Films on television 

8 March 2018 tbs.pm/65111

STANDARD TIMINGS FOR FILMED TELEVISION MATERIAL 1956

Adopted by the Television Programme Contractors Association.

 

TECHNICAL specifications for filmed television programmes and advertisements have been adopted by the Television Programme Contractors Association and these are published below. All films produced for television, it is stated, shall be non-inflammable and shall conform to B.S. 677:1942.

Standards for Programmes

 

For a nominal 1 hour television programme the time must be 53 minutes 30 seconds, for a nominal 30 minute programme 26 minutes 30 seconds, and for a nominal 15 minute programme 13 minutes 00 seconds.

Table “A” shows the length of such films when run at 25 frames per second and the running time when these films are transmitted at 24 frames per second. Table “B” shows the nominal times of American syndicated films and their length and gives the running time if transmitted at 25 frames per second.

Film gauges adopted by the Association are as follows:—

(a) Commercials

A 35 mm film is required for transmission and a 16 mm copy as a protection print. The latter will only be used in an emergency, i.e., when the 35 mm film projection breaks down.

(b) Programmes

35 mm film should be used whenever possible but 16 mm film can be accepted if necessary.

Other points from the adopted standards cover:

Frames. All film will be transmitted at 25 frames per second; it is strongly recommended that all film produced for television be made at 25 frames per second.

Sound. Normal photographic sound as specified in B.S. 677:1942 is required. The characteristic must be flat within the bounds of the particular system being used, i.e. special characteristics normally adopted to compensate for theatre acoustics should not be employed.

Leader. The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers’ all-purpose film leader must be attached to the first frame at the head of every film including advertisements. This leader can be obtained from the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers, 40 West Fortieth Street, New York 18, New York; and also from the Motion Picture Research Council Inc., 1421 North, Western Avenue, Hollywood 27, California.

Positives and negatives. Positive prints should be supplied wherever possible for programme purposes and must be supplied without fail in the case of advertisements. Facilities are available to scan negative programme films if necessary but positive and negative film cannot be inter-cut.

 

 

Standards for Advertisements

 

Standard timings adopted for television commercials are as follows:

1-Minute Advertisements:

Picture — must not be more than 60 seconds in length. This is 93 ft. 12 frames in 35 mm film and 37 ft. 20 frames in 16 mm film.

Sound — must not be more than 58 seconds in length. This equals 90 ft. 10 frames in 35 mm. film if the maximum length is used and 36 ft. 10 frames in 16 mm. film if the maximum length is used.

The 58 seconds of sound should be printed on 60 seconds of picture to broadcast as follows:

(a) 1½ seconds of silent picture (head).

(b) 58 seconds of sound.

(c)½ second of silent picture (tail).

The picture should continue on a silent freeze frame for at least 10 seconds after the main picture broadcast.

30-Seconds Advertisements:

Picture — must not be more than 30 seconds in length. This is 46 ft. 14 frames in 35 mm film and 18 ft. 30 frames in 16 mm film.

Sound — must not be more than 28 seconds in length. This equals 43 ft. 12 frames in 35 mm film if the maximum length is used and 17 ft. 20 frames in 16 mm film if the maximum length is used.

The 28 seconds of sound should be printed on 30 seconds of picture to broadcast as follows:

(a) 1½ seconds of silent picture (head).

(b) 28 seconds of sound.

(c) ½ second of silent picture (tail).

The picture should continue on a silent freeze frame for at least 10 seconds after the main picture broadcast.

15 Seconds Advertisements:

Picture — must not be more than 15 seconds in length. This is 23 ft. 7 frames in 35 mm film and 9 ft. 15 frames in 16 mm film.

Sound — must not be more than 13 seconds in length. This equals 20 ft. 5 frames in 35 mm film if the maximum length is used and 8 ft. 5 frames in 16 mm film is the maximum length is used.

 

 

FILM LENGTHS WHEN RUN AT 25 FRAMES PER SECOND

(and running time when transmitted at 24 frames per second)

Table A

 

Nominal Time Running Time at 25 frames per sec Length in feet and frames Consequential Running Time at 24 frames per sec. (U.S.A. Standard)
35mm 16mm
mins. sec. feet frames feet frames min. sec.
1 hour 53 30 5,015 10 2,006 10 55 44
½ hour 26 30 2,484 6 993 30 27 36
¼ hour 13 00 1,218 12 487 20 13 32½

 

LENGTHS OF AMERICAN SYNDICATED FILMS (with running times)

(and running time if transmitted at 25 frames per second)

Table B

 

Nominal Time Running Time at 24 frames per sec Length in feet and frames Consequential Running Time at 25 frames per sec. (British Standard)
35mm 16mm
mins. sec. min. sec.
1 hour 53 20 4,800 1,920 51 12
½ hour 26 30 2,385 9,54 25 26
¼ hour 12 30 1,125 4,50 12 00

A Transdiffusion Presentation

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2 responses to this article

Alan Keeling 8 March 2018 at 8:25 pm

I was led to believe that imported American film series, for some years now were on 16mm film prints, being somewhat lighter in weight than 35mm prints, thus making them easier to send by plane.

Mark Jeffries 8 March 2018 at 10:07 pm

Not to mention that most American stations outside of the New York and Los Angeles network headquarters only had 16mm film chains.

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