Long Island City is in Queens, just the other side of the Queensboro bridge. Home to one of the largest movie and still film production facilities; Silvercup. Yes, like the bread. When Kodak opened the doors to its new film lab in Long Island City in May, their first client was Steven Spielberg with his latest feature “The Papers“, starring Meryl Streep and Tom Hanks. Business has been booming ever since, and the successful launch has already necessitated making new hires and acquiring an additional processing machine.
A Renewed Interest
With industry trends indicating a renewed interest in shooting on film, including television, the timing of the opening of the new Kodak lab could not have been better. “Kodak is making it easier and more affordable to shoot film,” said Anne Hubbell, Kodak Vice President of Motion Picture. The lab has already been a game changer, allowing artists to shoot on their preferred medium.
The lab’s latest projects include the independent feature film “Mapplethorpe“, a biopic of American photographer Robert Mapplethorpe, and Season 2 of the HBO television comedy series “Crashing“, executive produced by Judd Apatow, about a New York comic forced to rebuild his life after his wife leaves him.
Kodak and Scorsese
The Kodak lab is currently prepping for Martin Scorsese’s latest film, “The Irishman“, which explores the slaying of labor union leader Jimmy Hoffa and features an all-star cast including Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Bobby Cannavale and Ray Romano. Also on the lab’s schedule: “A Quiet Place“, a thriller written, directed and produced by John Krasinski, who also stars in the film with his wife, Emily Blunt; and “Succession“, an HBO series about a dysfunctional modern media family dynasty.
Prior to the Kodak lab, there were no facilities in New York with the capacity to process film, forcing some productions either to go to other states or forego their desire to shoot on film and use digital productions. This also adversely impacted business for many post houses in New York. “Since interest in film is definitely back in a dramatic way, having the Kodak lab in New York is a major contribution to the post-production industry, helping us to capture business that would otherwise go to another state,” said Clark Henderson, Senior Vice President, Theatrical Services of Technicolor-PostWorks, New York. Since Kodak actually started in upstate New York, the down state plant makes perfect sense. Settling in where the action is, so to speak.
More Services Planned?
While the Kodak lab currently focuses strictly on processing 16mm and 35mm color negative, more services are planned—building New York’s strong industry ecosystem and adding even more value to the film production industry in the Empire State. Two new labs in London and New York match a growing demand for film development services. Last year, Kodak President Steve Bellamy, told everyone about Kodak’s plans and the resurgence of film. Kodak is fully aware of the limitations associated with a lack of film development services and is looking to rebuild quality labs in major cities across the world. While the impetus is mainly motion pictures right now, the facilities are already expanding production, and I’m sure Kodak is listening to the still photographers of the world.
Kodak also acquired a film-processing lab in Atlanta, Georgia, where film is already being processed for “The Walking Dead“ and other major film and television productions. I guess someone poked the bear.