Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Deluxe stops printing 16mm film

Interesting article in the Guardian highlighting the fact that the UK's last 16mm processing laboratory has stopped printing to 16mm. (They currently continue to produce 16mm negatives and will, of course, blow up a 16mm negative to a 35mm print.)

There's also an interesting comment by "CaptainFook" beneath the article, on the state of 16mm exhibition, which will resonate with many ex-OFU projectionists:

"No-one in their right mind would strike a 16mm print of a preservation project now, because virtually no cinemas in the country apart from the NFT and one or two regional arts centre type places have working 16mm projectors. Xenon-lit 16mm projectors of the sort needed to screen these prints on a decent-sized screen have not been made on any significant scale since the mid-1990s, and the number of serviceable ones in circulation has very nearly dwindled to nothing. Only one manufacturer (Kinoton) makes them at all, and then only to special order and at vast cost. Even if there is an argument for continuing to make release prints on film of productions originated and/or preserved on 16mm, a 35mm blow-up print is now the only viable option if you want to show it anywhere other than some hippie bar using a table-top Hell & Bowell."

"The word in Hollywood is that three of the major studios are about to make a co-ordinated announcement that they are to cease all distribution on film in spring 2013."

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