Kodak’s Magical Film Factory (Part Two of How Film Is Made)

This video is the second part (of three) of Smarter Everyday's in-depth tour of Kodak's film production line in Rochester, New York. In the first video, we saw how the base of the film is made out of pellets, as they're melted down and formed into uniform, thin, clear sheets.

In this second part, Destin Sandlin from Smarter Everyday shows us how the base material that was previously made is turned into a light-sensitive film. The process is one that involves high precision, with very tight tolerances, because each of the 6-12 layers that make up the light-sensitive emulsion is about half the thickness of a human hair. Making all of this even more challenging is the fact that the entire production process needs to be done in complete darkness.

There are some interesting concepts that come into use, like a layered laminar flow waterfall, a drying process that suspends the entire roll of material (that is hundreds of yards long) on a cushion of air, and an automated steering mechanism that keeps everything aligned as it moves through hundreds of feet of drying corridors, among others.

You'll also find out why the entire building is actually a part of the mechanism that allows the film to be produced with so much precision. 

The entire video is an hour long and is a treat for the curious mind. It's definitely worth your time.

If you missed it, you can check out part one of the process here. Part three of the film-making process will show how this wide roll of light-sensitive material is cut into strips and loaded into the cassettes that we know and love.

There are more in-depth videos about the chemistry and physics of making the film on the Smarter Everyday channel.

Susheel Chandradhas's picture

Susheel Chandradhas is a professional photographer and filmmaker based out of Chennai, India. He has a background in advertising and graphic design.

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