Thanks to all for the excellent suggestions and information. It is in fact Sleep that we'll be showing in Austin, TX in October; I'm not hopeful that I'll be able to find two functioning 16fps projectors locally, but as someone told me this morning privately, most 16fps projectors just had rheostat controls that were not particularly accurate, and in fact many 18fps projectors probably don't run at that exact speed anyway. (MOMA also noted that we could show it at 18fps.)

Anecdotally, we recently had a successful two-projector screening of The Chelsea Girls in Austin. Prior to the screening, I got an email from someone encouraging me to instead use four projectors, as it would cut the screening time in half. Always good to get these things over with quickly, I say!


At 09:31 PM 8/3/2015, Steve Polta wrote:
In 2001 San Francisco Cinematheque projected Andy Warhol's Sleep, which is six hours (360 minutes) at 16fps. We started the show at midnight, expected it to end at 6am. We ran it at 18fps and the show got out at 5:30am (and in fact I just did the math and I think the difference over that time is closer to 45 minutes somehow). So that's a good cumulative difference but probably "minimal" (to quote David Sherman quoting David Gerstein) difference moment-to-moment in viewing.

18 (or 16)fps vs 24 fps is obviously a very big difference and there is always the (possibly apocryphal) story of Stan Brakhage viewing Sleep at 24fps and declaring it a farse, then at 16fps and declaring it a masterpiece. Not that Brakhage's word is unquestionable but this would make a huge difference in many of these films. As I'm sure most of us know...

Steve Polta

On Mon, Aug 3, 2015 at 5:26 PM, Scott Dorsey <> wrote:
The B&H filmosound in a box projectors (the 300 series) have universal
motors with mechanical governors, which can be adjusted for a variety of
speeds.  If set according to the manual the silent speed is 16 fps, but
if no maintenance has been done it could be anything.  They are truly
among the best projectors made, aside from the narrow barrel which severely
limits your lens selection.

That said, I doubt the difference between 16 and 18 fps would be that
dramatic on screen.
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