Name of Typical Film Graphics
June 3, 2005 9:33 PM   Subscribe

What's the name of the typical graphics people use to signify old-fashioned movie-film, like numbers counting down, cryptic symbols, squiggly marks, etc.? I am designing a film related site and would like to use these graphics, but not knowing what they're called, I have had no luck finding any. Links to actual images would be greatly appreciated, of course.
posted by signal to Media & Arts (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I would call it "film leader" aka "Academy leader" aka "SMPTE leader." Sorry, I don't have time to search out the links!
posted by xo at 9:47 PM on June 3, 2005

By squiggly marks, could you be thinking of test cards? For example, the famous indian head test card? This is really more of a television thing, so maybe not.
posted by patgas at 11:11 PM on June 3, 2005

As far as I can tell, the "squiggly marks" are just the title of the reel, handwritten on the film leader.
posted by neckro23 at 11:17 PM on June 3, 2005

Here's one from the internet archive. It's not the canonical sweeping arm version, but it has some nice images.
posted by O9scar at 11:24 PM on June 3, 2005

If Academy leader's what you're looking for, here are two quicktime clips online: a 720x480 download, however, will cost you $13 for the clean one and $40 for a nicely distressed version.

You could also try at the Prelinger Archive. I think some of their film transfers begin with countdowns.

Actually, Here's a 12 second clip from Prelinger of a countdown only. You'll have to convert from MPEG to an editable format (and this might not be the sort of look you're going for).
posted by nobody at 11:35 PM on June 3, 2005

Rereading your question, the "distressed version" link above will probably be best for you. The "clean one" doesn't really signify old film at all.

If a clean version does suit your needs, Final Cut, if I remember correctly, at one point shipped with an academy leader test-clip (transfered from film -- not the apple graphic). Maybe it still does. Maybe it came with Cinema Tools?
posted by nobody at 11:42 PM on June 3, 2005

(Yeah, I think the squiggly marks are just the stuff written on the film leader in marker.)

You might want to insert the characteristic crackles and "whup!" noise into your audio as well if you're trying to imitate a film lead-in.
posted by hattifattener at 11:47 PM on June 3, 2005

Thanks everybody, more info than I could have hoped for, and the clips are very, very cool.
posted by signal at 7:08 AM on June 4, 2005


It's film leader....

check this out:


There's countdown, that goes from 10 to 3, a single frame of 2 and a "pop". there's a resource for editors called 2-pop
posted by filmgeek at 7:38 AM on June 4, 2005

Just in case anybody's still reading, here's the flash thingie I made, inspired by the links:

comments and criticism are always welcome.

Thanks, y'all
posted by signal at 8:47 PM on June 4, 2005

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