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I recently bought a few strips of tidbits from a movie, on 35mm film. (17 strips of 6 frames each, about 11x3.5cm a strip) I know this isn't "photography" per se, but I think it still counts as I have it on film strips not for projector-viewing purposes, doesn't it? ;)

Anyways, Since they're film strips, I'm going to put them inside a picture frame for display. I am planning to buy a very cheap backlight (A3 size costs about $14) and fit the backlight (and film strips) inside a picture frame.

And here comes the question: How should I affix (attach) the film strips to the backlight (or front of the picture frame glass)? I'm thinking that scotch tape would really damage the film when taken off (and would look nasty), and magnets... Could affect the electric backlight. And also be a hassle since I'd need over 15 tiny magnets.

How do you all suggest I go about this task? Any help is welcome!

P.S: And I should, when completed, keep this frame away from direct sunlight, right? What conditions should I store it in? Is keeping it in a warm room in the shade OK?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ My first thought is archival mat board. Two pieces with openings. One piece front. One rear. Standard hinge attachment using linen tape to the rear piece. Then perhaps hinged archival mat boards for front and rear covers. However I am not sure if archival linen tape is safe for film negatives. Anyway basically make a large slide mount. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 10, 2021 at 17:54
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BobMacaroniMcStevens Good idea, but the rear panel must be a backlight pad, not to mention that the film strips are tiny! Since it's 6 frames per strip, some bit of the film would be covered by the slide mount. (I can think of a potential way to use the idea alongside the film, though....) Still, I appreciate the help! :) \$\endgroup\$ Aug 11, 2021 at 7:27
  • \$\begingroup\$ We used to throw slides on the light table to look at them. We didn’t affix them to it. We slid them in and out of slide viewers and projectors too. The point being that there’s two parts to the thing. One is mounting the film, the other is shining light through it. Building a mount for the film is the critical bit. Once you have a mount you could even tape the mount to a window for viewing without damage to the film. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 11, 2021 at 13:48
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BobMacaroniMcStevens ah the good old days.. But since the film I've got is limited to 17 strips and 17 strips only, taking them out every time I want to view them and tossing them on the light table is a bit more inconvenient then having them displayed on a board already. (not to mention the potential damage that can be done by constant touching of film that's already 25+ years old!) Building a mount means that the back will be left empty (unless permanently affixed to the light table), which is pretty risky and bulky to store/carry. I'd rather have it in a frame and keep it propped up :^) \$\endgroup\$ Aug 12, 2021 at 2:23
  • \$\begingroup\$ @BobMacaroniMcStevens Hi Bob. I'm sorry I didn't see this earlier, but your comment is really an answer to the question. Please post it as an answer in the answer section, rather than as a comment. See also, Please put your answers in the answers section, even if they're short. Thanks. =) \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Aug 12, 2021 at 21:01

3 Answers 3

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Perhaps you can use nylon sewing thread or thin monofilament fishing line to support the film. You can run two threads through the sprocket holes and terminate the threads in an area covered by the frame.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ That is a very clever idea!! I never thought to utilize the film holes to support them. It should be quite simple to loop it around the back and affix THAT using tape or glue... \$\endgroup\$ Aug 11, 2021 at 7:09
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Is this film valuable? If I were going to do what you describe, I'd assume this display setup will only last a few years. I don't think any amount of constant light is good for film.

Take a read of this doc from Kodak Motion Picture:
FILM STORAGE AND HANDLING

If you want to stick film with tape, I'd look for a low tack tape that doesn't leave any residue. I've bought Lineco tape for mounting pictures in the past that I've been happy with. It's not transparent though. Consider also photo corners.

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thanks for the response! I will definitely not be keeping this display in direct sunlight (since I don't want it to fade away), perhaps make a cover to put on top when not in view. The article you posted doesn't exactly apply to my situation and the photo corner suggestion will be difficult (albeit possible), due to the tiny size of the film strips. The suggestion to use low-tack tape is a good idea though! I will try to find something similar while still hunting for potential alternative methods. \$\endgroup\$ Aug 10, 2021 at 14:05
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I own quite a few Film Strips (5 frames per) for major movies like Star Wars, Batman, and Spider-Man and what I did was I bought an 8x10 floating frame from Walmart, custom designed a guide template w/the appropriate poster next to where the strips go, printed the template on heavy card-stock twice, then cutout the film strip guides on both prints and put the first print on the frame backglass, lined up the film in the cutouts, put the second print on top making sure everything was aligned correctly, then put the top glass on top and made sure everything was still aligned and then I sealed the frame with the included frame edges and hung it using some white picture frame command strips. Hope this helps! enter image description here enter image description here

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  • \$\begingroup\$ minor quibble - fair answer, but I find your block of text hard to read. Maybe bullet points would help. \$\endgroup\$
    – osullic
    Aug 21, 2023 at 11:13

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