New Years Message 2015 – Film is Back Baby!

Click on the audio play button to listen to my New Years 2015 Message!

Viva la Revolution- Stephen


11 thoughts on “New Years Message 2015 – Film is Back Baby!

  1. Ehhh…

    I dunno what to think about the Hollywood studio/Kodak deal except that it’s a stop-gap measure, and this deal does have an expiration date. I’m not saying it’s a bad thing that it happened, far from it, but did anyone know that they were that close to closing the Rochester plant? I thought emerging from Chapter 11 had saved it, then we find out about this after the fact. It certainly was a close shave, but I’m glad it’s over with and now we can look to the future. I suppose not knowing about it or being able to do anything about it until after the fact, maybe we can look back and say that this was film’s Dunkirk.

    I’m not pessimistic about Kodak or film’s chances in general. Everything else I’d say I agree with you. A lot of good things happened, and I do believe that the worst is behind is now.

    1. Long term there are a lot of issues to deal with but the Hollywood deal was a big deal…. but as you correctly pointed out is not a long term fix. Only long term fix is to invest in a lot of freezer space!

      1. Na, I’d say the best long term fix is to keep using as much as possible. Hoarding is counter-productive. Film manufacturers need to see a steady income. And who knows, maybe 5 years from now, the studios will do another deal, or by that part use will be up enough that it’s not needed. I don’t think that in 5 years the studios will go from buying however much filmstock to buying none at all, it just won’t be a guaranteed income.

        So what I’m going to do is not use digital for any project I do, and as a consumer, I refuse to go see or support financially any productions that don’t shoot (primarily) on film. It’s pretty much the only weapons I can think of that anyone can use to help film production.

      2. I meant the freezer as a joke. But living out in the middle of nowhere I do keep a lot of film on hand. There may be additional deals in the future, I suspect in the area of film archiving of digital movies is one area film will be the gold standard for many years.

        I only shoot film.

  2. Though not quite magical thinking, your optimism is buoyed up by some stretched/sketchy data. The “Hollywood” deal is old news. What about the impact of digital projection? Ferrania has produced t-shirts and tchotchkes for its Kickstarter faithful but no film(I’ll be surprised if anything gets made before summer 2015). Would love to have a source for the claimed jump in film sales. Labs keep closing across N. America and survivors are cutting E-6 lines, increasing turn-around and raising prices–none it evidence of increased film consumption. It’s your soap box but the line between private opinion and private fact gets a bit hazy here.

    1. E-6 is dead.

      It is my soap box and always my opinion based on conversations with other professionals and industry leaders. I suspect Ferrania will be summer of 2015 as well. Film labs will continue to close there is no doubt…. that’s ok. Film is now and will be in the foreseeable future a specialty industry… that’s ok as well. The film deal with Hollywood I reported on months ago… but as well all know perception is everything and it is important to remind people that film is still a viable option… digital has done its best to make everyone think film died years ago, which it did not. The impact of digital projection is huge… it sucks but its impact is huge. But what about the impact of the archiving of digital movies… I suspect that is one area where film will be a viable option for years to come as it is more stable long term.

      This is a crazy time where much of what we get from our industry is advertising and not reality.

    2. you asked about the info for increase in film sales…. from google… articles from 2011-now…. no one is saying film is back to its prime, it never will be, but sales are up at Harman/ Ilford, Kodak has teamed up with LOMO and sales are up… Fuji I have no idea but I do know that film is still profitable for them as well…. we will reach a balance that I hope will be sustainable… for now I shoot a lot of color knowing that it will die first… B&W has many small production companies that can last a very long time as their overhead is nothing like a giant like Kodak.

      just google if film sales are up….

      1. I’m not seeing series data long enough to indicate anything aside from a dead-cat bounce and certainly nothing like a trend. Higher Kodak film revenues a couple of years back were widely misread in isolation of higher prices on stagnant or shrinking sales. Steady price increases and vanishing retail inventory are facts in my area. Lomography stats are fishy, especially since they’re resellers–not manufacturers. Then there’s the steady closing of their stores across N. America which they never mention. I buy and shoot all the fresh film I can but nothing I see, read, or hear in my film community makes me smile.

  3. I’m only curious but when Kodak Alaris (the UK pension plan) got the deal that they did from Eastman Kodak, it included EK’s still film division. I realize that EK makes the film for Alaris to sell, but I would think that Alaris would have had some indication of how long still film would be made available by EK and to be able to include that as a part of their anticipated future revenues. There must have been some sort of contract that stated a certain time frame that EK would be guaranteeing film product for Alaris. Or at least an agreed upon amount of some kind (I realize film is produced, then finished and then stored for packaging and distribution, and that amount can be quite a lot.)

    I also realize that Alaris is obviously placing their future effort and investment in the other Kodak products that they inherited from the deal, but film was part of that original deal and I would assume that Alaris had to know how much longer they would actually be getting film from Kodak when the deal itself was drafted and finalized.

    1. If you check statements from Kodak-Alaris from the last 2 years, it’s plainly profitability that guides their handling of Kodak film assets. My sense is they’ll keep it rolling as long as it pays. Buy more Kodak film!

  4. I agree that more and more labs are closing, but I’d say that more and more people are processing their own film. I’ve noticed an increasing in interest in film photography in my workshops. Let the labs close, more work for the few that stay open.

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