Hello APUG from FILM Ferrania

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by FILM Ferrania, Oct 29, 2014.

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  1. FILM Ferrania

    FILM Ferrania Member

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    Hello APUG users!

    My name is Dave Bias and I'm the US Director for FILM Ferrania. As most of you know, we have successfully completed our Kickstarter campaign with an amazing 5582 backers and 128% funding.

    To all of you who have contributed to the (very active!) threads here on APUG and to those who are also backers - you have our most sincere thanks.

    I'd like to apologize that we haven't shown our face here sooner. We have been lurking, but we are just 2 people here in the US and we have been fairly overwhelmed by the flood of attention.

    Also, after scanning the most active threads, it became clear to me that APUG users are far more technically minded and you are very aware of both the state of the industry, and of the inherent complexity of manufacturing photosensitive materials of any sort. Seeing this, I thought it would be best to wait until I have some clear time to be able to answer questions properly. No cut-and-paste responses will work here! :wink:

    With that said - I am here to answer any questions you might have, to the best of my ability. If I don't know the answer myself, I will ask the factory team in Italy.

    I have created a dedicated tab in my browser and I will actively monitor this thread.

    Fire away!
     
  2. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    Welcome!
    Always good to have industry presence around here.
     
  3. Sirius Glass

    Sirius Glass Subscriber

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    welcome to APUG
     
  4. aRolleiBrujo

    aRolleiBrujo Member

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    HELLO!
     
  5. pbromaghin

    pbromaghin Subscriber

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    It's great to have you here! I'm really looking forward to trying out your first commercially available films. Those 2 numbered boxes you are going to send me will never be opened. Do you have any firm plans you can talk about regarding distribution in the U.S.? Or anywhere else, I suppose, since this is a pretty international audience?
     
  6. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Welcome Dave. Wonderful to have you here.

    You are indeed a brave soul...

    :wink:

    Ken
     
  7. Trask

    Trask Subscriber

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    The horse's mouth! Nice that you've opened the door to our questions, Dave. I can't say that I've followed all the Ferrania threads here, in large part because for a long time it seemed to be all take but no new films. So I'll ask: what films, in what sizes, will Ferrania be producing within the next year or two? B/W, color, bulk film? Who will distribute in the U.S./UK/France/Germany/Belgium/Netherlands? Any associated chemistry?

    OK, that'll do for a start!
     
  8. Truzi

    Truzi Subscriber

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    Welcome.

    Can you tell me how to get a decent cup of coffee from my Bialetti moka pot? It always comes out too bitter. :smile: (Just kidding.)
     
  9. FILM Ferrania

    FILM Ferrania Member

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    Thanks for the welcome!

    The idea, as it stands today, is thus:
    a) At the start - we are going sell directly via our website and ship globally from two warehouses. The first will be in the US, and Bulgaria will come very soon after. We will expand this structure over time with a goal to provide best-possible shipping costs for everyone.
    b) Later, once our production capacity permits, we will answer the hundreds of emails we have received from individual shops around the world.
    c) Much later, once we achieve some level of cost control, we will consider entering the traditional distribution structure - but our general philosophy will be get the film into cameras with as few stops in between as possible.
    d) At some point in between "later" and "much later," we will open an OEM channel, making products that support the wider industry.

    Keep the questions coming!
     
  10. Nzoomed

    Nzoomed Member

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    Welcome here Dave!
    Great to see a presence on APUG, my first question is will you be able to sell us the leftover film rewards from the kickstarter project?
    I dont really want to open my first 500 numbered roll.
    I understand there will be an announcement made after messaging Ferrania about this, i could do with a couple more rolls of E6.
    My other questions are once this first limited batch of film is produced, how long will we have to wait for the next production to hit the market?
    And its a little unclear to me what will be done with the equipment from Big Boy Trixie and Walter. Do you have plans to build a brand new building to house all this equipment? As all the mentioned equipment couldnt possibly fit into the LRF building? From what i understand, its planned to incorporate some of this equipment from Big boy in the LRF coater to increase production, but the Acetate plant and Chemical plant - will these buildings be demolished along with the big boy building, requiring a new building to house the machinery, or do you plan on keeping the production intact in these buildings, since i would assume there would be significant costs involved to do so.
    I know the scale of an acetate film plant and the casting wheel can weigh several tonnes and can be a couple of stories in height.

    In other words, do you intend to use only the LRF for future production, or do you plan on building a newer, smaller factory as time progresses with the modified parts from big boy, etc?

    Thanks for any information regarding this :smile:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 29, 2014
  11. Ricardo Miranda

    Ricardo Miranda Member

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    A very warm welcome Dave! :smile:
    As someone who has been following the fortunes of Film Ferrania since the begining and has asked on Flickr, on the I Shoot Film group under the name of ravilamir, the question "What has happened to Ferrania?" that was later changed to "What is happening to Ferrania?", now I am asking: "What WILL happen to Film Ferrania?"
    Some answers to my questions you already provided. Thank you!
    My next question is "Will there be in the future some C41 films? I hope for some films like the excellent Solaris FG Plus 100 was.
     
  12. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Hi Dave,

    Presumably the KS monies will be applied toward preserving some of the more critical larger-scale machinery for longer-term future expansion plans?

    If so, then based on current capacities, might you hazard a guess as to the volumes of product which may become available in the shorter-term future?

    In other words, is there any worry that the short-term demand may outstrip the short-term ability to produce? Will we all of necessity initially be on rationed quotas?

    Thanks,
    Ken
     
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  13. TheToadMen

    TheToadMen Subscriber

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    Hi Dave,
    Also a warm welcome from The Netherlands. Bulgaria is also within the European Union, so no import taxes for most European countries. That's nice.
    Bert from Holland
     
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  15. Eric Rose

    Eric Rose Subscriber

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    Welcome to the bedrock of fanatical film users :wink: I hope once your business takes off you will consider becoming a Sponsor of APUG. I am sure Sean will hit you up soon enough. As with everyone else I am excited to be able to load a roll of your film in my camera.
     
  16. Ashfaque

    Ashfaque Member

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    Hi Dave,

    First of all, welcome to APUG and thank you for creating this Q&A (& 'request') thread.
    - Will you be selling 100, 150, 400 feet bulk rolls?
    - Since you haven't started massive scale production yet, if possible, please use 35mm cassettes that we can dissasseble and reuse multiple times. Ideally speaking, it would be best if guys can use something like Ilford's FP3 and HP3 film cassettes from the late 60s.
    - please, please, please, keep the price as low as possible. I hope you'll not be following Fuji's pricing. As an e.g., price of Agfa Precisa is lot less straining on me than anything from Fuji, even though it's still quite high. I hope you get my drift.
    - Will you be producing some stickers? I want to get some for my friends
    - Don't forget to assign at least one distributor for and within Indian subcontinent.
    - Please tell us a bit about your plan on E-6 chemicals?

    Bests,

    Ashfaque

    PS: @ Truzi: I love me 6 cup Bialetti.... Can't have enough of coffee :D
     
  17. Dr Croubie

    Dr Croubie Member

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    So I reckon I should add a question, seeing as they're coming in already.
    What are your plans, if any, for sheet film?
    Firstly, is it technically possible with your equipment (thickness of base, width of slitting, slicing into sheets)?
    And secondly, if you can, will you?
    I know the market for 4x5 E6 might be fairly small compared to others, so you'd really have to compete with Fuji on price (currently $130 for 20x 4x5 or $450 for 20x 8x10 RVP50, or $90/$300 for 100/100F). Or maybe you can replicate/replace sensia/astia on colour, they had a lot of fans. Or you could just sit it out until if/when Fuji pulls the plug on the whole lot, then ride in like the cavalry and pick up all of their old customers.

    Also, any plans to replicate something like the Ilford ULF run, even if just in rolls, and offer all the weird 110/126/127/616/828/etc sizes once a year?
     
  18. Mustafa Umut Sarac

    Mustafa Umut Sarac Member

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    I love your packages , its like 1900s headache drugs from us.
     
  19. stormpetrel

    stormpetrel Member

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    Welcome! Your participation to APUG is most appreciated!

    I would like to ask you the same question as Dr Croubie did but about 5x7 format.
    Will you run once a year a special order for uncommon cut sheet film formats?

    Dominique
     
  20. David A. Goldfarb

    David A. Goldfarb Moderator Staff Member Moderator

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    Welcome to APUG!
     
  21. FILM Ferrania

    FILM Ferrania Member

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    It will continue to be all talk for several more months. It took more than a year just to prepare and modify the building and to get the machines to a state where they can run continuously with no problems. Work began on our first film batch last month. That work is highly complicated and very boring unless you're an engineer, but it is moving forward with no serious delays so far. We are comfortable that we will be able to ship film to our Kickstarter backers in April, even allowing for some inevitable issues that must be solved.

    The only things we can clearly state today are what we have already stated in one place or another:
    • Formats: 135, 120, Super 8, 16mm - a very limited single batch of 127 is also highly likely
    • Emulsions: 100, 400 and 800/3200 ASA color reversal (chrome) - with 100 ASA at launch and the others later in 2015 or as our production capacity permits

    The future is much harder to discuss, but here are a few ideas we have:
    • We have no short term plans for B&W film since the market has a significant number of options. We are seeking to fill gaps in our early phases, and chrome is the biggest gap.
    • Bulk film, yes. Once we can produce in bulk ourselves.
    • Once we are finished with our machinery purchases from the old Ferrania buildings, we will have the potential to produce about 95% of film formats produced in the 20th century - even some of the really weird ones.
    • The difference between having the potential to produce these other formats, and being able to deliver finished products for retail sale is a big one. This will require time and one success building on another success. Plus a lot of polling... We fully plan to let the market drive this as much as possible.

    Answered elsewhere just a few minutes ago...

    cheers,
    Dave
     
  22. LJH

    LJH Member

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    Any thoughts on running an annual order process like Ilford's? I'd love to get a chance at shooting some 7x17" 'chromes...
     
  23. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    A VERY warm welcome to Film Ferrania!! I'm so glad to see your presence here at APUG. I'm very proud to have backed this effort! I am VERY proud to have my name on the founders wall. Ilford and now Ferrania give me GREAT hope now in the future of film photography.

    I wish you MUCH success making photographic film.
     
  24. FILM Ferrania

    FILM Ferrania Member

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    We hope that it's no more than a couple of months after we ship the first batch to backers. If everything goes our way over the next 6 months, it might be just a matter of weeks after the Kickstarter fulfillment. It's tough to put a date on it right now.

    I saw mention of these questions in another thread I was scanning. All very valid.

    We have no plans to build a new building at this time. If we run out of room, this would be a great problem to have because it would mean that we are highly successful and financially able to expand operations beyond this footprint.

    The first 6 months of this project were of course occupied in figuring out what was needed from the old buildings and understanding how to incorporate this stuff into the LRF.

    Regarding fitting the equipment, I know that there are actual blueprints for the changes and that the building has undergone extensive modifications over the past 8 months to allow room for the new machinery.

    To be clear, "Trixie" in her current state is 6 "industrial scale" triacetate production lines, as well as one much smaller pilot line. We are purchasing the pilot and just 3 of the big lines. We will incorporate the pilot line as soon as possible, and it is my understanding that at least one of the full scale machines can also be squeezed into the building. The other two are for the future and it's unclear where we might put them. But there is lots of empty real estate around the LRF that ISN'T being demolished any time soon...

    "Walter" is a collection of something like 100+ small-ish machines that together make a production "line". The LRF can easily accommodate this equipment simply by reorganizing existing machinery and freeing up rooms that now have no relevant purpose.

    "Big Boy" refers to the big coater that makes 300 millions rolls per year, but we are purchasing a small number of components from this giant machinery - mostly pieces of the drying tunnel for the eventual expansion of our current one. Fitting this into the LRF was tricky, but they have a solution on paper that primarily uses former office space and converts most of one floor into a light-tight box to eventually house our future drying tunnel. If we max it out - again, this is a good problem to have.

    The converting machines are relatively easy. We have an entire ground floor that used to be parking space for trucks, some storage and a few offices. This space is better used for production and has been gutted and outfitted to receive all of our finishing machinery.

    As soon as we are able, we are going to put together some sort of factory walkthrough to share with everyone.

    -Dave
     
  25. FILM Ferrania

    FILM Ferrania Member

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    Hi Ken!

    No presumption necessary - this is basically what we outlined in our Kickstarter text and you are exactly correct.

    For a variety of reasons, we are not comfortable discussing our current or potential capacity. Suffice to say that today, it is far less that the market will demand, and our single focus for the next 12-18 months is to increase capacity on a steady schedule that will hopefully keep up with sales.

    These are good problems to have, as I said in another answer. The truth is that we have plenty of competition, including two of the biggest brand names on the planet. We must win customers the "hard way" - by making products and selling them one at a time. And until we HAVE products to show, all bets are off. I will say that we may have to institute a limit on purchases - especially if we see folks buying film for the sole purpose of reselling it on eBay or the like... But such a limit will we temporary and only if absolutely necessary to ensure the largest number of people get some new film for their cameras.

    -Dave
     
  26. Regular Rod

    Regular Rod Member

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    Do you have an equivalent colleague in the UK?

    RR
     
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