It’s time to introduce the latest in this series of EMULSIVE Community Interviews, this time we’re going one-on-one (one-on-two?) with the Brothers Wright, the brains and brawn behind CineStill Film – Cinema film for Still cameras. Get it?

This article sets out the format, timeline and initial panel questions and invites you to submit your own. This community interview is your opportunity to directly ask the Brothers your questions about the past present or future – and have them answered.

You have until December 31st 2018 to add yours in the comments below.

Let’s get started.

Cine…Still?

The Wright Brothers started shooting motion picture film for still photography nearly a decade ago – shooting extended lengths in 250-exposure film backs.

Motion picture development, whilst loosely following normal colour negative film development has a few additional steps involved, mostly because of the need to remove an additional carbon layer (called remjet) from the film. Remjet is a magical thing, providing antihalation, antistatic, lubrication, and scratch protection to motion picture film. That said, if motion film is developed in normal C-41 minilabs, it has a habit of gunking machines up and making a nuisance of itself.

With an appreciation of the motion picture film palette and following quite a bit of tinkering with methods of “pre-removing” the remjet before shooting, the Brothers officially began beta testing back in 2012. The commercially available result was 35mm CineStill Xpro C-41 800 Tungsten, which is based on Kodak VISION3 500T (5219) film. With the remjet already removed, it doesn’t need to be sent to a dedicated motion picture film lab able to handle that part of the process. I am a huge fan of shooting motion picture film and the release of 800T brought with an entirely new experience for film shooters around the world.

CineStill 800T was followed by 35mm CineStill Xpro C-41 50 Daylight, based on Kodak VISION3 50D (5203), which was in turn followed by the release of both films in 120 format rollfilm and a short-lived beta of 4×5 800T. Add to that CineStill’s recent release of BWXX (Kodak EASTMAN Double-X 5222) and their new TCS-1000 film development device and well, they’ve been busy, to say the least.

Interview timeline

This interview will be presented in three parts:

Part one: Call for submissions (this article)

The submission window is open for two weeks from today until midnight PST on December 31st2018.

This is your chance to have a think about what kind of questions you want to ask CineStill and submit them in the comments section below. The comments section of this article is the only place questions will be accepted.

Keep your questions concise and limit yourself to a single question per comment. You may post up to two questions each and only new, parent comments will be considered for entry. In short, if you want your questions considered, please don’t add them as a reply to an existing comment.


When doors close at midnight PST on December 31st 2018, we’ll be locking the thread and the panel will be tasked with whittling down your submissions to roughly a dozen questions, maybe more depending on demand (more on the panel in a bit).

Part two: Handover

Once the submission window has closed, the panel and I will come together to deliberate. A shortlist of questions and commentary will then be passed over to CineStill for review. If you posted a question that is vaguely similar to or an extension of another, it will be merged with that one. All commenters responsible for contributing to a specific question will be credited as such.

We’ll be working with the Brothers to put together a finished article as soon as possible after the submission window closes, starting in January 2019.

Part three: Release

We’re expecting to have the finished interview released toward the end of January and middle of February 2019. If you posted a question that made the cut, you’ll be credited in the finished piece. There may be other things to announce here but we’ll leave that until closer to the time.

Interview structure and panel

The panel shortlist will consist of ~12 questions submitted by you, the film photography community and one each from the panel. It’s the job of the panel to help make the final decision as to which of the questions submitted will make the cut for the final piece, as well as to discuss, review and revise the final interview before it’s released.

Why go to the trouble of selecting a panel?

I want to alleviate any concerns regarding impartiality and bias and make the process transparent. Anyone can be a panel member for future Community Interviews, all you need do is ask. Speaking of the panel, here they are:

David Allen
David is some sort of freelance n’importe quoi moonlighting as an art photographer.
Twitter / Instagram / EMULSIVE interview

 

Jess Hobbs
Currently based out of Montreal, Jess is predominantly a film shooter and focuses on creating images that are both technically sharp and emotionally stirring by exploring subject matter and concepts with deep personal meaning.
Instagram

 

Sam Cornwell
Sam Cornwell is a recent masters graduate from the University of Edinburgh who also happens to be the inventor of Solarcan. He is known for creating the Second a Day from Birth video, being a Z-grade YouTube celebrity and all round nutcase.
Twitter / Instagram

Panel questions

We’re back to the format of initial panel questions to kick things off and hopefully get your minds whirring along. Here’s what they’re asking CineStill:

David Allen

While it is always exciting to see new film stocks reach the market; the future of film photography seems inexorably hinged on the continued availability of chemicals, equipment, and cameras. In this regard, it was exciting to see you recently not only launch new developers, but your sous vide machine temperature control system.

Do you have immediate plans on bringing any other non-film products to market and what would you bring to the market if money (R&D, etc.) wasn’t a concern? How do you see your focus split in the next 3 years regarding film stocks vs. other products? And, I suppose more philosophically, where do you see your role (roll?) in preserving film photography as a viable medium for years to come?

 

Jess Hobbs

I think it’s fair to say that, to the amateur or enthusiast photographer, motion picture and still photography used to exist in two parallel, yet distinctly independent-realms. When Cinestill 800T was first introduced to the world, a bridge between the two mediums was created.

For any photographers less familiar with shooting motion picture film than more traditional emulsions, as well as those unfamiliar with movie cameras/lenses, do you have any advice/experience that might be helpful in further bridging the gap between motion and still photography?

Sam Cornwell

I came to realise just how many new film emulsions were reaching the photography market when I saw Analogue Wonderland’s recent story claiming they now have over 200 types in stock. It occurred to me that Cinestill, perhaps the most loved indie brand out there holds an unusual place in this buoyant and resurgent world of film.

Film stocks generally tend to fall into different categories of quality and style. Reanimated stocks like Dubble & Revolog have their place, as do community orientated B&W films like JCH Streetpan and Kosmo. There’s even a home for repurposed emulsion like Street Candy & Washi before we get to the big household names Kodak, Fujifilm and Ilford.

But where does Cinestill fit into all of this? During discussions with the panel, it was suggested it could be considered the creme de la creme of indie film stocks. However, taking into account its a re-engineering of an existing emulsion may put its ‘place’ into a different spectrum altogether.

Assuming this question hasn’t spilled out of me like an incoherent rambling, how does the Cinestill Film team see itself positioned in the market amongst all these other brands. Is it the Porsche, Tesla or Morgan of the analogue emulsive world?

Now it’s up to you

Have a think and add your questions in the comments section that follow below. Your questions won’t be moderated at this point but keep them clean and constructive.

One of the main reasons for creating this platform of Community Interviews is to get questions answered by giving you a direct conduit with the industry and service providers that make up the community. If you’ve ever been frustrated at a lack of a direct line to get your burning questions asked, this is it. Please do help spread the word and let others know what’s going on!

Next steps and guidelines

Doors for your submissions are open until midnight on December 31st 2018 and the only way to submit your question is in the comments section below.

1) Questions are not subject to moderation at this stage but you are asked to keep them civil and in the spirit of the community.

2) Any question deemed to be hostile or not encouraging reasonable discussion will be removed and the poster will be banned from future participation. In short, we’re all here for the same thing so don’t be a troll.

3) Submitted questions may be edited down into smaller chunks or merged with others if we feel there’s a need to do so. This being said, all questions will be submitted in their original form for CineStill to answer.

4) If we feel that two or more questions can be combined without losing their original value, we’ll credit each submitter as required.

These guidelines are by no means exhaustive but you can be assured that we’ll keep everything as transparent as possible during the process — see the EMULSIVE x Lomography and EMULSIVE x ILFORD interviews for an example of how this finished interview might appear.

Over to you, let’s see what you’ve got.

~ EM

Your turn: submit an article

EMULSIVE is all about promoting knowledge transfer across the film photography community. You can help by contributing your thoughts, work and ideas to inspire others reading these pages: check out the submission guide.

If you like what you're reading you can help this passion project by heading on over to the EMULSIVE Patreon page. There's also print and apparel over at Society 6, currently showcasing over two dozen t-shirt designs and over a dozen unique photographs available for purchase.

15 COMMENTS

  1. Can you tell us an easy way to remove the remjet layer as some films like Kodachrome can be used for B&W but are a pain to to develop because of this layer.

  2. Do you intend to introduce an archival print washer? I have a design that doesn’t require electricity and minimizes water use. It would be easy and inexpensive to manufacture, requiring no injection molds and very little assembly labor.
    I love your DF96 and the idea of making developing and printing more accessible to everybody.

  3. As a newcomer to this film (but not to shooting film) who is interested mainly in street and landscape photography, what advice can you offer for how to best push your films to their unique limits to show what makes your films stand out compared with shooting normal C41 color or E6 transparencies? Do your films like extra light, or subdues light? Bold and bright colors in the scenes? High contract? I have an assortment of your films waiting to shoot and was drawn to their uniqueness. How can I exploit that uniqueness not available in other films to wow those who view my photographs?

  4. I too would like to see 250D. Although I can just as easily shoot Portra 160 I would like to benefit from the benefits of the 250D emulsion unless there is very little difference. Also 120 as the other choice would be wonderful also.

  5. Second question, what developer would you recommend using for the BWXX? I have tried Ilfosol 3 but feel the results are a little similar to Ilford’s FP4+. Admittedly FP4+ is my favourite monochrome film right now.

  6. I have used the 50D film twice now and I am very impressed with the results. Plus I have two more rolls in the fridge to shoot some portraits with. My question is this, what drew you to use the Kodak Vision 3 50D film in the first place?

  7. First the rave review: I love C41 CineStill! Beyond the two film stocks being stunningly beautiful, they are unique to still film being the ONLY color negative film slower than 100 ASA (50D) and the ONLY still film (+ or -) that is tungsten balanced (800T). THANK YOU FOR FILLING THESE VOIDS after the death of so many film stocks in the past two decades!

    My question: Having dipped my toe into repurposed motion picture film, I have found that the only labs that process ECN-2 for still (I have only found five in the US) are simply removing the remjet and cross processing as C41. What is the difference technically and how do the results differ, disregarding halation. Can CineStill’s temperature control system process true ECN-2?

  8. It’s pretty amazing that two/three people in the world had the same dream and then go on to build a machine to help accomplish it. We’re the Brothers Wright and Uwe Mimoun aware of each other efforts and machines?

  9. One of the effects of removing the remjet layer is the your signature red haloes on in-focus lights and highlights. Which can be kinda cool at times, but kind of a pain at other times. Is there any way around this, from a production or user POV?

    • To add to this, if you do 4×5 C-41, might you also do a run of stock Vision3 (Remjet intact) for ECN2 development? Similarly, have you considered offering ECN2 home kits like some other labs (QWD Lab in particular) are doing?

  10. I prefer landscape, both color and B&W, and have used 35mm, 120, and 4×5 formats. I am currently focused on learning how to use the RB67. I would love to try 50D for landscape, but I am struggling with the cost factor and what often is an availability issue. Our yellow box friends are half the price and readily available. Is there a future for 50D that is plentiful and lower cost? (IE – hate to fall in love with 50D if it is limited and high cost!)

    Also, any chance of Cinestill producing a color IR?

  11. Are there any plans to expand the range? It would be good to see 200T & 250D available, maybe Double X 120 format. Selfishly, because I am about to get my Intrepid, is there any likelihood of seeing 4×5 again? (Please please please!)

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