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Kodak Lives! Company Will Likely Be out of Bankruptcy in 2013

01.25.13 @ 3:19PM Tags : , ,

Kodak has been making motion picture film since the beginning of cinema, but earlier in 2012 it looked like the company was on its last legs. Fuji also announced last year that it would no longer be making motion picture at all, so 2012 very well could have been the end of celluloid as we knew it. But Kodak isn’t throwing in the towel yet, as a court decision has approved $844 million in financing from multiple deals and sources in order to emerge from bankruptcy sometime this year.

Here is a bit from their press release on the matter:

This financing, which authorizes Kodak to borrow up to $844 million, strengthens Kodak’s position to successfully execute its remaining reorganization objectives, finalize its Plan of Reorganization, and emerge from Chapter 11 in mid-2013.

“Taken together, these accomplishments, along with other recent developments, such as the resolution of certain of our legacy liabilities, demonstrate the tangible and meaningful progress Kodak is making as it moves through the final phase of its restructuring.”
“The Court’s approval of this financing commitment puts Kodak in a strong position to emerge from Chapter 11. This agreement, in conjunction with the recently approved sale and licensing of our digital imaging patent portfolio, lays the financial foundation for our Plan of Reorganization and a successful emergence from Chapter 11 as a profitable and sustainable company,” said Antonio M. Perez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer. “Taken together, these accomplishments, along with other recent developments, such as the resolution of certain of our legacy liabilities, demonstrate the tangible and meaningful progress Kodak is making as it moves through the final phase of its restructuring.”

The company isn’t quite out of the woods yet, everything else still has to fall into place, but it does mean they should be finishing their restructuring in 2013. Film may have a much smaller piece of the filmmaking pie, but it’s still being used on many major projects, and now that all signs are pointing towards the company going back to business as usual (for the parts of their organization that they still own), you don’t have to start buying up and freezing a truckload of Kodak stock just yet.

We’ll just have to wait and see if they can emerge as a stronger company in 2013, but there is no question they are still in major debt — though they should be in a much better position to manage this debt. 2013 could be a huge transition year for film, and while I don’t know how celluloid fits into their business plan, I would hope after this last bankruptcy that they have an exit strategy for that part of their business, too.

What do you think of all of this? What do you think Kodak’s role should be in the filmmaking world?

Link: Kodak Receives Court Approval of Financing Agreement

[via The Verge & Engadget]


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Description image 31 COMMENTS

  • How sustainable can the company be if they sold off their digital imaging patent portfolio, and the market for film of any kind is in continuous decline? How else do they make money? Licensing their brand? That can’t make that much money…

  • larry sanders on 01.25.13 @ 3:54PM

    “while I don’t know how celluloid fits into their business plan, I would hope after this last bankruptcy that they have an exit strategy for that part of their business, too.”

    Their motion picture film department made a profit in 2012 for the first time in ten years. They believe that their film dept has finally reached a stable point, re: digital transition seems to have bottomed out. Their biggest loss/mistake was moving towards cheap printers/scanners spearheaded by their CEO, formerly of HP.

    I for one would like to see ‘No Film School’ have a better, more articulate understanding of celluloid. As every story I read on here involving film seems to be misinformed.

    • larry sanders on 01.25.13 @ 4:06PM

      for example of NFS’s poor handling of celluloid-related news:
      “Kodak Not Down for the Count Yet, Announces a New Super 8mm Stock to Prove It”

      This article, while correct in announcing that Kodak was releasing a new Super-8 stock, completely neglected/ignored the fact that Kodak had also the same day announced the discontinuation of Ektachrome, the only remaining color-reversal stock, which before being discontinued was available in Super-8, 16mm, and 35mm. Ektachrome was hugely important to many filmmakers, and didn’t even get a mention…

    • They haven’t shown Q4 results yet, but Graphics, Entertainment and Commercial Films (or GECF), which is the division of the company that makes film, has consistently posted losses, and posted a loss in Q1-Q3 2012. Demand for film has decreased, and will continue to decrease, and Kodak is hoping deals they’ve made in Hollywood with studios and decreases in costs and overhead associated with that division will help it turn a profit even as net sales decrease.

      In my quote, I was referring to the company 5-10 years down the road, when film use will most likely be non-existent. The one big factor in this will be labs. If you’re a lab /post-house that’s made most of your money processing film, you’re hurting right now, and I know this from those who work at such places. Those companies will move on from processing film, and then it won’t be a matter of who makes film (which after Spring 2013 will only be Kodak), but a matter of who will process it.

      Kodak’s current projections for GECF through 2017 show a decline in sales year after year, but an increase in profit thanks to a projected decrease in cost of goods as well as some other accounting strategies.

      I haven’t come across anything that splits out motion picture film from GECF, even as Kodak says film is profitable. We also shouldn’t forget that Kodak has been raising prices on their film stock over the last few years (above inflation), so profitability isn’t necessarily determined by demand in this case.

      • Anthony Marino on 01.25.13 @ 8:31PM

        According to a nyt article dec 19. Kodak is selling their film division. They sold 550 patents to everybody from Samsung to apple. Didn’t remember anything interesting mentioned. Do they have a R&D for their sensor division? It’s seems like they’re selling everything off. Glad to hear them getting back on track financially.

        • They’re selling their still photography division, but they are going to keep making motion picture film.

          • larry sanders on 01.26.13 @ 1:56PM

            Thanks Joe,

            Appreciate the well-researched response, but why not include any of that info in the article?

            • Well, we’re not an investment site, so really the stuff that matters to our readers is whether the company is going to survive, and whether film will survive, and both of those seem likely.

    • Kenneth Merrill on 01.26.13 @ 4:44PM

      I completely agree with you. It’s pretty obvious that most people who post on this site have little-to-no experience with film or a real understanding of the metaphysical issues associated with digital imaging. I’m not against digital cinema since I would personally be unable to make films without it, however there are many dangers in this new territory we venture into, and I do wish there was a little more retrospection and respect for the old ways.

  • I’ve been shooting 35mm for two weeks now (5213 & 5219) and today I’ve watched 35mm copies & TC of the first week and it was tremendous, copies are gorgeous with beautiful skin tones (watching on a 9m wide screen helps also). This is emotion.

    Note that I’am waiting to see DCP of scans from 35mm in order to compare this to the Alexa for instance as we are not comparing the same things.

    What I can already say is that, it is VERY DIFFERENT from digital, how could it be otherwise ?

    I would not say it is better or worst, it is just different : for different uses, different looks and… different movies.

    • Problem is, the general public don’t care. They don’t watch a movie and say, “man, I really liked the way the 35mm film looked…”

      Why put yourself through the hassle of film, when digital is cheaper, more convenient and your audience doesn’t care?

      If my audience doesn’t know/care, then I’m shooting digital all the way.

  • quite a good news I’d say, too bad that there is like ONE lab that still decently processes films in london for students, and they charges ridiculously

  • why doesn’t Kodak Just Go Away™… patent trolling does no one any good and their imaging products are pretty much yesterday’s news. film as we know it will become a specialty product made by some small company to service photogs and artists who create work with it.. of course they do have a good chemical division and maybe they should stick to something people need / want / will pay for and is relevant…. because Kodak is pretty much irrelevant now when it comes to imaging.

    • To Steve Oakley: You are old news. Kodak still has a very viable motion picture division that digital still has not surpassed. The general public has settled for a lesser quality medium, but that is their own fault.

  • Yay! Oh, right…

  • Well, being a student of film I still miss the look, the smell, etc. There are tons of challenges with film, but so are there with higher end digital cinema (re: storage, archiving, etc.)

    In my opinion, as somebody in the Dslr/Stripped-down EPIC realm of filmmaking, I feel that the only way film might stick around would be if Kodak could work with other companies to bring the cost of camera, stock, processing and transfer into the realm of shooting a moderate production on a RED and still account for digital archiving on that end as well. Then there is also the issue of being able to finish on the transfer and dual system sound. That would take a massive revolution in motion picture technology…oh wait, I think I just explained the digital revolution:) Damnit, I’m turning into one of those “glory days” kind of guys:)

    Long live film. Welcome digital!!!

  • Aren`t there more important things to care for? Where was/is the outcry that Fuji will end production of acquisition stocks alltogether? This is just some useless nostalgia about a name/word, it`s not like there are some 200 year old guys running the company who suddenly had to stop doing their thing.

  • I just recently purchased a Super 8 camera and love shooting with it. I’m very excited that Kodak has released the Vision3 stock, but I am bummed that the Ektachrome was discontinued. I feel like there is a bit of a resurgence coming back to film. The film stock isn’t as pricey as I originally thought, nor is the processing, but I am surprised how much it costs to have the film transferred to digital. It seems that this part of the process should be the cheapest and could turn people off of getting into using film.

    I love the look of film, especially Super 8. It’s nice and refreshing to see after so much HD footage.
    Film is not dead!

    • Awesome! I’m bummed that Ektachrome 100D super-8 is gone too. Was a great film and I stocked up right at the end thank goodness!

  • Good news to hear.

    There will always be those who hate film for whatever reason and (despite their contradictory disclaimers to the contrary) who have no stake in the equation because they don’t use it, but just can’t stand to see the medium survive.

    I guess it just is too intimidating to use, so they have to knock it.

    Fair enough, but I’d think they would have more constructive things to do with their energies, like make images.

    Myself, I like them both.

    Time to move on to constructive talk.


  • I just love it when people shooting digital video call themselves “film makers”

  • S. Nirmal Kumar on 02.3.13 @ 11:52PM

    That’s Great !!!!!!!!!

  • sharewealth on 06.26.13 @ 2:13PM

    What happens to kodak current stock if the company emerges from bankruptcy?

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