Wednesday, December 15, 2010

The End of Kodachrome


On December 31st, you will no longer be able to have Kodachrome film developed. The very last lab in the U.S. to process this iconic film is Dwayne’s Photo in Parsons, Kansas. Kodak discontinued the sales of Kodachrome awhile back. This is very sad. The clarity, saturation and longevity of this process is legendary. You can read Eastman Kodak's press release here. Kodak Professional Ektachrome100G and EKTAR 100 Film are still available and claim to possess similar qualities to Kodachrome, but Paul Simon didn't write a song about Ektachrome!
Last Saturday Larry took me to The Attack of the 50 Foot Reels Holiday Party at the Echo Park Film Center Annex in Glendale. Flicker Los Angeles is a group focused on giving Super 8 filmmakers an outlet and forum for their short films. Here's how the festival works:

Each filmmaker chooses one roll (50 feet) of KODAK Super 8 film. Tri-x (black & white) Plus-x (black & white) Ektachrome (color) Vision 200 (color negative) Vision 500 (color negative). The filmmakers shoot their films in order, in other words, all editing and cuts that are made, are made IN CAMERA. There are no splicers used. To make sure of this, the filmmakers turn in their "unprocessed" film to Flicker. Flicker hands the film over to Yale film and video for processing. The films are then transferred at Yale to digital video for viewing on the large Egyptian screen. The films are transferred for best color and contrast - NO EDITS or CUTS are made within the content of the film. The filmmakers give flicker their music, soundtrack, soundscape which will be original scores created for their film. The sound is started with the first picture, so if it works it works. It's all up in the air, like life, everyday a surprise. You never know what you're going to get. And that's the way it is with the daring and nervous filmmakers awaiting this year's ATTACK OF THE 50 FOOT REELS!

We arrived a bit late to the holiday party, where they showed examples of Kodachrome films and slides, so we didn't see many of the offerings, but we managed to catch a few gems.


We saw a film about the historic dances by the Native Americans of New Mexico, a U.S. Army training film about applying camouflage make-up for the jungle and someone's wedding reception in the late 1950's. The color and vivid images of these films were startling!

camouflage make-up for jungle use
1950's wedding reception

Larry brought a couple dozen slides that he took of the old Spanish Kitchen on Beverly Blvd. before it was vandalized in the mid-1980's. There were many myths surrounding the closing of the once famous Spanish Kitchen. The real story is here. Larry's slides are fantastic. I must have him scan them so I can show them to you!
Flicker L.A. is a cool group. You should definitely check out their calendar, as well as the event schedule for the American Cinematheque!

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8 Comments:

At 4:08 PM PST, Anonymous Jo Anne said...

Ah, so you went to the Kodachrome party! I thought you were going to hang out and then go to dinner. I am sure it was quite interesting.

I went to knit last night and have decided that I am going to start knitting again. Let's see how long that one lasts.

Thanks for all your postings all year long. Happy Holidays and I will see you in the New Year!!

 
At 6:09 PM PST, Blogger Beth McDermott Oliver said...

A Kodachrome party - who knew that in 2010 it would be a retro party.

 
At 6:09 PM PST, Blogger Beth McDermott Oliver said...

A Kodachrome party - who knew that in 2010 it would be a retro party.

 
At 7:52 AM PST, Blogger gale (she shoots sheep shots) said...

Oh I can't tell you how much I love this, I would have enjoyed that gathering! How cool. I still have some pre-paid Kodachrome mailers knocking around my office, guess I'd better toss them before you see me on Hoarders.

 
At 7:29 AM PST, Blogger Susan Dilger said...

Very cool, Ellen.... And I loved the story on The Spanish Kitchen. We loved driving by there when we lived in LA and of course always speculated on the mystery.

 
At 11:06 AM PST, Blogger woolanthropy said...

So sad about the kodachrome. The super eights look awesome.

 
At 7:19 AM PST, Anonymous Katie said...

Such a great article it was which the filmmakers give flicker their music, soundtrack, soundscape which will be original scores created for their film. The sound is started with the first picture, so if it works it works. Thanks for sharing this article.

 
At 8:17 AM PST, Anonymous Steve said...

Nice post you have there in which film about the historic dances by the Native Americans of New Mexico, a U.S. Army training film about applying camouflage make-up for the jungle and someone's wedding reception.It was great event , Thanks for sharing this information

 

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