A Page has Turned

By Jean-Noël Ferragut, AFC

par Jean-Noël Ferragut

[ English ] [ français ]

It is with a pang in my heart that in late June 2018, I will hear for the last time the continuous purring of the AFC’s printer carrying out the task that was assigned to it for the last quarter century. Namely, the reproduction of nearly three hundred copies of the AFC’s monthly Newsletter. Indeed, in the name of prudent cost-saving measures, and with a few rare exceptions that will confirm the rule, the Newsletter will only be available in PDF format, which each recipient will be able to print out if need be.

Although I wasn’t born chewing on a printed copy of the AFC’s Newsletter, I wasn’t far from it, and I told the story of how I became involved with the Newsletter shortly after it began in the issue informing readers about the death of Jacques Loiseleux, in April 2014. Return to the origins…
Dated May 1992, issue 0 only had four pages, photocopied on both sides on two stapled sheets of paper. It was a series of texts without any particular formatting. Until November 1993, it was about four to six pages long, sometimes ten, exceptionally eighteen for major events such as the cultural exception and the GATT. That average regularly increased, oscillating between eight and sixteen pages until January 1998.
The following month, the winds of change blew on the AFC : a departure from the Rue Francœur, after first being headquartered in a one-story house – an annex of the former Pathé Cinéma studios -, went hand-in-hand with a professional layout for the Newsletter, designed by the Achard-Sauvage agency, which also created the logos of the AFC and Imago. More airy and structured, the average number of its pages was variable, in function of the publication of general information and information about our active and associate members.

Besides this new formatting, concocted using a dedicated software programme, the acquisition of a new photocopier – also a printer – allowed us to obtain copies of much higher quality, although they were still printed on individual sheets of paper stapled together. Finally, in December 1999, we began to publish occasional images, which were able to illustrate the articles.
Beginning in July-August 2001, images became commonplace. Between February 1998 and July-August 2010, the seasonal variation in the number of pages in the Newsletter went from twelve to fifty pages (in December 2004), with the average being about thirty-four pages.
In September 2010, following a number of comments that our Newsletter resembled the information bulletins put out by the “Maisons de la culture”, a pet project of André Malraux, in the 1970s, and a request put in to Jean-Marie Achard to modernize its layout, a brand-new Newsletter, issue 201, emerged still warm from our “in-house” printer, this time in the form of a stapled brochure.

Thanks to technological advances, our published images could finally be scaled into different dimensions. Thanks to full-page cover photos, stills from films accompanying the texts and interviews with the AFC’s DoPs or the informational documents from our associate members, they all began to look much nicer. Once per year, colour even graced the cover page of our issues dedicated to the Micro Salon, to match its posters. Special issues were published on subjects such as the interviews from Cannes or Camerimage.
Always a multiple of four because of the brochure format, the number of pages averaged thirty-six, the Newsletter of January 2018, which reported on the passing on of Matthieu Poirot-Delpech for brighter horizons, was the apex with fifty-six pages.
Now that these pages have definitively been turned, I shall always keep them fondly in my memory !

In the portfolio below, four first pages from the AFC Newsletter as it was printed from its creation.

(Translated from French by Alexander Baron-Raiffe)