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Leader ladies (also called china girls) are the photographs of (most often) women that sometimes appear in film countdown leader on prints of all gauges. Their images were used by film lab workers setting color timing or black and white density. Often appearing on exhibition prints but rarely seen on screen by an audience, images of leader ladies have long been collected by archivists, projectionists and film lab employees. The below links provide a more detailed history of leader ladies as well as various image galleries.
Collections and Projects
- Chicago Film Society Leader Lady Project, same project on Facebook and Instagram
- Internet Archive collection of Leader Ladies in motion
- A Similar project about countdown leader
- The Moving Image Archive discusses various China Girl exhibitions and projects.
- Short film from the Harvard Film Archive featuring various leader ladies
- Short film made in 1975 by film lab staff at Colorfilm
- Short film by John Heyn
- The Electric Film Format Acid Test