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The concept of "retro-ing" Film Stocks


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#1 Macks Fiiod

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 06:49 PM

Throughout many industries, the concept of "retro" has permeated all of them to an extent. Pepsi with "throwback" cans, Jordan brand releasing "retro'd" designs, or Nintendo constantly re-releasing and promoting their games from the 80's.

 

If the company isn't pushing it, you'll find a population of consumers who want it anyway. Even on this forum I see many threads with people asking "How do I get this 70's look?" with some of the answers stating certain looks are partially in the chemical make-up of the film stock.

 

I heard something about Kodak re-releasing Ektachrome in 8mm stock, but throughout the years certain film characteristics keep evolving. A motion picture from 1979 will have a slightly different look from a 1996 picture. Partially technique, partially chemical processing.

 

Aside from this Ektachrome re-release, has there ever been a serious push by filmmakers for Kodak to reproduce stock from 1995? 1983? And so on? Solely for the look of an era?

 

Is there a reason this would or would not be feasible?

 

Thanks.


Edited by Macks Fiiod, 22 April 2017 - 06:50 PM.

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 07:07 PM

The fact that it hasn't happened is probably your answer, you can't retool a factory to make a batch of film to serve one production and hope to make a return on the investment.
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#3 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 April 2017 - 07:18 PM

Kodak did have some low-contrast stocks that people like Harris Savides and Lance Accord used that had a softer look. The problem is that you can adjust contrast and saturation in a D.I. and it's not that hard to make a stock grainier, so there is less need for specialized stocks, and most people would be hard-pressed to see much difference between 1980s 5247 125T and modern 200T, especially if you monkey around in post with the look. These days, shooting on film at all is enough to give you a "retro" look.

Honestly I think you are putting too much emphasis on the color negative stocks... if you shot a roll of 5295 from the late 1980s, I think you'd not notice much of a distinct look. The chunkier, more random grain before T-grains is an aspect of the stocks before 1990 but it's not something that screams out at you compared to the grain of push-processed Vision-3 stock.

I think it's the more extremely different-looking film processes that would be nice to find a way to bring back in some form, things like 3-strip Technicolor and dye transfer prints, Kodachrome, 1940s Agfacolor, etc.
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#4 Karim D. Ghantous

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Posted 23 April 2017 - 11:21 PM

I do recall that Kodak had the intention of producing small batches of old stocks. That was a few years ago and they may have abandoned that plan. I think what David said in his second comment makes sense.

 

IMHO I would try and find (or make, as sometimes happens) filters that subtly affect the image in the way that I want. I have no experience with filters, but imagine experimenting with Ultra-con, diffusion, saturation and correction filters etc. If you combine that with multiple internegative and interpositive options, lenses, teleconverters, pre-development, chemistry etc, you have a very diverse set of tools. In theory. :-)


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