Kodak’s Imagecare Program is a quality certification program for processing laboratories that began in 1996. It originated in the Asia Pacific Region and has grown to over 50 labs in 31 countries today. Based on ISO (International Organization for Standardization) principles, the Program was initially launched to promote world class levels of quality in motion picture film processing, and this remains its guiding principle to this day.
Motion picture film processing is complicated, and the stakes are high when handling such precious customer assets. With hundreds of thousands of dollars often spent on each day's shooting, the negative is an extremely valuable item, which must be protected at all times.
With today’s color negatives delivering ever finer grain structure, extended latitude, and true color reproduction, we want to ensure that the quality differential for film remains consistent throughout the imaging chain. And, a robust infrastructure of processing laboratories around the world maintains that differential, supporting the continued use of film, improving workflow efficiencies and – ultimately – protecting the creative integrity of content.
How does the Program work? First and foremost, a lab must meet stringent quality guidelines and standards to be accredited by the Program. Two levels of accreditation are currently offered: Camera Negative Processing (Phase I) and Release Printing Services (Phase II). All current member labs are Phase I certified and over a dozen are both Phase I & Phase II certified.
Then, the Program relies on staff involvement and self-assessment. Each lab is in the best position to constantly monitor its own standards and to find, and to quickly correct, any deviations from the norm. Annual external checks by Kodak technical personnel ensure that the highest standards are maintained.
Adhering to the Kodak requirements documented in the detailed Operations Manual is an opportunity for member labs to expand their own knowledge base and strengthen their value proposition to their customers.
These customers – the filmmakers – increasingly work worldwide, and they want to trust labs to deliver consistent standards of quality, wherever they have their film processed and printed, all across the globe. The Program’s global success has resulted in a high quality infrastructure for world- wide film processing. In this so-called digital age, there isn’t anything that exactly replicates the ‘film look’. When member labs deliver that in a way consistent with their customers’ vision that means business for them – and for us. Kodak’s ongoing support of the Imagecare Program is but one example of our commitment to film’s future