What if painters were told there would be no more watercolors, that they must transition to oil? No choice between manual and automatic transmission in your car. And moviegoers and filmmakers had to forego film for digital files?
This is what brought the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) Film Advocacy Task Force together: the need to ensure access to celluloid film as a production, preservation, and exhibition medium in the digital era. Being able to choose film matters a great deal to a great number of people and their reasons are not abstract but concrete. We want you to have access to those films that will never be digitized, to be able to experience 70mm film on the big screen, to have the option of creating your own family legacy through Super-8mm filmmaking. We want our moving image heritage to outlast our lifetime, with a guarantee that future generations will be able to understand how to extract and share those images.
It is in this spirit that we started production on WHY WE FILM.
WHY WE FILM explores why and how we engage with film as a physical object and experience- why we watch it, why we create with it, why we teach with it, why we preserve it. We’ve spent the past 18 months interviewing dozens of people in a range of motion picture-related professions: archivists, film-makers, scientists, researchers, projectionists, photochemical preservationists, cinematographers. We're shooting and finishing on 16mm and 35mm and, to this end, have received support from Kodak, Panavision, film professionals and labs, all of whom have donated goods and services.
True to the ethos of the Film Advocacy Task Force, this project is not a reiteration of the "film vs. digital" debate or an attempt to document the end of an era but is an all-encompassing testimony to the relevance of the format to everyone from the asset managers at Universal Studios to the scientists at the Image Permanence Institute to the "common" moviegoer. Our aim is to create a powerful message about film and its purpose as art, technology and business.
Now that we're nearing completion of the interviews, we’re asking for your sponsorship to help us buy and process the film stock. The film workflow also includes a negative cutter and the creation of a number of production elements such as an internegative and optical soundtrack negative (which also happen to act as preservation masters so we’ll be able to make prints into the future). The film professionals we've spoken to have generously pledged their time and expertise...but we’d really love to pay them. So any funds raised above our goal will go towards compensating the people working to make this film happen.
We've done well for ourselves in the past year and a half, thanks to those who have invested in the film by giving what money they can and by working for free or for a small fee. Now, with your help, we can complete the project and share with the world why we film.
Risks and challenges
Your donation will have a significant positive impact on the production of this film.
Once we reach our goal, we’ll be able to start shooting, processing, and editing. We expect completion in fall 2016. However, the nature of moviemaking demands patience and flexibility; if the production timeline shifts, we’re committed to keeping our investors informed.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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