Dwayne’s Photo – A Documentary about the last lab to process Kodachrome

Dwayne’s Photo

Filmmaker Sarah George is asking for your help, to help her achieve her funding of $12,000 to create a short documentary portrait entirely shoot on film called DWAYNE’S PHOTO. This documentary is about Dwayne Steinle and his family run photo lab in Parsons, Kansas, and how it became the last place on earth to be able to develop Kodachrome film. Sarah is telling the personal story of how Dwayne came to process those last rolls of Kodachrome.

“Dwayne’s story is part of 94 ELEMENTS, a global cross-media storytelling project about the 94 naturally occurring elements in the periodic table. Dwayne gives us a human story behind the element of Silver. And what other element is more emotionally connected to the human story than silver? As the essential substance for capturing light on film, silver has illuminated our personal memories and our communal dreams: silver made visual storytelling accessible to all.”

Justin Goode © Justin Goode

Dwayne Steinle outside Dwayne’s Photo © Justin Goode

“Our film opens in a comfortable living room. Framed photos and mementos grace the walls and shelves. After a moment, Dwayne enters the room, carrying a slide projector in a box. He sets the box down to clear space on a table. Then, as he carefully opens the box and lifts the projector out, setting it in place, he begins to narrate, in voice over, the story of his life. As he continues setting up the projector, his voice is clear, his cadence unhurried as he tells us that he was born in 1931 here in Parsons, Kansas. He started taking photographs in high school. During the Korean War, he ran a photo lab for the Army. Back home, he started a fledgling photo business with a borrowed photo enlarger. His little business grew quickly and by 1956 he had founded Dwayne’s Photo.

He turns off the lights. We see the images, advancing one after the other.

In the early 1990s he decided to invest in equipment for processing Kodachrome – a complex and exacting process performed by only 25 photos labs in the world even at its peak of popularity. Then digital photography really started to take over. Kodak discontinued Kodachrome, then stopped making the chemicals for processing. At noon on December 30, 2010, Dwayne’s Photo accepted the last rolls of Kodachrome that would ever be processed.”

This is a fantastic story that I feel needs to be told. The project on Kickstarter only has less than three days left to to reach their pledged amount, they need your support! To support this project please click here: Dwayne’s Photo

Information: Kickstarter/ Dwayne’s Photo/ Steve McCurry