Film Labs & Processing

Image of Post-production, Film Labs & Processing

Film laboratories offer a wide range of services in a competitive market. Although labs will mainly work with feature film productions they understand that short films and artists' projects constitute a valuable part of the usage of film (from Super 8, 16mm and even 35mm) and may feel that it is in their interest to invest in these productions. It is important to contact a few labs (not all labs process every film gauge or stock) and see which will give you the best offer and service for your project. Be sure to outline the entire processing procedure (from printing low-quality rushes, telecine if required, negative cutting, grading/timing, sound processing, optical effects, and the production of the final screening print) and ensure that you cover all the stages in your budget. Try and get a contact at the lab who will look after your project and with whom you can discuss any mistakes or errors made in printing if need be.

Most labs offer a variety of services in addition to processing. The most common secondary service they will provide is Telecine. The word derives from 'television cinematography' and refers to the machine that converts the images on film into a signal that can be stored on videotape. A telecine machine is used to process anything shot on film to a video or digital format (for offline/online editing or broadcast). There are a variety of machines and processes used. If you are going to do an offline edit of your film that will then be passed onto a negative cutter to make a film print, you will not need a high-quality telecine (as its just for reference). But if you intend to show your work from a digital format then you would require a high quality telecine.

To make a screening print you will have to go through the two following stages.Grading or Timing- the process of adjusting the density and colour values for each shot in a film in order to achieve consistency and balance throughout the final print. And Negative Cutting - this is the cutting of the negative so that it exactly matches the work print (or offline edit) of your film, most labs offer an in-house negative cutter or can recommend people to carry this out. Then the process is completed with the production of a final positive print from the cut negative.

It is also possible to hand process film yourself. Lab run training courses and have equipment to help you develop your own film. For more information on hand processing we recommend you read Luxonline's excellent guide DIY Dev and Print.

Film Laboratories

714/715 Banbury Avenue, Slough, Berks SL1 4LR
Tel:01753 501 500
Cinelab London are the UK’s only full service film laboratory, offering a range of services for 35mm and 16mm feature film, front end negative processing, HD rushes deliverables, laser film recording, Film distribution printing, film restoration, and cleaning, as well as digital archive and digital cinema mastering and distribution. 

Deluxe London
Denham Media Park, North Orbital Road, Denham, Uxbridge, Middlesex UB9 5HQ
Tel:01895 832 323
Fax:01895 883 617
Deluxe are a large post-production facility offering 35mm positive and negative developing as well as 35mm film print duplication and grading services including colour timing.

Film and Photo Limited
13 Colville Road, South Action Industrial Park Estate, London W3 8BL
Tel:020 8992 0037
Fax:020 8993 2409
Film and Photo Ltd develop and print black and white, colour negative or colour reversal motion picture film from Super 8mm up to Super 35mm and also transfer from all film gauges, as well as offering contact, blow-up or reduction prints.

10 Kendal Court, Kendal Avenue, Park Royal W3 0RU
Tel: 0208 993 9794
"i-dallies offer the technical expertise, required capacity and level of service to satisfy all Film originated projects to the highest level.

In addition to our 16mm & 35mm Neg Processing and our 2 Spirit Datacines providing HD and 2k Rushes transfers we offer a full Printing service for Rushes. We also shoot and process optical tracks and can supply all Film Print and DCP Deliverables in addition to our ARRI Recorder Output."

i-dallies also offer a Preview and Grading Theatre with 35mm and Digital projection, 5.1 sound and a Nu Coda desk."
First Floor, 316-318 Bethnal Green Road, London E2 OAG
Tel:0207 7294494 is a new film lab, run by artists' for artists'. They offer 16mm optical printing, processing and printing as well as a 16mm telecine table providing offline quality video and audio output onto miniDV or DVCAM, (able to transfer positive and negative as well as reversing negative to positive). supply 16mm film stock available which is available for purchase at discounted member's rate. Their equipment can be used by paying members who will need to complete an induction course. They also run seminars, training courses, residencies and film screenings.
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The Widescreen Centre
47 Dorset Street, London W1U 7NE
Contact:Jake Astbury
Tel:020 7935 2580
Fax:020 7486 1272
This Super 8 specialist has a wide range of stock and offers. They run a processing service with option to telecine Super 8 film.

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