It’s time to introduce the fifth in our series of EMULSIVE Community Interviews to you, this time with the brains at FILM Ferrania, a little Italian company you may have heard of here and there.
While gears are whirring in the background for those two, I’d like to call you all to arms and submit your questions to the Film Ferrania team starting today.
The original Ferrania was one of the oldest companies in the world still producing film when it was announced in 2008 that color film production would cease by the end of the year. For anyone interested in the company’s history up until that point, the Ferrania Wikipedia page is a good read (although there is some information there which minimally conflicts with other sources).
In 2013, FILM Ferrania acquired Ferrania’s film production platform, equipment and premises; and rehired a number of engineers that had been laid off the previous year. Later that same year the company announced is intention to restart colour film production for both negative and slide films; and in September 2014, FILM Ferrania announced a new Kickstarter campaign with the goal of rescuing “Trixie”, “Walter” and “Big Boy”, Ferrania’s film base production, chemical lab and film coating facilities from destruction.
The Kickstarter campaign was set against an ambitious schedule, aiming to deliver 120, 35mm, 16mm and Super 8 film rewards to backers in six months – April 2015. As you’ll no doubt be aware through news and updates from FILM Ferrania, this sadly did not happen.
Fast forward to February 1, 2017 and FILM Ferrania announced a new black and white negative film available in 35mm format – FERRANIA P30. Welcome news, although somewhat unexpected.
As Dave Bias recently told Zorki Photo, a number of delays in testing a two-layer coating process with a 3rd party test emulsion led to FILM Ferrania engineers to create a test emulsion in-house, based on a 1970’s reformulation of P30, their legendary motion picture film stock.
The results – only initially intended to test the coating machinery – were a surprise, and according to Dave, “after much internal deliberation, we decided to release this film. We weighed the pros and cons and, in fact, we anticipated some backlash for not proceeding directly to our originally promised colour reversal film.”
With P30 pre-orders on the horizon, one would be forgiven for thinking that the dream of the original Kickstarter is dead in the water, this is absolutely not the case and in a recent conversation with Dave Bias, he confirmed that progress continues in Italy, with steps being made every day to bring this totally new film production facility into life. It’s not 100% self contained yet, but that were they’re heading.
It truly is a mammoth task and with just over half a dozen people responsible for bringing it into life, I for one am happy to forgive the delay, especially as the company hasn’t exactly tight-lipped about what’s been happening behind the scenes.
This community is your opportunity to ask the FILM Ferrania team your questions, and this is how it’s going to work…
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 on Sunday 26th March 2017.
This is your chance to have a think about what kind of questions you want to ask to FILM Ferrania and submit them in the comments section below. The comments section of this article is the only place we will be accepting questions.
Please keep your questions concise and limit yourself to a single question per comment. You may post up to two questions each. Please try to stay away from asking questions already covered on the FILM Ferrania website, as they’ll likely be skipped.
Only new, parent comments will be considered for entry, so please don’t add yours as a reply if you want a chance to have it featured.
When doors close at midnight on Sunday 26th March 2017, we’ll be locking the thread and our panel will be tasked with whittling down your submissions to roughly ten questions (more on the panel in a bit).
Part two: Handover
The submission window will close on midnight on Sunday 26th March 2017, at which point the panel will come together to deliberate. A shortlist of questions and commentary will then be passed over to FILM Ferrania for review.
We’ll be working with FILM Ferrania to put together a finished article as soon as possible after the submission window closes.
Part three: Release
We’re expecting to have the finished interview released toward the end of April 2017. 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 ~10 questions submitted by you, the film photography community, two questions from yours truly 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?
We 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:
Unlike past Community Interviews, there are no starting questions from the panel. We feel that the board should be left open for you to frame yours.
Next steps and guidelines
Doors for your submissions are open until midnight on Sunday 26th March 2017 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 FILM Ferrania to answer.
4) If two or more very similar questions are posted, we will endeavour to credit the first person who posted it.
5) 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.