About this project
We are FILM Ferrania and we are in the process of building a new kind of analog film factory in northern Italy. To be viable for the long-term, this factory must be self-contained - producing finished still photo and motion picture products from nothing more than raw materials.
We have a plan to make this happen, but we need your help to get over a pretty serious obstacle.
We have set up our new operations in the former Ferrania Research & Development (L.R.F.) building, which contains a miniature film production line. Our team has been working for more than a year to refurbish and re-engineer this building to prepare it to start. We can make film from this facility, but only a small amount - at a high cost.
We have created an ambitious new factory design that will allow us to produce enough film, at a reasonable price, to meet worldwide demand. We have already rescued tons of equipment (quite literally) from the old Ferrania buildings - but we need more and we are out of time. The buildings will be destroyed at the end of this year.
To truly be self-contained and ready for the next 100 years, we must save Trixie, Walter and Big Boy.
Ferrania has been making both still and motion picture film since 1923 in the northwest Liguria region of Italy. Ferrania made very popular 35mm and 120 consumer films, as well as inexpensive cameras that were as popular in Italy as Kodak was in the US during the same time. But the Ferrania brand was most associated with cinema. Fellini was a big customer. So were De Sica and Antonioni. In fact, the vast majority of classic Italian movies released between 1923 and 1965 were shot on Ferrania stock.
Between 1964 and 1999, Ferrania was owned by The 3M Corporation and sold films under various brand names. After 3M’s exit, Ferrania soldiered onward until finally turning off the machines and locking the doors in 2010.
In 2012 our founders, Nicola and Marco, knocked on the factory door and FILM Ferrania, named in homage to the original 1923 company, was born.
For more, please check out "A Brief History of Ferrania" on our site.
We want to be clear that backing this project is not simply pre-purchasing film before its release. We are offering rewards in the truest sense of the word.
With the existing machinery, staff and materials we have on hand, we are able to make just one very limited batch of film this year. The first stages of film production are already underway.
This film is a re-engineered version of ScotchChrome - a 100 ASA, daylight-balanced Color Reversal (chrome or slide) film, developed by the Imation company in the late-1990s and produced by Ferrania until 2003. We will package this film into four formats.
We are offering this very first production batch exclusively to Kickstarter backers in a unique special edition - created by hand by our founding team in Italy.
Each box is sealed in protective foil, then wrapped with a label that references the 1960s Ferrania-3M packaging design. Each label is hand-numbered. Worldwide shipping is included. This edition will never be produced again.
All film rewards are limited due to our small production capacity with the current setup. If you are interested in a reward, get it now!
The reward levels are priced to allow us to create this batch, ship it to you, and have enough left over to purchase the remaining machinery that is most crucial to our long-term success.
FILM Ferrania has an amazing opportunity. The one and only available color film factory in the world lies dormant at our feet. We have access to every last nut and bolt of large-scale machinery, and we can pick and choose exactly what we need to build something new out of the old.
This offer is open only to FILM Ferrania and we have spent the last year digging through the old buildings and stockpiling the machinery we need for the future.
But we’ve run the numbers and we simply cannot make our first batch AND purchase these last few machines before the deadline. And yet we must try to do both.
Kickstarter was born for stuff like this - ambitious and far-reaching projects that can be directly supported by everyone out there who is most eager for their success.
If you help us meet our goal, you get the first batch of film.
It’s that simple.
Experience #1 - Naming Rights
Backing this reward gives you the opportunity to name a room in our factory. The L.R.F. building has nearly 300 separate rooms in total, but we have chosen approximately 100 rooms from the core operations on the 2nd and 3rd floor that are eligible for naming. In addition, you can choose any 3 rewards of $300 or less.
Here are some points to consider if you wish to pledge for this reward:
- To keep things simple and consistent, we’d prefer to use your last name as the room name, however, we will consider an alternate name as long as it’s not a business or otherwise trademarked, or inappropriate to a professional working environment.
- Your name will be painted directly on the door, or engraved on a plaque applied adjacent to the door, depending on the needs of the room and the space allowed.
- The name will be applied in your native language, with an Italian translation if necessary.
- You will receive a framed 8x10 print of the door, shot on first-batch Ferrania film, signed by the founders and notarized for authenticity.
- All tours of the factory will refer to the room by your name, as will any printed factory diagrams or maps.
- After April 1, 2015, you may visit your room at any time (with a chaperone) and receive a private factory tour. You will receive a document detailing your status and the rules for tours, also signed by the founders.
- The choice of room to display your name is at our discretion, but will be among the key operational rooms and not a broom closet.
In the next few days, we will publish additional details about this reward, including photos from the factory and a more precise idea of the rooms involved in this program.
Experience #2 - Private Screening
With this reward, you will receive a private screening of classic Italian masterpiece, shot on Ferrania film, for you and 9 of your friends. In addition, you may also choose any 4 rewards of $500 or less.
The screening print will be restored and transferred to a 16mm print by Marco Pagni. Nicola Baldini will host each event and be available for Q&A. Italian wine and chichetti (hors d'oeuvres) will be served, and each attendee will receive a Film Is Alive Collector box signed by Marco and Nicola.
The exact dates of the screenings will be worked out with the backers directly, but will take place between April 15 and July 15, 2015 in one of these five cities:
- Florence, Italy
- London, England
- Los Angeles, California
- New York, New York
- Tokyo, Japan
We will choose the venue, however, we are open to suggestions. You must get yourself and your friends to the party. The four film rewards you choose will be shipped by the deadline specified for that reward level.
Experience #3 - Super 8 Event
Nicola Baldini will film your special event on first-batch Super 8. At the end of the event, you will be presented with the actual camera Nicola uses, plus 10 Super 8 cartridges of your own. Your film will be processed and scanned personally by Marco Pagni. Nicola will personally edit your movie and deliver a 10-15 minute final digital file, as well as the original stock for your archives. Some additional points to consider:
- This reward must be redeemed between April 15 and July 15, 2015.
- We reserve the right to refuse travel to dangerous or exceedingly remote locations. The rule of thumb is 2 hours or less travel from any major international airport.
- Please contact us before pledging this reward to suggest a location.
- Regardless of the length of the event, filming will take place on one day only.
- The Super 8 camera will be a Braun Nizo 801 Macro - the highest quality non-professional Super 8 camera currently available in the used market. It will be fully refurbished and ready for a long life.
We really hope that a few people take advantage of these experiential rewards. Each one will be tailored to the backer and handled personally by our founding team. If you wish to back us at one of these three levels, but you have questions, please message us and we can discuss further.
Risks and challenges
The only risk is not reaching our goal.
Upon success, your risk practically vanishes. Testing is already underway at our mini-factory and we WILL produce one limited-size film batch on the schedule shown above. We have all of the materials we need, and we have given ourselves ample time to get it right.
Our team is ready to create the rewards, box them up and ship them to you with efficiency and professionalism. We have experience with high-volume Kickstarter campaigns. We are confident that we are ready for just about anything...Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
Sorry, no. Please see the complete answer on the Kickstarter FAQ. More to the point, we have a very limited production run and we must track all quantities down to the last roll. The Kickstarter admin tools are only able to track these quantities for one reward per user. If you want a Postcard from Italy reward (only that one, no others), send us a message and we can work it out.
Yes! You are free to pick any reward and pledge nearly any amount you wish. But just one reward and one pledge. For more on this, consult the “How to Manage Your Pledge” video on the Kickstarter FAQ.
The production batch is very limited in quantity and we have to slice it into four sizes in a way that gives the highest yield and lowest waste. The quantities you see in the rewards are based on our most efficient cutting pattern and balanced with the results of the survey we did recently (viewable on our website).
The rewards were purposely simple so that the greatest number of people would find something they like.
As it stands today - if we make new rewards, we will have to "steal" film rolls from other rewards.
But we are also paying attention to your requests. We are considering our options, and consulting with the factory team to see what can be done to shift things around a bit.
This first batch will be able to be processed in standard E-6 chemistry at any existing film or cinema lab that offers E-6 services.
We will be publishing a more extensive overview of E-6 as an update before the end of this campaign.
The answer to all of these questions is - maybe.
If we can successfully complete this Kickstarter, we will have all of the puzzle pieces that, together, add up to enormous potential to make just about any type of photographic or cinema film type ever made (with some limits, of course).
The key word there is "potential". There are still many many things to do to say for sure.
Yes - you can visit it digitally by searching for Ferrania, Italy in your favorite map software.
But we guess you’re actually asking about visiting lovely northern Italy to say hello face to face. At this time, we are not ready to conduct proper tours, but as soon as we are, we will announce a schedule on our website.
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