A great reel from the pen of Jim Sutherland.
"hair in the gate" is a film motion picture camera term. The gate is the opening behind the lens where the film is held in place for an exposure to be made when the shutter is open. Sometimes, film emulsion is scraped off in the camera movement, creating a piece of dust that can get caught in the opening of the gate, casting its shadow onto the film. That shadow becomes a dark giant fiber dancing on the edge of the projected image, ruining that piece of film.
When shooting, the camera assistant looks into the camera to inspect the gate periodically, hoping to find a clean gate. If a hair is found, the assistant calls out "hair in the gate", and the crew knows to shoot another take after the gate has been cleaned. It’s frustrating because the last take may have been a perfect performance, all of the elements in that shot came together just right, or worse yet, maybe it was a one of a kind shot, where a car blows up, or some other expensive set piece is destroyed and there is only one chance to shoot it. On the set, we never want to hear the phrase "Hair in the gate" but this is cool tune. I like it!
The Hair In The Gate
I transcribed this tune as best as I could from the Damaris Woods recording on "With a Banjo on My Knee". I really enjoy her placement of triplets so I included them as I heard them in the recording- naturally she does more variants than what I have written.