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Discussion in 'Industry News' started by Alessandro Serrao, Nov 18, 2012.
I've found this interesting...
It is not ALL doomsday. Not all Burley photographs, contrary to seemingly common belief, are made at plants to be torn down. On of these plants is still manufacturing today and is huge .
Burley in his introductory statement in this video also misses that out of two plants he hinted at even two new, though much smaller, plants arose.
And maybe Mirko of Fotoimpex should crank up one of his internet sites and show again some photos of his small enterprise to cheer us up.
My archives are full of doomsday factory-pictures, but though I'm rather a glass-half-empty type of guy I would like to hint at the above. The uninitiated looking at this book will be even confirmed in his attitude that all has already gone. An attitude I come across daily.
While it is certainly true that Kodak products are questionable as to their future availability there is no shortage of film in 4x5 format now or in the foreseeable future.
Even today Tmax 100, 400 and Tri-x are still available in 4x5 format. Actually, Freestyle has tri-x 320 in a 5x7 format.
Ilford continues to support even ultra large formats.
With that in mind I lost interest in the video after the statement "Suddenly, it was hard to find my most essential material, film."
If this is the artist's statement for this work I cry fabricated empathetic artistic pandering.
I also question this. One has merely to visit the Freestyle site to find all kinds of reasonably priced large format film.
The photochemical industry is less buildings and machinery, which can be re-made, but people with knowledge who design and make those materials and have a positive attitude to this.
I'm not sure Burley shares this view, as I don't see these people except of in one of his images.
I would like to see pictures of Forte, Ferrania, ORWO, Svema, Fotokemika and other closed factories.
The project seems to be far from complete in the context it's presented. It would be very interesting.
I wonder if the darkrooms at Ryerson were photographed as they were taken out over the last 7 years.
Here are a few pictures of the Fotokemika plant taken by Jim Browning in Samobor about five years ago (post #29):
ORWO are still in business http://www.filmotec.de/
Great films, reasonable prices.
Forte papers are to be resurrected by Adox. There are several threads about Polywarm, with recent updates from Adox.
Well, Filmotec and the late Orwo are not the same company. Filmotec is kind of tiny offspring.
You might call it offspring, depending on where You stand.
FilmoTec GmbH manufacture reduced range of ORWO products. Not full scale like in the old days but ORWO is not dead, not even close.
They also manufacture products for others.
ORWO once had about 14,000 employees and Filmotec has about 25. (Just to give the uninitiated reader a hint at the proportions.)
This is not directed against Filmotec at all, but I know Filmotec very well and they themselves call them offspring.
And in my remark "It is not all doomsday" I refered to the Adox enterprise. This was intended to be also read as standing for all the small enterprises which now mingle with the big ones.
25 are enough in order to keep the flame alive.
Wait to see how many will be left at Kodak in about a year from now.
Scaling down., such are the times.
I think that Kodak bankrupcy is not related to drop of film sales but to its poor management.
The point was, there are less folks working at Kodak today compared to.., say 10 years ago and it might get worse before it gets better.
It might be poor management or just business as usual.
The bancrupsy of Kodak might not be related to film salea, the shrinking of their plants well. Kodak Park partially has turned into parking lots.
Yes, but from these 14,000 at the whole factory complex in Wolfen about 6,000 had worked in the film production directly.
The others worked in the different huge parts of this factory complex, in the cellulose, gelatin and fiber production, and in the power plant.
Nevertheless, the film production plant there has been the biggest in Europe for a long time, and the second biggest worldwide. Only Kodak in Rochester has been bigger.
The whole area in Wolfen was gigantic, bigger than lots of smaller cities.
I've just recently been there and visited it. Very impressive.
The oldest film production building is still standing: In it now there is the excellent "Industrie- und Filmmuseum Wolfen" http://www.ifm-wolfen.de/.
With the original machinery exhibited there you can explore the whole film production process, from production of the film base, emulsion making, coating and all the converting steps up to the finished product. The excellent guides explain all production steps in detail.
And there you can see the original coating machine from 1936, on which the first Agfacolor color film was made.
By the way, this machine run until 1989 (!!). But not as a color film coating machine, but for test and correction coatings.
I can highly recommend a visit of this unique museum. Extremely interesting!
About figures: Power, cellulose and gelatin are of course part of film production if done in-house. Furthermore part of emulsion-elements production was done in former Agfa dyestuff sister-plant, whereas competitors did such on own plant. With re-structuring after WWII this all got complicated figure-wise. There even was a legal case on such figures.
Furthermore the size of a company even aside of the production in question can be very important as this may give the company buffer capacities research-, production- and finance-wise.
However the comparison between a small and a huge company is very difficult as many factors go into that.
That is of course right (except the huge fiber production there for making clothes). But for modern, economic film production it is unusual to do all in-house, with a complete "Fertigungstiefe".
That they have all done by themselves was one of their major economic problems. Much too high costs.
One of those issues was less the in-house production of basic materials but the surrounding apparatus which served their facilities.
However, this is a perspective centralized onto the plant, a western approach. Lots of services such a plant offered where spared from the community. So from a socialistic, or community based, perspective a different image arises.
This issue typically is overlooked when productivity of such plants is examined, be it by consultants or competitors.
The Kodak bankruptcy has almost nothing to do with film.
The world-wide film and related products market is now far smaller than what Kodak needed to fulfil its obligations to its shareholders.
We can complain about how Kodak has dealt with it's film and related products operations, and we certainly can decry the apparently bone-headed decisions Kodak has made to attempt to replace the profits that film and related products used to be able to supply, but ...
The bankruptcy has almost nothing to do with film.
still bitter about the loss of some really good film...my fav was the bw infrared.