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K40 Makes The New York Times


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#1 xoct

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Posted 31 May 2005 - 09:01 PM

May 31, 2005
'Kodak, Don't Take My Kodachrome'
By SPENCER MORGAN

Paul Simon sang about it. Film students shot on it. Now, advocates are
signing up to save Kodachrome, or at least its Super 8 motion-picture
version, a 1965 technology that the Eastman Kodak Company would very
much like to do without.

Earlier this month, Kodak, based in Rochester, N.Y., delivered a shock
to experimental, underground and just plain old-fashioned filmmakers
when - one day after a May 8 celebration called Global Super 8 Day - it
announced plans to discontinue its low-speed, fine-grained Kodachrome
Super 8 film in favor of a new Ektachrome Super 8 product.

For those caught up on the digital revolution, the announcement was
easily missed. But to film geeks around the world, Kodak might as well
have declared the death of color.

"Kodachrome is larger than life," said Andrew Lampert, a filmmaker and
film archivist at the Anthology Film Archives in Manhattan. "Its colors
are brighter than your imagination's. And what's amazing is, the film
simply does not fade. It's irreplaceable."

Message boards hummed. An online petition materialized. Then, at the
Cannes Film Festival, a Kodak executive, Robert Mayson, agreed to a
meeting with Pip Chodorov, a principal member of Paris's thriving Super
8 filmmaking scene - the city is home to several Super 8 film festivals
- and the administrator of frameworks.com, one of a number of online
message boards dedicated to experimental film.

Mr. Chodorov, who also owns a video distribution company specializing
in experimental and independent film, said the company blinked, at
least a little. By his account, Mr. Mayson agreed that Kodak might
produce more Super 8 Kodachrome, if the format's enthusiasts can find a
way to process it. At present, the film is largely processed on a
money-losing basis at the Kodak laboratory in Switzerland - where Super
8 Kodachrome processing is scheduled to cease in December 2007. Mr.
Chodorov, in an telephone interview from Paris on Friday, said he now
plans to petition the French government for a grant to help with
processing.

He said he thought Mr. Mayson was "getting a lot of hate mail right
now," adding, "I see it as my job to help find a solution, not send
hate mail." Kodachrome Super 8 became a favorite thanks to the film's
complex emulsion, the gelatinous solution that helps capture an image.
It requires an elaborate developing process but produces striking,
unique colors and unparalleled archival virtues, making it a favorite
with Super 8 artists.

Kodachrome was the film of choice for avant-garde filmmakers like
Kenneth Anger and Jonas Mekas, who were renowned in the film world
though largely unknown outside it. A much larger population has most
likely seen the film's fine-grain quality and lurid pigments in the
form of old home movies. Indeed, the most famous image caught on
Kodachrome film was the assassination of President John F. Kennedy,
caught by Abraham Zapruder, a Dallas dressmaker who happened to be
wielding an 8-millimeter camera that day.

In the last 20 years, video has all but eclipsed Super 8's practical
use for amateur filmmakers and doting parents, who can now record
images on a high-definition digital video camera, feed the footage
directly onto a computer, edit it and e-mail it to a prospective
producer or the grandparents in Michigan.

Super 8 cameras and projectors are now the stuff of specialty shops,
eBay and flea markets, and Kodak alone continues to produce Super 8
film.

The company continues to produce Kodachrome in 16 millimeter and 35
millimeter formats, but it is discontinuing the Super 8 version largely
because a steadily declining market has made processing unprofitable.

While the market may be small and shrinking, its constituents are
passionate about their art. Small theaters in cities around the
country, including Anthology Film Archives Millennium Film Workshop in
New York, still regularly play Super 8 films. And when a theater isn't
available, a white wall and a projector will suffice.

"I just showed one of my films at a small gallery out in Williamsburg,"
said Stephanie Gray, a 33-year-old filmmaker from Queens. "It was
actually the backroom of someone's apartment." Ms. Gray, who bought her
Super 8 camera for $25 at a flea market, said the medium lends itself
to a poetic, personal kind of filmmaking that cannot be achieved with
digital filmmaking. Judy Doherty, director of communications at Kodak's
entertainment imaging division, argued that such poetry is well within
reach of contemporary technology. If people are partial to shooting
Super 8, she said, they can simply transfer the film onto digital and
"achieve any kind of effect they want."

But enthusiasts contend that it simply isn't the same.

"When people started using synthesizers, we didn't throw out our
pianos," Ms. Gray said.

Copyright 2005 The New York Times Company
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#2 jeremy edge

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 01:17 AM

"When I think back
On all the crap I learned in high school
It's a wonder
I can think at all
And though my lack of education
Hasn't hurt me none
I can read the writing on the wall


Kodachrome
They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world's a sunny day
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama don't take my Kodachrome away


If you took all the girls I knew
When I was single
And brought them all together for one night
I know they'd never match
my sweet imagination
Everything looks worse in black and white


They give us those nice bright colors
They give us the greens of summers
Makes you think all the world's a sunny day
I got a Nikon camera
I love to take a photograph
So mama don't take my Kodachrome away"

lol !
Couldnt resist!!

Maybe Paul Simon should join the cause!!
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#3 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 01 June 2005 - 01:36 AM

Would be cool if a cable station would have a "Kodachrome contest" and air the top 100 music videos that use Kodachrome 40 and the Paul Simon Song.

Years ago MTV featured a not too well known Madonna song called "True Blue" and they showed several dozen, perhaps over a 100 music videos that were shot to that particular song.

Maybe Kodak could sponsor the music video contest to the Paul Simon Song and some up and coming cable station would air the Kodachrome music videos? :rolleyes:
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