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Q&A with a film technician at PRO-TEK

Home News Q&A with a film technician at PRO-TEK

Willem Barneveld in New York Times “Vocations”

Film technician and curator Willem Barneveld was featured in the New York Times “Job Market” section. Following are some excerpts with link to the article below.

What tools and equipment do you use?

We have what we call a rewind machine to spool the film back and forth. A light box that helps me see the film better is built into the table, and occasionally I use a magnifying glass. When I find something I think the movie studio might find interesting, like a historic building, I research it on the computer and include the information.

What is your work environment like?

I work in a clean or contaminant-controlled room and wear a lab coat and gloves. This is mostly nitrate-based film, which was manufactured until 1952. It’s delicate and highly flammable.

What are some of the more interesting images you’ve seen?

I’ve seen images from the 1933 Chicago World’s Fair. I’ve also seen outtakes or footage of movie stars that no one has seen since the films were shot 70 or 80 years ago. There might be footage of a star that never made it to the final production, or a shot of an actress rolling down her stockings or putting on makeup off-set.

What’s a famous movie you worked on?

“Casablanca.” I was shocked to see that at least some of the planes in the airport scene were miniature models. I’d see a plane taking off, and then there’d be film of a plane hanging on strings in the sky as if it were flying.

Read the complete article here.