Industry Update

Spotlight on Labs

Published on website: May 14, 2013
Categories: Industry , Lab and Post Production , Imagecare Program , Industry Update
Film scanner at FotoKem
Hiromi Inatsuchi, president of IMAGICA WEST, a subsidiary of IMAGICA Corp.
Technicolor-PostWorks DI room
London-based i dailies

Every day, in cities around the world, talented experts at an array of outstanding laboratories help storytellers bring their images to life. In Camera checked in with just a few of these labs to see what's developing and on the horizon.

This year marks FotoKem’s 50th anniversary as a full-service post-production facility serving the creative community. With one of the most well-known labs in the world, the Burbank-based company offers a broad spectrum of services, including a palette of new digital workflows for 65mm, 35mm and 16mm film acquisition. Mike Brodersen, FotoKem’s VP of strategy, notes, “In recent months, both 65mm and 35mm 2-perf have seen a boost in popularity – filmmakers shooting 65mm as the gold standard in image quality and 2-perf 35mm as a cost-effective acquisition choice for ‘scope’ aspect ratios. Offering new digital tools in conjunction with film acquisition gives productions a wide array of finishing options for a variety of budget levels, with the added benefit of a built-in archive format for future proofing.” (

IMAGICA WEST Corp., located in Osaka, Japan, recently purchased a new ECP PHOTOMEC processor to continue to provide the industry with stellar images. The lab strives to not only have the best equipment but also to employ talented professionals. “Our employees are quite diverse,” says Hiromi Inatsuchi, president of IMAGICA WEST, a subsidiary of IMAGICA Corp. “Our workforce is young, with the majority still in their 30s, but we also have a number of highly-skilled employees in their 60s on the front line, which may be rare in today’s film laboratories. The younger ones are eager to learn something new, as well as something old (past techniques, history, etc.) from such senior employees. … Film will exist for a long time from now. … And we want to be the place where experts gather.

“Film is the most superior medium, especially in handling mixed colors,” adds Inatsuchi. “Experts are very aware of the advantages, thus as long as budgets allow, film will be in demand for a long time.” (

Over at Technicolor–PostWorks in New York City, they are seeing a reversal of recent trends, with more directors and cinematographers choosing to capture on film. “Filmmakers are finding that digital media lacks the warmth and emotional power that their narratives need. Film-original projects that we have recently serviced (or are currently servicing) include Inside Llewyn Davis, Bluebird, Chinese Puzzle, Delivery Man, The Butler, Noah, Non-Stop and Fading Gigolo. We also continue to service the television series Boardwalk Empire, which is shot on film. Technicolor–PostWorks works with filmmakers to develop novel workflow, cultivate technological and creative solutions to control costs, and to address other practicalities that might otherwise stand in the way of filmmakers’ desire to shoot film. That strategy is working and as a result, we believe the long-term future of film is bright,” says Charles Herzfeld, senior vice president of feature sales. (

London-based i dailies is installing a second PHOTOMEC Processer, which will run at 100 feet per minute, doubling their capacity to 90,000 feet per eight-hour overnight shift. The lab always finishes the processing that began at the start of the shift, and if necessary, can run a daytime processing bath on demand. The facility is also putting in the infrastructure to provide 35mm printing services for rush printing and print deliverables for delivery schedule requirements. “I can honestly say that we have a real passion for film,” says i dailies co-founder Nigel Horn. “We are dedicated to helping provide a viable infrastructure for all film-originated projects shooting in the UK and at the levels that a major studio project would expect in every regard; that is our commitment.” Projects on the horizon for i dailies (via Company 3) include Disney’s Cinderella for director Kenneth Branagh. (

Cineworks Digital Studios, Inc. has facilities in Miami, Florida; New Orleans, Louisiana; and Studio City and Santa Monica, California. The New Orleans location offers a full-service front-end lab, in addition to a comprehensive digital infrastructure where traditional post-production workflows and HD converge. President Vinny Hogan, a 36-year veteran in the industry, leads this highly experienced staff that follows meticulous guidelines for quality assurances. Film projects that have reached out to Cineworks for their expertise and post-production solutions include Olympus Has Fallen, Twelve Years a Slave, Oldboy, The Paperboy, G.I. Joe: Retaliation, and Looper. (

Find a Lab with Kodak’s Lab Locator App and Online Directory

On location in an unfamiliar city, and need to find a lab? Using your current location and selecting the service you are looking for, Kodak’s free Lab Locator app will find a location near you and provide contact information and a map to help you get there. The tool also provides the ability to search other locations by filling out the search form.

The Lab Locator app is available for iOS and ANDROID Devices. The same information is also available on Kodak’s website. The online lab directory allows you to search for facilities by service and/or country.

The KODAK IMAGECARE Program is a prestigious quality program for motion picture film processing laboratories. With member labs in Bulgaria, Canada, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Greece, India, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Turkey and the UK, the Program includes rigorous quality standards that assure member labs adhere to established practices with full documentation of procedures and calibration. Kodak works very closely with laboratory personnel to assure these standards are met and maintained. Visit for more information on the KODAK IMAGECARE Program and a list of member laboratories with contact information.