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Tom Sykes

SAVE 16MM IN THE UK

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Not my words, but a terrible shame.

 

Please help out, currently there are already 5,000+ signatures.

 

"Soho Film Lab is the last commercial lab to print 16mm film in the UK.

 

It has recently been taken over by the US Company Deluxe, who have decided, as part of their worldwide policy, that 16mm is no longer a commercial priority and therefore to stop printing it with immediate effect.

 

Soho Film Lab, now named Deluxe Soho, has been told to take no new orders.

 

This is devastating news for many artists and filmmakers who continue to work with 16mm print, and to the museums, distributors and institutions fighting to preserve and raise the already fragile visibility of the most significant art form of the 20th century.

 

16mm continues to be an important medium for artists and filmmakers in the UK and worldwide and is frequently on show in major museums, galleries and festivals here and abroad. Works on film are also an important part of many international collections. There has also been a huge revival of interest in 16mm within the visual arts in the last 10 years by a new generation of artists and this renewed use of 16mm continues to expand significantly.

 

There is a constant demand for 16mm prints in Soho Film Lab. Contrary to what is imagined, 16mm print is still a small but viable market.

 

There is a cultural separation between art and the cinema industry that runs the labs. Cinema sees only digital as the future, but within art, both are important.

 

The complete disappearance of 16mm print production facilities in the UK represents a scandalous cultural loss both in the UK and abroad.

 

Sign the petition here"

http://www.gopetition.com/petition/43288.html

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In that case, wouldn't it make more sense for DeLuxe to sell their 16mm operations to an independent third party?

 

 

 

 

 

-- J.S.

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Yes it would but huge companies like Deluxe owned by another giant company enjoy buying up and closing down options for customers , just to make even more money . We have a old bag still alive in this country called Thatcher she had a now dead friend named Reagan who made this a normal practice .

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Um, how do they make money that way? They could make money by operating the 16mm business, or by selling it. Letting it sit there, they get nothing. Keep an eye on the commercial auction ads, they may sell it off that way.

 

 

 

 

 

-- J.S.

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Maybe because they know that 16mm isnt accepted as a HD origination much anymore the BBC he is one of them. So they are forcing companies to shoot 35mm or more so Electronic capture where they can charge silly money on their DI and make loads and loads of money compared to what they used to make on straight grading .

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sorry, but how many people here have ever printed 16mm? and of those who raised there hands how many in the last ten years? they are not stopping processing or printing 16mm dis to 35mm. they are merely not printing onto 16mm for the dozen or so 'artists' who 'need' prints for there installations. this is a load of bollocks. sorry to be harsh but it is. and it is not to do with corporate greed, it's to do with common sense.

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sorry, but how many people here have ever printed 16mm? and of those who raised there hands how many in the last ten years? they are not stopping processing or printing 16mm dis to 35mm. they are merely not printing onto 16mm for the dozen or so 'artists' who 'need' prints for there installations. this is a load of bollocks. sorry to be harsh but it is. and it is not to do with corporate greed, it's to do with common sense.

I prefer to project my films and all of my colour negative film (16mm) was processed and printed by Soho until they decided to take no further orders for the printing of 16mm film. I think I can claim therefore to be one who is troubled by the decision to cease 16mm printing. I always found them extremely friendly people at Soho, and the indications are that they feel as badly about the instructions they received from their new owners as we, their customers, were.

 

That having been said, although I have followed this matter quite closely, I have to say that the only reason I have seen for ceasing 16mm printing is that it does not fit with the corporate policies of Deluxe. I have not seen anything of a business case which supports the proposition that that the service should cease. They have not published any information as to the number of customers they had for the work; or details of proportion of available time taken up by customers; or of movements in demand; or of losses incurred in providing the service; or anything of the nature of a cost benefit analysis, and I am intrigued by the thought that what you say is anything but speculation on your part. I too am sorry to be harsh, but perhaps you can support what you say is "common sense" with some factual information.

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I prefer to project my films and all of my colour negative film (16mm) was processed and printed by Soho until they decided to take no further orders for the printing of 16mm film. I think I can claim therefore to be one who is troubled by the decision to cease 16mm printing. I always found them extremely friendly people at Soho, and the indications are that they feel as badly about the instructions they received from their new owners as we, their customers, were.

 

That having been said, although I have followed this matter quite closely, I have to say that the only reason I have seen for ceasing 16mm printing is that it does not fit with the corporate policies of Deluxe. I have not seen anything of a business case which supports the proposition that that the service should cease. They have not published any information as to the number of customers they had for the work; or details of proportion of available time taken up by customers; or of movements in demand; or of losses incurred in providing the service; or anything of the nature of a cost benefit analysis, and I am intrigued by the thought that what you say is anything but speculation on your part. I too am sorry to be harsh, but perhaps you can support what you say is "common sense" with some factual information.

 

 

The thing is if I was Deluxe and I had the choice I'd scrap it, I am making an educated guess, but I cannot see how it is economically possible to carry on- they are not a charity so to go on about corporate policies is a bit daft. Even if you feel there is a market for it, you must realise that to maintain this service is probably cost prohibitive (even if it makes small change money on a job by job basis) let alone the sky high rents that they pay for the prime soho location. I am not trying to discredit your artistic choice, in fact i fully respect it, but you are working in a very small pond with 16mm printing - I'd go as far as to say that 16mm aquisition is now very niche in london even after its recent mini revival. and if you are totally against digital projection you can print your 16mm onto 35mm. I am sympathetic to your anger at losing a respected lab, but there are far more important fights both inside and outside the british film industry and this is why I cannot find it in myself to give a damn. it's sad sure but in the grand scheme of things...

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Keith Mottram ''I'd go as far as to say that 16mm aquisition is now very niche in london even after its recent mini revival.''

 

I suggest you ring i-lab in Poland Street and ask them ...except they are probably too busy to answer the phones...

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The thing is if I was Deluxe and I had the choice I'd scrap it, I am making an educated guess, but I cannot see how it is economically possible to carry on- they are not a charity so to go on about corporate policies is a bit daft. Even if you feel there is a market for it, you must realise that to maintain this service is probably cost prohibitive (even if it makes small change money on a job by job basis) let alone the sky high rents that they pay for the prime soho location. I am not trying to discredit your artistic choice, in fact i fully respect it, but you are working in a very small pond with 16mm printing - I'd go as far as to say that 16mm aquisition is now very niche in london even after its recent mini revival. and if you are totally against digital projection you can print your 16mm onto 35mm. I am sympathetic to your anger at losing a respected lab, but there are far more important fights both inside and outside the british film industry and this is why I cannot find it in myself to give a damn. it's sad sure but in the grand scheme of things...

 

The point is you are not Deluxe, and all Deluxe have said to justify their decision is that 16mm printing does not fit their corporate policies. That, with respect, says nothing of the nature of a business case for the decision they have made. It certainly does not support your view that "to maintain this service is probably cost prohibitive" or that 16mm printing is now a "very nice niche in London", as you put it. Presumably had Deluxe been influenced by either of these points, or indeed any others, they would have said so having regard to the amount of criticism they have earned for themselves.

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The point is you are not Deluxe, and all Deluxe have said to justify their decision is that 16mm printing does not fit their corporate policies. That, with respect, says nothing of the nature of a business case for the decision they have made. It certainly does not support your view that "to maintain this service is probably cost prohibitive" or that 16mm printing is now a "very nice niche in London", as you put it. Presumably had Deluxe been influenced by either of these points, or indeed any others, they would have said so having regard to the amount of criticism they have earned for themselves.

 

okay I'll bite... I never said I was Deluxe, though I happen to think I am a pretty de luxe kind of guy... Anyway their statement may or may not support my view, though I believe it to be correct and I have yet to meet any working professional in London who would disagree. Deluxe or they're PR department have no need to go into the ins and outs of their decision as it is pretty friggin obvious. Are you honestly saying you believe that 16mm printing is economically viable?

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Keith Mottram ''I'd go as far as to say that 16mm aquisition is now very niche in london even after its recent mini revival.''

 

I suggest you ring i-lab in Poland Street and ask them ...except they are probably too busy to answer the phones...

 

Rob, I know people who still buy music on plastic discs that need a piece of metal to make them play! Seriously though the amount of commercial productions shot on 16mm is a tiny share of the market. Hell at the moment very few commercials in the UK are even shot on 35mm. So unless i-lab has invented a new definition of the word niche I don't see much point in ringing them!

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I suggest you ring i-lab in Poland Street and ask them ...except they are probably too busy to answer the phones...

 

Bingo -- There's your buyer for the equipment.

 

 

 

 

 

 

-- J.S.

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okay I'll bite... I never said I was Deluxe, though I happen to think I am a pretty de luxe kind of guy... Anyway their statement may or may not support my view, though I believe it to be correct and I have yet to meet any working professional in London who would disagree. Deluxe or they're PR department have no need to go into the ins and outs of their decision as it is pretty friggin obvious. Are you honestly saying you believe that 16mm printing is economically viable?

 

The fact of the matter is that the only information which Deluxe have published by way of explanation of their decision to end 16mm printing is that printing 16mm does not fit in with their global approach. I do not know whether 16mm printing is "economically viable" whatever that term might mean and, frankly, unless you know something about Deluxe's business which the rest of us do not, I suspect you do not "know" either. If 16mm printing was loss making, one might have expected Deluxe to say so, and had they done so whilst one might have questioned whether there was an alternative to ending the service, there would have been an understanding of what was driving the decision. They could, for example, have reviewed their charges or have provided the 16mm printing service on fewer days each week in order to make it more viable. You are, of course, correct when you say they were under no obligation to give reasons for their decision, but as it happens, they have felt it appropriate to offer an explanation, and "economic viability" of the service does not appear to be a consideration they have made mention of.

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The fact of the matter is that the only information which Deluxe have published by way of explanation of their decision to end 16mm printing is that printing 16mm does not fit in with their global approach. I do not know whether 16mm printing is "economically viable" ....

 

Companies sometimes sell off profitable operations, particularly after acquisitions, in order to stay focused on their core business -- to not have too many irons in the fire. DeLuxe appears to have decided to be an electronic post company, and let others specialize in 16mm film. They've been buying up post facilities over here, too. So, look for them to sell off the 16 printing operation, either as a whole, or piecemeal.

 

 

 

 

-- J.S.

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Companies sometimes sell off profitable operations, particularly after acquisitions, in order to stay focused on their core business -- to not have too many irons in the fire. DeLuxe appears to have decided to be an electronic post company, and let others specialize in 16mm film. They've been buying up post facilities over here, too. So, look for them to sell off the 16 printing operation, either as a whole, or piecemeal.

 

As you say, post acquisition disposals are not uncommon, but they usually take place as a going concern, that is to say before, rather than after, the service to be disposed of is closed down. Deluxe seem to have just closed down their 16mm service rather than dispose of it. Is there anything to sell now, other than perhaps the equipment they used?

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Keith...here's their number 0207 2879520

 

 

Thanks Rob, that's really useful, I'll be sure to give them a call next time I shoot 16mm... hopefully they'll still do 16mm! Ps you bigness website doesn't work.

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Keith...here's their number 0207 2879520

 

i-lab have also been taken over - by Reliance Mediaworks Ltd (RMW), formerly Adlabs Films Ltd. They are still processing 16mm negative stock, but they do not provide 16mm prints. Deluxe Soho, of course, are continuing to process 16mm negative stock.

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Following on from this topic and the petition which was organised in an attempt to persuade Delux Soho to reconsider their decision to close down their 16mm print facility in London, I picked up a posting on another board and I hope the poster will not mind if I quote his posting:

 

I dailes in West London have started processing negative Super 8. I've spoken to their general manager, John Thadcross (haven't tried them out yet) and he told me that they have only been processing Super 8 for a month having recently completed the modifications to their equipment but the Super 8 goes throught the same process as their 16 and 35 mm jobs. They have also recenly started doing 16 mm prints and John told me that the UK artist Tacita Dean, who has been very vocal about the loss of analog film facilities in the UK, has started bringing her processing work back from Germany to I - dailies. They way they got their start was by buying Ilabs facilities when they were closed down. They also have a Spirit scanner but are only set up to do first light runs on 8 mm and John told me that Ektachrome looks better than neg when scanned.

 

He was vague on pricing but I got the impression its expensive but that they are looking at ways to do possible deals e.g. get a price for a bunch of cassettes rather than just sending one.

 

The website is:
.

 

I'd be interested if any body has had experience with them.

 

 

I got to speak with John at i-dailies about the position in relation to 16mm printing. He explained to me that they had a printer for 35mm film and were able to produce 35mm prints, and they had recently commenced Super8 processing, but that they were not presently equiped to provide 16mm prints. They are able to process 16mm negative film, but not print it.

 

He informed me that that having been said, i-dailies were considering investing in a 16mm printer and were aware that there is demand for 16mm printing in the UK but they did not know the extent of the demand. He said that he had been surprised at the number of enquiries he had received in this regard but he needed to try to assess the level and strength of demand. I suggested that I post this message explaining the position and asking those who need this service in the UK to contact him via the web site referred to above so that he can get the best information as to demand for 16mm printing.

 

So.....here is an opportunity to all those who need 16mm printing in the UK to help a company which is seriously considering providing once again a service in the UK which many of us have in the past said we need. In helping i-dailies in this way, we would be helping ourselves and hopefully convince John that the demand justifies the investment his Company is contemplating.

 

We have somebody who is listening....

Edited by Robert Lewis

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Yes you do , but much as really hate to say this i just cant see how this will happen , i-dalies are going to have a very tough time to do what they do at the moment ! I am on your side belive me .

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Hi,

 

we are Barrandov film Labs at Prague (Czech Republic).

 

We offer processing of 35mm and 16mm, color and also b&w negatives (not reversal, ektachromes). We can make prints in all of these formats, including 16mm. Or digitize the picture in SD or HD resolution.

 

One 400ft can of color 16mm (processing & HD telecine) would cost some 247EUR (VAT incl.), for students of film or art schools even 213EUR.

 

one 400ft can neg. processing + making a print costs some 169EUR (color) or 137EUR (b&w), for students again a bit less.

 

Don´t hesitate to contact me. pjelen@barrandov.cz

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