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another dispatch from the end of the world as we know it


Two Nashville filmmakers have been traveling the country shooting an elegy to Kodachrome film, which went out of production last year and will cease being developed in December.

This week, their journey brought them to Rochester, where the color film got its start around 1935. “It’s an American icon,” Davis Watson said of Kodachrome. “It’s incredibly gorgeous and it’s very necessary for us to just come up and touch this place … to see where this thing really got off the ground.”

After learning that Dwayne’s Photo in Kansas — the world’s last Kodachrome processor — planned to stop developing the film, Watson and Jake Smith started shooting a documentary of the film’s era, along with a series of vignettes and experimental narratives, all on Kodachrome.

Smith and Watson were in New York City earlier in the week shooting a short film that showed the band The Last Royals trying to navigate the city with a carpet wrapped in a two-by-four with a drum suspended from the middle. On Tuesday, they were at the George Eastman House, watching early films shot with Kodachrome, with the help of Ed Stratmann, the museum’s associate curator of motion pictures.

Smith and Watson are using the website Kickstarter to raise money for their Kodachrome project and have received pledges of about $9,000 toward their $12,500 goal. Every Kickstarter project must be fully funded before its time expires or no money will change hands so Watson and Smith are hoping for more pledges by their deadline, which is today.

As the clock winds down on Kodachrome, Davis said they plan to “shoot, shoot, shoot before it’s too late.” He encourages others to do the same. “You have six weeks to enjoy one of the most beautiful color palettes that has ever been offered to photographers and cinematographers.”


check the website for more info…

celebrate the end at the American Cinematheque 12.9.10…


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