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What is a burn hole?

A burn hole is nothing you want on your film! And, they're rare.

It means that at some point while viewing your treasured old family films, the projectionist stopped the film from rolling and the film stayed stationary in the gate for too long.

The heat from the light source eventually burned a hole right through the film. If your films have these holes, you'll see an odd sight quickly pass by when viewing your transfer. It will be a bright white spot if the film was burned all the way through. Or, it will appear darker and all bubbly, if the film's emulsion nearly got burnt to a crisp.

Back in the day, movie houses would sometimes burn to the ground. Why? Because the projectionist was not being mindful and those intense projector lights, with the heat they put off, sadly sometimes started a fire in the projection room. Also back then, the film's emulsion was much more flammable. It doesn't happen today, because film stock is made of a safer base material.

And, a fire cannot happen with our equipment, because we use a strobe as our light source.

8 mm film burn hole
Burn hole in Super 8 film

Author: Nathaniel Courtens
Saturday, May 16, 2020

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