Leader film is more than just a strip of white tape. It is a transition from reality into interpretation – think the velvet red curtain at the Chinese Theater. We wait as the leader film calibrates the projector – lest it chew up your family vacation to Lake Erie. Leader film is all about anticipation – we know something is coming and wait. Patiently. The waiting can be nearly painful. The leader could be longer than the feature presentation. Imagine a film of just leader film = 100% suspense. Leader film as title sequence.
But what is special about these thirty-three frames of Super-8 film leader? They are an archive of the 31 years of fungus growing on an undeveloped cartridge.