Archive for June, 2009

Goodbye Kodachrome

Wednesday, June 24th, 2009

I came across this article that made me a little sad. Kodachrome is my favorite film of all time.


Here’s the article by Scott:


By Scott Simmons of Studio Daily

Real film lovers of the world probably shed a tear today as Kodak announced the retirement of KODACHROME film. From a moving image standpoint Kodak discontinued Kodachrome Super 8mm stock back in 2005 which wasn’t a real surprise. Super 8 is only shot these days for that specific look and feel and for those film people who really want to be nostalgic. I bought a Super 8 camera from a yard sale a few years ago that was in very good shape. I never shot a frame since the cost to buy, process and transfer the stuff properly just wasn’t worth the $$. The film-lover in my soul sank as I proceeded to shoot on DV and apply lots of film-like flashes and edge fog.

One paragraph that stuck out to me in the Kodak press release was this:

While Kodak now derives about 70% of its revenues from commercial and consumer digital businesses, it is the global leader in the film business.

It’s amazing to think how a global leader in the film market could see such a shift in their core business. I guess it goes to show that no matter how much better film really is, be it still or motion picture, the added cost really isn’t worth the benefit for many most.

But film as an acquisition medium for motion pictures is not dead yet. There will always be the those who insist on shooting it as long as Kodak and Fuji make it. And it will always be gorgeous with a dynamic range that digital has yet to reproduce. A Kodak rep was recently in the office talking about 2-perf (as in 2-perforation) 35mm film as a new format to nearly cut the cost of shooting film in half. At least in half from shooting 4-perf. Not a bad idea but 2-perf isn’t new, it’s been around for many years. I guess it’s just a matter of Kodak beginning to push it more and more as film is shot less and less. Here’s some 2-perf discussion if you are interested: Is 2-Perf the new 3-Perf?, Panavision Proposes 2-Perf Film System for Indie Filmmaking, Film at Half the Price, 2Perf – the film format for the digital chain (pdf link). You can’t just shoot 2-perf on any film camera as they have to be modified but some are available.

But I digress … goodbye Kodachrome (I will not insert a Paul Simon pun). My dad shot a whole lot of stills on you over the years. For reflection here’s a nice little 4 minute You Tube video about the “end of Super 8 Kodachrome film processing.”

Power in a cup: How to help your java help you make better edits!

Tuesday, June 9th, 2009



Silly as this subject may seem, a good cup of coffee, can keep an editor focused, motivated, and creative in late night sessions. When you are getting tired in a late night edit session, the best thing to do is work out. Do some isometrics or go out side for 5 minutes per hour and do pushups and jumping jacks. But if you’re like me,  you might be a little more on the lazy side once the sun goes down. So I rely on the stimulant that has been proven in battle (and on truck routes) for the ages: a good ol’ cup o’ joe. Of course, don’t forget to lay off the sugary foods or you will be crashing hard by the time you load your next tape to digitize.

A great cup of coffee is way more effective at keeping the editor happy than a crappy cup of coffee. So here’s my recipe for a great cup of coffee:

1) Make really fresh coffee!! I mean, fresh, so that when you pour it into the cup, it has only been brewed less than 2 minutes.

2) Superheat your mug prior to pouring the coffee. This is best done by having the cup sit with boiling water in it during the time the coffee is brewing.  The cup has to be super hot so that the coffee will stay hot and fresh longer, making it take longer to drink. This also has the effect of spreading out the caffeine intake over a longer period of time … which has the effect of a gradual boost in alertness and an equally gradual coming down period hours later. Plus, the pure delight of a piping cup of great coffee lasts longer and makes you a happier editor.

3) Don’t put too much crap in your coffee. Only use milk or half and half. No artificial creamers. Coffee has an amazing property of the flavor being changed by chemical reaction upon contact with the milk molecules. In other words, a cup of coffee with a mere teaspoon of cream tastes 100 percent different than black coffee. Too much dairy will counter act the caffeine effectiveness.  Also, make sure the milk/cream is pre-heated before putting it into the fresh coffee. How do you preheat it? Be your normal resourceful editor self.

4) Never use those plug-in coffee warmers that you set your mug on like a coaster. Those things continue to keep the coffee artificially warm which is tantamount to leaving it cooking at the coffee maker. After 5 minutes of heating cooked coffee, it turns disgusting.

And that’s it. Sometimes the small things are just as important as the cut. Because let’s face it, what kind of creativity can you bring to a project when it’s late at night and you are feeling like a zombie?