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A Deep Dive Into How Kodak Makes Film

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With film photography once again becoming popular, photographers who wish to take it up must wonder where the current film stock is coming from. Is it from the remnants of film stock that was made years ago? Well, you’ll be happy to know that Kodak still has production lines running at its factory and even happier to watch this deep dive into how they make the film that you shoot today. 

This 56-minute video is the first of three videos made by Destin Sandlin from Smarter Every Day and is a deep dive into the process of making the ESTAR film base from pellets of PET. The pellets go through a closely monitored process of grinding, melting, refining, and then forming them into rolled sheets that are a few thousand feet long. These sheets form the base of the film, which is then coated with various materials, including the light-sensitive material that captures images. The final step in production is cutting and packaging it in its various forms, sizes, and quantities. But that’s not in this video. You’ll have to wait for the next part to be released.

Throughout this video, the level of quality monitoring and the care taken is quite remarkable. The enthusiasm of the people who keep film production alive is also quite apparent.

Finally, it’s surprising and heartening to see the level of access that Kodak gave Smarter Every Day to the entire production process. It certainly looks like Kodak wants more people to renew their enthusiasm for the medium.

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