Cinematography: The Future of Still Film? SilvergrainClassics Fireside Chat #5

by | Feb 22, 2021

In the early 2000s, motion picture film production was an appendage to still photography in terms of volume; today the tide has turned.
Thanks to the motion picture industry and to directors like Tarentino, Nolan, Abrams and many others, shooting on film is popular among creatives in both the movie and advertising communities. Although only a small percentage of the highest-grossing films are shot on film, around one quarter of all Academy Award go to those productions.  Motion picture film production has certainly slowed down, but huge quantities of all formats are still being produced.

A 122 meter (400 ft.) can of Kodak Vision 3 motion picture film.

The success of brands like Cinestill and Silbersalz35 show that Kodak Vision3-based products are also becoming an important alternative for still photography. 1-liter ECN2 kits that make home development possible are now available commercially from QWD and other manufacturers. Additionally, the Super8 and 16mm formats are becoming more and more popular, especially among young cinematographers, and several popular TV shows are being shot on these smaller-gauge film stocks

At the same time, there is a huge demand for negative film stock for still photography like Kodak GOLD, Ultra, Portra, and Ektar. Our choices have decreased with the discontinuation of the Fujicolor 400H, and although Lomo recently introduced a color film alternative, the demand is still higher than the supply.

A frame of 65mm Kodak Vision 3 250 shot with a Mamiya RB67 70mm long film back, cross processed in C-41 chemistry. In this case, the remjet removal partly failed, leading to heavy streaking on the image.

That’s the picture we still photographers see, and many people are speculating about what the future will bring. What stocks are available for still photographers as well as cinematographers? Could motion picture film fill in the gaps for still photographers? Can it really be made practical and affordable for small batch home users? What about scanning?

To get an insight into today’s Motion Picture world, and also to consider its stock for still photographers, we have gathered an interesting group of guests for our next Fireside Chat. They can give us a first-hand impression of where the movie industry is going, and if it could be a support for the future of still film photography.

You can watch the fifth Fireside chat with Antonio Rasura, ( Eastman Kodak, Director of Motion Picture Services), Thomas Bergmann (Silbersalzfilm), Michael Boxrucker (cinematographer and instructor for Kodak), Peter Fries (Managing Director OMNIMAGO, Motion Picture Scanning and Restoration) and our special guest, Bellamy Hunt, the “Japan Camera Hunter” here: