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A 16mm doc that explores how we engage with celluloid film as an object and experience, and evidences its relevance in a digital world.
168 backers pledged $15,106 to help bring this project to life.

About

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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.

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    Limited edition FATF button for supporters of the Kickstarter!

    In addition to advocating for film as an artistic and archival medium, we are mindful of doing right by non-film people, too. So our reward buttons and magnets are 100% made in the USA by the folks at Busy Beaver in Chicago. Our glow-in-the-dark cups are eco-friendly, recyclable and manufactured by a family-owned business; they were purchased through a woman-owned business in the Adirondack Park, one of the most economically disadvantaged areas in the United States. And our tote bags are made by either American Apparel in Los Angeles or are organic cotton and are screen-printed by a small business in Troy, New York.

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    Donated by film stock manufacturer ORWO, this reward bundles a stylish ORWO Bandana with a FATF button!

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    Warner Archive "mystery" DVDs -

    If you don't conserve and preserve on film, you can't release on DVD! Our friends at the Warner Archive are offering 8 DVDs of various titles in their library to WWF donors.

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    Limited edition FATF tote & refrigerator magnet

    In addition to advocating for film as an artistic and archival medium, we are mindful of doing right by non-film people, too. So our reward buttons and magnets are 100% made in the USA by the folks at Busy Beaver in Chicago. Our glow-in-the-dark cups are eco-friendly, recyclable and manufactured by a family-owned business; they were purchased through a woman-owned business in the Adirondack Park, one of the most economically disadvantaged areas in the United States. And our tote bags are made by either American Apparel in Los Angeles or are organic cotton and are screen-printed by a small business in Troy, New York.

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    Random 1960s/1970s vintage movie poster (guaranteed to be amazing!)

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    $50 - Tony Ganz pitch approval/rejection letter

    Ever wonder what it's like to get a pitch approval or rejection letter from a big-shot Hollywood producer? Well, now you'll know. For $50, you will receive an authentic, signed letter from Tony Ganz (GUNG HO) telling you either how great or how miserable your fictitious project is.

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    Ira Wohl received the Academy Award for Best Documentary with his film BEST BOY. Now he wands to reward one special donor with a handwritten inscription of his favorite movie quote, made just for you.

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    Real 16mm film prints culled from world-famous collections like Harvard Film Archive and the New York Public Library

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    Copy of LEONARD MALTIN'S CLASSIC MOVIE GUIDE (3rd Ed.), autographed by Leonard and inscribed with one of his favorite movie quotes

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    If you spent even a microsecond in an American public school or library in the last 50 years, you’ve seen a film by animator and director Eli Noyes, Jr. BAD DOG, ROACHES LULLABY, SANDMAN and the seminal CLAY OR THE ORIGIN OF SPECIES are all part of his prodigious short-film catalog. Eli is an early contributor to Sesame Street, an Academy Award nominee and a forefather of claymation. For a donation of $75, you will receive a limited-edition sketch by Eli Noyes, made especially for this campaign, signed by him and inscribed to you.

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    Niles Eldredge, star paleontologist and curator emeritus of the American Museum of Natural History, will send one donor a signed copy of his large format coffee table book entitled Extinction and Evolution. Dr. Eldredge, along with Stephen Jay Gould of Harvard, formulated the evolutionary theory known as Punctuated Equilibria, which challenges Darwin's premise that evolution occurs gradually. Dr. Eldredge also mixes a mean cocktail.

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    Movie posters of the '50s, '60s and '70s: part art, part pulp fiction. For a donation of $100, you will receive a poster from the collection of the Rossi Family who owned single-screen theaters in upstate New York. Posters are guaranteed to be "amazing" and authentic, but please keep in mind that they may need some TLC before being displayed.

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    Beautiful hand-painted interpretations of classic cinematic moments, set of 3 woodblock paintings

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    Full year-long membership to Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) & FATF 35mm bookmark

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    Handmade quilt by the mother of a prominent archivist!

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    Kodak Factory tour including light lunch and/or snacks [Limited to FOUR people, all of whom would tour factory in a single day. FATF will contact backers to organize this after campaign ends. No reimbursement for travel/meal expenses]

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    Drink and Develop Filmmaking Workshop - Private class teaches you how to shoot 16mm B/W film and processing using non-toxic items found in your kitchen!

    Spend the day drinking and developing film with director of cinema-arts non-profit organization MONO NO AWARE, Steve Cossman. In this private workshop, you'll shoot 100' of B/W 16mm film stock on the Bolex Rex-5 camera, then enter the darkroom to learn how to mix your own developing solution from Coffee (21 & under) or Beer (21+) or, a mixture of both (what we are calling "the red-eye") After processing the film as negative, and learning how to solarize, we'll dry and clean the film in preparation for the HD transfer of the film. The final file is available for you to edit and share with friends and family. Workshop Includes 100' of ORWO UN-54 16mm film stock, a day rental of the Bolex camera, a six pack of beer or organic coffee crystals, Access to the darkroom facilities, glass wear and processing equipment and 8 hours of private instruction. Workshop to take place in March 2016.

    https://vimeo.com/134693707

    www.mononoawarefilm.com

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    Special THANK YOU credit on the film (shot on 16mm)

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    Nothing says "fancy patron of the arts" like an original work hanging on your wall. For a donation of $400, receive an archival pigment print on cotton rag paper from Katy Martin, a visual artist whose work combines painting, photography and performance. Her method is to paint directly onto her skin which is then photographed and printed. Work will be from the Local Color series and will measure 12” x 9”.

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    Single-frame credit on the film (shot on 16mm)

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Funding period

- (31 days)