Prior to the end of Kodachrome processing in December 2010, I began this project as a call to my friends to shoot some of the last available film. The film was sent out to people all over the country (as well as travel overseas) and, in all, there were over 25 participants (all of which can be seen here: http://kodachromes.wordpress.com/). Once I sent them out, I decided that I had to somehow make the pilgrimage to Parsons, Kansas, to see the process for myself. Once I started collecting interviews, I realized there was much more to the story than just the passing of a film process...
How it Looks, How it Lasts is an in-progress film about photography past and present, along with what the future may hold. In the past, amateur film and home movies were often developed by film labs and the physical original was returned, either to be viewed and/or stored for future use, or perhaps misplaced and left to be found in thrift stores and estate sales. In either case, what was shot had a longevity based on its physicality alone. Pictures and movies may fade with time, but are often still discernible. Kodachrome, which this film focuses on, has a remarkable archival quality that rivals any other film stored in proper conditions. With digital media, the shelf life of an image or video is anywhere from infinite (from a utopian view of the Internet) to non-existent (a picture erased from a camera the moment after it's been captured). The film explores the similarities and key differences between film and digital, specifically their aesthetic and archival natures.
Funding from this campaign will help get me through the next phase of production. This includes going to California and Colorado for interviews and beginning to digitally transfer films on loan from archivists and collectors.
The trailer above is culled from the interviews I have already shot for the film, including the VP of Dwayne's Photo, Grant Steinle; Todd Gustavson, the technology Curator at the George Eastman House; and Robert Shanebrook, a former manager at Kodak. These interviews took me from Dwayne's in Parsons, KS all the way to Rochester, NY. The clip below is from my follow up interview with Grant, almost a year after they ceased processing:
& Finally, here is a short video of the making of the slide lamps that can be yours with a $250 pledge:
- (35 days)