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Idea For Kodak

Published : 31st August 2003


Hello everyone...

Once again, I was asked to think about using a roll of stock that was stored in a production companies freezer...It's a fairly new vision stock, but still I would love to find out when it was made. In the past, we have contacted Kodak to check out dates using the emulsion numbers, but this is a rather slow and usually unsuccessful attempt to determine age.

Wouldn't it be great if Kodak would offer a page on their website that one could access that would allow you to type in the emulsion number and check the actual production date!

This way, you could type in a series of numbers and be able to explore this without having to bother a Kodak employee and eat up long distance phone charges...

What do you think?

Cheers,
Jeff Barklage, s.o.c.
US based DP
www.barklage.com



>I was asked to think about using a roll of stock that was stored in a >production companies freezer...It's a fairly new vision stock, but…

Funny this should come up.

Just a few days ago I transferred some frozen stock I shot last year. Last year I pulled this mystery roll of film out of the deep freeze. After contacting John Pytlak and getting some emulsion #'s (thanks John), it turns out it was almost 15yrs old. And, as far as I can remember, it has been in a near ice block state - even thawed and refroze again when my fridge broke.

The stock was 7245. Before shooting with it, I shot a quick test and decided to rate it at 32ASA. The transfer looked absolutely stunning! The colourist and I were shocked at the fine detail and contrast. This was also the first time I shot with brand new Nikon SLR lenses( on an ACL), so this also had a lot to do with the image sharpness.

Now I never give up on stock (prior to my iceman experiment, I wasted 2 full 400ft rolls of the same stuff in a AC workshop. Mind you this is for telecine only, but heh, try freezing a videotape for 15 years...and so it goes.

Dave Luxton
Cinematographer
Edmonton, AB.



Jeff Barklage wrote:

>Wouldn't it be great if Kodak would offer a page on their website [.......] to >type in the emulsion number and check the actual production date!

Like the Budweiser, 'Born on Date'. Great idea for presents in the camera department as well - a roll of stock that shares your birthday

Tom Townend
Cinematographer/London.



Tom Townend wrote:

>Great idea for presents in the camera department as well

Actually, you should be able to register with Kodak (or Fuji) and get a complimentary case of your favourite emulsion each birthday...

Right, Kodak?

Jeff Kreines



Hi,

Wouldn't it be easier if they just printed the date of manufacture on the can? I mean, smack palm into forehead and say "duh.."

Phil Rhodes
Video camera/edit
London



>Actually, you should be able to register with Kodak (or Fuji) and get a >complimentary case of your favourite emulsion each birthday...

Good news is that Kodak is embracing this idea and will cheerfully provide your favourite emulsion for your birthday.

Bad news is that you will have to coat the base yourself.

Mark Weingartner
LA for a week



>Bad news is that you will have to coat the base yourself

Oh cool! On my next birthday, I'm going to make the best avant-garde movie ever.

But in all seriousness, has anyone ever tried coating clear leader with Liquid Light photo emulsion? I fear it might come off in the gate, and it would probably have a painfully slow ASA rating, but it might look pretty darn cool.

Frazer Bradshaw
Director of Photography
San Francisco



Phil Rhodes writes :

>Wouldn't it be easier if they just printed the date of manufacture on the >can?

Duh.

It took over 2,000 years for banks to realize that a single waiting line for all windows was the fairest way to treat its customers. (Supermarkets still haven't caught on.) It took film manufacturers 50+ years to realize that the nominal exposure index of a particular stills film should be part of its name and be prominently emblazoned on the box.

The moral of the story: don't hold your breath waiting for high-inertia organizations to adopt commonsense practices that serve their customers, even if it costs them virtually nothing. I haven't shot professional stills film in a while (i.e, Ektachrome Professional) so I don't know whether it bears an expiration date the way consumer film does.

But I believe nominal expiration dates have been stamped on virtually all stills film since "time immemorial." The least the mfgrs could do for professional cine stocks is to provide a date of manufacture, with no warranties implied.

Dan "duh" Drasin
Producer/DP
Marin County, CA



Phil Rhodes writes:

>Wouldn't it be easier if they just printed the date of manufacture on the >can?

When you buy milk from the supermarket, do you check the use-by date? And if there's a choice, don't you take the newest, even if you plan to drink the milk well before the older ones would expire?

Seems to me that if Kodak provided manufacturing dates freely, they'd get stuck with all stock that wasn't the latest batch because we/you would reject it sight unseen. What's that going to do for prices and availability?

Dominic Case
Atlab Australia



Dominic writes :

>Seems to me that if Kodak provided manufacturing dates freely, they'd >get stuck with all stock that wasn't the latest

Whereas this is a nice argument, the reality of us who are fighting in the trenches need to be damn sure our ammo is reliable!

When a producer has no forethought to order extra film, and we need another 3,000' extra feet of stock to make it through the day, the DP needs to be sure the stock pulled from the freezer will work or not. I know that the older the stock, the more chance it may have been mis-handled by someone [left in the trunk of the Jag while the producer played 18 holes], but the gravity of an emergency situation weighs very heavy with the possibility of extreme aged stock.

Thus, a database, not a printed on system, may be a more palatable situation for Kodak than a very apparent printed-on system...a PA with a laptop can find the needed info on set when needed....

Cheers,
Jeff Barklage, s.o.c.
US based DP



Dominic Case writes :

>Seems to me that if Kodak provided manufacturing dates freely,

Why, then, isn't this an issue with pro stills film, which is more date-sensitive than the consumer version? (Has to do with the timing of the "ripening" of the emulsion batch.)

Dan Drasin
Producer/DP
Marin County, CA



Sam Wells wrote:

>I know pro still shooters who are what you might term *anal* about >emulsion batches and will actually 1/4 stop bracket test various.

Yes, but they're usually shooting reversal -- where there's no real latitude.

> Matching #'s seems less a priority on our side of the fence than it used >to.

Because cine stocks have a lot more latitude and process-tolerance than they used to...

Jeff Kreines



>Why, then, isn't this an issue with pro stills film, which is more date->sensitive than the consumer version?

I know pro still shooters who are what you might term *anal* about emulsion batches and will actually 1/4 stop bracket test various.

Matching #'s seems less a priority on our side of the fence than it used to.

Sam "reality itself doesn't seem to match if you look closely" Wells



I have seen 100' daylight Eyemo boxes with date stamped on them (1979!) So was it only done before, and then Kodak decided not to keep putting dates on them? Was it only on 100' daylight spools?

John Babl