A wonderful Kodak documentary from 1958 on how film is was made. The original English soundtrack has been lost due to overdubbing into Dutch, but it’s had English subtitles recently added.

Thanks to Martin and Janice at Silverprint in the UK for bringing this to my attention via their website. The film can be found on Dutch photographer Marco Boeringa’s website.

This is the history of the film from Marco’s website.

Kodak 1958 factory film

This fascinating 1958 documentary titled “How film is made”, that documents the production process and birth of photographic and cinematic film, was initially uncovered as part of a heritage in the Netherlands. Although its exact source and purpose are as of yet still unknown, it may have been an instructional film for new employees at Kodak’s factories world wide, and was probably used as a promotional film for the general public as well. The original 16mm film came into the hands of Frank Bruinsma of the Super 8 Reversal Lab in the Netherlands, who decided to have it digitized in conjunction with CINECO and the help of others, and make it available on the internet.

After a member of the Analog Photography Users Group (APUG) pointed out its existence, a call for a translation was made, as the originally American production was dubbed in Dutch, probably in the beginning of the ’60s, and therefore the original English soundtrack lost. A joint effort was setup, including me, Ray Rogers, Denise and Louis Ross, and others. Frank Bruinsma was contacted, who was kind enough to share the digitized version of the film with the APUG community for the purpose of adding subtitles.

After much work, this is the result. We hope you will enjoy watching this historic document. Although modern day film factories still pretty much operate with the same basic processes, the current highly automated and computerized film factories would probably make it impossible to make a similar film at the present time, as much of the inner workings of the machinery is now hidden. And certainly, we would miss out on the lovely intricate details like the employees manually inspecting parts of the film for defects in (almost) complete darkness. Unfathomable in the light of today’s high efficiency economies and societies…

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Creating the film base.

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This technician is (casually) sliding ingots of silver into a vat of nitric acid to produce silver nitrate.

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