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Author Topic: 35mm "film" tours?
Jen Pelto
Film Handler

Posts: 30
From: Muskegon, MI, USA
Registered: Aug 2011

 - posted 08-12-2011 04:40 PM      Profile for Jen Pelto   Email Jen Pelto   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Does anyone know if Technicolor or Deluxe (or anyone else, for that matter) offers "tours" to see how film is made? Trailers, movies, heads and tails, etc.

Do they actually melt down the material and make the perforations, or just buy the film stock elsewhere and do the printing?

Just a thought -- the last time I was in LA I saw a big Technicolor building but I was with an infant. I didn't want to spoil the experience for anyone else.

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Sean Weitzel
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 619
From: Vacaville, CA (1790 miles west of Rockwall)
Registered: Dec 1999

 - posted 08-12-2011 05:01 PM      Profile for Sean Weitzel   Email Sean Weitzel   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
They buy release print stock from Kodak and possibly from Fuji but don't quote me on that. If you want to see how the actual film material is manufactured and coated, you would probably want to contact Kodak or Fuji directly and see if they offer tours.

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Richard P. May
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 243
From: Los Angeles, CA
Registered: Jan 2006

 - posted 08-13-2011 10:16 AM      Profile for Richard P. May   Email Richard P. May   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Sean's reply, and especially the reference to the articles regarding the manufacture of film, are really excellent.
The next phase of Jen's question is the processing lab. That is the building she saw with the Technicolor label. The other big lab in L.A. is DeLuxe. Fuji is the distribution office for their film, manufactured in Japan.
I don't know if Technicolor or DeLuxe offer tours, except maybe to customers. Prior to a future trip to the L.A. area, checking with their P.R. departments is worth while.

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Gordon McLeod
Film God

Posts: 9532
From: Toronto Ontario Canada
Registered: Jun 99

 - posted 08-13-2011 10:46 AM      Profile for Gordon McLeod   Email Gordon McLeod   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Often one of the smaller labs is a better bet
usually on large releases the studio makes the deal with the film manufacturer kodak fuji or agfa and the requuired stock is shipped to the lab

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Jen Pelto
Film Handler

Posts: 30
From: Muskegon, MI, USA
Registered: Aug 2011

 - posted 08-13-2011 11:38 AM      Profile for Jen Pelto   Email Jen Pelto   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Thanks for the info, guys!

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Jeff Kane
Film Handler

Posts: 74
From: corpus christi, tx
Registered: Jun 2011

 - posted 08-15-2011 12:56 PM      Profile for Jeff Kane   Email Jeff Kane   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Although it seems more oriented towards still photography, this book (Making Kodak Film) looks fascinating. All about the process of making/coating the film, etc.

I know that magnetic tape manufacturing is similar to film in that very wide stock is produced and then slit to the necessary size (for mag tape the process is called calendaring).

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Allan Young
Expert Film Handler

Posts: 125
From: EGHAM, Surrey UK
Registered: Jun 2011

 - posted 08-16-2011 05:07 AM      Profile for Allan Young   Email Allan Young   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Back in 2001 I contacted the Technicolor lab in London. They seemed mildly surprised that anyone would want to visit the facility, but a chap from the press department kindly gave me an hour and a half guided tour. The most memorable part was the magnetic striping lab in the basement, the walls of which were dripping with thick dark brown sludge. Can't have been a healthy environment to work in. I seem to recall that mag striping was outlawed in California some time back ?

So, yeah, definitely worth contacting the labs and asking, even though there probably isn't enough interest for them to provide regular public tours.

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