Production of film-based cameras has now ceased

Started by O., October 15, 2011, 03:13:29 PM

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Kodak Brings Ektachrome Film Stock Back from the Dead
via nofilmschool

Kodak announced today that it will bring back one of its most iconic film stocks.

At CES in Las Vegas today, the Eastman Kodak company announced that it will resume production on the Ektachrome film stock, beloved for its extremely fast reversal, rich color, fine grain, and high-quality contrast.

Initially developed in the 1940s, Ektachrome rose to fame when it was used extensively by National Geographic Magazine photographers who sought faster settings than those provided by the stock's alternative, Kodachrome. Ektachrome can take photos at shutter speeds of 1/10,000 of a second without filters.

To the chagrin of  many cinematographers, Kodak discontinued Ektachrome in 2012 due to a reported decline in sales. Kodak Alaris attributes the newfound interest in Ektachrome to the "growing popularity of analog photography and a resurgence in shooting film," which the company believes professionals prefer for the artistic control offered by manual processes.

"It is such a privilege to reintroduce Kodak Ektachrome Film to the cinematography community," said Steven Overman, Kodak's chief marketing officer and president of the Consumer and Film Division. "Kodak is committed to continuing to manufacture film as an irreplaceable medium for image creators to capture their artistic vision. We are proud to help bring back this classic."

Unfortunately, only a handful of major feature films have been shot on the film stock. Vincent Gallo's Buffalo '66 remains the most high-profile Ektachrome print. "It is, to this day, the most beautiful print I have ever seen," Grace Sloan, a former projectionist at New York's Anthology Film Archives who is now a filmmaker, told us. 

Unlike the Kodak color negative film stock available today, Ektachrome generates a positive slide image that can be viewed or projected once it is exposed and processed. "I personally like it because I can develop color reversal at home, so I can shoot, develop, and watch the print all in the same day," Sloan said. Compared to color negative, color positive Ektachrome promises a middle ground for filmmakers who prefer the film look but like the instant gratification digital filmmaking provides.

Early last year, we spoke with Kodak President Steve Bellamy, who told us that the company "was bankrupt three years ago, and now we're kind of a start-up. But we're the most mature start-up in the history of business." 

Kodak will produce Ektachrome at its film factory in Rochester, N.Y. It will be available in Super 8mm and 35mm and hit stores in the fourth quarter of 2017.
Now, if only Kodak would bring back Kodachrome.      

Featured image from 'Buffalo 66,' directed by Vincent Gallo, shot on 35 mm Eastman Ektachrome 160T 5239.


Kodak Opens Labs in Major Cities to Make Shooting on Film More Accessible Than Ever
via No Film School

Two new labs in London in New York match a growing demand for film development services.

Last year, we sat down with Kodak President Steve Bellamy, who told us all about Kodak's plans for the resurgence of film. While we've seen many big-budget productions pick up the mantle on this charge, many of our readers were quick to point out that the only real way to save film would be to have the same amount of labs, telecine facilities, and support services available as there were in the good old days.

Today, there are around 10 film labs left in the United States, but the risks and expenses associated with shipping film stock outweigh the benefits for many filmmakers. Kodak is fully aware of the limitations associated with a lack of development services and is looking to take matters into its own hands by rebuilding quality labs in major cities across the world. It's going to be a huge effort, but with an encouraging announcement earlier this month, it seems to be going full-steam ahead.

In a memo published earlier last week, Kodak announced a partnership with the largest production house in the UK, Pinewood Studios, home to the production of Star Wars among other major blockbusters.

"Kodak has signed a 5-year lease on part of the Ken Adam Building at Pinewood Studios in the UK to establish a new film negative processing lab," the announcement reads. "The parties will also work together on co-branding initiatives and promotions."

Darren Woolfson, Group Director of Technology for Pinewood, said, "This move signifies our support for the continued ability of filmmakers to choose to shoot their films on physical film in the UK. We're proud to be collaborating with Kodak in this endeavour."

Nigel Bennett, Director of Creative Services for Pinewood Group added, "We are keen to support the infrastructure for physical film for those directors and cinematographers who prefer this format."

Back in the states, Kodak recently acquired a film-processing lab in Atlanta, Georgia, where film is already being processed for The Walking Dead and other major film and television productions. The last film lab in New York City shuttered its doors nearly four years ago, but Kodak will reopen and operate a lab in Queens later this year, which will service 35mm, S16, and Super 8 film processing and scanning. 


Two videos on resolution by Star Wars: The Last Jedi and Brick DP Steve Yedlin. If you're unfamiliar with Yedlin's theories on film vs video image acquisition, see the post above.

-Video one

-Video two

Direct download links here and here. The first video is 10 min, the second video is over an hour.


I'll put this here.   Move as necessary.

Cinelab invests to meet demand for film scanning

QuoteCinelab's managing director Adrian Bull said the Scanity 4K HDR will "assist in delivering on projects where a 'scan once' approach is preferred, particularly where a VFX-intensive feature may want to work with 2K or 4K images from the start of production."

Bull says he has seen a growth in DoPs choosing film as a shooting format over the last five years. "The revival of film is no doubt in part due to the demand for 4K and HDR, which as an acquisition format, film delivers with ease. The aesthetic look of film continues to prove favourable against digital acquisition," he said.


Christopher Nolan, Jordan Peele Among Filmmakers Working With Imax to Develop New Film Cameras
The Hollywood Reporter

The large-format company is also working with DPs including Rachel Morrison and Bradford Young, and teaming with Kodak, Panavision and Fotokem.

Imax plans to develop new film cameras that would be created with input from filmmakers such as Christopher Nolan and Jordan Peele. The work will be done in collaboration with Kodak, camera maker Panavision, and postproduction company and film lab Fotokem.

The large format company is also consulting with leading cinematographers including Linus Sandgren (No Time To Die), Rachel Morrison (Black Panther), Bradford Young (Arrival), Dan Mindel (Star Trek) and Nolan's go-to DP, Hoyte van Hoytema.

The next release filmed with the current generation of Imax film cameras and Kodak 65mm film will be Peele's Nope, scheduled for a July 22 debut, while Nolan's Oppenheimer is currently shooting with IMAX film cameras. According to Thursday's announcement, IMAX intends to add at least four new film cameras to its offing over the next two years, with the first new camera expected to be put into use by late 2023.

The film cameras will be offered alongside Imax's digital cameras, a development in collaboration with camera maker ARRI.

Details as to the business relationship among Kodak, Panavision and Fotokem were not made available at press time.

But as expected, Kodak plans to manufacture the film stock, Panavision will provide camera services and Fotokem will be involved in postproduction/lab services.

Imax film cameras use a 15 perf horizontal 65mm frame size and support Imax theaters capable of presenting in the 1.43 aspect ratio. According to the company, enhancements being explored include a quieter design and "usability enhancements." Imax's existing cameras and lenses will be upgraded as part of the program, the company said.