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Can You Give Me a Brief History of Movie Film?

The ‘Home Movie’ craze started in 1923 with the introduction of 16mm movie film. 35mm film had been around for decades, used for theatrical movies of the day. The film was large, cumbersome and extremely expensive, it was also very flammable. For many years, Eastman Kodak were in development of a new format that was easy to use, yet a fraction of the price of 35mm film. The end result was 16mm Cine Kodak. The ‘kit’ came with the camera, a projector and a tripod. The actual 16mm camera weighed in at 7 pounds. it had a hand crank, which had to be turned twice every second during the filming process. The whole deal cost a huge amount of money, $350 in the day, which equates in today’s money of $14,000! With that kind of investment, home movies were an extremely expensive hobby, reserved only for the wealthy and well funded individuals and film makers. In 1932, Kodak introduced ‘ Cine Kodak Eight ‘ . It utilized a special 16mm film type that had double the amount of sprocket holes, which were on both sides and 25ft long. The home movie maker would use one side of the movie film, then flip the movie film over and use the other side. When the movie film was exposed on both sides, the lab would split the film down the middle creating 2 x 25ft movie film strips which were then spliced together to make 50ft. The frame size of 8mm movie film was 1/4 that of 16mm movie film. The reduction in film frame size doubled the running time of 8mm movie film vs 16mm movie film with the same amount of film length, i.e 50ft of 8mm movie film would run approx 4mins, vs 100ft of 16mm movie film would be 4mins.