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Kodak 5207 stock - 'Optimized for India'


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#1 Rajavel Olhiveeran

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Posted 14 June 2009 - 04:22 AM

Hi all
was there for the launch of the new Vision 3 5207 in India...wonderful stock...saw the showreel and the various
technical comparisons. But thro the presentation of specs..there was something under 'contrast and saturation'...
it said 'optimised for India'... didnt understand wat it meant...how can a universal stock be optimised for a country...
does that mean that if i take that stock to another country to shoot..i wont be getting optimal output of the stock?????

or was it purely a dialogue...optimised for Sales!! :)....
when i tried asking them...a very senior DP told me that it would be obv a sales pitch ..and dont bother!
Wondering wat the mystic truth behind the 'Optimised for India'....
can anyone representing Kodak here solve the mystery!!
thanks
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#2 Tony Brown

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Posted 14 July 2009 - 02:13 PM

Maybe it in someway compensates for the terrible processing I've experienced in Mumbai....

:rolleyes:
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#3 Rajavel Olhiveeran

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 04:24 AM

well....there are extremes in India...the best as well as the worst processing houses...under the right guidance
u could have made use of the best processing house. sad u have had a bad experience.
take care. cheers
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#4 K Borowski

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 07:02 AM

well....there are extremes in India...the best as well as the worst processing houses...under the right guidance
u could have made use of the best processing house. sad u have had a bad experience.
take care. cheers


There are extremes in any country, but I disagree with you that India has the best processing. I would say that distinction definitely falls to some of the labs in the United States of America. Consider that Eastman Kodak invented and standardized the ECN-2 process, and coats and manufactures all the chemistry here.

The best lab is the one they use to process their own control strips and tests. Not sure if that is an in-house operation or they turn to an outside source for that. I believe they use a lab in NYC to do the testing of all their new stocks.

I'd say that is one of the best in the world.

IDK why, low wages, improper following of guidelines, but I have heard bad stories about Mexican labs, European labs, and Indian labs.

There are things done with ECN-2 film in some of the stories I've heard that sound like crap I've seen done in one hour photos. Mixing the wrong chemicals in the wrong tanks, using unfiltered water, crap like that would never be tolerated on a multi-million dollar production for a second.


So, if you say India has both the best and worst labs though, you really ought provide some examples of the best and the worst in your experience rather than just giving a generic statement.

I'm sure you're right that there have got to be at least a few good labs in every country where motion picture processing is provided, India being no exception.
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#5 Rajavel Olhiveeran

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 12:35 PM

well......the company that is offering the film to the world (kodak)...themselves have their own lab set up in here and moreover they have linked up with
various other labs and have set up the Kodak standardised Kit Chemistry processing (which is monitored and approved by Kodak itself).
If Kodak themselves cant maintain their standard across the globe then who can.
But other than that there is a lab called Prasad Lab, which in my experience have consistently been doing quality work
and infact are the best in the industry. I have worked on a film called 'GURU' (hindi) directed by Manirathnam and Photographed by
Rajiv Menon which was a world wide release ..was infact processed and printed in Prasad Lab. May be if u had seen that film on the
theatres u might have been able to judge it for urself.
And karl what were the projects u have worked on personally have been processed in Indian labs....or have u watched any latest Indian
films on theatre from which u could decipher the quality of processing.
it will be a wealth of knowledge for me if u could share ur personal experience with us.
thanks. cheers!
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#6 John Carreon

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 01:03 PM

I would say that distinction definitely falls to some of the labs in the United States of America.

F*$# Yeah!!! America is the best!!! And if you do have a good lab over there we will blow it up...or accidentally blow up the innocent people's house next to it...

'Merca Rocks!!!
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#7 K Borowski

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 02:07 PM

No offense, but if you guys are honestly saying that an Indian Lab or Mexican lab is doing as good a job as Technicolor, you are huffing glue.

John, if you want to subtly imply that Americans are all a bunch of vaginas, and that I drive around in a pickup truck and own a shotgun, you had best be more subtle than you were. I, for one, don't pronounce it "Merkin", sorry :)

I am not saying America is the best at everything. There may be a Japanese lab that gives us a run for our money, but yes I have seen film processed in Mexico and India. This is why I stick to NYC and Detroit for all of my processing. If you want to say American cars suck, even though that is all I personally would ever buy, you are right. But in terms of the film industry, America is absolutely, no doubt the best, same with music, television, really any form of entertainment.

Japan and America, with the commonwealth countries like the UK & Australia not far behind produce the best motion picture processing results in the world PERIOD

Just basic things like avoiding dust and scratches seem outside the abilities of Mexican and Indian labs. I was shocked to see a movie on Univision with visible scratches on the telecine'd product, from 2001 no less!


So yeah, I do consider myself qualified to judge the results, as I have seen them all in theatres and on TV.
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#8 Stephen Williams

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 02:42 PM

The best lab I ever used was the Kodak approved lab in Athens.
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#9 Tony Brown

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 03:21 PM

Karl.... I think Johns tongue was rather obviously, firmly, in cheek....
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#10 Rajavel Olhiveeran

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 03:38 PM

well guys.... u should read the thread back what i was trying to tell Mr.Tony....as in he could have got access to the best lab in industry in India.....am sure
it wouldnt have been a terrible processing experience...i wasnt trying to compare it with any of the best in the world. ofcourse i understand the present scenario of
America being one of the best in the world filmmaking, atleast technically (though they might not be the best in the world in creating soulful cinema)....
i wasnt trying to defend anything in the patriotic manner....ofcourse given a budget i would get my film processed in the best of the labs in the world......wouldnt
be doing it in India....and as Karl said may be in Technicolor....
am here in this forum as a Cinematographer a technician , born in a different land with great passion for filmmaking.........but to see crude attitude like John Carreon's ..sucks...i dont want to stoop to such low levels arguing with such hollow attitude.....
well coming back to my chain of thought...i really wish the best of labs in India gets better ......having Japanese and American labs as their aspiration....
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#11 Brad Grimmett

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 09:37 PM

But in terms of the film industry, America is absolutely, no doubt the best, same with music, television, really any form of entertainment.

Dealing in absolutes is a dangerous thing, and almost certain to be proved wrong at some point. It also has a very good chance of rubbing people the wrong way.
I think we as Americans should say, "America is the best" much less often and instead try to concentrate on being better.
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#12 Charles MacDonald

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 09:46 PM

Dealing in absolutes is a dangerous thing, and almost certain to be proved wrong at some point. It also has a very good chance of rubbing people the wrong way.
I think we as Americans should say, "America is the best" much less often and instead try to concentrate on being better.

Those of us outside the USA are used to seeing americans with that attitude. Jackie Gleason did a movie about that once, where he made such a fuss in the place he was visiting that he had to be rescued by the "U S Air Force" (although if you looked closely the plane had a Canadian registration number on it)
Normally a credibility factor is applied to such statements, although I am afraid that some Americans actually do think that they are in some way better at some things than the rest of the world.
Now lets back back to the topic, I wonder if the "made for India" statement was based on the high amount of film that is used by the Indian movie industry, probably more than in both Canada and the US put together.
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#13 Saul Rodgar

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 11:00 PM

US-centrism is really one of the worst aspects of US life. Obviously, not everyone here in the States is like that, but certainly one encounters the America-love-it-or-leave-it crowd sure and soon enough. There are some peeps who simply cannot fathom that things can be better, or as good, elsewhere without feeling treasonous or something. That do-or-die US-centrism was rampant here in the US post 9-11 and the leading up to the Iraq war _and see where it got us.
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#14 K Borowski

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Posted 15 July 2009 - 11:00 PM

Let me say it again: America has the best film processing in the world today.

That isn't arrogant, it is, more or less, fact.


As far as this country in general, we are probably the worst at many many things too.


If you want to take my actions as arrogant, broad-sweeping, and narrow-minded, that is up to each of you to decide, but I stand by what I said, and I have seen the labs to prove it.
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#15 Dominic Case

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 04:36 AM

America has the best film processing in the world today.

Karl, I know ( I hope ) you are just being provocative. But your statement actually says very little. All you are saying is that the best processing lab in the world today is in America. Out of all the - what is it, a couple of dozen - labs in the US, you are saying that one is better than anywhere else - in your experience. It seems you are taking Mexico and India as your sample of the rest of the world.

No-one can escape a biassed view in this, but in the 30 years I have worked in processing labs, mostly in Australia, I've seen very good and very bad work out of labs here, and I've seen some truly embarrassingly bad work out of US labs - as well as very good work.

But in terms of the film industry, America is absolutely, no doubt the best, same with music, television, really any form of entertainment.

Well of course it is if that is what you are brought up on. Personally I rarely watch an American film: if you want me to generalise, I think the French do the best cinema at the moment. US stuff is technically dazzling, but that's a lot to do with the amount of money that is thrown at it. As for music, I don't listen to much written in the last 100 years, though Gustav Mahler did turn out a couple of good pieces while he was in New York :P. Television - American the best? How much non-US TV do you get to see in the US? Here in Australia, at least half our TV is non-Australian, which means we can make a fair comparison - and personally, I'd rate British TV well above American TV.

But those things all depend on personal taste.
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#16 K Borowski

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 07:25 PM

Karl, I know ( I hope ) you are just being provocative. But your statement actually says very little. All you are saying is that the best processing lab in the world today is in America. Out of all the - what is it, a couple of dozen - labs in the US, you are saying that one is better than anywhere else - in your experience. It seems you are taking Mexico and India as your sample of the rest of the world.


You're right, that is all I am saying, that the U.S. has the best lab(s) in the world, not that all of our labs are good. And with, only a couple of dozen labs it is far easier to make a comparison than with, say car-washes or restaurants.

I would say that, overall, Indian, Mexican labs are probably bottom-of-the-barrel, both from the horror stories I've heard and from the footage I've seen on TV.


We are talking about solely technical production values here, of course, right?

I was always a big fan of "Farscape" and that was an Australian show shot on SD video no less, or am I thinking of NZ? Stories can certainly make up for a lack of production value, but if everyone wants the polish, and the polish costs more money, let's not be angry that American shows are disproportionately well-funded, that support a chain of superbly-run top-of-the-line labs. I'm sure this trend will not last forever though, if that is any consolation to those of you abroad.

Edited by Karl Borowski, 16 July 2009 - 07:27 PM.

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#17 Dominic Case

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 07:46 PM

I was always a big fan of "Farscape" and that was an Australian show shot on SD video no less, or am I thinking of NZ?

There you go again! Australia? New Zealand? Or was it South Africa? Somewhere down there, they all seem the same. Perhaps Austria.

You Canadians are all as bad as each other :P

(Apologies to those north of the Great Lakes, I'm sure you'll understand ;) )

Oh, btw Farscape was made in Australia.
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#18 K Borowski

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Posted 16 July 2009 - 09:11 PM

There you go again! Australia? New Zealand? Or was it South Africa? Somewhere down there, they all seem the same. Perhaps Austria.

You Canadians are all as bad as each other :P

(Apologies to those north of the Great Lakes, I'm sure you'll understand ;) )

Oh, btw Farscape was made in Australia.


Well, just to be fair, a lot of people don't know that the X-Files was made in Vancouver, Canada, so the same thing DOES happen here.

It's not as if I mix up Australians and Kiwis when it comes to whose country is whose.
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#19 Mike Williamson

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Posted 23 July 2009 - 01:04 AM

The phrase "optimized for India" is 1) definitely a sales pitch, and 2) probably meant to refer to having a better balance in skin tones.

As I understand it, in the past Kodak has optimized skin tones for Caucasian skin which lead to more red saturated flesh tones in previous lines of stocks (EXR for example). I think what they're advertising with 5207 is a more neutral tonal scale especially related to skin tones, presumably rendering Indian skin tones better (or more accurately or neutrally) than in the past. I remember reading something about an older film stock that Kodak created for the India market which was balanced more towards a yellow fleshtone rather than red, but I have absolutely no idea where or if it was still or motion picture.
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