It’s 2022, and color film shooters are panicking. Their favorite films are disappearing, prices are increasing, and supply shortages are limiting availability around the world. The production of color film simply has not been able to keep up with the ever-increasing demand.
In response, many companies have thrown their hats into the color film ring. Lomography has released many experimental films, and companies like Silberra, Adox, and Cinestill have also recently tried out color film.
Now, there’s a new player on the market: Santa. Yes, Santa Claus himself is trying to bring color film to the good Leica boys and Leica girls around the world. And he needs your help.
From the makers of Santa Rae 1000 and 125 comes a new color film: Santacolor 100! This project is now live on Indiegogo, and you can check it out (along with image samples) right here.
Santa has produced two black & white films before, both made using Russian air surveillance film. Because of the war in Ukraine, though, the company ceased production of both those films. On top of that, the company donated all the costs & profits (Over $26,000) from their remaining stock of film to humanitarian aid in Ukraine.
This new color film, though, is different. This film is sourced from the United States and hand-spooled by Santa’s elves in Finland! They aim to have a final retail price between 10 and 13 dollars per roll. It’s not consumer-grade film, but it’s not Portra either.
IndieGoGo backers will also receive around a 40% discount for being an early adopter! That brings the per-roll cost down to single digits.
The issue, and the reason for the IndieGoGo, is that the minimum order is 15,000 rolls. That equates to a bit over $130,000. It’s up to the film community to show their passion and support for color photography. According to the IndieGoGo, this is how the Santa team will spend the money if the goal is reached.
- Film material: 50,000€ (~$53,000)
- Taxes and fees: 23,000€ (~$24,500)
- Labour and equipment to spool: 17,000€ (~$18,000)
- Shipping to customers: 16,000€ (~$17,000)
- Packaging and logistics: 6,000€ (~$6,400)
- 10% extra for unforeseen circumstances
Speaking of unforeseen circumstances, this is still a crowdfunded project. Although this is an experienced team with decades of film experience between them, there’s still a chance that things don’t go as planned. According to them, the most likely source of issues will be delayed shipments and a lack of available canisters. Not the worst problems to have, but important to know if you plan to back the project.
Luckily, the team at Santa is experienced. Aside from shipping thousands of rolls of Santa black & white film already, they’ve also managed and ran successful IndieGoGo campaigns for products like the VALOI camera scanning system before. They use the established logistics department from Kamerastore.com to make sure all orders get where they need to go, and they have experience marketing products for both Kamerastore and Camera Rescue.
Since Santacolor will be re-spooled by hand, there’s no DX code. Fortunately, most DX dependent cameras default to ISO 100 when they don’t detect the code, meaning this film will still be exposed properly.
Another interesting thing about the film is that it’s lacking the backing layer found on most C-41 films. This makes Santacolor thinner than normal film, but also changes the color profile a bit. Good labs will be able to correct for this, but if you’re self-scanning you may need to adjust your settings to compensate. Unfortunately, this film cannot be printed using the RA4 process. Apparently, though, it makes some nice slides if developed in E6 chemistry! Maybe because it has a transparent film base?
It’s pretty simple, in the end. The experienced Santa team is turning their attention to an underutilized, US-produced color film and wants to buy enough to supply the world! They plan to buy 1000 feet rolls of the film and hand-spool it into recycled cartridges at their office in Finland.
With your help via IndieGoGo, we can help bolster the struggling color film industry!
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