Re: Kodachrome dies quietly in its sleep

From: Timoleon Wilkins (email suppressed)
Date: Fri Mar 03 2006 - 07:47:03 PST

>Dies quietly!!!!???
>Where have you been for months!?

I was referring to the fact that Kodak didn't announce K-40 16mm, it simply
disappeared from the catalog, without flourish. Now Kodachrome as a motion
picture film is really gone, the Super 8 got a lot more attention, but this
is really "it".

Also, since I'm here, I'll post my interchange with Kodak:

"John Pytlak copied me in on his e-mail to you regarding the KODACHROME 40
Movie Film 7270. We still have some quantities of the 16mm x 100ft product
(catalog # 140-2494) in stock. The KODACHROME film has been discontinued,
however, and when the last of that inventory is gone, that's it. Our
EKTACHROME 100D Color Reversal Film 7285 has replaced this film. The
catalog # for the 16mm x 100ft rolls is 893-6619. I hope this information
is helpful."
(--from Kathryn Mazza at Kodak)

"Dear Tim:
Right now, the 7285 would be the reversal film of choice:
As you know, E64T is available in Super-8, but for 16mm, most prefer
the 7285 for it's "look".
No plans for a reversal print film, as most 16mm and Super-16 now gets
transferred/scanned for video release or blow-up to 35mm.
Why are you "committed" to reversal? Is it the "look"? Do you do your
own cutting of the camera original, and are concerned about the care
needed to properly handle negative film? What is your final display
16mm? Video? 35mm print?
There's a whole new world of great Kodak VISION2 color negative films
waiting to be explored.
And Forde does a great job with these too!"
(—From John Pytlak)

John, As a poverty filmmaker I prefer to edit camera original, then
sometimes make a print when/if I finish a film. I've been happy with the
7272 interneg. color-pos combo, more so than 7399 prints, but it would be
better to have a decent reversal print stock. (I won't even mention the
insanity of discontinuing 7361 for B&W!) I like the option of projecting
original, having projected Kodachrome, Ektachrome, Tri-X and Plus-X Reversal
on my Kodak Pageants and Bolex projectors hundreds of times without
incident. It's not a problem to also have films that exist only as
original, this is also a nice option, and I like the sense of uniqueness
when I screen an original. Digital, except perhaps for sound mixing, is not
interesting to me--it seems to negate all the reasons I work with moving
images in the first place, this is personal, and I don't have a clear reason
for it other than it simply feels wrong (it goes beyond the presentation of
the image--its in the cutting, in the shooting, in working with my hands
with the film strips). And I'm only in my 30's, so I've lived with film's
death rattles all my adult life, am computer literate, not too old to learn
new methods: but, I CHOOSE projected film, knowing that there are all these
other options available to me. Workprint from color neg or B&W neg (let
alone transferred to any video format) does not approach the depth of color,
mood, subtlety of projected reversal original (Kodak should know this, but I
realize it's a business with product to sell after all and not everyone is
such a 'gourmet' observer of film. The public probably doesn't even care
about the difference, but since when should public apathy dictate artistic
choices? This seems like a fundamental and disturbing shift in culture at
large, that is, no longer trusting in those with hard won experience). I
would shoot and cut color neg, and you're right, the stocks are very nice,
but since I require a workprint, it essentially doubles the cost per roll
(isn't that reason enough?) The question becomes in my eyes, how much is
Kodak responding to a market, and how much is it actually creating a
declining market, rather than trying to educate and promote film. Having
more options creates excitement for film, eliminating options only gives
filmmakers the confirmation they need to start originating electronically.
I am barely a cog in this wheel, I'll never afford enough film to make a
real difference to your company, the best I hope for is being a messenger of
good will for film, an individual, idealistic voice in a confusing and
fragmented world. Thanks for listening.

For info on FrameWorks, contact Pip Chodorov at <email suppressed>.