By Ron Merk
…meaning that flexible material made from celluloid, coated with an emulsion and perforated on the edges and Ferrania, one of the great names in film manufacturing trying to get back to producing film again after being closed down for a few years.
I mean the narrow definition above, in any gauge, including 70mm, 65mm, 35mm, 16mm, 8mm and super 8mm.
We have seen Kodak, the biggest name in film manufacturing stumble and fall, like the proverbial giant at the top of the beanstalk, tumble from its perch on top of the wall, to a pathetic shadow of its former self, as the world of filmmaking and distribution moved from film to digital formats. The technical revolution came swiftly overturning Kodak’s “king of the world” position in both amateur and professional photography. Sometimes progress can be swift and cruel, but we need to remember that Kodak and other film manufacturers need to be supported in their efforts to continue the manufacture of film stocks, both for photography and preservation.
The latest surprise in this area is the rise from the ashes of Ferrania, the northern Italian company that had shut down its film operations a few years ago, but under a small team, is now working toward turning on the equipment again, and rolling out film again. But they need help, and they’re asking those of us who have a vested interest in film, to join them in making their Kickstarter campaign a success. I don’t often “flog” people’s Kickstarter campaigns on this site, but in this case I’m making an exception. To have one more source of film materials in the world is a cause I can get behind, and for which I can wave a flag.
I, like many of you, think that the rumors on the death of film are exaggerated, and that many people have overlooked its benefits. I imagine that if you spend most of your time looking at the world through a small electronic device and typing with your thumbs, you can imagine that the world is digital, and see nothing else. I think it’s time for people to wake up from this digital dream and look at the world as it really is. And FILM is a part of that world, an important part that should not and cannot be overlooked.
It’s too easy to say that digital is the be-all and end-all of film capture and preservation. No one can say with a certainty if that is true or not. We have only a limited time with this technology, but more than 125 years of film. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, there is room in this world for both photochemical and digital technology, not only to co-exist, but to support each other, and be good friends.
Now, I’d like my readers to check out the Ferrania campaign on Kickstarter, and if you feel kinship to film, please take some time to make a donation, and let your like-minded friends know about what Ferrania is trying to do. They are one of the last best hopes for film. (sorry Ted about that play on words). Here’s the link: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/filmferrania/100-more-years-of-analog-film