The recent history of film as a capture medium has been a troubled one. First, Kodak filed for bankruptcy protection in early 2012. Then in the first quarter of 2013, Fuji halted production of motion picture capture stocks, thus leaving the financially troubled Kodak as the only remaining capture stock producer. Beyond these troubles, the rapid proliferation of digital capture has forced many processing facilities to shut down, and prices for transfers and high-resolution DI's have skyrocketed. However, on Tuesday Kodak announced that it had emerged from its Chapter 11 restructuring as a leaner and more focused company. What does this mean for the future of film as a capture medium?
In its newly designed business model, Kodak will focus most of its business on industrial imaging technologies. "We have emerged as a technology company serving imaging for business markets - including packaging, functional printing, graphic communications and professional services," Kodak CEO Antonio Perez said in a statement on the Kodak website.
However, how does motion picture imaging fit into the future of the newly restructured Kodak? Andrew Evenski, President of the Entertainment and Commercial Film division at Kodak had this to say:
I want to first and foremost extend my sincerest gratitude to our loyal customers and partners in the motion picture industry for standing by Kodak throughout this process. We could not have achieved such a successful outcome without your ongoing support and faith in the Kodak brand.
Our motion picture film business will continue to be part of the company’s future. We are manufacturing film, we’ve inked contracts with six studios, labs around the world are dedicated to quality service, and, most importantly, filmmakers are choosing film.
So there you have it. Film as a capture medium is alive and kicking in spite of everyone's predictions that it would obsolete by now. In a post earlier in the summer, we discussed the fact that in spite of Kodak's financial troubles, that both studios and independent filmmakers alike were still choosing to shoot on celluloid. And from the sounds of it, the major studios will continue to do so.
At this point, since film is clearly not going to fall off the map as a capture medium, we as filmmakers are now able to choose the best format on which to shoot our projects, be it any flavor of film or digital. Of course, many working at an independent level won't be able to afford celluloid, but the fact that film is, and will continue to be an option is comforting.
What do you guys think? Are you surprised by the fact that film as a capture medium is alive and well? Let's hear those thoughts in the comments!