Over the past year, major movie camera manufacturers ARRI, Panavision and Aaton have all quietly stopped manufacturing film cameras — a tough blow to film, and grim news for film photographers. Debra Kaufman over at Creative COW writes,
Can the continued production of film stock survive the twin disappearance of film acquisition and distribution? Veteran industry executive Rob Hummel […] recalls when, as head of production operations, he was negotiating the Kodak deal for DreamWorks Studios. “At the time, the Kodak representative told me that motion pictures was 6 percent of their worldwide capacity and 7 percent of their revenues,” he recalls. “The rest was snapshots. In 2008 motion pictures was 92 percent of their business and the actual volume hasn’t grown. The other business has just disappeared.”
Panavision’s Executive VP Phil Radin states that, “Film will be around as long as Kodak and Fuji believe they can make money at it.” With their revenues from the movie industry drying up, Kodak and Fuji are going to have a harder time keeping their film businesses profitable. If you want to see film survive, then you can do your part by buying film and encouraging others to shoot analog as well!
Film Fading to Black (via TechCrunch)
Image credit: PANAFLEX PLATINUM STUDIO by openreel
Brussels-based jewelry designer Clement Marquaire creates one-of-a-kind earrings using old 35mm film. A pair will cost you $15 over in Marquaire’s Esty store.
Happy Factory Etsy Store (via Photojojo)
Redscale is a technique where film is exposed on the wrong side — rather than having the light hit the emulsion directly, you expose the film through the non-sensitive side.
The name “redscale” comes because there is a strong color shift to red due to the red-sensitive layer of the film being exposed first, rather than last (the red layer is normally the bottom layer in C-41 (color print) film). All layers are sensitive to blue light, so normally the blue layer is on top, followed by a filter. In this technique, blue light exposes the layers containing red and green dyes, but the layer containing blue dye is left unexposed due to the filter. [#]
The two main ways for doing this are loading the film upside down (if your camera allows it), or by purchasing film that has been “converted” already. A third way is to make DIY redscale film by going into a darkroom, pulling out the film, cutting it, flipping it, taping it back together, and then winding it back into the canister. Messy, but it works!
We suggested a couple weeks ago that you start collecting things via photos if your idea tank is running dry and you’re in need of a project. A neat photography-related item you can try collecting is 35mm film canisters — it’s kind of like collecting wine corks, though getting the film processed usually results in having the canisters tossed. The photo above shows Flickr user Wee Sen Goh‘s colorful collection.
Image credit: flickr by weesen
Claire Chauvin over at Poopscape has a fun project for those of you who have useless 35mm negatives that are lying around and waiting to be tossed. All you need is a cheap and simple lamp (Chauvin used a $7 Ikea Grönö lamp) and some glue (e.g. Mod Podge). Carefully glue the strips onto the lamp and you’ll have yourself a unique, personalized lamp that’ll liven up any room in your house!
Grönö Lamp Hack (via Lifehacker)
Tiffany Threadgould of RePlayGround had the awesome idea of building a room divider using old 35mm film canisters. She spent three months befriending film processing shops in New York and collecting the 1,000+ canisters needed for the project.
Julie Lewis saves the 35mm film of Hollywood movies from destruction after they’re done running in theaters by upcycling them into unique handbags and wallets. The 100% polyester films are sometimes from a mix of different movies, or sometimes from the same popular film (e.g. “Twilight”).
Earlier this month Kodak announced their new Portra 400 color negative film, replacing the Portra 400NC and 400VC professional films. This might seem like backwards thinking, since so many films have been discontinued as of late, but Kodak believes film is making a comeback. In an interview with the British Journal of Photography, Kodak’s US marketing manager Scott DiSabato states,
We won’t make a product like this if we don’t believe we’ll see a return on it. Luckily the colour negative film sales have been very stable over the past year. Black-and-white is also doing extremely well. It almost feel that there is a very real resurgence for film.
A lifeline for film seems to be college campuses, where many young people are introduced to 35mm film photography for the first time (like I was):
[…] the most exciting thing is to see the younger people adopt film. It’s almost a generational thing. They have not shot film growing up, but once they do get a hold of film in a university, they just seem to fall in love with it. And that’s exciting. It just seems to have a lot of influence.
You can read the entire interview here. What are your thoughts on the future of film photography?