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Wittner visiting Kodak report


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#1 Andries Molenaar

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 10:09 AM

Now a detailed report by mr and mrs Wittner in english with nice photos of the full
manufacturing process of Kodak S8 cartridges:
Wittner report in english

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Much better then these sour gripes on the format you see everywhere.
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#2 K Borowski

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 11:10 AM

That is an interesting articlel thanks.

I'm surprised they were surprised they'd be granted a tour. They probably ppurchase a significant percentage of the S8 Kodak slits each year, and are probably one of Eastman Kodak's biggest individual customers.
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#3 andy oliver

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 11:41 AM

great article, thanks for posting, but i'm a little confused, look here ? http://www.filmshoot...i...&Itemid=154 one of the threads mentions the plant is closing down...

Edited by andy oliver, 30 April 2009 - 11:43 AM.

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#4 Andries Molenaar

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Posted 30 April 2009 - 01:07 PM

great article, thanks for posting, but i'm a little confused, look here ? http://www.filmshoot...i...&Itemid=154 one of the threads mentions the plant is closing down...


Well, closure is not mentioned. :) If Kodak want to group film-packaging together they may have to move a few of the machines. That may require some heavy lifting. Or some disassembly and assembly.
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#5 Will Montgomery

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Posted 01 May 2009 - 11:09 AM

and are probably one of Eastman Kodak's biggest individual customers.


I doubt that. Perhaps in the Super 8 area but major studios and production companies out order them for one production probably.

Interesting that Kodak's empty Super 8 cartridges are listed in their catalog at $2.03 each. Since they are assembled by hand I wonder what the film component actually costs to produce. If Tri-x Super 8 costs ($11) I wonder what their margins are.
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#6 Jim Carlile

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Posted 03 May 2009 - 10:31 PM

This particular plant in Colorado is closing down at the end of the year. I think the article mentions it. Strange thing is, they've only been doing super 8 for a few years. Now it's going back to Rochester again-- (they say....) I'm sure it will, but the question is, how much?

Wittner buys lots of special orders with big minimums. It's interesting about the hand-made cartridges, they used to be made by machine.

Edited by Jim Carlile, 03 May 2009 - 10:34 PM.

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#7 K Borowski

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Posted 04 May 2009 - 05:15 AM

Interesting that Kodak's empty Super 8 cartridges are listed in their catalog at $2.03 each. Since they are assembled by hand I wonder what the film component actually costs to produce. If Tri-x Super 8 costs ($11) I wonder what their margins are.


I'm sure they make very little, or even use money on their S8 line. It is a starter product that they use to "hook" people on shooting film.
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#8 Michael Lehnert

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Posted 05 May 2009 - 08:05 AM

Motion Picture film production and packaging is being centralised now as originally intended in the 2005 road map of the MPI division (that re-developed large part of Rochester plant anyway). Windsor was never intended to be permanent. Rochester will be. All under one roof. Very nicve

Surprise by Wittner about the welcoming is largely due to their German backgriound. Anyone having had to deal with a German company or coming up with their request vis-a-vis a German company will no why they were astounded to be so welcome. Here in DE, you mostly get a could shoulder if not a "what the f##+ß do you want?" So this is purely socio-cultural. I was shocked how many doors open up here in London or last year in LA, coming from Germany.

Superb article, and hopefully (once more) stopping those scaremongers blurbing about the immediate demise of the format, or of film generally. It's just not going to happen.
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#9 Jim Carlile

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 01:56 AM

Unless people start buying more film, Kodak is going to reevaluate their line in Rochester this fall, and they will start cutting back.

One reason they were so accomodating to Wittner is that they know that these companies will continue to slit and pack super 8 film if they begin to drop out of the business, and they will continue to buy more bulk film.

They were feeling out Wittner as much as Wittner was scoping out them. Rest assured that there was a post-visit meeting to evaluate where Wittner was coming from, and that these observations will be incorporated in future decisions.

What is this 2005 road map?
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#10 Andries Molenaar

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Posted 07 May 2009 - 07:45 AM

Unless people start buying more film, Kodak is going to reevaluate their line in Rochester this fall, and they will start cutting back.

One reason they were so accomodating to Wittner is that they know that these companies will continue to slit and pack super 8 film if they begin to drop out of the business, and they will continue to buy more bulk film.

They were feeling out Wittner as much as Wittner was scoping out them. Rest assured that there was a post-visit meeting to evaluate where Wittner was coming from, and that these observations will be incorporated in future decisions.

What is this 2005 road map?



This is just a bunch of assumed conspiracy arguments.
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#11 Jim Carlile

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Posted 09 May 2009 - 01:33 AM

Of course that's what they were doing. Kodak is in business. They're feeling out where people are at. And if sales continue to fall, they will re-evaluate their super 8 offerings.

I'm sure they are extremely interested in 3rd-party repackagings, because they'd much rather supply the raw stock and have someone else do the specialty work these days. If Kodak is really hand-making the cartridges, that means it's a limited business for them, and they'd love to be out of it.

Also, the article claims that film schools use super 8. Where? Not any more-- art schools maybe, but I don't know of any actual career-oriented film school that still uses it.

Edited by Jim Carlile, 09 May 2009 - 01:34 AM.

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#12 Terry Mester

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Posted 07 June 2009 - 09:57 PM

Now a detailed report by mr and mrs Wittner in english with nice photos of the full
manufacturing process of Kodak S8 cartridges: ...

Hi Andries,
Could you explain a bit more about the following quote from the Report? Is there a person involved in inserting the Roll of Film into the Cartridge, and loading the Film through to the Take-up Reel?

Report Quote:
"Each 50-foot /15.25m roll of film is rolled up at lightening speed and full automation. At the same time, one cartridge after another is removed from the magazine. All of the film gets the usual end stamp and "Exposed" imprint. The other end of the film is pressed on to the winding core of the cartridge. Meanwhile, successive cartridges are opened in the central loading unit of the machine, the roll of film inserted, and the film is fed into the cartridge, which is then closed up again and sealed against the light. After this, the notches (for the light meter and daylight filter if required) are stamped on. The filled and tightly sealed cartridges leave the machine on a conveyor belt to be gathered into magazines for transport. All of this happens as part of a continuous process, controlled by a complex guidance and control system, much of it pneumatic and some of it driven by small electric motors and countless sensors and diagnostic units. The cartridges are filled at a rate of 10 per minute, making 600 an hour. This trusty piece of equipment can turn out quite a few in a single shift."
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#13 Andries Molenaar

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 10:19 AM

Hmm, why do you ask me? I wasn't there nor do I work with Wittner or Kodak. I merely pointed to the article of interest.

There are now far more pictures. If you click one you get a larger picture and you can advance it as in a slideshow.

I am not a native speaker of english but the description clearly describres a very large machine which fills cartridges fully automaticly. The cartridges are prepared by hand and set in a large container which can be connected to the machine. All visible in the pictures.
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#14 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 08 June 2009 - 11:34 AM

Of course that's what they were doing. Kodak is in business. They're feeling out where people are at. And if sales continue to fall, they will re-evaluate their super 8 offerings.

I'm sure they are extremely interested in 3rd-party repackagings, because they'd much rather supply the raw stock and have someone else do the specialty work these days. If Kodak is really hand-making the cartridges, that means it's a limited business for them, and they'd love to be out of it.

Also, the article claims that film schools use super 8. Where? Not any more-- art schools maybe, but I don't know of any actual career-oriented film school that still uses it.

Kodak is a film company first. Since the use of film has been shrinking, so has the company. They are just condensing their facilities. Whether it's 35mm motion picture, stills, or super 8... it's still being used to some extent. It can be handled with one decent facility as opposed to the world wide empire of the past. If they get out of the film business, they may as well not be at all.
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#15 Bengt Freden

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Posted 20 June 2009 - 06:57 AM

Thank you, Andries!

For posting a link to this incredibly interesting and enligthening article by Claudia and Daniel Wittner.
I know abot the Wittner love and commitment to the small gauge film formats, having bought pro grade Super 8 equipment from them in the past and I think they are doing a wonderful job. Their offering of slit double Super 8 emulsions is a welcome initiative for us in Europe.

I think this actually sounds extremely promising. Kodak still embraces film as a high quality medium, and as long as Super16 has as many professional followers as it does at the moment, Super 8mm will be there on the bandwagon, too.

It isn´t that long ago that Kodak introduced professional Vision2 negative film stock in Super 8 cartridges, and recently, they introduced the new fine-grained Vision3 500T emulsion in Super 8 as well. Who knows wat the future brings - perhaps 50D and the new Vision3 250D daylight negative stocks in Super 8 cartridges?

I see a positive trend in Super 8 filmmaking that is incredible these days, considering the digital world around us. And I was there in the mid 70s, making films, when we didn´t have the professional negative stocks. It was all Kodachrome 40A, Plus-X and Tri-X reversal then, with no HD telecine, just plain hands-on cutting, splicing and editing and analogue projection. Hell, there weren´t even PCs before 1984.

Now we have great a number of exciting new fim stocks and a growing interest in HD telecine, frame by frame scanning, the Super16 and new exciting Ultra16 widescreen formats - what more can you want? So, don´t whine so much about the future demise of Super 8 or small gauge film - instead, go out there and make some independent films while you still can!


Thanks again, Andries!

Best regards,
Bengt in Stockholm ;)

Edited by Bengt Freden, 20 June 2009 - 07:00 AM.

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