KEYWORDS: negs, paper, letters, toilet, quality

35MM Negs

David Berg

—MO Italy, July 13, 1975 LTs Only—NO.356

(From a KC Discussion of 35mm Negs:)

1. PRODUCING 35MM NEGS OF THE ORIGINAL MO LETTERS IS THE MOST IMPORTANT PHOTOGRAPHY JOB IN THE ENTIRE REVOLUTION and every creation team should have their best photographer doing it! However, he doesn't have to be an expert "photographer".

2. WE'RE ACTUALLY TALKING ABOUT A DARKROOM TECHNICIAN not a guy that goes out and takes portraits. Those are two different kinds of photography entirely. This is the kind of a guy who likes to be alone and he likes to be in a darkroom all day like I used to, believe it or not.

3. I USED TO DO THAT KIND OF WORK MYSELF for Technicolor‚ so I know what I'm talking about! You name it, you ask me—there's hardly anything I haven't done sometime or other! The Lord must have done that to me to give me broad experience in all these things so I can now help you and others.

4. THIS JOB NEEDS A MAN WHO LIKES TO WORK IN A DARKROOM. There are people who like to do work like that all day long with their hands and like to be alone. They get a thrill out of the accomplishment! I used to love it!

5. I HAD MY OWN DARKROOM AND I WORKED AND WORKED! That was one reason I was sorry we lost all those photographic books, because a lot of it was my own work. But anyhow, take the spoiling of your goods joyfully, Hallelujah! The Lord says forget the past anyway, so praise the Lord. But that's what we need.

6. NOW I GRANT YOU, 35 NEGS CANNOT GIVE YOU THE QUALITY that a fullsize neg can give you, but in the case of literature that's not our main concern. Now in the case of disciples I said what? Which do we want most, quality or quantity?—Quality! But I made another rule when I took over the publications Department in London and threw out the NITwits.

7. IN THE CASE OF LITERATURE I DON'T REALLY GIVE A DAMN ABOUT QUALITY! It's quantity we want!—Security speed and quantity! Now, if we can get quality too, fine but that's the last consideration, do you understand?

8. AS FAR AS I'M CONCERNED SECURITY COMES FIRST!—Make that your first requirement: To get the news to the world safely and fast is the most important thing. Right? All right security and speed comes first, quantity comes next and quality comes last.

9. NOW IN THE DISTRIBUTION OF 35MM FILM WHAT DO WE HAVE TO CONSIDER FIRST? Security and speed! Do the 35's quality for these? Absolutely!—For security, speed and economy of mailing. They qualify in every way except for these technical perfectionists who insist that every little shade and every little microscopic grain has to be perfect.

10. I'M SURE REALLY OUTSTANDING PERFECTIONIST TECHNICIANS WOULD NOT BE TOTALLY SATISFIED with our 35mm product. But I want to tell you something: You know whose idea the 35's was to begin with? Ho's and Enoch's—But you know where they got the idea? From me buddy‚ from me!

11. SO THOSE PEOPLE WHO CRITICISE THE 35MM NEGS ARE CRITICISING MY CHOICE! They showed me copies made from both full size negs and from 35 neg plates and I said‚ "For God's sake, there's not that much difference between the two! They can read either one of them. Let's get the 35's out!"

12. IT'S RIDICULOUS FOR US TO BE STRAINING AT A GNAT AND SWALLOWING A CAMEL OVER THIS QUALITY BUSINESS! I said‚ "That's good enough for me!—They can read it, and if it's going to get it there faster and more of them, let's use 35's!"

13. YOU KNOW‚ I'VE BEEN FIGHTING WITH SOME OF THESE PERFECTIONISTS FOR YEARS! They've never done it till now, so I'm still fighting with some of them. They even managed to convince some other leaders that it was still best to have the larger negs. I want to tell you right now, I am mad about it!

14. I WANT TO SEE MY LETTERS GO OUT IN 35 NEGS! I know you can't do it any more safely, economically or faster than by 35 negs: —You cannot do it! And I want to tell you something else: You cannot do it more securely or secretly.

15. A WHOLE BATCH OF THOSE LARGE NEGS GOT HUNG UP IN CUSTOMS once and they almost never got 'em out! Any customs official is bound to get suspicious about things like that, and besides that, It's big enough they can read it!

16. USING 35 NEGS, A WHOLE LETTER CAN BE STUCK IN A REGULAR AIRMAIL LETTER ENVELOPE wrapped up in several sheets of paper of the letter they're writing to accompany it or whatever. Once mailed like an ordinary letter it should never attract the slightest bit of attention or suspicion or get stopped for any reason whatsoever.

17. YOU CANNOT TELL ME THAT THE ADVANTAGES OF 35MM NEGS DO NOT OUTWEIGH ALL THESE LITTLE TECHNICAL PERFECTIONIST ADVANTAGES of the full size plates. To Hell with the plates as far as I'm concerned! We are not producing portraits in ten colours that have to have every microscopic dot correct! We are producing nothing but printed matter!

18. I DON'T CARE IF THEY PRINT IT ON TOILET PAPER as long as it gets out! I mean it! In fact they might read it quicker if it were on toilet paper‚ because who prints on toilet paper!

19. I KNOW A GUY WHO GOT HIS WIFE THAT WAY once! We met him in Canada where he worked in a paper plant where they made toilet paper. He told us how he wrote his name and address on one of the sheets of toilet paper and it went through and some woman finally got that in her bathroom! It came through with his name and address‚ so she wrote him a letter! They struck up a correspondence and finally got acquainted and got married. So toilet paper might have it's advantages!

20. I GOT MORE COMMENTS ON A LETTER I ONCE WROTE ON TOILET PAPER FROM MEXICO than some of my other letters have gotten! It was the only paper we had, and I was trying to show what awful toilet paper they had—It wouldn't even absorb ink much less anything else!

21. NOW I OUGHT TO HAVE SOME SAY SO ABOUT MY OWN LETTERS: If you want to make nice big glossy 8 x 11 negatives out of the stuff you're producing that's all right with me—that's your worry.

22. BUT I DON'T WANT TO SEE ANOTHER ONE OF MY LETTERS PUT ON ANY THING BUT 35 NEGS and I mean it! That's the way I want them distributed, and it suits me fine. Now have I got any sayso about that or not? How I originate these Letters is my business, and as far as I'm concerned I think I should have some sayso about how I get out the originate copies or film of them to where they need to get printed.

23. WELL, BELOVED THAT'S MY WORD WITH A BARK ON IT if it's worth anything! If I have control of anything, I want to see those negs get out on 35mm film made by the top photographer of the Revolution and I want to see them get out as close to the point of origin as possible for the sake of speed.

24. THERE WAS A DAY WHEN NEARLY EVERYTHING WE DID DEPENDED ON "HOW MUCH DOES IT COST?", but that isn't necessarily the primary consideration anymore. I mean we've got the money now, and money's not the main question anymore.

25. I WANT THE WORLD'S TOP PHOTOGRAPHERS AND TECHNICIANS WORKING ON MY LETTERS! What better job have they got to do than that, I'd like to know? I want somebody to give those guys their choice whether they want to work for me on my Letters or not‚ just like I did the NITwits. I let them have their choice.

26. I LAID DOWN THE LAW TO THE NITWITS one time back at Chinbrook in London‚ 1972 when I sent them this message: "Okay! Who wants to work with MO Letters and who wants to work on the NIT paper?"

27. SOME OF THE NITWITS TOOK OFF, SO ALL WE HAD LEFT THERE WERE GUYS WHO REALLY WANTED TO WORK ON MO LETTERS! How about that! GBM! A few other faithful ones have struck with us ever since.—The people who valued the MO Letters instead of fancy fables in four or five colour artwork with all those overlays and huge negs, expensive paper, big size and other luxuries!

28. AM I GETTING TOO RANTING AND RAVING FOR YOU? The kids like it when I get mad.—I don't know whether you like it or not! So I want the top photographers in the Revolution working on my Letters for 35mm! Savvy?

29. I MEAN, ARE THESE LETTERS IMPORTANT OR AREN'T THEY? What is the most important? Are we quibbling about peanuts when the whole world is at stake?

30. THERE WAS A TIME WHEN WE HAD TO COUNT EVERY LITTLE PENNY and I still believe in pinching the pennies as Maria knows. I even save paper napkins: I'll use it use it first to wipe my mouth, then I'll blow my nose on it, then I'll spit in it and I'll probably wind up on the toilet wiping my butt with it before I'll throw it away!

31. I'M TERRIBLE PENNY PINCHER, BUT WHEN IT COMES TO PINCHING PENNIES OVER THINGS THAT ARE OF ETERNAL VALUE and the whole world's at stake we'd penny-wise and pound-foolish!—It's ridiculous!—That's not the main reason.

32. IT'S SPEED, QUANTITY, CONVENIENCE AND SAFETY WE'RE AFTER MOST OF ALL! So let's get those photographers going and get them working on making 35's now. For God's sake, why should we waste money and time and risk security on producing and postage on mailing those big negs anymore?—All right? Are you guys persuaded? Okay, what are you going to do about it?

33. I AM COMPLETELY CONVINCED THAT 35'S ARE BEST! They are not only the most economical, but they are the fastest, easiest and the safest way to produce and send out original negs. Okay?

34. THEN LET'S DO IT!—NOW!—Thanks! God bless you all! You're doing a great job!—But "greater works than these shall ye do!—Amen? Go to it!—l love you! We're out to win the world, Brother! Let's go! Let's do it today!—Tomorrow is too late! Work with 35's now!