Industry Examples

The four US leader standards identified in my research have been faithfully rendered (Academy) or duplicated (Society, Universal, Projection) many times over, but they’ve also been adapted, modified, even subverted by the industry itself in its day-to-day practices. This page is dedicated to examples in the latter group – and a few that seem to be firmly beyond categorization.



CINERIC digital countdown leader (added March 13, 2017). The company describes itself as follows: “Cineric, Inc. is the industry’s finest film restoration and preservation house, fusing traditional photochemical processes with the latest in digital technology.” Derived from the Universal leader standard (8 thru 2, 1 sec intervals, numbers rightside up, radar sweep). Designed by Ariel Saulog while an employee at CINERIC. With thanks to: Margaret Compton (archivist, Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection) for bringing it to my attention, Ulrike Reichhold (Cineric) for a digital copy, and Balázs Nyari (Cineric) for permission.



‘Space Age’ 35mm countdown (added March 13, 2017). Possibly Xerox Films. Derived from the Universal leader standard (8 thru 2, 1 sec intervals, numbers rightside up, clockwise ‘dot’ sweep). Thanks to: George Willeman (Library of Congress) for sharing his discovery, Michael Hinton (Library of Congress) for the digital transfer, and Ray Brewer (Manager, Xerox Historical Archives) for his ongoing efforts to positively identify this leader.



Sourced from a 1983 educational film produced by the UGA Cooperative Extension Service on water resources of Georgia. Derived from the Universal leader standard (8 thru 2, 1 sec intervals, numbers rightside up, radar sweep). Many thanks to Margaret Compton (archivist, Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection) for bringing it to my attention.



Currently unidentified leader countdown. This leader design (10 thru 3, split frame) does not follow any known US standard (ie Academy, Society, Universal, Projection). The text between 10 and 9 reads: ‘SECONDS TO START OF FILM’. With thanks to Michael Hinton (Library of Congress).



Framegrabs from a ‘branded’ 16mm Universal leader in the Jim Fowler Collection (Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection, University of Georgia). Begins with credit graphic (image left); ‘branded’ overlay appears on the countdown through the number 4 (image right). No overlay on 3 and 2. Thanks to Margaret Compton (archivist, Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection).



Countdown for NET (National Educational Television) programming, 1968. (2″ video tape, Georgia Center Film & Videotape Collection, gacenter_2899, Walter J. Brown Media Archives & Peabody Awards Collection, University of Georgia Libraries). With thanks to archivist Margaret Compton.



Laboratoires Meuter-Titra leader. Academy-style countdown with some modern graphical flourishes such as squares and circles. Appears to be French, Dutch and/or Flemish. Note the per-frame count-up before the countdown, cf some early Soviet and Technicolor leaders. It appears that Labo Meuter-Titra closed down in 2007. With many thanks to Graeme Hogge (Nachleben Film Lab and Archive, Cube Cinema).