Haghefilm R.I.P.

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DShepFilm

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Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostMon Oct 22, 2012 10:31 am

Haghefilm, the motion picture picture lab in the Netherlands that did the finest restoration work in the world, was declared bankrupt this morning and was closed and sealed this afternoon. Their wonderful technicians with unique skills have all been set adrift, and there is now no place in Europe except perhaps l'Immagine Ritrovata in Bologna and Prestech in London, each capable of very fine work but with very small output capacity, to turn crumbly old nitrate (or 28mm, 17.5mm, 9.5mm, etc) into sparkling new film prints.

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milefilms

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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostMon Oct 22, 2012 11:54 am

There's Reto.ch in Switzerland and a few more in the north countries, but they are also boutique labs and this is sadly going to be a continuing trend over the next few years. There's another archival lab in the US closing at the end of this year and LTC in France already went bankrupt. What looks to be the other trend, is that the archives will be buying up the lab equipment (like UCLA did and looks like Denmark will do) and they will be processing their own restorations out of necessity.
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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostMon Oct 22, 2012 12:50 pm

Cineco & Haghefilm, affiliated companies, seem to have been in the film business for about 90 years. Almost just like that, gone. I wonder if the Kodak bankruptcy had anything to do with Haghefilm's demise.
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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostMon Oct 22, 2012 4:22 pm

This seems like terrible news for restoration efforts. Is part of this because of the switch from film to video, and so less business is going their way?
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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostMon Oct 22, 2012 5:25 pm

missdupont wrote:This seems like terrible news for restoration efforts. Is part of this because of the switch from film to video, and so less business is going their way?


There's many reasons why labs are closing and yes, most of it has to do with the switch from film to digital but Haghefilm was a case that is reflected around the world as well. A few years back, the Nederlands announced a huge initiative to restore and digitize their entire country's collections. There were millions of euros involved and Haghefilm, one of the first labs to practice digital preservation, was set to do well for at least a few years. Unfortunately, from what I understand, the financial crash made historical preservation less important in the Nederlands and much of that money never come through, and labs had built up staffs for the upcoming quantity of work.

My fear is that this lack of concern for preservation for all sorts of artistic and cultural history is worldwide. If people are willing to get rid of Big Bird (hey, not a political crack -- that comment during a national debate was a real threat to important cultural/educational programs well beyond Elmo and the Grouch), what do you think politicians are willing to do to Mabel Normand?

That's why I'm working so hard for AMIA and especially, it's Advocacy Committee and the Press Office.
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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostMon Oct 22, 2012 7:31 pm

Rotten news for so many reasons. I wonder where this leaves the Haghefilm Foundation's program to train new archivists, or the EYE Institute, which moved into a very fancy looking new headquarters only last year?
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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostTue Oct 23, 2012 3:04 pm

milefilms wrote:My fear is that this lack of concern for preservation for all sorts of artistic and cultural history is worldwide. If people are willing to get rid of Big Bird (hey, not a political crack -- that comment during a national debate was a real threat to important cultural/educational programs well beyond Elmo and the Grouch), what do you think politicians are willing to do to Mabel Normand?


The problem I am facing is convincing people that film is still an important component to preservation. Because viewers can find Big Bird and Mabel Normand on TV, DVD, YouTube, Vimeo, whatever, they feel that work has already been preserved. They don't see the need to involve film in the preservation process anymore.

So what arguments would you make for film instead of digital as a preservation medium—given that today almost everyone experiences movies in digital formats? (full disclosure: I am working on a magazine article about this.)
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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostTue Oct 23, 2012 3:16 pm

Daniel Eagan wrote:
milefilms wrote:So what arguments would you make for film instead of digital as a preservation medium—given that today almost everyone experiences movies in digital formats? (full disclosure: I am working on a magazine article about this.)



Daniel,

Everyone can relate it to their own experiences. Many documents that they have created on their computers ten years ago can no longer be opened by the new programs. And even many of them that can be opened, have lost their formatting. Imagine what a film would look like.

Another thing are hard drives. Almost everybody has experiences of hard drives crashing on them and losing all their material. There is no hard drive that has a life span of more than five to (if extremely lucky) ten years. Even if you're lucky and migrate all the material, you still have the program problem.

Film is the one preservation material that has proven to last at least over 100 years and with the new archival film stocks, they can last far longer. Nothing is perfect and there are is much deterioration in whatever physical or digital you choose. But film is still the one.
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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostTue Oct 23, 2012 5:02 pm

milefilms wrote:Everyone can relate it to their own experiences. Many documents that they have created on their computers ten years ago can no longer be opened by the new programs. And even many of them that can be opened, have lost their formatting. Imagine what a film would look like.

Another thing are hard drives. Almost everybody has experiences of hard drives crashing on them and losing all their material. There is no hard drive that has a life span of more than five to (if extremely lucky) ten years. Even if you're lucky and migrate all the material, you still have the program problem.


If what I've experienced is a clue, this will be learned too late, when something "important" is lost. I've told colleagues about this problem since the late 1980s, when nobody at the place I was working at could find an 8" drive to read some old source code floppies. The endless treadmill to update everything is a problem of long standing and has been ignored almost the entire time. Conversion to a standard format is the other. Look at archive.org, they scan their items as JPEG 2000, a format very few use, instead of standard JPEG or even PNG which has the advantage of being open.

I don't even bother complaining anymore, it isn't worth the effort.
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telical

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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostTue Oct 23, 2012 6:51 pm

It's the result of the "cult of billionaires." You have more and more
money in fewer and fewer hands, and most of the hands are connected
to heads without much cultural sense.
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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostWed Oct 24, 2012 6:03 am

telical wrote:It's the result of the "cult of billionaires." You have more and more
money in fewer and fewer hands, and most of the hands are connected
to heads without much cultural sense.


The hands are connected to the heads? That certainly makes it MUCH easier to scratch your head in bewilderment!


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Mike Gebert

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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostWed Oct 24, 2012 6:57 am

It's the result of the "cult of billionaires." You have more and more
money in fewer and fewer hands


Not sure that the field in which the government agency works in the Packard Campus, and one of its main competitors is George Eastman House, entirely illustrates your point.
If you truly love film, I think the healthiest thing to do is not read books on the subject. I prefer the glossy film magazines with their big colour photos and gossip columns, or the National Enquirer. Such vulgarity is healthy and safe. —Werner Herzog
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telical

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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostWed Oct 24, 2012 9:23 am

Mike Gebert wrote:
It's the result of the "cult of billionaires." You have more and more
money in fewer and fewer hands


Not sure that the field in which the government agency works in the Packard Campus, and one of its main competitors is George Eastman House, entirely illustrates your point.


That's kind of an esoteric post that goes over my head.

I am not against wealth, and like most aspire to some degree of it, but
I see what happened to these labs going on at a local level. Several antique
malls have closed, because people do not realize that they have to support
small interesting businesses, or else we will start to live in "McDonaldville"
with more boring big box shops reducing our amount of choice, and the only
alternative to be internet shopping with less of a local feel. This reduces
the color of the landscape and being among one's community in an interesting
and fulfilling way.

There are now many billionaires (on paper) and most instead of liquidating
what they can of it and making the world a better place, keep it in stocks.
And I'm always blown away when I see millions given away to non-profits
which don't seem to make much difference, or tens of billions given
away to job creation programs which don't seem to be able to create the
income of a hundred thousand people for a few years. I imagine much
of the money in both circumstances isn't always spent, but stays in prudent
reserves (of the few, without much cultural education).
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Mike Gebert

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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostWed Oct 24, 2012 9:27 am

Okay, I'll say it more plainly :shock:

Wealthy patrons advanced the cause of film preservation at places like GEH, MOMA and LOC at least as much if not more than government subsidies, and at least in recent years, so has the free market. At least, it's not the clearest field for arguing for government over private enterprise.

Last time I checked capital invested in companies tended to produce certain benefits like, oh, employment and material improvements, too, but now we're getting into politics.
If you truly love film, I think the healthiest thing to do is not read books on the subject. I prefer the glossy film magazines with their big colour photos and gossip columns, or the National Enquirer. Such vulgarity is healthy and safe. —Werner Herzog
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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostWed Oct 24, 2012 10:05 am

Mike Gebert wrote:Okay, I'll say it more plainly :shock:

Wealthy patrons advanced the cause of film preservation at places like GEH, MOMA and LOC at least as much if not more than government subsidies, and at least in recent years, so has the free market. At least, it's not the clearest field for arguing for government over private enterprise.


Yes, no doubt but not enough people with wealth seem to be doing that enough for those places
to hire private companies like Haghefilm, or are they taking an interest in it enough to
support new non-profits or for profit companies to release the films in archives that
need restoration. No one is pointing the fingers at patrons who already support these causes.
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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostFri Oct 26, 2012 9:24 am

DShepFilm wrote:Haghefilm, the motion picture picture lab in the Netherlands that did the finest restoration work in the world, was declared bankrupt this morning and was closed and sealed this afternoon. Their wonderful technicians with unique skills have all been set adrift, and there is now no place in Europe except perhaps l'Immagine Ritrovata in Bologna and Prestech in London, each capable of very fine work but with very small output capacity, to turn crumbly old nitrate (or 28mm, 17.5mm, 9.5mm, etc) into sparkling new film prints.

David Shepard



I'm going to be a contrarian on this point, David, and say that by their own admission they did "the finest restoration work in the world," but I never saw a decent print come out of Haghefilm and most of their much-touted restorations that I saw left much to be desired. There are a half dozen preservation labs in Los Angeles that run rings around the late Haghefilm.
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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostFri Oct 26, 2012 11:12 pm

Bob Birchard wrote:
DShepFilm wrote:Haghefilm, the motion picture picture lab in the Netherlands that did the finest restoration work in the world, was declared bankrupt this morning and was closed and sealed this afternoon. Their wonderful technicians with unique skills have all been set adrift, and there is now no place in Europe except perhaps l'Immagine Ritrovata in Bologna and Prestech in London, each capable of very fine work but with very small output capacity, to turn crumbly old nitrate (or 28mm, 17.5mm, 9.5mm, etc) into sparkling new film prints.

David Shepard



I'm going to be a contrarian on this point, David, and say that by their own admission they did "the finest restoration work in the world," but I never saw a decent print come out of Haghefilm and most of their much-touted restorations that I saw left much to be desired. There are a half dozen preservation labs in Los Angeles that run rings around the late Haghefilm.



The saying we had was: "How to spot a Haghefilm print: Soft, printed two steps too dark, splices in original pre-print roll in restoration."

Atta Boy Bob (even though I hate to agree with you), the truth that few will come on here and say (though many have been saying it privately) is that the loss of Haghefilm is no loss at all. Their restoration work was indeed only praised by them and some high profile supporters, but a lot of other folk who know better knew better. And their rather hasty turn from high-flyer to bankrupt to instant closure speaks more of questionable business practice than tragic circumstance, even in a sadly dwindling marketplace.


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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostSat Oct 27, 2012 12:39 am

Mike Gebert wrote:Okay, I'll say it more plainly :shock:

Wealthy patrons advanced the cause of film preservation at places like GEH, MOMA and LOC at least as much if not more than government subsidies, and at least in recent years, so has the free market. At least, it's not the clearest field for arguing for government over private enterprise.



Considering that these lovely new Campuses that both LOC and the UCLA Film and Television Archives have or are currently in the process of getting built were both bought and paid for by David Packard, it's a very muddy field indeed.


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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostSat Oct 27, 2012 1:24 am

Richard M Roberts wrote: The saying we had was: "How to spot a Haghefilm print: Soft, printed two steps too dark, splices in original pre-print roll in restoration."

Atta Boy Bob (even though I hate to agree with you), the truth that few will come on here and say (though many have been saying it privately) is that the loss of Haghefilm is no loss at all. Their restoration work was indeed only praised by them and some high profile supporters, but a lot of other folk who know better knew better. And their rather hasty turn from high-flyer to bankrupt to instant closure speaks more of questionable business practice than tragic circumstance, even in a sadly dwindling marketplace.


RICHARD M ROBERTS



One of the most humorous (not to say embarrassing) moments in the history of film preservation occurred at the San Francisco Silent Film Festival several years back. A representative from Haghefilm got up to give an award to the George Eastman House for their new preservation of Maurice Tourneur's "The Blue Bird." Of course, this essentially represented Haghefilm giving an award to itself, since they had done the restoration. Then the "restoration" was screened. To be fair, there was built in decomp from the source material that couldn't be helped, but even making allowances for this, the print was indifferent at best. Beyond that, I counted three out of frame splices and a lengthy section of repeated footage--all of which ought to have been fixed before presenting this "award-winning" restoration to the public. Whether Haghefilm was simply sloppy or didn't know any better is unknown, and while GEH probably had no recourse to get back the money they spent on the restoration, they maybe ought to have turned back the award.
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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostSat Oct 27, 2012 6:49 am

I think rather than to bury Haghefilm with derision (and remember, labs and archives work together on restorations and mistakes are made even from the greatest of them when there's a rush to get a print to a premiere), or discuss the socio-economics of film support, I think the overall picture that labs cannot sustain themselves with the switch to digital is the reality and the real concern. There's another restoration lab closing in the US at the end of the year. When digital filmmaking and DCPs have become the norm, the bread and butter of the labs -- dailies, release prints, dupe negs, etc. -- have disappeared.

It's absolutely fair to critically analyze prints, but the capacity to produce them is disappearing quickly. I'm not an absolute fetishist for 35mm as most in this group, but the future is bleak for new 35mm prints.
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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostSat Oct 27, 2012 3:03 pm

milefilms wrote:I think rather than to bury Haghefilm with derision (and remember, labs and archives work together on restorations and mistakes are made even from the greatest of them when there's a rush to get a print to a premiere), or discuss the socio-economics of film support, I think the overall picture that labs cannot sustain themselves with the switch to digital is the reality and the real concern. There's another restoration lab closing in the US at the end of the year. When digital filmmaking and DCPs have become the norm, the bread and butter of the labs -- dailies, release prints, dupe negs, etc. -- have disappeared.

It's absolutely fair to critically analyze prints, but the capacity to produce them is disappearing quickly. I'm not an absolute fetishist for 35mm as most in this group, but the future is bleak for new 35mm prints.



Bleak indeed, but I think it is quite valid to suggest that perhaps Haghefilm's abrupt closure was not as indicative of the collapse of the General Industry as it might suggest.


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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostSat Oct 27, 2012 3:23 pm

Richard M Roberts wrote:Bleak indeed, but I think it is quite valid to suggest that perhaps Haghefilm's abrupt closure was not as indicative of the collapse of the General Industry as it might suggest.
RICHARD M ROBERTS


Fair enough Richard, but combined with my talks with the labs (I'm still making preservation negatives and a few prints) and through AMIA, with Fuji announcing that they will no longer be printing 35mm print stock, with Technicolor primarily becoming a film storage company, the closing of another (and very good) preservation lab that I can't name at the moment -- and of course, that big yellow company having it's own problems -- the water is rising. The expectation in the future is that some labs will continue to exist, but that the archives will have to have their own labs. Some, of course, already do. The lack of Film stock and film scanners will be another problem...
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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostSat Oct 27, 2012 3:53 pm

milefilms wrote:
Richard M Roberts wrote:Bleak indeed, but I think it is quite valid to suggest that perhaps Haghefilm's abrupt closure was not as indicative of the collapse of the General Industry as it might suggest.
RICHARD M ROBERTS


Fair enough Richard, but combined with my talks with the labs (I'm still making preservation negatives and a few prints) and through AMIA, with Fuji announcing that they will no longer be printing 35mm print stock, with Technicolor primarily becoming a film storage company, the closing of another (and very good) preservation lab that I can't name at the moment -- and of course, that big yellow company having it's own problems -- the water is rising. The expectation in the future is that some labs will continue to exist, but that the archives will have to have their own labs. Some, of course, already do. The lack of Film stock and film scanners will be another problem...



Yes, but at the same time (and it is odd to be the voice of optimism for once), the best thing that could have happened twenty years ago would have been for Kodak to lose it's stranglehold on manufacturing film in America (Kodak lost my respect in the early 1980's when their greed stopped them from dropping the price of film stock back down after the Hunt Brothers went to jail and the price of silver normalized), and now that is going to happen, and with bankruptcy looming, Kodak will be far more likely to sell it's film manufacturing arm to a smaller firm for a fair price. Film manufacturing will continue as a Boutique Industry, and there is still plenty of demand for it to keep a smaller firm or two in business for certainly the rest of our lives. Remember, there are still companies out there manufacturing recording cylinder blanks!

The Archives should have had their own labs way before now, and they are finally by necessity being forced to make that happen where it hadn't already. My concern is that there is not going to be another generation of lab technicians who know how to generate the material, but that is a problem to be dealt with as it comes. As someone who still uses labs to make 16mm prints for himself, I'm much more concerned with the survival of that guage, and that is a much more bleak picture than the Future of 35mm.


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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostSun Oct 28, 2012 1:24 am

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Being at Pinewood means that we are part of an exciting post production community and have access to the latest, cutting edge technology, offering a complete range of services and a huge wealth of experience. Using the skills and services of chosen Pinewood partners such as Outpost facilities (see friends of Narduzzo links) we have delivered full post for several TV and feature projects. Our collaborations with Pinewood Studios include feature and TV post and an ongoing slate of high end restoration projects. Within the Pinewood community we can offer an interesting alternative to the "one stop shop" post house option. We're happy to quote on full post production packages of any scale and budget.


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The Film Master is a very powerful grading platform capable of working from SD to 4K for film, TV and commercial finishing. It offers a high level of creative freedom and flexibility for both conforming and grading. The system also boasts an incredibly powerful set of tools for restoration work that includes de-spot and high end grain reduction software.

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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostSun Oct 28, 2012 10:07 am

Richard M Roberts wrote:As someone who still uses labs to make 16mm prints for himself, I'm much more concerned with the survival of that guage, and that is a much more bleak picture than the Future of 35mm.


RICHARD M ROBERTS



Wholeheartedly agree. I can’t afford to do it often, but I occasionally have some new 16mm elements made. In the case of my current fundraiser, which can be found in the Collecting and Preservation section here, I’m going to be making new internegs of a couple very rare 16mm cartoons. I’m 23 now...and truly hope some lab can handle making new 16mm negs/prints well into the future and affordably too. :x
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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostFri Nov 02, 2012 3:00 am

telical wrote:It's the result of the "cult of billionaires." You have more and more money in fewer and fewer hands, and most of the hands are connected to heads without much cultural sense.


As we all know, there can be no understanding between the hand and the brain unless the heart acts as mediator. :)


Richard M Roberts wrote:The Archives should have had their own labs way before now, and they are finally by necessity being forced to make that happen where it hadn't already. My concern is that there is not going to be another generation of lab technicians who know how to generate the material, but that is a problem to be dealt with as it comes.


Sadly, most archives are severely lacking the money/resources needed to acquire labs, though. Some of the archives with labs are really struggling to keep them open.
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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostMon Nov 05, 2012 2:54 pm

Here is a petition to save the Dutch analog film heritage and the knowledge and facilities of Cineco/Haghefilm. Being one of the last interns of the Haghefilm Foundation, I suggest to sign it and hope the best that their wonderful work can be continued...
http://petities.nl/petitie/analoge-cinema-van-industrie-naar-cultureel-erfgoed#.UJffSrY6HH0
Just call me "The Little Tease"...
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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostSat Dec 15, 2012 9:40 am

https://www.facebook.com/eyefilm/posts/10151126617071331

Good news for Dutch film industry today: Dutch film lab Cineco resumes as Haghefilm Digitaal

Dutch film lab Cineco and daughter company Haghefilm Conservation, which were declared bankrupt on October 23, will get a relaunch and will resume their activities under the new name Haghefilm Digitaal BV.

The restart prevents the disappearing of the knowledge of 35 mm film development and preservation from the Netherlands and makes sure film producers do not have to go abroad for the technical post-production of their films.

The relaunch of Cineco BV and Haghefilm BV is made possible by Erik Vrolijk and Wibo de Groot, who have over 20 years of international experience in the field of film laboratories, dealing with analogue as well as digital film. The two entrepeneurs have taken the lead in saving the only film lab in the Netherlands in order to keep the knowledge of film preservation within the country and to safeguard the conservation of cultural heritage. Managing Director of Hagefilm Digitaal is Erik Vrolijk.

Haghefilm Digitaal will be a full service (post-)production facility for film and video in the Netherlands.
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Re: Haghefilm R.I.P.

PostTue Dec 18, 2012 11:18 am

silentfilm wrote:https://www.facebook.com/eyefilm/posts/10151126617071331

Good news for Dutch film industry today: Dutch film lab Cineco resumes as Haghefilm Digitaal

Dutch film lab Cineco and daughter company Haghefilm Conservation, which were declared bankrupt on October 23, will get a relaunch and will resume their activities under the new name Haghefilm Digitaal BV.

The restart prevents the disappearing of the knowledge of 35 mm film development and preservation from the Netherlands and makes sure film producers do not have to go abroad for the technical post-production of their films.

The relaunch of Cineco BV and Haghefilm BV is made possible by Erik Vrolijk and Wibo de Groot, who have over 20 years of international experience in the field of film laboratories, dealing with analogue as well as digital film. The two entrepeneurs have taken the lead in saving the only film lab in the Netherlands in order to keep the knowledge of film preservation within the country and to safeguard the conservation of cultural heritage. Managing Director of Hagefilm Digitaal is Erik Vrolijk.

Haghefilm Digitaal will be a full service (post-)production facility for film and video in the Netherlands.


Hurray for the good guys! :D

Derek

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