The longest 'take'

Discussion in 'Star Trek - Original Series' started by LMFAOschwarz, Jan 23, 2014.

  1. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    So the longest takes were not quite two minutes, and THE longest was not quite three minutes. Does anybody know how long a roll of film lasted during filiming? Could they have gone longer? My only yardstick is my old super-8 days, when a roll lasted 2.5 minutes at 24fps.
     
  2. BoredShipCapt'n

    BoredShipCapt'n Commodore Commodore

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    Thanks for that. Very cool. :techman:

    At least when Hitchcock made Rope in 1948, it was 10 minutes.
     
  3. Mr. Adventure

    Mr. Adventure Admiral Admiral

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    I had an old movie review book where the guy always talked about being "a reel or two too long" and came to understood a "reel" represents ten minutes.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I can't help comparing this to how early Doctor Who was shot back in the '60s. They recorded on videotape with fairly crude editing technology, so they basically had to do it like a live play, even cutting from one scene to the next in real time (with scripts structured to allow the actors time to move to a new set or change wardrobe while different actors were on camera). For some technical or budgetary reason, they were only allowed a maximum of three recording breaks per half-hour episode, so when a line or action was flubbed, they usually just had to keep going, unless it was drastic enough to require a retake. So they'd have to do about 24-25 minutes of acting in no more than four distinct sessions, for an average of at least six minutes per "take." I imagine they often recorded more than ten minutes straight through without a break.

    Of course, they had several days of rehearsal during the week before they actually got around to shooting the episode, so they had plenty of time to memorize things. They actually recorded one episode per week, and when the cliffhanger from the end of one episode was recapped at the start of the next, they actually had to repeat the performance, whereas in later years they'd just replay the footage.
     
  5. EnsignHarper

    EnsignHarper Captain Captain

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    Nice job!

    from wikipedia:

    It is traditional to discuss the length of theatrical motion pictures in terms of "reels". The standard length of a 35 mm film reel is 1,000 feet (300 m), which runs approximately 11 minutes for sound film (24 frames per second)[2] and slightly longer at silent film speed (which may vary from approximately 16 to 22 frames per second). Most films have visible cues which mark the end of the reel. This allows projectionists running reel-to-reel to change over to the next reel on the other projector.
    A so-called "two-reeler" would have run about 20–24 minutes since the actual short film shipped to a movie theater for exhibition may have had slightly less (but rarely more) than 1000 ft (about 305 m) on it. Most modern projectionists use the term "reel" when referring to a 2,000-foot (610 m) "two-reeler", as modern films are rarely shipped by single 1,000-foot (300 m) reels. A standard Hollywood movie averages about five 2000-foot reels in length.
     
  6. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Yup - usually a pair of circular or oval flashes of light in the upper right corner. The first flash of light alerts the projectionist to get ready to switch projectors, and the second flash is the cue to go.

    Although I should say "was," since most movie theaters these days use computer-controlled digital projection.
     
  7. Lance

    Lance Commodore Commodore

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    When I used to work as a projectionist (a decade ago), even though we had long since moved over to a "platter" system of film delivery/take-up, we still used to make use of these markers for the purpose of taking-up movies onto larger-sized spool when it was their last screening, as a way of saving time in packing them up and sending them away. Otherwise, we would've had to use a dedicated machine table to extricate them from the "platter" and onto large-sized spools, after the screening was over. Sometimes, playing the movies directly onto spools would mean the difference between getting a movie shipped back to the distributor that afternoon, or it having to wait till the same time a whole day later. Where the markers came in handy was that only about three movie reels would fit on a larger-size spool, so we needed to unsplice, change the spool to an empty one, and then refeed the film into the new spool. So those 'cigarette marks' (as we used to call them) in the corner of the frame were our cue to look out for the upcoming splice, and then work our magic. A crucial part of the process.

    Unique skills which are, alas, now lost to history. :(
     
  8. CorporalCaptain

    CorporalCaptain Admiral Admiral

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    I learned about the "cigarette marks" in a Columbo episode ("Make Me a Perfect Murder"). :)
     
  9. Harvey

    Harvey Admiral Admiral

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    They're also the subject of an amusing sequence in Fight Club as well a major element of John Carpenter's "Cigarrette Burns," a first season episode of the anthology series Masters of Horror (and one of the uneven show's better episodes).
     
  10. EnsignHarper

    EnsignHarper Captain Captain

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    If you are a devotee of TCM, it is quite obvious in older films where they spliced the reels together to make a 'whole' movie. there is also sometimes an audible 'pop' that accompanies the little flash.

    Movies were very different back in those days - most comedies ran 65-75 minutes, Dramas maybe 90. This is of course because the movie patron also got:

    A few one reelers, usually a cartoon, a newsreel or some kind of musical short.

    Maybe a two reel comedy series like Edgar Kennedy or Joe Mcdokes. - every studio had its own series. Twenty minutes is just about sitcom length, and a lot of these were just like sitcoms.

    previews and yes, even then, ads!

    So the movie goer would be there the same 2, 2 1/2 hours, but would get a bunch of different stuff.