Having actual old movies on film, whether they are home-shot movies or something more commercial, is an excellent way to hold onto a piece of history. However, too many people who have old film rolls in their possession neglect to use the best film cores for storing these treasures. The film core is the circular center that houses a roll of film, so it stays lines up and protected during storage, and there is a multitude of film cores out there to pick from. If you want to give the vintage films you have the rightful protection, there are a handful of features to be looking for in the best ones.
1. The film core is made from archival-quality materials.
Film cores can be made out of everything from metal to plastic and everything in between, but when you are shopping for cores that will offer the most reliable protection and storage, you will want film cores that are archival quality. Those film cores that are archival quality tend to be made out of materials like polypropylene, which will not corrode, change shape when exposed to heat, or break down.
2. The film core does not have rough rims around the edges.
Some film cores have a slightly serrated edge around the rim, which is designed that way specifically to work with some film reels. While it can be convenient to have your film reels stored on a core that will work with your film player, the serrated edge on these is not safe for long-term storage. If a side of the film slips out of place and gets pressed against that serrated edge, it can cause permanent indentions in the film, which is going to compromise the viewing quality. Instead, go for film cores that have only a slight beveled edge that holds the film in place and will not pose a risk.
3. The film core has a larger diameter wrapping base.
Older film is fairly notorious for being more rigid than newer versions of film because the materials used to make this film was different. Because of this, the film will be more prone to warping when it is tightly wound around a small-diameter wrapping base. Even though the small diameter will give you an overall film reel that is smaller and easier to stow away, you could end up with the endpoints of the film that is closest to the center being damaged.