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Trailers deserve the same care as a feature film print, and if properly handled and stored they can be projected many times over! Treat with love, you might have something rare and special on your hands. Below are some tips on how to deal with film prints of the shorter persuasion, such as trailers and snipes.

How to store trailers

A trailer core, a 1" core, and a 3" core. Use the 3" core!

If you're a projectionist, theater manager, or collector, you've probably accumulated at least a few trailers, which probably live in a cardboard box somewhere in the projection booth. That might be fine for a few weeks, but it's no solution to long term storage.

Here are a few things you can do to extend the life of your trailers:

  • First identify what type of film base you are dealing with (either acetate or polyester, most likely not nitrate) and separate them. See Film base for information on how to tell the difference.
  • Keep trailers wound onto 3" cores rather than 2" or 1" cores, which were never designed for long term archival storage. Cores under 3" will eventually cause the end of your trailer to warp and drift in and out of focus during projection, even new polyester trailers can become badly warped after a few years of living on a 1" trailer core.
How to wrap leader around a trailer to protect it.
  • For trailers that have already been cut at their heads and tails, wrap a 18" length of leader around the trailer and tape it to itself as pictured, this will insure that no tape residue ends up on the trailer itself.
  • Store trailers in archival cans on 3" cores (you can fit about 7 to a can, or you can build them up into trailer reels) in a cool, dry area. Some great information on caring for film outside of an archive setting can be found at filmforever.org

How to properly project film trailers

  • Transfer from trailer core to reel using a trailer flange if you have one.
  • Use black leader to separate
  • Pay attention to trailers of different film bases as you may need to readjust your focus between them.


See Also