• Cinelab Film School 101
  • Cinelab Film School 201
What’s the difference between a one-light workprint and a timed workprint?
When you get a One-Light Print, we determine the best average exposure at which to print the entire roll. For a timed print each scene is checked for density and is color corrected.

Can film shot without an 85 filter or exposed in fluorescent light be corrected in the printing?
Yes, the film is color corrected in the printing process. The lab needs to know of this condition ahead of time to be able to correct it.

What is a PUSH or PULL process?
Push processing compensates for underexposed film by overdeveloping it. Pull processing compensates for overexposed film by underdeveloping it.

Should I push/pull the film OR process normal and time the print?
In general, film should be pushed or pulled and then printed normal. If the film is underexposed definitely push. If the film is underexposed more than 2 stops you should re-shoot. If film is overexposed one stop, process normal and time the print. If film is overexposed more than 2 stops pull the processing and time the print.

How many stops can film be pushed/pulled?
Two stops is the maximum this lab will push or pull film. We can only push or pull BW Reversal one stop.

Can I shoot old film and what might the results be?
In general dated film has lower contrast and increased grain - this is called base fog. You should always shoot a test roll to determine the state of the stock before you begin shooting your film. We advise that you do not use dated film if the footage is critical. Older forms of ektachrome or kodachrome may require an antiquated developing process and you should call the lab to ask if it is possible for us to work with it. If not we may be able to recommend a lab who can.

What is wet-gated or liquid gate?
A process to print the film that helps to minimize and hide scratches on the negative.

How can I determine the running time of my film?
For 16mm film, divide the feet of film by 36. This will give you the running time in minutes. For 35mm, divide the footage by 90.
What is an answer print?
An answer print is the first printed version of the film that has been color corrected and the sound synched.

What is a release print?
A release print is the final version after all necessary adjustments have been made.

What is Cross Processing?
This is when your Ektachrome color reversal film is developed as a negative using the ECN II process. After developing, the image comes out as a negative rather than a positive. The developed film must then be printed or transferred to video. With cross processed ektachrome, a very different image appears. The red/green/blue gamma lines will show some crossover causing different color relationships from shadows to highlights. Black and White Reversal can be cross processed as negative too, but the look of the film is not altereed other than the fact that it comes out as a negative instead of a positive.

What is a Keycode?
Film manufacturers embed numbers on the edge of the film. These numbers are not visible until the film is processed. When the film is processed, the numbers are then visible and used to identify and count frames.

What is a Flex File?
A flex file is a database file which contains the film edge code information (keycode) and the tape timecode information. This imports into Final Cut’s Cinema tools application or Avid Film Composer to make negative cut lists or scan lists from your film.

Can I send in my own tape or portable hard drive?
Yes you can, but we do not guarantee the tape will be free of defects and we are not responsible for the reliability of any portable hard drives not owned by Cinelab.

My film is not on a core, is that ok?
Yes, that is not a problem.

What is the difference between best-light and scene-to-scene color corrected telecine?
A best-light telecine transfer is when the colorist in the transfer suite looks through the whole film and sets the times it to the best overall look. Scene to scene color correction is when the colorist times each individual cut for optimum color and sharpness.
What is Fog?
Fog is when light falls on the film causing exposure. Sources for fog include the following:
1) Light leaks in your camera
2) excessive heat
3) X-ray during shipping.

I shot my film at 200 instead of 100, what do I do?
Push one stop

I shot my film at 100 when I wanted to shoot at 200, what do I do?
Pull one stop or fix in post

How to Identify a Scratch if you are shooting Negative:
1) A white colored scratch is a scratch in the base.
2) A colored scratch is a scratch in the emulsion
3) A steady scratch going from the left to the right is caused by the camera 4) A wobbly scratch is caused by the lab or the film magazine.

How to Identify a Scratch If You Are Shooting Reversal:
1) A white scratch indicates the emulsion has been scratched off
2) a black scratch indicates a scratch in the base.

What is Orange Base?
This is the color of the Color Negative base carrier. It is engineered by Kodak to control color layers for optimal printing.

What is Rem-Jet Backing?
This is the black layer on the base side of the negative before processing. It’s purpose is for static control and anti-halation (light back scatter), and transport protection.

In what order are the color layers on film?
For color negative the color layers going from the base to the surface are cyan, then magenta, then yellow.

For print film the color layers from the base to the surface are red, then blue, then green.

What is the B&W reversal process?
Black and white reversal film is processed as a positive for projection. This is achieved by the exposed silver halides being developed up to a negative in the first developer tank. Then bleach attacks these exposed silvers as black silver, washes them away and leaves the unexposed silver halides alone. The emulsion is then neutralized in a salt bath before it inters the light. At this time it gets re-exposed and the leftover silver halides get subjected to another developer which turns all the silver remaining to black silver. Then the film enters the fixer tank to stabilize and clean the clears. It is now a positive and ready to project.

What is Gamma?
Gamma is the slope of a plotted graph of gray scale from minimum density to maximum density. Higher gamma values result in more contrast in the film.

What is Sensitometry?
Sensitometry exposes a stock through a gray scale to determine gamma.

What is a densitometer?
The densitometer is a device which measures the density of grey in a color (red, green, blue).