:F:L:I:M:S:I:P:L:A:S:T: :D:A:T:A:B:A:S:E:

team negative1 : Reel Reviews - Film Print Analysis

Last Update : 2020.05.25

Explanation : 'Reel Reviews' document the information and features found in 35mm movie prints. team negative1 focuses on the 'Star Wars' films.

Purpose : To better understand film history through the documentation and investigation of the codes and other aspects of a film print contained outside the projection image. To better understand the work which went into the creation of the 'Star Wars' films. To document the variations between Reels to better understand the development of these films. To learn what changes occurred to specific shots and when those changes occurred as home video versions may not have fully documented the evolution of the 'Star Wars' films. To get to know film better.

Current Output : Reel Review 0001 thru 0006 videos document the codes and features found in a 1983 35mm LPP Dolby Stereo Spanish Language print of the movie 'Star Wars'. The film print has been spliced to replace the opening crawl with an earlier print and the Han Solo/Greedo sequence has been replaced with an earlier English language audio piece of film. Reel Reviews 0001 thru 0006 provide an initial baseline for the codes and features of the entire movie which will then be compared to future Reel Reviews or pieces of film you might have access to, to document and understand where and why the film changed.

Process : The :F:D: visually inspected the reel using a hand crank set up. The observed data was inputted into a spreadsheet, which permitted the data to be overlaid onto a re-filmed version of the print. An example frame can be seen to the right. (additional explanation of the coding will be explained in detail below) We hope that interested people will help us verify and interpret the data, which we'll then include in future updates.

Thank You : A list of the entities or people involved in the original Reel creation and later preservation generations.

  • The Star Wars Corporation, Inc. : A company set up by Lucasfilm Ltd, LLC to expand the influence of the 'Star Wars' film beyond the movies. (In future versions of the Reel Review process this company name might be revised as this corporation was more involved the non-film side. Still they are very important for at least my appreciation of the film as i'm definitely a sucker for 3 3/4"s.)
  • Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation : The film company which helped fund the creation and distribute the 'Star Wars' movie.
  • Eastman Kodak Company : The company which produced the film which the movie was developed on.
  • Lucasfilm Ltd, LLC : The company started by George Lucas which created the 'Star Wars' movie.
  • Movie Theaters and Projectionists : To those individuals who projected these film reels in the theaters.
  • Film Archivists and Preservationists : To those individuals who saved and kept these reels over the years.
  • team negative1 : To the individuals who make up this group of film people who feel it is now their prerogative to help save film as they have witnessed the loss of real film or the understanding of the production of film works.
  • :F:L:I:M:S:I:P:L:A:S:T: :D:A:T:A:B:A:S:E: : To those individuals who take part in expanding out understanding of the previous generations content.

Note : This document is produced by an amateur lucky enough to be haphazardly educated by others who took the time to make me better informed. I’m learning as I go along and do not have any training in the field. I've enjoyed a film and was curious how it was put together and why it was put together in the manner I saw it evolve over time. Corrections welcomed. Upon receiving the prints, I dived in writing down whatever features I saw; without taking the time better understand the process and what I should expect to observe. So this a little scatterbrained, apologies.

Inspirational Quote : "That's what really scared me, the day George told me that in twenty years or so they won't be able to make movies like these. Rather than advancing, people are dying off and not telling their secrets. Well I was depressed for the rest of the day."
- Mark Hamill at "MidAmeriCon (1976) Worldcon - Star Wars Q&A"
Watch Quote at https://youtu.be/gmhjvkj8_aw?t=805 (Clip includes run up to quote: ~2 min.)

Reel Review Example Frame

Reel Review - General Guide

Reel Review Examination Setup

Reel Review - Working Spreadsheet Data - Version v0.1 - Page 01 of 17

Reel Review Naming Convention : Below is the naming convention used in the Reel Review process.
At the right is a list of Reel Reviews which have been completed.

Reel Review : 0000 (Identification Number)

Each Reel Reviewed in this process will get the next available number. According to boxofficemojo.com the Star Wars film was at one point in 1,750 theaters. Many prints existed, each with multiple reels; but only a percentage of those have survived to today.

Print Identification Number : Film Title

In the leader of each 35mm reel are handwritten codes which identify the print source. The P.I.N. is a unique number associated with the conformed negative.

Reel Review 0001 leader codes: First Set

  • DEL 180615 : Believe this number is the Lucasfilm conformed negative which EASTMAN would have used to produce this reel duplication for theaters. As leaders have splices, cannot confirm this is the original leader which went with this reel. Have seen some leaders where this value is crossed out and a later number written next to it, signifying that a change was made to the reel. Not certain what 'DEL' means.
  • CRI 1 : This may stand for "Color Reversal Intermediate" (Refer to Paul Ivester's Filmstock Guide).
  • DOMESTIC CRI #1 : Domestic would mean that this was the leader for a print for U.S. audiences and since this is a Spanish Language print this is probably not the original leader. Per Paul Ivester's Filmstock Guide, the Color Reversal Intermediate is Quote: "a special film stock used for making internegatives. The purpose of this was to avoid the extra step of making an interpositive, so that an internegative could be made directly from the camera negative." But since only two sections of the movie would need to be replaced maybe it was easiest to use the Domestic and replace the Crawl and later Greedo subtitled shots/segments. Per Kodak.com In 1968 Quote: "EASTMAN Color Reversal Intermediate film, 7/5249. For a one step color duplicate of the original. Process CRI-1. -- Awarded Oscar® -- (41st Academy Year) Class I. Scientific or Technical Award"
  • STAR WARS R-1 : The film title and Reel Number.
Reel Review 0001 leader codes: Second Set
  • "A" ROLL (crossed out) :
  • R-1A ('A' is crossed out) : Would make if this stands for Reel '1A'. In the production process the full theater projected reels were known to be divided into smaller reels. These smaller reels can be seen in the documentation of the John Williams scores. Each theater reel would be in two halves.
  • STAR WARS : Film title
  • ILM : Industrial Light and Magic the company behind the special effects of the Star Wars films but might also be the company responsible or the contact name for the conformed negative.
  • DEL 180437 (crossed out) : This might be the Print Identification Number for the original Star Wars negative for the original theatrical run of May 25th 1977. How were these 'DEL numbers' distributed? Were they coded internally at the film development companies?

Note : These exact codes can be found on 16mm prints of 'Star Wars'. Star Wars 16mm English (PuggoGrande) Leader More on the Leaders of the 'Star Wars' films can be found at the following OriginalTrilogy.com thread Credits & Leaders Thread Additional information on Leaders https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?arnumber=7264029

Reel Review 0003 & 0004 Leader codes

  • DOM CRI #2 Reel 3 of the Spanish LPP has the leader for a Domestic CRI #2. This brings into the picture if the CRI had a shelf life, would after a certain number of duplications would the CRI loose quality? Or was the negative changed which required a different CRI to be produced?
  • DEL 180615 & (crossed out) DEL 180437 : The Reel 4 also shows the two sets of DEL values which match the earlier reel's values.
  • STAR WARS DOM. CRI #2 : Reel 4 also had the leader for a Domestic 'Star Wars' CRI #2.
  • R-4A ('A' crossed out) STAR WARS TCF DEL 180615 (crossed out) : Interesting that this R-4A (half reel associated with soundtrack production) has the DEL 180615 value assocaited with it. 'TCF' might stand for 'Twentieth Century Fox'.

Year Produced : Film Type : Sound Type : Language

The 'Year Produced' value is identified from the Edge Code symbol found in the Beyond Sprocket Edge Area. Refer to FilmPreservation.org's Edge Code Chart but more on the Reel Review Edge Codes can be found in a different section of this website.
The 'Film Type' value identifies the type of film the print was developed onto. Reel Reviews 0001 thru 0006 were done on LPP (Lowfade Positive Print) stock (5384/7384 Eastman Color Low-Fade Print), that code can be seen in some of the picts above at the bottom of the image.
The 'Sound Type' will identify method in which the audio was printed into the reel. The 'Star Wars' films have previously been identified to have Dolby Stereo and Mono mixes.
The 'Language' will identify the language of the audio.

Spreadsheet Document

When documenting each Reel would periodically save as a new spreadsheet file name, typically everyday time was spent reviewing. So with the start and end of each reel review have a general sense of how long it took.


Some other codes might be used in this process. For example it might be worth noting when multiple reels all originated from a single release. The code 'RA' (Reel All) will be used. Another thing worth noting might be if a print is a combination of different source. For example Reel 0001 is a 'F' (Frankenprint), the crawl and Greedo scenes were replaced with an earlier version.
List of Reel Reviews competed:

Reel Review : 0000 (Identification Number)
Print Identification Number : Film Title : Year Produced : Film Type : Sound Type : Language
Start : Date : Spreadhseet File Name
End : End Review Date ; Spreadsheet File Name

Reel Review : 0001
180615 : Star Wars : 1983 : LPP : R1 : Dolby Stereo : Spanish
Start : 2013.08.28: 1.v2e001a.xlsx
End : 2013.09.02 : 1.v2e001e.xlsx

Reel Review : 0002
180615 : Star Wars : 1983 : LPP : R2 : Dolby Stereo : Spanish
Start : 2013.09.08 : 1.v2e001f.xlsx
End : 2013.09.15 : 1.v2e001h.xlsx

Reel Review : 0003
180615 : Star Wars : 1983 : LPP : R3 : Dolby Stereo : Spanish
Start : 2013.09.15 : 1.v2e001h.xlsx
End : 2013.09.29 : 1.v2e001n.xlsx

Reel Review : 0004
180615 : Star Wars : 1983 : LPP : R4 : Dolby Stereo : Spanish
Start : 2013.09.29 : 1.v2e001o.xlsx
End : 2013.11.24 : 1.v2e001p.xlsx

Reel Review : 0005
180615 : Star Wars : 1983 : LPP : R5 : Dolby Stereo : Spanish
Start : 2013.11.30 : 1.v2e001q.xlsx
End : 2013.12.01 : 1.v2e001t.xlsx

Reel Review : 0006
180615 : Star Wars : 1983 : LPP : R6 : Dolby Stereo : Spanish
Start : 2013.12.15 : 1.v2e001u.xlsx
End : 2013.12.22 : 1.v2e001z.xlsx

Reel Review : 0007
Start : 2015.03.29 : 2.v2e001.xlsx
End : 2015.05.24 : 2.v2e001h.xlsx
______ : Star Wars : 1978 : R6 : Scope : English

Reel Review : 0008
Start : 2016.03.14 : DEL_188075-v1e001.xlsx
End : 2016.09.12 : DEL_188075-v1e009.xlsx
188075 : Empire Strikes Back : 1980 : R1 : English

Reel Review : 0009
Start : 2016.09.17 : DEL_188075-v1e010.xlsx
End : 2016.10.06 : DEL_188075-v1e018.xlsx
188075 : Empire Strikes Back : 1980 : R2 : English

Reel Review : 0010
Start : 2016.11.01 : 2.v2e001i.xlsx
End : 2016.11.24 : 2.v2e001q.xlsx
______ : Star Wars : 1978 : R5 : Scope : English

Reel Review : 0011
Start : 2017.01.14 : 3.v3e001a.xlsx
End : 2017.01.17 : 3.v3e001b.xlsx
______ : Star Wars : 1978 : R6 : Scope : English

Reel Review : 0012
Start :
End : 2017.01.29 :
______ : Empire Strikes Back :

Reel Review : 0013
Start : 2018.02.24 :
End : 2018.02.24
No Valuable Codes
______ : Empire Strikes Back : : Fuji : English

Characteristics of the Reviewed Film Reels

In this section we will list the major features and begin to identify the multiple variations of each category. On the right is a General Guide for references, the major categories are:
  1. Projected Visible Frame / Visible Frame
  2. Frame Border Types
  3. Soundtrack
  4. Sprocket Rows (Perfs or Perforations)
  5. Edge (Beyond) Sprocket Areas
  6. Edit Types
  7. Other Markers, Elements, Codes or Features
  8. Handwritten Elements
Reel Review - General Guide

1. Projected Visible Frame / Visible Frame

1A. Projected Visible Frame : The area which shows up when projected on the screen in a movie theater.

1B. Visible Frame : The complete extents of the Original Camera Negative which captured an image when shot on set or as the plate for a special effects shot.

Reel Review - Projected Visible Frame Examples

2. Frame Border Types

The elements which surround the Visible Frame will be identified as Frame Border Type elements.
  1. Frame Border - Consistent Three Sides
  2. Frame Border - Unique Top/Bottom of Frame
  3. Frame Border - Unique Right of Frame (Top)
  4. Frame Border - Unique Left of Frame (Bottom)
  5. Frame Curve Type
  6. Other Atypicals

2A.1. Frame Border - Consistent Three Sides : Black : A thin black edge separates the visible frame from the sprocket row. [Refer to Shot RR-0001 0021]

2A.2. Frame Border - Consistent Three Sides : Clear : The frame border between frames matches the clear between sprockets. [Refer to Shot RR-0001 0018]

2B. Frame Border - Unique Top/Bottom of Frame : Description and variations forthcoming

2B.1. Frame Border - Unique Top/Bottom of Frame : Registration Black : Shot 0179 is a special effects shot which has a black registration shift at the bottom of each frame. The special effect was the inclusion of the small Sand Crawler in the distance as C-3po waves to it.

2C. Frame Border - Unique Right of Frame (Top) : Description and variations forthcoming

2D. Frame Border - Unique Left of Frame (Bottom) : Description and variations forthcoming

2E.1. Frame Curve Type - Two Right of Frame (Top) : Only the Right of Frame (Top) corners of the visible frame have curved edges. The Left of Frame (Bottom) set are overwritten by the soundtrack. [Refer to Shot 15]

2E.2. Frame Curve Type - Four (All Corners) : All four corners of the visible frame have curved edges. [Refer to RR-0001 Shot 0020]

2F. Other Atypicals : Description and variations forthcoming

2F.1. Frame Border - Wipes (Wide-Black) : All the wipes have a wide frame border. Possibly because each wipe required multiple passes exposing the same frame for a different element, the borders might allow for less bleeding of the film exposing light.

Note: This category is not fully documented in this initial release. The Right of Frame (Top) is a place which has a greater variation and might be a section which gets broken out as we evaluate these types in future work. For example Shot 0015 has Three Sides Black but then there is a white line with a thin black border. This is a byproduct of the special effects work. Identifying which shots have this common feature could help us understand which ILM team did the work and what type of machine it was accomplished on.

Reel Review - Frame Border Types - Right / Top Examples
Type 2A.1. RR-0001 Shot 0021
Type 2A.2. RR-0001 Shot 0018
Type 2C.1. RR-0001 Shot 0010
Type 2C.2. RR-0001 Shot 0266
Type 2F.1. RR-0001 Shot 0266

Reel Review - Frame Border Types - Top / Bottom Examples
Type 2A.1.
Shot 0021

Typical Black
Types 2A.2.
Shot 0018

Typical Clear
Types 2B.1.
Shot 0179

Special Effect
Types 2E.2.
Shot 0508

Four Curves
(All Corner)
Types 2F.1.
Shot 0154

Wide Frame

3. Soundtrack

3A. Soundtrack - Mono : Description Forthcoming

3B. Soundtrack - Dolby Stereo : Description Forthcoming

3C. Soundtrack - Other : Description Forthcoming

3C.1. Soundtrack - Audio Marker Triangle : At several points in the soundtrack after a section of silence, a triangle can be seen over the soundtrack. [Refer to RR-0001 Shot 0001]
If anyone ever heard one channel fade out earlier than the other, here's the reason.

  • Start of Soundtrack for the 20th Century Fox Logo
  • Start of 'A Long Time Ago' silence
  • Start of John Williams score and the Opening Crawl
  • Silence after Tusken Raider attacks Luke before Ben shows up
Reel Review - Soundtrack - Dolby Stereo
3B. RR-0001 Shot 0018
Reel Review - Soundtrack - Audio Marker Triangle
3C.1.a. RR-0001 Shot 0001
3C.1.b. RR-0001 Shot 0005
3C.1.c. RR-0001 Shot 0007
3C.1.d. RR-0002 Shot 0467

4. Sprocket Rows (Perfs or Perforations)

4A. Clean unaffected Sprocket Rows : The sprocket holes have no affected areas. The perforations are of the KS (Kodak Standard) shape.

4B. Sprocket Row shows Negative Sprocket Edge : The sprocket hole of the final print (KS Shape) differs from the negative (BH shape). In some shots when the film is developed the sprocket hole difference leaves a black mark at the Right of Frame (Top) set of sprocket holes. [Refer to RR-0001 Shot 0033]

For more information and a full explanation of 'KS' and 'BH' perforations types visit:

Reel Review - Sprocket Rows
4A. RR-0001 Shot 0021
4B. RR-0001 Shot 0018

5. Edge (Beyond) Sprocket Areas

  1. Background Color : Typically a shade of cyan or clear. Refer to examples 4A and 4B.
  2. Print Type : Code identifying the type of film stock the film was printed onto.
  3. Print Stock : Code identifying the company which produced the film stock.
  4. Stock Value : Code identifying the value of the strip of film. Film stock was made in large sheets and cut down, each of those strips would have an identification number, what i'm temporarily calling the Stock Value.
  5. Stock Code (Slit Markings) : A Code set only seen on 'EASTMAN' U.S.A. created stock. They might identify the strip of film from the overall sheet similar to the above Stock Value.
  6. Manufacturing Location : Code identifying the location in which the film stock was produced, by changing the location of a superscripted dot in the word "SoAFETY FILM". [Also known as 'Factory ID Code']
  7. Edge (Date) Code : Code identifying the year in which the film stock was produced. A series of two or three symbols made up of Circles, Squares, Triangles, 'X's and the Plus sign.
  8. Edge Numbers / Frame Identification Codes / KeyKode : Numerical Values which are used to identify any frame in a strip of film.

5A.1. Print Type - LPP : The LPP code is printed every 16 frames and for RR-0001 thru RR-0006 is seen only once as the earlier generations were produced prior to this film stocks creation date. It stands for Lowfade Positive Print and was a film stock created by the Eastman Film Company. This stock was used from 1983 to circa 1993. Also known as 5384/7384. [Refer to RR-0001 Shot 0016]

5A.2. Print Type - ? : Work on identifying/understanding the earlier generations of print stock used on the 'Star Wars' films.
Per http://web.archive.org/web/20070907134704/http://www.kodak.com/US/en/motion/support/h1/typesNamesNo.shtml should probably divide this category into A. Camera Film, B. Laboratory Film & C. Print Film. Also learn if special effects work gets divided between one or multiple of the previous three categories.

Reel Review - General Guide
5A.1.a. RR-0001 Shot 0019
5A.1.a. RR-0001 Shot 0010

5B.1. Print Stock - KODAK : Film stock produced by Kodak. [Note : Categorize the font variations.]

5B.2. Print Stock - EASTMAN : Film stock produced by Eastman.

  • 5B.2.a. Generation 0 Print Stock Code : Clear easily readable code for the final projection print stock.
  • 5B.2.b. Generation -1 Print Stock Code : White fonted print stock code probably part of the interneg/interpos generation.
  • 5B.2.c. Generation -2 Print Stock Code : Faded print stock code.
  • 5B.2.d. Generation 0 Print Stock Code : Another Generation 0 code but on a different film stock.
Note : Irregardless of font color, is it a logical assumption that the two codes printed at the Right/Top sprocket edge part of an intermediate step?

5C. Stock Value : Values between 1 and 36 were observed in Reel Reviews 0001 thru 0006. [Refer to 5B. examples]

5D. Stock Code (Slit Markings) : When film is produced it is made in large sheets which are cut down to the different specifications of the end films type: 35mm, 16mm, 8mm, etc. Each strip in that sheet is identified with a code, the Slit Marking. Below is a chart made by Thomas Robinson who worked at the Oregon Historical Society as a volunteer negative cataloger. The codes found in Reel Review 0001 thru 0006 use similar symbols but the combinations differ. [Included with 5B. examples]

Thomas Robinson Slit Markings Chart

Examples : Print Stock, Stock Value and Stock Code (Slit Markings)
5B.1.a. RR-0001 Shot 0001
5B.2.a. RR-0001 Shot 0001
5B.2.b. RR-0001 Shot 0001
5B.2.c. RR-0001 Shot 0001
5B.2.d. RR-0001 Shot 0010
5B.2.e. RR-0001 Shot 0323
5B.2.f.1. RR-0002 Shot 0409
5B.2.f.2. RR-0002 Shot 0575
5B.2.g. RR-0002 Shot 0467

5E. Manufacturing Location : Location where Eastman/Kodak film stock was manufactured. In Reel Reviews 0001 thru 0006 codes for the Rochester (U.S.A.) and England locations were observed. Also referred to as "Plant of Origin".

  • SAFETY : Rochester
  • SAFETY : Canada
  • SAFETY : England
  • SAFETY : France
  • SAFETY : Australia
Note : Does anyone know if there are defined font libraries or ASCII libraries specific to film code values?

Example of multiple stacked codes :

To help determine which sets of edge codes occurred before others looking at stacked/overlapping codes can help. In this case the white codes are over printed with the purple and the black/brown seem to be printed over both. So this probably represents three of the generations which went into this shot. The direct and orientation are clues to the process these codes were printed in. The white and purple being mirrorred might signify they are specific to the interneg/pos step. The white has the between the 'F' and 'E' showing an origin of England and probably means they are the original negative shot on set, while the purple and black/brown codes origin from Rochester, U.S.A. and were done in post production and/or final duplication.

https://www.filmpreservation.org/userfiles/image/PDFs/fpg.pdf (Page 105 of 133) Appendix A: Edge Code Chart
Reel Review - General Guide
RR-0001 Shot 0001
RR-0001 Shot 0001
RR-0001 Shot 0001
RR-0001 Shot 0009
RR-0001 Shot 0321
RR-0001 Shot 0323

RR-0001 Shot 0324
RR-0001 Shot 0409
RR-0001 Shot 0409

5F. Edge (Date) Code : The year the film stock was manufactured is identified through a series of symbols made up of: Circles, Squares, Triangles, 'X's and Pluses.

FilmForever.org Edge Code Chart

Note : I've been reviewing Unicode/ASCII charts (unicode-table.com, www.unicodemap.org/, www.w3schools.com/charsets/ref_html_utf8.asp) to find a suitable representation of the Edge Code symbols, below are some of the better ones found. The problem I ran into was each operating system and program had limitations of which codes they would accept. So although Microsoft Excel on a PC would represent 80% of the symbols with a mish-mash of fonts, that set would need to be changed when shifting to Adobe After Effects running on a Mac. Web HTML files need another set. Need to reach out to someone with more experience with interoperability of fonts and symbols.

This set of symbols will work ok for the Edge (Date) Codes.
black square for stop (U+23F9)
HTML Entity (Decimal) ⏹
black circle for record (U+23FA)
HTML Entity (Decimal) ⏺
black up-pointing triangle (U+25B2)
HTML Entity (Decimal) ▲
Bold Plus Symbol +Bold Capital X
These other symbols could be used for the Slit Markings or replacements for Edge (Date) Codes.
black medium square (U+25FC)
HTML Entity (Decimal) ◼
black square centred (U+2BC0)
HTML Entity (Decimal) ⯀
black medium up-pointing triangle centred (U+2BC5)
HTML Entity (Decimal) ⯅
bullet (U+2022)
HTML Entity (Named) •
HTML Entity (Decimal) •
superscript zero (U+2070)
HTML Entity (Decimal) ⁰
subscript zero (U+2080)
HTML Entity (Decimal) ₀
HTML Entity (Named) ⊥
HTML Entity (Decimal) ⊥
dentistry symbol light down and horizontal (U+23C9)
HTML Entity (Decimal) ⏉
down tack (U+22A4)
HTML Entity (Decimal) ⊤
dentistry symbol light up and horizontal (U+23CA)
HTML Entity (Decimal) ⏊
up tack (U+22A5)
HTML Entity (Named) ⊥
HTML Entity (Decimal) ⊥
vertical ellipsis (U+22EE)
HTML Entity (Decimal) ⋮
braille pattern dots-12 (U+2803)
HTML Entity (Decimal) ⠃
braille pattern dots-1 (U+2801)
HTML Entity (Decimal) ⠁
braille pattern dots-123 (U+2807)
HTML Entity (Decimal) ⠇
braille pattern dots-23 (U+2806)
HTML Entity (Decimal) ⠆
braille pattern dots-2 (U+2802)
HTML Entity (Decimal) ⠂
vertical line extension (U+23D0)
HTML Entity (Decimal) ⏐
vertical line (U+007C)
HTML Entity (Decimal) |

Reel Review - General Guide
1975 RR-0001 Shot 0324
1977 RR-0001 Shot 0001
1980 RR-0001 Shot 0127
1983 RR-0001 Shot 0018
1983 RR-0001 Shot 0010

5G. Edge Numbers / Frame Identification Codes / KeyKode : Numerical Values which are used to identify any frame in a strip of film. I'm not certain of the appropriate term for these codes, in Reel Reviews 0001 thru 0006 they are identified as 'Correction Code' and 'Footage Tracking'. The codes are a two set grouping which has a two to four digit prefix followed by a numerical value. Making the assumption these are the codes which can be used to track down every specific frame. These would be the codes used by the editor and negative cutter to piece together the Original Camera Negative. Believe these codes are printed onto the film at the Manufacturing plant. With the introduction of computers, KeyKode was developed which used 'Key Number' and 'Footage Number' to speed up the processes of finding clips.
In the Reel Review process we'll document the different code sets for each film manufacturer. The font changes are probably specific to a certain year of manufacturering by a specific company.
Also we will see if we can find archive documents from Lucasfilm or ILM which show any of these specific codes in relation to a specific shot or scene. Special Effects processing 'Log Sheets' have been known to show similar codes.

  • ##X ##### : two digits - 'X' - space - five digits
    Values Observed : 14X, 15X, 17X, 19X, 22X, 24X, 29X, 30X, 31X, 33X, 41X, 42X, 43X, 44X, 50X, 51X, 52X, 53X, 54X, 56X
  • D##X ##### : 'D' - one or two digits - 'X' - space - five digits
    Values Observed : D2X, D3X, D6X, D25X, D27X, D28X, D29X, D40X, D52X
  • F##X ##### : 'F' - one or two digits - 'X' - space - five digits
    Values Observed : F8X, F19X
  • H##X ####### : 'H' - one or two digits - 'X' - space - seven digits
    Values Observed : H1X, H2X, H3X, H4X, H5X, H6X, H7X, H8X, H10X, H11X, H55X, H59X, H62X, H63X
  • ## S##### : two digits - space - 'S' - five digits
Reel Review - General Guide
##X ##### RR-0001 Shot 0010
##X ##### RR-0001 Shot 0010
##X ##### RR-0006 Shot 2214
D#X ##### RR-0006 Shot 2214
D##X ##### RR-0001 Shot 0010
D##X ##### RR-0002 Shot 0409

H##X ####### : RR-0002 Shot 0368

## S##### : RR-0001 Shot 0323

6. Edit Types

6A. Edit Type - Clean : An Edit which does not disturb the visible frames fo the shots before and after the edit.

6B. Edit Type - Clean-Clear : Description Forthcoming

6C. Edit Type - Clean-Cut : Description Forthcoming

6D. Edit Type - Clean-Dot : Description Forthcoming

6E. Edit Type - Clean-Wide : Description Forthcoming

6F. Edit Type - Clean-Wide-Black : Description Forthcoming

6G. Edit Type - Cut : An edit which cuts into the bottom of the visible frame.

6H. Edit Type - Cut-Clean-Wide-Black : Description Forthcoming

6I. Edit Type - Cut-Dot : Description Forthcoming

6J. Edit Type - Cut-Dot-Clear : Description Forthcoming

6K. Edit Type - Cut-Dot-Wide : Description Forthcoming

6L. Edit Type - Cut-Dot-Wide-Black : Description Forthcoming

6M. Edit Type - Cut-Dot-Yellow : Description Forthcoming

6N. Edit Type - Cut-Dot-Yellow : Description Forthcoming

6O. Edit Type - Cut-Wide : Description Forthcoming

6P. Edit Type - Cut-Wide-Dot : Description Forthcoming

6Q. Edit Type - Cut-Yellow : Description Forthcoming

6R. Edit Type - Dots : Description Forthcoming

6S. Edit Type - Overlap : Description Forthcoming

6T. Edit Type - Wide : Description Forthcoming

6U. Edit Type - Wide-Black : Description Forthcoming

6V. Edit Type - Wide-Black-Dot : Description Forthcoming

6W. Edit Type - Wide-Dot : Description Forthcoming

6X. Edit Type - Wide-Orange : Description Forthcoming

Note : The 'Edit Type' category needs a complete overhaul. Did not have a clear sense of the variations when starting so gave word combinations to describe what I was seeing, but over time those terms got shifted around so there are not multiple categories which are probably the same. Extracting pics of each type and providing different photographs will assist in this task. The 'Dot' aspect of the edit is hard to read in the Reel Review 0001 thru 0006 scan.
The Main Edit types will probably come down to:
  • Does the edit interrupt the visible frame of either the shot before or after.
  • Does the edit change the between frame border type.
  • How does the frame border type change: Color, Width, etc.
  • The Dot are a linear line near the edit point, my guess is they are a by-product of the splicing equipment. When you push down to cut the film, maybe there was a raised edge on the metal blade which left these marks and depending on how much pressure the negative cut pushed down with the more the dots appear. Will need to cross compare multiple from a reel to see if the pattern stays consistant.
  • Who created the Edit. Making the assumption that the original negative of most films is done by one person using one set of equipment. But as 'Star Wars' changed over time, can visible inspection of the edit types inform us if multiple people working in different locations at different times worked on the negative.

Note :

Reel Review - General Guide

7. Other Markers, Elements, Codes and Features

7A. Reel Cue Marker : At the end of each reel are two sets of four frames with cue marks in the corner to alert the projectionist when to start the motor of the other projector and when to start that next reel to play. The first set is known as the 'motor cue' the second the 'changeover cue'. The example at the right is from the motor cue of Reel 1.

7B. 16 Frame Marker : Below the soundtrack every sixteen (16) frames is a marker between the sprockets.

7C. Specialty Marker : In the Left/Bottom beyond sprocket area this marker can be found, an edge print about one frame in length. My guess is they might be a marker used during the negative cutting or editing to assist in the work. For some sections of the film, the markers were found a certain number of frames before the last frame of that shot. Each shot in a sequence would be the same, then a different sequence would have the marker at a different number of frame before the end of the shot. I think I remember a set where they were a certain number of frames after the start of the shot.

7D. "3M" : Found in the leader but only once. Do not know it's significance.

7E. "POS" : This might stand for positive as in interpositive, one of the stages of film duplication.

7A. Reel Cue Marker
RR-0001 Shot 0323

16 Frame Marker
RR-0001 Shot 0009

h5>Specialty Marker RR-0002 Shot 0516

"3M" Element
RR-0001 Leader

"POS" Element
RR-0001 Leader

8. Handwritten Elements

In Reel Review 0001 Shot 0002 in the beyond sprocket edge is handwritten 'STAR WARS R-1 CRI #1'. (Maybe it's 'CRI #2' with the top part of the two cut by the sprockets.)

Handwritten - 'STAR WARS R-1 CRI #1'

Film Control : The People and Equipment which helped make Star Wars.

American Cinematographer : July 1977 Quote : The department called "Control" has the responsibility of vaulting and routing each piece of film generated for this project. Control catalogues each piece of negative, and print, and their relationship to the 2 to 12 other pieces with which they will be combined in composite. Control has the responsibility of keeping infinitely accurate records and making film elements and information available on a moment's notice, a tremendous task considering the some 3,838 elements required for the 365 projected individual shots.
On the right are pictures from "Film Control" during the production of 'Star Wars'.

The People behind Film Control

Images from J. W. Rinzler's "The Making of Star Wars" book.
The first picture shows Mary M. Lind "Film Control Coordinator" who oversaw the tracking system to identify and locate any piece of the film for the editors and special effect coordinators. In the background of the shot are the film archives which can be better seen in the second photo. Each box would contain a 10" reel of film. In the second photograph, in the hand of Connie McCrum is probably one of the 'Log Sheets' which identified the specific shot, and what elements of film are needed to complete the work for that shot. The third photograph is an example Log Sheet from a scene in the Empire Strikes Back. But you can see the "Edge No" category which has values similar to what was documented in the Reel Review. The 'Code No' seem to be the translation of the frame count when the shots are resequenced into the final shot for the film from their origin during filming.

Quote : They performed 273,369 optical effects. As soon as the tremendous success of the film was known, several props used in the film disappeared. "When a film becomes successful, any piece of props becomes very valuable and disappears," stresses Mary Lind. "At this point, we all begin to lock each department," he adds. As responsible for "Film Control" Lind had the last mission to find a safe place with the right technology to keep the now incredibly valuable negatives of the film safe and secure. The place chosen by her was the Hollywood Film Company, on Seward Street, with black and white elements stored in chests 203 and 204 and the negatives of the film in 336, when her last mission was completed Mary fled on vacation to Hawaii, went to a taxi that took her straight to the airport, wearing only a bathing suit and sandals.

Mary Lind "Film Control Coordinator"

Film Control Office - Connie McCrum, Cindy Isman and Mary Lind

Example Log Sheet - [From 'The Empire Strikes Back']

Equipment in Film Control - 'unidentified' ILM Shot Tracker


John Jympson
Richard Chew
Paul Hirsch
Marcia Lucas
George Lucas

This section might be interesting to find stories from the editors about their contribution. For example, remember reading about how the sequencing of the dialog between Ben and Luke in Ben's Hutt was resequenced from the screen play to add urgency to the scene. The scene might have had a few cameras and the Edge Codes might corroborate where the edits moved footage around.

One story corroborated is from Paul Hirsch's book A Long Time Ago in a Cutting Room Far, Far Away he describes (page 113-115) how an error in the reading of the Edge Code led to a missing frame in the final film. Refer to the last example in the Features-001 about the Death Star Explosion.

Richard Crew (editor) at a Steenbeck editing table


322,704 feet of tape were obtained of which 226,717 were printed.
Meanwhile, the Van Der Veer Photo Effects company dealt with the animation of the laser beams of the blasters and the effects of the lightsabers.
Reel Review - General Guide

Reel Review Example Frame

Reel Review Example Frame

Step Forthcoming & Corrections

Data Insertion Scripting Correction : The script used to input the .CSV spreadsheet date into Adobe After Effects is fractions of a second off. So when you watch each 100 Shot Reel Review file, the Shot value becomes slightly off and gets worse as time increases. Because of how the script works, the first frame of each new shot should be devoid of the information overlay. My guess is it could be the difference between 24 FPS and 23.976 FPS. In After Effects must need to conform the overlay to the video's speed. Will post the working files to see if someone can suggest a fix.

Data Correction : Work with the larger public to identify and correct concepts and values in the current data set. To aid in that process :F:D: will provide a Color Correction Pass.

Color Correction Pass : In the Features-001 page the third example down is an examples of a color correction pass we will complete over the entire reel review and distribute for assistance from anyone interested in spotting codes we missed in the first pass. We believe that color correction can enhance a bunch of the harder to read codes to be readable. We'll probably ask for assistance on a methodology to apply to the entire reels and then release that corrected version. The color correction pass shown in the Features-001 page are primarily modifying 'Curves' and 'Brightness & Contrast' values in photoshop. :F:D: will release the modified video on the site and am thinking that maybe a weekly time is set up to review each scene and find a group conscientious on the codes and make a revise Reel Review spreadsheet, enhancing with what is learned along the way.

New Scan : Get a better quality scan of future reels and redo of RR0001 thru RR0006. team negative1's stockpile of abandoned equipment is constantly evolving and that may lead to better things.

Public Examines their Reels or Parts of Reels : The general public might have access to frames, shots or additional reels. Reviewing those codes for changes will help identify where these films changed over time.

Star Wars Taxonomy (aka Star Wars Family Tree) : The Reel Reviews can help us start to differentiate the film permutations with another set of data.


http://web.archive.org/web/20070809163228/http://historicphotoarchive.com/f1/ekcode.html https://paulivester.com/films/filmstock/guide.htm https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_motion_picture_film_stocks https://www.filmpreservation.org/userfiles/image/PDFs/fpg.pdf https://ieeexplore.ieee.org/stamp/stamp.jsp?arnumber=7264029 https://erikpiil.files.wordpress.com/2014/06/piil_characteristics_archiving.pdf https://www.itsmarc.com/crs/mergedprojects/archmov/archmov/appendix_f_eastman_kodak_edge_date_codes.htm https://cinematography.com/index.php?/topic/3345-color-reversal-intermediate-cri-transfer/ https://www.kodak.com/us/en/motion/about/chronology_of_film/1960-1979/default.htm https://www.kodak.com/uploadedfiles/motion/Guide_to_Identifying_Year_of_Manufacture.pdf https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6bjsKHKpniI [21:00 watch negative cutter splice film], [Lordy Clips 27:20 device to trigger color correction might be visible, after the 60s a notch outside of the sprockets might be visible.] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-d0W6hMxwo (#2) "How film is made" Kodak 1958 factory documentary (part 2 of 2) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DNhSFQmnMcE Kodak Film Factory Tour https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edit_decision_list https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Negative_cutting https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Original_camera_negative https://shotonwhat.com/star-wars-episode-iv-a-new-hope-1977 https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Release_print https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Internegative https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Answer_print https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Interpositive https://cinematography.com/index.php?/topic/72345-35mm-film-reel-optical-negative-vs-printmaster-vs-interpositive-vs-internegative/ https://filmcolors.org/timeline-entry/1310/

Outside Sources to Confirm

A. In Paul Hirsch's book A Long Time Ago in a Cutting Room Far, Far Away he describes how "five optical effects houses" (page 113) completed shots for 'Star Wars' where ILM was understaffed. One of these companies did the laser blasts. Create an article which pulls out many of the laser blast shots to see if they have common traits. Many laser blast shots have a red shifted 'Right/Top' Frame Edge.

B. In 'Star Wars Insider Issue July 2017' page 48 David Tanaka talks about tracking down the original elements which were composited into all the special effects shots from the original negatives. He might have stories to tell about edge code and what he found when trying to piece Star Wars back together for the Special Editions.

C. Compare to other existing known images of 'Star Wars' prints.
Example 1 : via https://filmcolors.org/galleries/star-wars-episode-iv-a-new-hope/ Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (USA 1977, George Lucas). Credit: Library of Congress. Photographs of the faded Eastman Color Print Film by Barbara Flueckiger.

Reel Review - Working Process


Visual Inspection Notes

Spreadsheet Issues

Film Scanning

Spreadsheet Data Overlay

Reel Review - General Guide