00:01:59

Bit Rate/Frequency

320kbps

Cinema

Odeon Newcastle upon Tyne, Pilgrim Street, Newcastle upon Tyne
Empire Cinema, The Gate, Newgate Street, Newcastle upon Tyne

Citation

The Projection Project, “Polyester film (Neil Thompson),” Projection Project, accessed March 24, 2019, https://projectionproject.warwick.ac.uk/items/show/438.

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