[Frameworks] in support of Josh Rushton at FotoKem

From: Mark Toscano (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Aug 18 2010 - 14:42:47 PDT

Hi folks,

I sent this email out to a bunch of folks individually, but realized there may be filmmakers and archivists (etc.) on this list who have had great experiences with FotoKem master timer Josh Rushton, who was laid off (for budgetary reasons) last week. Apparently it may actually help if enough people lodge their complaints with the lab against this decision.

The email I initially sent out privately is below, along with the emails of the higher-ups at FotoKem who would have some say in reversing the decision. Bottom line is that Josh is an excellent, sensitive, thoughtful, and creative timer, and an extremely efficient and dependable one too. He's been at it for about 30 years, and knows 16mm pos-neg and reversal film very subtly and deeply, and his layoff is a major loss at the lab. He really has the understanding, patience, and openness to tackle all kinds of jobs, from the most conventional to the most oddball, as well as all the unusual archival problems that come up. I hope, if you're a FotoKem customer, and particularly if you've had a good experience with Josh, you'll take a few minutes to write the five people listed below. There are too few people left who are as capable in this area as Josh, and I feel like we can't afford to lose him, if at all possible. Thanks for reading!


Hi folks,

I think all of you are familiar with Josh Rushton, long-time FotoKem timer. Some of you may have heard that Josh just got laid off from the lab as part of a larger layoff across various departments there.

[you can skip this paragraph if you already don't need convincing that Josh's job is worth trying to save:] In my preservation and restoration work, I've had the extreme pleasure of working with Josh on dozens of projects, and was devastated by this news. I understand the myriad reasons that go into laying staff off, but because of his particular expertise in and sensitivity to contemporary and historical 16mm filmmaking in particular, the loss of Josh is a massive one. He understands how reversal film looks, and is sensitive to the idea that not all films strive to appear identical. He's also timed some of my own films beautifully. He's come up with some great solutions to difficult timing and printing problems. Betzy Bromberg tells me it was also Josh that has kept after the techs at the lab to keep their machines running cleanly and precisely. I also consider him very friendly, thoughtful, intelligent, and curious about the projects I give him,
 and he handled even the most difficult projects with ingenuity and patience. And I gave him some really hard stuff to work on! He is simply one of my favorite timers I've ever worked with, and is one of the main reasons I've been doing so much 16mm (and 35mm) work with FotoKem for the past few years.

I wrote a personal note of protest to some of the higher-ups at FotoKem to express my extreme disappointment that they let Josh go, as did Betzy Bromberg, who has also come to rely on Josh's understanding and expertise for her own films. But we were thinking that, even if it only has a small chance of changing their minds, it would be worth asking as many people as possible who appreciated Josh's work to write a quick plea to FotoKem to try to get his job back.

I was thinking of pre-writing something that people could just send with their name on it, but it would be MUCH better if you could write something in your own words, even the briefest protest, and mail it to FotoKem directly. I know it's a lot to ask, especially with so much other garbage going on in the world, but I hope you'll find the few minutes needed to do it.

Here are the folks to write to (per Jerry Roskilly):

Bob Roskilly, Walt Rose, Jerry Roskilly, Dan Muscarella, and Bob Semmer

and here are their email addresses:

email suppressed
email suppressed
email suppressed
email suppressed
email suppressed

***And PLEASE pass this on to as many folks as you know that have used FotoKem and may have worked with Josh. I just sent this to the people I could think of off the top of my head, and I know I'm missing tons of other folks.***

thanks for reading,

Mark Toscano
(writing on behalf of himself)

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