Ciao a Tutti!
It has been a while since our last update to all Backers - but if you’ve been checking our website and following us on social media you know that we’ve been very, very busy.
That said, we wanted to take a moment to share a detailed update about FILM Ferrania and our Kickstarter campaign. We have divided this update into three sections:
- Myths and Legends
- Then and Now
- Coming Soon
We truly hope that ALL Backers will read the complete text below. We have even pulled in some help from the community to provide translations.
Myths and Legends
A lot of time has passed since the original Kickstarter campaign and despite the updates we’ve posted, we understand that information has been simply forgotten or misunderstood over time. We also know that very few Backers have read every single update, and so this section will address a few “myths and legends” that seem to have been created over time.
#1: Kickstarter Funding was to Make Film
The most widespread misunderstanding is that the money raised on Kickstarter was to make the film rewards. The simple truth is that the campaign was designed to save machinery from destruction (the text of our campaign is unchanged and you can read it again here). The machinery we saved was for the future of FILM Ferrania, not for producing the rewards. The Backer rewards were “pure” rewards because, at the time of the campaign, we had everything necessary to produce one batch of color reversal film.
#2: Making One Thing Means we can Make Everything
Another big misconception is that we can just “flip a switch” in our factory and immediately produce all films in all formats. This is not the fact in any way. Every brand on the market (except Fuji) must purchase some product or service from a third party. This makes the process of producing different formats and emulsions incredibly slow and difficult. It also adds cost to the end product. This is precisely why saving the machines was so important. Our storage building now contains nearly everything necessary to build a completely self-contained factory.
#3: Backers are Forgotten
Some people think that because we have been making FERRANIA P30® ALPHA film, we have somehow forgotten about making the Rewards - or that we cannot make a color film at all. We know that there is tremendous frustration about the long delay for Backer rewards, but assuming that we have given up is simply not true. Everything we do, every day, is to move our company forward and, in the process, fulfill our original promise to Backers.
Then and Now
It is not unreasonable for our Backers to ask, “If you could make color reversal rewards in 2015, why can’t you do it now?” We have answered this question over time in many updates, but never all at once in a single place.
The simplest answer is that we are less capable of producing color reversal film today than we were in the spring of 2015. Here are some of the reasons for that:
- Back in 2015, we had a team of 10, not the 6 we have today - and the composition of the team was optimized for color production. When asbestos was found in our building, and we lost our production window, we were forced to change the size and composition of our team.
- In 2015, our factory building was still connected to industrial-grade services (electric, steam, water). Despite much time and expense, this situation is not entirely fixed as of August 2017. We have found creative ways to work around many of these problems, but the fact is that we will remain less capable of color production until our services are 100% restored.
- After two years spent saving equipment, refurbishing our factory building and obtaining certification as a government-approved manufacturer, we simply have less money than in 2015.
These facts left us with a very critical choice.
In 2015, we were ready to produce a small batch of color reversal for Backers and then go ahead with the project to build a factory for the next 100 years. For many reasons we have discussed before, our window to make Backer rewards was closed. At that point, we were forced to choose. Do we use all our resources to make this small batch of color reversal for Backers, and then close the factory forever? Or do we continue building the factory and release the rewards Backers when we are truly able to do so?
We obviously chose the second option.
Backers will be first to receive color reversal film, of course, but we cannot leave a void after shipping rewards. We must be fully prepared to serve people around the world who are not Kickstarter Backers. Producing P30 is enabling this process, giving us valuable information about the scale we must achieve, and generating the necessary income to push forward.
There would not be a FILM Ferrania today without the contribution of our Kickstarter Backers. If we had not been able to purchase the machinery we now have, there would have been no reason to move forward and we would have moved on to other things in the winter of 2014.
We want to make it perfectly clear to everyone - Backers and non-Backers alike - that we owe you.
We owe you more than rewards, however. We owe you the film manufacturing company we envision.
We have not for a moment forgotten our promise to Backers. This promise is not only to Backers, but a promise to ourselves and to the film community as a whole.
But the fact remains that as of today, the only thing we can say with certainty about Kickstarter Rewards is “Coming Soon.” We don’t know how soon. When we have an actual shipping date, our Backers will be the first to know.
Our priority is to keep FILM Ferrania alive and growing. The Kickstarter Rewards can only become reality if this priority is our singular focus - whatever it takes.
Talk to Us
If you have read this entire post, we thank you. We hope it has answered some questions or concerns you may have had. We hope we have made our commitment to our Backers very clear. We hope you now understand our priorities and the magnitude of our task.
We have seen over time that for some, the frustration is too much to bear. We check our social media channels, website comments, and other forums nearly every day - and we see people venting their frustration in public in an effort to gain support from others who are frustrated.
However, the patience, support, and positivity we see are many many times greater than the frustration.
The FILM Ferrania Team