Before Video: A History of the Non-Theatrical Film

By Anthony Slide | Go to book overview

munications industry, documenting media market trends, surveying product sales and services, and the like. The publication continues to be widely used for information as varied as national and regional wages and salaries, corporate spending on audiovisual production, employee productivity, and the number of producers in each major U.S. city.

Important as Eastman Kodak's many projects were, ultimately it is the introduction of 16mm film that makes the company pre-eminent in the evolution of non-theatrical filmmaking. Celebrating the twenty-fifth anniversary of home movies in the summer of 1948, Film News commented:

Kodak set the 16mm size as standard--and insisted on safety film. This size precluded any splitting of 35mm nitrate films into widths for home use and thus removed a possible serious safety hazard.

The company introduced an improved reversal process into the United States which perhaps more than any other one factor contributed to the swift growth of these movies.

Kodak set up a worldwide system of processing stations.

These steps "made" 16mm photography. They created an everyday event from what, previously, had been an oddity. In short, Eastman did for this field what his Kodak Camera did for amateur still photography-- introduced it to the people as a whole and placed it within their financial means. 10


NOTES
1.
"Willard Cook: Father of Non-Theatrical in the U.S.A.," Film News, vol. VIII, no. 12 ( June-July 1948), p. 5.
2.
The agreement is in the Warner Bros. Collection at the Doheny Memorial Library of the University of Southern California.
3.
Memorandum to Mr. Bandy from Mrs. Price, August 15, 1929, in Warner Bros. Collection (see note 2).
4.
David Pierce, "Silent Movies and the Kodascope Libraries," American Cinematographer, vol. LXX, no. 1 ( January 1989), p. 37.
5.
Quoted in Douglas Collins, The Story of Kodak ( New York: Harry N. Abrams, 1990), p. 188.
6.
Carl W. Ackerman, George Eastman ( Boston: Houghton Mifflin, 1930), p. 454.
7.
School and Society, vol. XXIII, no. 586 ( March 20, 1926), p. 358.
8.
Arthur Edwin Krows, "Motion Pictures--Not for Theatres," Educational Screen, vol. XXI, no. 8 ( October 1942), p. 304.
9.
Educational Screen, vol. VIII, no. 3 ( March 1929), p. 89.
10.
"Kodak's 16mm History--From Lab to World Use," Film News, vol. VIII, no. 12 ( June-July 1948), p. 7.

-43-

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