Blackmagic Design today announced that Midwest Film Co. relies on Cintel Scanner for real time scanning for still photography and motion pictures. Based in Wichita, KS, the film lab is unique in that its scanning process for stills involves the same overall workflow as motion picture.
Since opening its doors in 2019, Midwest Film Co. has scanned hundreds of thousands of feet of film in just four short years. As Owner Justin Cary noted, the lab was built around Cintel Scanner thanks to its affordability and real time speed.
“I purchased Cintel with the hopes of helping filmmakers produce their work on film without destroying their bank accounts,” he explained. “I’m a cinematographer as well, and shipping your undeveloped negatives across the country with the hopes that you’ll get something back is nerve racking. I wanted to provide an affordable service that delivers the best images possible, all in a timely fashion, with clients kept in the loop on every step of the process.”
With Cintel Scanner powering the workflow, Cary knew he could differentiate his services. “I knew that motion scanning was obviously going to be a standard service, but what I was excited about was scanning stills,” he said. “Cintel allows me to offer the motion picture workflow, exactly as the big motion labs do, to still photographers, and now, we process and scan film for customers all over the world. We’ve seen a major uptick in clients as film shooters are finding us through stills, and Cintel has made it all possible.”
According to Cary, the stills scanning process is a bit more involved than motion picture. After processing the film, it’s spliced together onto a lab roll for scanning via Cintel Scanner with each roll scanned independently.
“A standard 35mm film frame is 24x36mm, or VistaVision in the motion world. This means that the image is eight perforations wide. Cintel can scan a maximum of four perforations at a time, so these images are rendered out as TIFFs and then stitched together using custom software to deliver the entire eight perforation image,” he explained. “This is the gold of the process. We’re delivering LOG scans of each image, so customers can grade them however they see fit. We also deliver a lightly graded roll as well, in case they want to download and use immediately.”
“Cintel is a workhorse,” Cary added. “I’ve scanned a single archival project that was 225,000 ft. of film, so it’s put in plenty of work. We use DaVinci Resolve Studio to not only control the Cintel but also to color grade the negative for delivery, and our DaVinci Resolve Micro Panel helps speed up that process. I’ve been using Resolve for many years for color grading and just recently switched to it for editing as well. It’s been fantastic.”
Cary concluded, “Our business is unique in a world where film photography and film production are ramping up like crazy. Offering stills scanned on a motion scanner is a very specialized and distinctive service. We’re pushing the boundaries of still photography for sure, opening an entirely new color negative as it relates to still photographers. It’s a little slice of the film industry, and we’re proud to help our customers be a part of it thanks to Cintel.”
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