TEAMWORK MEDIA LAB Photos of Motion Picture Film damage

  This is a photo of movie film severely damaged by age and/or poor storage condition. This particular film smells very strong like vinegar, the film is dehydrated, the emulsion has cracked and partially fallen off, the film is  brittle, warped and shrunk. There are small pieces that have been removed from the film reel, those pieces are not unusually not recoverable unless there is some pliability to the film were it can be Recovered and then edited back together for scanning. Only the film that is on a reel has the best chance of being recovered by our multi-step recovery process. 

The symptoms of vinegar syndrome are a pungent vinegar smell (hence the name), followed eventually by shrinkage, embrittlement, and buckling, twisting, "spider webbing" of the gelatin emulsion and film base.

The above films; very brittle, extremely shrunk, twisted, buckled, crystallized, spider webbed, smelly and moldy but is still on it's original reel. The film has become very hard and brittle (freeze dried). A small portion of this film may be recoverable

Dried and brittle film can be caused by a couple of things...previous water damage and then letting the film dry or poor storage condition in hot and humid climates.

Film that is severely damaged by dehydration ("freeze-dried" syndrome), hard like a brick and fused together (one mass) is usually beyond repair, however, the film towards the inner core may be recoverable or sections through-out the film may be Recoverable by our experts.

8mm film showing the start of "SPIDER WEBBING" and buckling. The film is very shrunk, curled, the outer part of the film is twisted and the entire film has a strong vinegar odor but no signs of white powder and is not too brittle.

Curled and shrunk 8mm film with signs of white powder and a very strong vinegar odor. This film is not hard or too brittle.

   Photo of an 8mm film that was damaged in a flood and then left to dry on their original metal reels and cans.

Mold on the film and reel. In extreme cases the film and reels are covered in a white powder.

Mold (Snow Flaking) - This can be cleaned, removed and treated with various solutions. This can be a vary pain staking process because extreme caution must be used to make sure the emulsion is not scratched or removed during the restoration process.

Smoke, heat, fire damaged film

  Film after the Recover and Restoration Process

Photos by TMTV, Copyright

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Nelson British Columbia Canada

Photos by TMTV, Copyright Teamwork Media Television Inc. Video & Film Laboratories Department

Nelson BC Canada