Podcast: Never Say Die – Film Rescue and Re-Spool


Do you need film stock for your 1947 Brownie Target Six-20 camera? Film for Classics has it. Found an undeveloped roll of film while cleaning out your grandfather’s junk drawer? Send it to the Rescued Film Project

On today’s episode of the B&H Photography Podcast, we examine two aspects of the film photography world that are alive and well. First, we speak with Levi Bettwieser of the Rescued Film Project about his self-assigned mission to collect, process, and preserve as many orphaned rolls of film as he can. He tells us about how his project got started, how he sustains it, his motivation, goals, and the future potential for such an impressive, yet motley archive. Bettwieser inspires us with his zeal, and speaks of the thrill (and the responsibility) he feels knowing that he is the first person to ever see the images contained on these rolls, some shot more than 70 years ago. For the Rescued Film Project’s wish-list, click here.

After a pause, we speak with Dick Havilland, who is a film re-spooler and operates his business out of an old paper mill near Rochester, New York. Havilland cuts and packages sheet film into sizes that fit formats long ago abandoned by the majority of manufacturers and photographers. He tells us how this passion project became a business, how he acquires his raw material and creates these rolls, and about a few of his clients, including the artist and photographer William Christenberry. 

Guests: Levi Bettwieser, Dick Havilland

The Paul Collection of 1200 ‘orphaned’ film rolls from Indiana, 1958

Select images form the Rescued Film Project  Above photos courtesy of the Rescued Film Project

Dick Havilland and the home of Film for Classics, Honeoye, NY

Film for Classics Allan Weitz


Host: Allan Weitz
Senior Creative Producer: John Harris
Producer: Jason Tables
Executive Producer: Lawrence Neves

1 Comment

Levi Bettwieser of Rescued Film Project
I enjoyed listening to Levi. His passion is evident. I continue to shoot film even though I now own a DSLR. My Canon A-1 (bought new in 1980) and New F-1 (bought used in 2013). I've solved the quandary of whether to shoot B&W or color; My A-1 is loaded with B&W and the F-1 with color.

Incredible story about the Kodak Brownie from the family that lived on the farm.

I miss Kodachrome; I shot K25 and K64 in the 80's, but not much as C-41 or B&W.

Question about the upcoming Great American Eclipse: Would it be worth my while to buy infrared B&W to photograph the eclipse, or just standard Tri-X? I'll be placing an order with B&H in 2017 to replinish my film stock.

Havilland: Obsolescence is a lack of imagination.
I love that quote.
It was interesting to hear Alan ask the B&H buyers of the supplier of the 127 film.

There's lot of history in this podcast. I enjoy these podcasts of older cameras and film.