If you are storing old films, you may want to put them in the freezer or at least in a moisture-proof, corrosion-resistant container. Ultimately, the choice depends on the type of film and how much storage space you have available. On top of that, to help the film to keep its shape, you may want to invest in film cores. This can also be an incredibly useful way to help a film maintain its integrity while shipping it.
There are a range of suppliers you can choose from, and to help you hone in on the best film core supplier, here are some tips to keep in mind.
Typically, when people buy film cores, they opt for cardboard cores. This material doesn't affect the film like a metal core, which may negatively interact with the images on the film. Additionally, cardboard is relatively lightweight, which makes it less expensive for shipping.
Smooth Cuts Guaranteed
Ideally, you need a film core that is completely smooth. If you work with a supplier who is not committed to creating a smooth finish, you may end up with jagged edges or bumps that can cut into your film and damage it. A smooth cut helps you avoid that risk.
Notches as Needed
That said, in some cases, you may want notches built into the film core. When positioned correctly, notches can strategically hold your film in place. Alternatively, you may want to opt for a core that has a ridge around the edges and a hollowed-out spot in the middle. With this setup, the film goes into the hollowed-out spot, much like an inlay on a metal ring. The raised edges prevent the film from falling off the core while in storage or transit.
The entire point of a film core is to keep the film from collapsing in on itself. To that end, the core needs the tolerance to work with your length of film. In particular, a long reel of film is going to need a core with better tolerance than a short reel of film. Talk with the supplier to ensure the core you select offers the strength you need. You may want to see if the company has any literature or demonstrations related to the radial crush abilities of its film cores.
In addition to strength, you need a film core that has the right size. Check with the manufacturer, and make sure that they can create cores with the diameter or thickness that you need. Don't just look for the current dimensions you need. You want to choose a supplier who can meet your needs for the long term, so you need a company who can make film cores in a large range of sizes.
Lead and Turn Around Time
If you are putting old film into storage, this attribute is not that important. However, if you are currently making films that you send out to people around the world, you need to pay careful attention to this element. How long does the supplier need to process an order? That is referred to as lead time, and when working with an industrial supplier on a regular basis, this is an important element to consider.
Once the company has processed the order for your film core, how long does it need to actually manufacture the cores? Again, you may want a fast turnaround time, or you may prefer working with a company that takes a while to produce orders but offers cheaper prices. Ultimately, it's up to you.
Finally, remember that film cores aren't just for reels of film. They can hold everything from rolls of paper to rolls of plastic wrap. If you plan to change course in the future, you may want to work with a core supplier who is experienced helping clients with a range of different needs and supplies.