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Help FILM Ferrania build the factory of the future and the first batch of film is your reward.
Help FILM Ferrania build the factory of the future and the first batch of film is your reward.
Help FILM Ferrania build the factory of the future and the first batch of film is your reward.
5,582 backers pledged $322,420 to help bring this project to life.

State of the Union, January 2018 (Update #44)

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A very Happy New Year to You! 

 In 2017, we made our first product - P30 black and white film. People around the world bought P30 and many more people have been able to see P30 photos on social media. 

We are profoundly grateful for the support of the film community, and especially to our Backers for your patience as we learn, day by day, to solve problems and implement our vision. 

For those of you ready to stop reading now, here is the rest of this update in 4 bullets.

  • We are manufacturing P30 film, but getting it into cartridges at the right volume has become an issue that we have been trying very hard to fix. The video below shows this converting process.
  • The only real fix is the ultimate one: install the machines you helped us buy. We knew this from the beginning - but the best temporary solution we could find has very strict limits. So we have begun working on installing our 120 machines to help with the bottleneck.
  • By late-Summer 2018, after clearing the hurdles for converting, we can begin initial testing on color reversal film.
  • We are reopening our online shop on Thursday, January 25th, in the US/CAN first, and elsewhere soon after

For more details, read on... 

Converting Bottleneck

As we begin 2018, our factory team is confidently making coated rolls of P30 and is ready to expand coating operations to meet demand.

We are very proud of this, but it’s only half of the puzzle.

We make big rolls of film that need to be “converted” into small rolls - and we have a hard limit on the amount of 35mm film we can convert.

This short video shows the general process.

 

 The Converting Machines

Thanks to our Backers, we own all of the necessary machinery to convert 35mm, 120 and 127 films completely in-house. 

In the image below, you can see the various machines as they were in 2015, before starting to move them into the storage. (Click the image to see the full gallery.)

 

As you can see, these are complex and complicated industrial-scale machines. 

Removing them from their old location was a difficult and expensive task in itself. Installing them again is more than we can afford to do all at once. 

In fact, it was never the plan to do converting in-house so soon. We have always expected to simply purchase converting services from someone else. But the industry has changed a lot in the last few years, and we have learned that our options for converting are severely limited. 

The temporary solution we found for converting 35mm during the pre-sale has proven to be our only solution, and this solution has hard limits on production capacity. 

Because of this, and despite our best efforts, we enter 2018 with a limited supply of 35mm films available to us each week. 

What’s the Plan? 

Our 35mm converting line is the most complicated and expensive to install. But our 120 line is the easiest and cheapest - so let's start there! 

Once this line is restarted, we can (technically) make more 120 film in a single week than all of the 35mm film we have made so far. 

We cannot ignore our 35mm line. It's our next priority.* But having no bottleneck on 120 film will be a huge step forward for us. 

OK... but You Promised Me Color Reversal Film Rewards! 

And that is the goal we are working toward, one slow step at a time. 

In April 2015, we were forced to completely reset all the plans that would have provided you with rewards that year. Since then, we have faced many issues that would bankrupt any normal company. 

One by one, we have solved every problem and we remain standing. We now have two major parts of our operations under control and we are working on the third: 

  • Making emulsions at the right scale - Done! 
  • Coating miniJumbos at the right speed - Ready! 
  • Converting these into final boxes of film - In Progress! 
  • Restart color film testing - Late Summer 2018? 
  • Start color reversal film production - ??? 

Yes, the date that we will begin shipping the original rewards is still unknown. We would very much prefer that it’s as soon as possible, just like you. 

But we will keep solving problems every day until you have your rewards. 

The Shop is Opening Again! 

On Thursday, Jan. 25th, we will open our online shop for US & Canadian customers only. With our 35mm production bottleneck, we must stagger the opening of the shops globally. For details, please visit our site. 

PLEASE NOTE: If you are a Backer with an unused coupon from the pre-sale, DO NOT USE THE SHOP! We will contact you directly by email with instructions.

We remain humbled and encouraged by the continued patience and support our Backers have shown for our grand project. Grazie mille!

The FILM Ferrania Team

* We are looking for specific funding to finish this “Converting Project” at a much faster pace than sales alone will allow. The funding needed is less than most traditional investors will consider, so we have some ideas about how to do it differently. If you or anyone you know are interested to learn more, please contact us.

Roger Shone, Kris Lockyear, and 51 more people like this update.

Comments

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    1. Missing avatar

      Greg Branson on

      How about an update on the 120?

    2. Josh Katz on

      It’s nearly been 6 months without an update.
      Should I just consider this a loss?

    3. Kendra on

      Can I change my reward to the 35mm?

    4. Bill Collins on

      Thanks for keeping us up to date. I don't mind waiting for something worth waiting for,

    5. FILM Ferrania Creator on

      @Lauren King - if you will please email help@filmferrania.it, we can figure it out.

    6. Missing avatar

      Lauren King on

      Can you tell me if it's normal for a backer who requested the 35mm B&W film and confirmed their mailing address to still be waiting for their reward? Thanks.

    7. Missing avatar

      Vincent Huber on

      Thank you. This was a very good update, made even better by putting it all on Kickstarter.

    8. Julian L on

      Interesting news about 120 :)

    9. Missing avatar

      Jason Mads on

      Yea, bring on the 120!

    10. Everton Carneiro de Santana on

      Guys - as per your request - I sent you an email and got no answer at all. Would you please check and advise? thanks!

    11. FILM Ferrania Creator on

      @Terry Byford - once our 120 converting machines are installed, we are pretty sure we can also install the 127 converting machine in the same room. Time will tell... Regardless, we will produce 127 format films (in small batches) when we can.
      Regarding bulk rolls/daylight refills - producing either of these uses would cut into the number of regular rolls we can make - and until we are making enough regular rolls to meet demand, we just cannot do it.

    12. Terry Byford on

      Regarding 35mm P30, have you considered making it available in 15m or 30m bulk lengths?

      Also I recall many decades ago one could buy 35mm in 36 exposure daylight refills. These were simply the film wound on to the spool and protected by a paper leader. With the wide availability today of very inexpensive re-loadable cassettes, could this be an option?

    13. Terry Byford on

      Thanks for this latest update and your continuing hard work. Actually this is good news for me as I mainly use 120 film and my 35mm usage was for KK25. But can I make a plea: you mention 127 film in your heading. There seems to be no fresh stock of 127 film, whereas my two most used 120 films, FP4 and Tri-X are more or less readily available. I've got three 127 TLR's just waiting to have the dust blown off them.

    14. Missing avatar

      Michael Koumas on

      Please keep the faith! There are still many backers who want Film Ferrania to succeed beyond your wildest dreams. I would LOVE to get your P30 in 120 format.

    15. Missing avatar

      George Day on

      An update at last!! fantastic and all the better for being 120 spools that are first off the production line of P30, I can't wait for the European shop to open, I have my D96 at the ready courtesy of your countryman Mr Bellini :)

    16. FILM Ferrania Creator on

      @Aaron - 120 is easier because the machines are smaller and less complicated. Plus 120 film has fewer overall parts than 35mm.

      @Christian Augustin - For sure we will release P30 in 120 format as soon as possible.

    17. Missing avatar

      Aaron
      Superbacker
      on

      Still working at it! Way to go!

      So, we can anticipate P30 in 120 in the near future, is that what I'm reading? Very cool!

      Is there some description of the process for turning the raw film into 120 & 35mm which could give us laypersons an idea of the challenges and why it's so easier for the 120 vs 35mm?

    18. Missing avatar

      Christian Augustin on

      Oh, this is good news! And if you have to do the 120 line first – does that mean that we can get P30 in 120 format? Oh please, say yes (my Agfa Super Isolette will get excited when it hears it ;)) …

    19. Missing avatar

      Mehdi Bouhalassa on

      Reading you hurts, for you guys, but it's incredible to see your dedication! And it's part of the excitement and what makes this process historical... Keep it up!!! It will be ready when it's ready.