Recans & Shortends

I'm set up to film a piece in a November and to save $ I was told to explore recans and short ends. I'll be shooting on 7279 amd will need about 7000'. Never having shot with short ends (other than my own), I'm a little concerned about this. I've learned of three places, Film Emporium, Film Source and Dr. Raw Stock. Has anyone delt with any of these suppliers and can recommend one over the other, or perhaps a supplier I didn't mention. Also I'm in the US and need to use a supplier here.


Hamp Overton

Film Emporium also sells factory sealed stock (presumably surplus) at a discount. I imagine the others do, too. Film Emporium also says they test all recans and short ends. I guess they don't test the sealed stuff, which might actually make recans and short ends a better bet in some ways. Mark Schlicher Sunporch Entertainment

I have always used Studio Film and Tape.... they tend to have a good selection and they test stuff before sending it out.

I am _very_ wary of using recans, but short ends are another matter, and I strongly recommend using short ends on a small production where you may not need fifty cans from the same batch.


My experience with Studio film and tape. I went in to the Hollywood office to buy Fuji high speed 16mm, needed two 400' rolls to shoot a project in Florida. They only had one, and I was to be on the plane the next morning, so I asked that they Fed-X the other roll (they said that they would have it in the next day) to me at the home address of a friend in Ft. Lauderdale. Flew off, shot the following day.

The next day no Fed-X by ten. I call studio film and they say it's on the way, but when I ask for the Fed-X tracking # there is silence. U.P.S. didn't give them a number. I ask "U.P.S., not Fed-X?" More silence. "Well, it should be there soon." I had enough film left to shoot that days stuff, and did so watching it go by the inches. The next day, no film delivered. Called U.P.S., "it's on the truck in your area." Waited through the day, no film, more calls to studio film and UPS, more excuses "the truck broke down". The next call, "the driver can't find the address" (this is a house with an individual house number on a street with street signs). Finally blow off the day's shoot.

Phone call the following day from the driver who looked up the phone number of the house they couldn't find the day before by looking in the phone book for the name the package was sent to in care of. Knowing that the film had spent the previous day (at least) in an un-airconditioned dark brown truck, I declined the delivery and called studio film and tape. At that point, studio film sent another roll from their Chicago office (via Fed-X) and I had to sit out another day. Fed-X delivered before 10am the next day and I finished the shoot. I hope that studio film and tape (and UPS) are not waiting for my next piece of business.

Jerry Wolfe

>Film Emporium also says they test all recans and short ends.

I show I worked last summer (shot entirely on shortends) used Dr. Rawstock and Film Emporium for our stock. We were very happy with Dr. Rawstock's supplies. Film Emporium, on the other hand, had several problems:

1) We were often shorted 30' or more from what the lable said.

2) None of the roll ends were taped and often 20 to 30' had to be snugged / wound back onto the roll. Many were loosely wound all the way through and dished easily, rubbing on the inside of the mag.

3) One roll wasn't rewound properly and had the keycode on the wrong side.

4) One roll was supposed to be 5245 and turned out to be 5296 (which we weren't even using on the show).

Maybe now they have their stuff together. Maybe we just had a little streak of bad luck.

Just my two cents.

Paul Szopa

You can also try Studio Film and Tape in Hollywood. As to which one to use over the other, you'll probably end up using all of them because 16mm recans and shortends are hard to find in bulk.

Recans and shortsends can be trying at times, but I've never been screwed by the film if I got it from a reputable source. By reputable, I mean not from some guys fridge where only god knows how long it's been there.


Scott writes:

>[...] you'll probably end up using all of them because 16mm recans and shortends >are hard to find in bulk.

Another alternative is to order "odd-lengths" from Kodak. These are sometimes available in sufficient quantities, especially if you are shopping for your film stock with plenty of lead time before shooting.

On the feature I recently completed we were able to get a great price on 390' lengths of Single Perf 7293 from Kodak, available from them as a "Special Order" item and thus we were able to shoot on factory fresh film at a price very competitive with re-cans and returns, therefore making both myself and the producer happy.

Sometimes you can have your cake and eat it too if you are willing to do without the frosting.


My two cents about recans and Film Emporium:

I just wrapped shooting a low-budget feature, and had a very trying experience with recans and Film Emporium. I found out the first day of shooting that half of our stock was going to be fresh and the other half was going to be recans--and I wasn't very happy about it. We were dealing with Film Emporium, and the decision turned out to be a disaster:

--On our first shipment of 50 rolls, 15 were so badly dented, crimped, dinged, and otherwise damaged that we had to send them back--rawstock AND recans.

--We soon noticed that NONE of the recans were 400'--even though that's what the label said. Some rolls were 370', some were 350, and many were 300' and even 250' !!!

Film Emporium tried to make things better, but only after numerous calls and much yelling and threatening legal action by the producer. They finally sent all the remaining recans back, got a refund, and called Kodak Shootsaver. Between being shorted, having to send stuff back and forth and having to get emergency shipments from Kodak (not to mention phone bill and time wasted)--the production company was honest enough to admit they had spent more money than if they had gone with factory fresh in the beginning, and apologized for putting the camera department through the ordeal.

Hope this doesn't happen to you,



>I'm set up to film a piece in a November and to save $ I was told to explore recans >and short ends.

False economy, usually. If you are a student you can get a 20% discount from Kodak or Ilford...

Jeff Kreines

I've had decent luck with Steadi-Systems NY (212)647-0900, but availability is always a crap-shoot, esp. in 16mm.

My $0.02.

George (not biting from Jeff this time) Nicholas

I have always had exceptional service from Studio film and tape in = Chicago. Max Goode has always taken great care of finding me the stock = and amount of footage that i need and immediately sends it out. I have = always received it next day service (knock on wood) and the footage on = the cans are almost always the same as what is in the cans.

On the other hand, I am on a show currently that started with Dr. Raw = Stock (which they did a good job) and then moved on to Film Source = because Dr. Raw Stock didn't have anymore of the stock we were using. = Film Source must have seen the producers coming because they claimed to = have sold us 15,000 ft and once we did the inventory it came out to 14, = 725. Which isn't that far off so we called them and they sent us a = short end of 300 ft. Everything seemed all right until we started to = load the film. They left the short ends on 1000 foot cores (which is = understandable), but they didn't account for the extra 40 to 50 ft that = the 1000 ft core takes up as opposed to the 400 ft core. So we are = losing roughly 40 feet a roll that is spooled on the 1000 foot cores. = So far we have encountered 21 rolls like this. We called them and are = still awaiting word back. Not a great experience!

I remain...


I should have mentioned that my experiences were looking for the stock on fairly short notice..

I've tried both Film Emporium and Studio Film & Tape...Finding the stock you want when you want it is uncertain at best...I recently called about 79 and only one roll was available. In the end I deceided on new stock.



You should also look into Studio Film & Tape and SteadiSystems. Both do recans and short ends and have a pretty good reputation.

Sorry, no readily accessible phone #s.

Jim Kanter

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