Hard News by Russell Brown


Media3: Saving the Lab

You know, I'm still not clear on how we got so quicky from digital cinematography as an awkward, expensive option for feature film production to the closure of the last 35mm film processing lab in Australasia. But it's 2013 and last week the lab at Park Road Post officially closed.

But just before a ceremony to mark the shuttering of the facility, a deal was reached: Archives New Zealand is to take over the equipment and use it to to preserve deteriorating heritage film, transferring it to more-durable polyester stock where necessary.

It's great news -- and Media3's Jose Barbosa was there to hear the announcement and record the delighted reactions of film fans like This Is New Zealand director Hugh Macdonald. His report will feature in this week's show, our last for this year.

As Jose points out, film's not dead -- there are still plenty of Hollywood films being shot on 35mm -- but it's certainly retreating. This agreement, which leaves open the prospect of Archives providing commercial processing facilities in future, is a win in more than one way.

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