Slow and Steady Wins the Race

Photo by David Burney

Photo by David Burney

As 2018 draws to a close, we offer a small update for those of you who are following along with our epic story.

We want to ensure everyone that our work continues even if reporting on that work has proven to be next to impossible. Our situation changes on a daily basis which makes publishing updates problematic.

More importantly, we clearly understand that continuing to speculate about what may happen in the next few weeks or months must stop. We are clearly bad at predicting the future, and despite our honest intentions at transparency, continuing to speculate is not fair to anyone.

As such, you will not hear much from us until we have products ready to ship.

The Plan

As we said a few months ago, we have been pursuing a new plan:

  1. We must be able to produce film continuously.

  2. We must be able to produce final, retail-ready products entirely in-house.

  3. We must radically reduce waste.

These things have always been goals, however our original plan was to make film and simultaneously work toward these goals over time. Reality has shown us that it is far too disruptive to work on the building while production is happening - and that we must meet these three goals first, before we can do anything else.

Of course we have some ideas internally about how long this work will take. We remain very confident in our plan, our team and our goals, but we simply do not know when we will be 100% ready to begin sales, and we will not speculate in public any longer.

The Rewards

No group has suffered longer with our inability to predict the future than our Kickstarter Backers. We feel that we have put the facts out there in good faith, and while a majority of our Backers continue to be entirely supportive, we understand that a number of Backers are intensely frustrated.

At this point in time, our objective is not to provide you with a date about the delivery of color reversal film, nor is it to repeat the facts that we have reported over the past years.

Our objective is to honor our Backers by giving you control over your pledge.

We are in the process of building a tool that gives you that control. This tool will allow you to update your shipping and email info whenever you like, and your original pledge will become a credit that you can use at any time in the future. All Backers will be notified when it is ready.

We wish everyone the very best for this holiday season and a Happy New Year!

Cheers,
The FILM Ferrania Team

The LRF is Ours Again

Factory Update: July-August 2018

The custom-built equipment for our new internal power plant arrived at the end of June and the installation happened right on schedule. This was the last of the government-mandated repairs and upgrades that have kept the LRF closed since February.

The offending transformers, removed and ready for recycling.

The offending transformers, removed and ready for recycling.

The building was officially returned to us on July 16.

With yet another delay behind us, our co-founder Marco Pagni has created a very detailed plan to restart with continuous production of film, and with the ability to create final products in-house. The to-do list is long, but the work has already begun.

The top priority now is upgrading the air treatment unit that serves the entire building. The LRF was originally used for experimental production, and during the final years of Ferrania Technologies, the air treatment unit was not maintained to the proper standards.

One of the main things we learned from P30 ALPHA production was that the air quality was not up to the standards necessary for retail production. As a result, we had huge costs in wasted materials during the last production runs. This obviously needs to be fixed before we produce anything more.

Continuous production means we will be coating, converting, packaging and making cases of 100 rolls every day of the week, week after week. This is a major step from the single-batch coating we did last year, and so Marco's punch-list is quite long.

Our team has been returning on a staggered schedule. Corrado and Luisa are already at work to optimize the production workflow and prepare orders for raw materials. The full team will be back at the beginning of September.

We have learned big lessons from the production last year.
We have a lot to do and a very clear plan for doing it.

FILM Ferrania: (Almost) Six Years in the Making

Normally, when we are quiet it's because we are very busy. This time the opposite is true.

Our factory has been offline since February of this year when a number of issues - some small and some major - combined to make production impossible.

This was the third potentially devastating delay we have faced in as many years. Once again, we doubled our efforts to keep the ship afloat, and we are still very much alive and kicking.

We are happy to report that the major factory issues have been fixed, and the final step of installing our new power plant is underway. Our team will be fully operational again later this month.

We are also thrilled to say that we have secured the resources necessary to finally provide continuous production of P30 film with all processes done in-house.

Photo by Andrea Zambelli on Ferrania P30 ALPHA

If you have been following our story, you will understand that this is truly game-changing for us.

Our co-founders, Nicola Baldini and Marco Pagni first set foot on the old Ferrania campus nearly six years ago while searching for The Other 85. After their visit, they formed a company and began to examine the viability of restoring the LRF as a scaled-down but fully capable, cinema-quality film factory.

FILM Ferrania was officially announced in July of 2013, and we know that at least a few thousand people out there have been watching our progress (or lack thereof) for five years now.

In September 2014, we welcomed nearly 5500 Kickstarter Backers to our community, and although we are three years past our original deadline, the vast majority of our Backers remain astonishingly patient and supportive.

Today, our community numbers in the tens of thousands. In your posts and comments and emails we see group of people who are very passionate about film in general, and who show continued enthusiasm about the vision of what FILM Ferrania can be. For this, we cannot thank you enough. With your encouragement (and even your criticism), we have made it through the darkest time in our history, and we have emerged stronger than ever.

We will now return to being very quiet and very busy. It is going to take all of our time and effort to stay completely focused on preparing the factory to restart with continuous, uninterrupted production.

We will see you again in Fall 2018.

Header photo posted here by Andrea Zambelli