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Film is Here to Stay! Studios and Kodak Strike a Deal

Film is Here to Stay! Studios and Kodak Strike a Deal

Last summer, Hollywood directors including Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, J.J. Abrams and Judd Apatow urged Hollywood studios to support Kodak to keep film stock in use. Today, Kodak announced it has finalized new film supply agreements with all six major Hollywood studios.
“Film has long been – and will remain – a vital part of our culture,” said Jeff Clarke, Kodak chief executive office, in a statement. “With the support of the studios, we will continue to provide motion picture film, with its unparalleled richness and unique textures, to enable filmmakers to tell their stories and demonstrate their art.”

Recently, such high-profile films such as Oscar-nominees “Boyhood,” “The Grand Budapest Hotel,” “Interstellar,” “Foxcatcher” and “Into the Woods” were shot on Kodak film. Some of the biggest films of 2015 are being shot on Kodak film as well, including “Star Wars: Episode VII – The Force Awakens,” “Batman v. Superman – Dawn of Justice” and “Ant-Man,” among others.

Apatow told The Wall Street Journal last summer that film and digital are “are valid choices, but it would be a tragedy if suddenly directors didn’t have the opportunity to shoot on film. Apatow is shooting his latest film, “Trainwreck” on film. “There’s a magic to the grain and the color quality that you get with film,” he said.

With the rise of digital imaging technologies and theaters converting to digital projection, Kodak’s film sales have declined by 96 percent over the last decade.

In addition to continuing to manufacture motion picture film, Kodak said it would also pursue new opportunities to use film production technologies in new areas, such as touchscreens for smartphones and tablet computers. 

“With the support of the major studios, the creative community can continue to confidently choose film for their projects,” said Andrew Evenski, Kodak’s president of Entertainment & Commercial Films, in a statement. “We’ve been asking filmmakers, ‘What makes a project FilmWorthy?’ Their responses have varied from the need for its exceptional depth to its distinctive grain, but overwhelmingly, the answer is ‘the story.’ They need film to tell their stories the way they envision them, and hold a strong desire for it to remain a critical part of their visual language. Enabling artists to use film will help them to create the moments that make cinema history. The agreements announced today are a testament to the power of film and the creative vision of the artists telling them.”

READ MORE: Here’s What Sundance Cinematographers Think of Shooting Film vs. Digital

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Comments

Greg Miller

Film or no film, great photography and movies will still be made. Nice to have as many tools in the toolbox as possible and it’s nice to have some good news for Kodak for once but if you find the demise of film life altering and unbearable, perhaps you have your priorities wrong. Content of process.

Steve Oakley Sucks v2

Steve Oakley is a tech who doesn’t understand anything about cinema! Go sleep with your red

BlackFilmGriot

How Dead is Film? Look at the Movie used on article praising the Holdover of this antiquated medium? it’s from Hugo – Shot with An Alexa.., Hilarious

BlackfilmGriot

Steve you speak the truth my friend: At 96% drop in sales, film is in a coma and it’s not coming back – sad … Film we knew ye so well…

Keith Carrizosa

Good real light and sound…just now all we need is for film projectors…..

I know, I know it’s a stretch.

James Cameron wanted 4D wtih moveable chairs that spray water in your face…

but hey, why not focus on the two things that make movies possible

Steve Oakley

Dear Buddy. I’m NOT lazy, not by any means. I’m efficient and deliver the goods. There is a big difference between working smart, and working harder than you have to for no good reason when better ways to work are available. When you keep your days at 10hrs, and no OT and the images are great, producers / directors are happy and you stay busy. Film is always something that got in my way as a frustration with its limitations, costs and risk. I’ve given up nothing in digital with modern cameras except all the downsides of film. let it rest.

Also it completely went by you that there are a number of good products on the market to add film grain in post if you want it, even big globby 8mm if you want in TriX B&W style. please see FilmConvert and 3 to 4 other plugins that also do the same including recent release from Red Giant for doing film grain. You can customize the look to your heart’s content.

I’m not bitter either at all. I’m happy to not be dealing with a dated technology anymore…. of course whats NOT on Kodak’s website is everything ELSE that shooting digital… like 80-90% of whats on TV and Cable… you know shows like House of Cards (US ver) and a 100 other shows and movies and you can’t tell the difference. Not once it goes thru everything in the distribution process.

So just lighten up, film simply got a last round of life support, nothing more.

Don

I’ve shot digital professionally since around 2007. Over the last year I’ve been experimenting with film again and will be using film at every paid shoot this year (in addition to digital). I know many photographers who are on a similar path – shooting digital and film side by side…

Boris Korniliof

I only say these words to you STeve because we have dictators in our places too and very dangerous to think only one way…very dangerous, history is good to now and not all new is for better. If you have soul you know what we mean if not then phewy

Boris Korniliof

Buddy say it so rite, leave us alone to enjoy beauty, not for you silly tv man to take away!!! Joy be to Film…Long live film…and ok…long live Macdonalds hamburger:-)

buddy

‘So far, its just romantics who are hung up about film’. Yes, Steve, like all the directors and DPs of the long list of recent/forthcoming films and TV shows on Kodak’s website. We get it, you’re competent at your job, you’re lazy (your own words),you’re bitter, and you lack the soul of an artist who can tell the difference with the process and results of shooting on film. Good for you. Now accept that, despite your best efforts to kill film (again your own words), it’s not going anyway for a long while. Now leave us alone to enjoy its beauty and resonance.

Boris Korniliof

Lewis and friend boy Steve forget to look at headline of article? Deal is made, time to drink some Reyka and dance, you poor boys working in lab no one wonders why you hate film, I would hate film as to. If you don’t see beauty of grain then you never watch super 8 footage, never no Neal Yung, never buy vinyl record because mp3 on your iPhone giving you enough pleasure. We dance, we romance, you hide in closet with friend Steve and look at photoshop girls. Життя повне любові з реальною дівчиною поруч з вами

Lewis Motisher

Steve’s right! Film will hobble on as a boutique commodity with a few "artists" rhapsodizing about "the magic of grain" (once looked upon mostly as a limitation and flaw). Film was wonderful while it lasted, well more than a century, but it’s time is over. (P.S. I worked for twenty years at a motion picture lab doing color timing and negative cutting.)

Boris Korniliof

Why peebles think no one else know anything. Is Steve Oakley make feature film like Quinton? No he said he make tv shooting, so what i say you are not artist anyway. This conversation for people appreciate Art no just commerce. What you say such stupid things, like you the only one who knows. Why you hate film to much? You sound like arrogant guy who likes mirror. I say eat your burger and fries then try cooking your own meal, from scratches.

Steve Oakley

Guys, grow up. I make my living as a DP. My work shows up on your TV most weeks on national networks. Feel free to hate that, but I deposit the checks on a regular basis for my work.

If you are really hung up about the "film look", any decent HD+ res camera can do the job. Once you slap FilmConvert or similar onto it, you can’t tell the difference. I have stuff shot on TRV900 aka consumer version of VX1000 on my reel when that graded, you can’t tell it apart from the stuff on 35mm. better luck seeing 16 vs 2/3" video or 35mm

again, I’m waiting for some one who’s actually shot any real amount of 35 vs digital to have something intelligent to say. So far, its just romantics who are hung up about film. I predicated films demise 10+ years ago, and I’ve lead its demise by shooting on various video cameras @ 24P. I’ve shot them all from VX200 – F900 – C series – HPX – RED – whatever.

For the cheap shotters here, I can fully meter a scene out for a given film emulsion and know what I’m going to get. the thing is, why work that hard for nothing when, for all practical purposes, I can shoot a camera with a base ISO of 850-2000 thats incredibly clean, have a monitor and not waste the time ? OT is expensive. Oh wait, none of you pay for your productions or have a producer to answer to, sorry I forget. I can light by eye instead of meter with digital. Still waiting for you to show my your all 35mm demo reels showing how it beats digital in side by side comparison where there is any significant difference once a decent grading pass has been done…

Boris Korniliof

Film like 5 course meal, much flavour, many surprise, long taste lasting and soft like meal shared with special lover. Digital taste like Mcfastfood with too much food colour in over processed katchup. You like art too, then you like film, you like save money and eat fast you through drive through restaurant. Finish…never!!!

Steve doesn't suck THAT much

OK guys enough with the flaming. I don’t agree with most of what Steve says but tbh it does come from a valid place. Film IS very risky, and compared to the convenience and cost (especially with low budget) digital is better technically. I definitely think film is nowhere close to dying and it certainly is magic in the grain. I’m a very young cinematographer (21) and while I should be on top of the digital bandwagon I also come from a background of photography. The two film stocks are quite different but the effect is still the same digital v film. I used to shoot with my Canon 5D MkII on RAW and while it certainly gave me nice shots, it couldn’t compare with a $150 Canon 35mm camera that I bought off of eBay. I love digital for the convenience but I shoot purely on film now. There are still plenty of houses who do processing and they are all treasured by the community and aren’t going anywhere. As for film, I admit I don’t have as much experience. But I have shot a short experimental film on 35mm. And the fact that I do have a choice is what’s at stake here. Part of the magic of film is the painstakingly risky process. When the film ends up looking beautiful after spending a week stressing about scratches, marks, etc., it makes the whole project worth it.
Basically even while Steve is similar to someone who doesn’t like chocolate or ice cream or puppies, he doesn’t deserve all this hate. Let the man be.

buddy

Steve, if film is so dead then why are there over 200 films listed on Kodak’s website, from the past couple years up to forthcoming projects, everything from blockbusters like Star Wars, Superman v Batman, and Star Trek to big budget auteur stuff like Interstellar and Hateful 8 to lower budget indie films like the Double and Listen Up Phillip (giving the lie to how horribly expensive it is) to tv shows like True Detective, Boardwalk Empire, and Breaking Bad? It seems like what’s going on here is that you couldn’t cut it as a DP with film so you’re taking your bitterness out on the medium in general.

anonymous

Film is not a threat to digital. If some filmmakers prefer to use it than who cares. Why does everyone have to use the same technology? What’s wrong with wanting both film and digital to be an option?

Steve Oakley

35MM film resolution is mostly BS.Lets not talk about shooting 50 ISO at a chart at T5.6 with perfect light and even a 1 stop over exposure to pop the contrast a bit. Lets talk REAL shooting situations. Most 35mm is being shot at ISO 500 and 800 for every day feature and TV work.

Dear Brandon, having actually transferred real 200 /250 ISO 35mm film stock, its not even close to 8K resolution. Thats pure fantasy. Even back in the days of SD, the best you could do was a 2X zoom in on 35… which was about the same as what you could if shooting 1080. after that the blow up got obvious, the grain got ugly.

Dearly note, I have actually have seen real 8K video it so completely and utterly blows away 35mm there is no further conversation. Not even close. None.

On a good day 35mm = 1080 or 2K depending on ISO choice. Its why when shooting on RED or Alexa DP’s are using more diffusion, or older glass which isn’t as contrasty / sharp to get the same look. They are getting a 2K or so of actual resolution. Who cares. Resolution isn’t the only thing that matters and showing EVERY imperfection in the talent’s face to remove it in post isn’t a good thing.

I’m still waiting for some who’s ACTUALLY shot 35 / 16 / 4K / 2K to make an honest statement…. and so far there really aren’t any. As some one who actually makes their full time living shooting, I do know a few things because my shots air nationally every week.

even on the dynamic range thing, once you get past 12 stops its just not as critical. 14 is nice on the newest / best digital cameras. In reality, I looked at some shots I did a few weeks ago on scopes. Shot on C100 Wide DR to ProRes with black levels pulled down a bit. Pickup truck was white. Guess what ? my blacks still floated a little, the hi lights in the truck paint still held, the driver’s face was visible ( not that it mattered for this ) the clouds in the sky still held. I was only using about 2/3’s of the cameras actual dynamic range. thats reality. real shoot for national advertiser. Grading was very minor to tweak out a bit more contest.

so even the nonsense about film’s imaginary infinite dynamic range is BS. Digital equals or exceeds it in real world shooting conditions. You might not like it, but thats reality.

I’ve also yet to hear any of the whiners say they are ready, able and willing to pony up the $$$$$ to shoot 35….or even 16. There was a scare white paper a few years ago that tried to say how shooting digital cost just as much…funded by ????? Kodak ? surprised at those results ?

reality again. $89 buys a 2TB USB hard drive that can back up hours of RAW footage or ProRes or DNxHD. thats about 1 MINUTE of 35mm. end of conversation here too. Ok, go spend another $89 for 2nd backup, thats 2 min of 35mm shooting.

I can’t even imagine this sort of conversation is even still alive. 10 years ago when shooting on F900 @ 24P I said film was dead. Now it basically is, just get over it. There is nothing magical about it. Its 125 year old technology who’s time has finally come. great run, its over, move to what works…. and grow up

DRE

Here’s an example of how I shot in digital. Bum Rap- A Noir Fantasy You’ll find it on youtube.

dre

This is a great topic to exercise one’s skills at communication. What does film offer still, that even the latest digital film quality does not? Films are not reality. They are compressed realities. Real artistry in filmmaking comes from suspension of belief, mise en scene, editing, and control of the image. When I look at new independent film shot in digital, it is usually color balanced to the nth degree, along with over vignetted backgrounds that approximate the sensibility of commercials. Everyone involved in post production seems to be auditioning for their next film. Everything is just too beautiful, and imitative of other work. Think about Gable and Lombard. Two very attractive people, and yet they were filmed with filters. Why? Because the intent of the scene was not about appearance, but effect. A small expression, a shadow, a glance, all these things were thought out before and during the process of making the film. You weren’t supposed to be paying attention to a fine scar of Carol’s cheek, or cracks in the lips of Gable. But another thing the filters did was to seam the entire image together. It smoothed out the lighting and also added a kind of texture that the entire image gained from. It’s why King Kong is the classic it is. It’s a moving drawing. We enter the theater as if we are about to open a jewel box. The magic works when the whole scheme becomes one dream. I don’t see yet this kind of mastery when independents are shooting in 4K. It’s out of control. 4k should be about not having your film break apart on the large screen, not wow your audience with so much detail everywhere that you no longer know where to look. Or how to look.

Max Liebster

There are buttloads of small-time film-makers with $700 budgets who constantly hate on film because they’re of the opinion that it’s elitist and that digital "democratizes" the process and has given them the chance to compete with big Hollywood, or some crap. Despite their constant praise of new high end digital cinema cameras (Reds in particular) they themselves generally shoot on Canon 5Ds or some similar DSLR and could never afford any of those cameras they gush about, and even if they could afford the camera rental, they would still need a DT tent and an army of technicians, along with a huge video transfer and post processing budget to even approach the image quality of major Hollywood releases. Not to mention a massive editing budget to pay those poor saps who have to sift through hours and hours of useless footage to put together 2 or 3 minute sequences. The reality is that at the cinematic level, digital is rarely more economical than film.

Bugman

Antman was not shot on film

Mark V

So Steve sucks because he’s talking realistic outcome? You fringe nutcases on this site must realize that in the past there were also "purist" hold-outs on such new-fangled film inventions like sound, color, stereo, and non-linear editing. The purists were left on the side of the road as the tide of progress inevitably passed them by. Good luck with that, purists.

steve Oakley is an idiot

Steve, not sure if you are aware of this but you are an idiot.

Amaristic

The people who love film are almost always diplomatic and say "digital is great, but we need film as a choice". The digital people constantly scream (and scream) that anyone who uses film is basically a loser and a "film fossil". It’s like they are religious in their devotion, like a cult.

Sarah Ohana

THANK GOD !

Keith

Film always had that kind of magic. I always felt that current movies shot on film seemed retrofitted for the format. While digital is good, film is infinitely better and I hope to shoot a movie on film stock one day.

Brandon

*That’s not even taking into consideration the texture and massive depth of color that film has and digital doesn’t, although some cameras like the Alexa are getting to the point where they’re starting to look like film.

Brandon

Steve, you literally have no clue what you’re talking about. Digital still has quite a few steps before it exceeds film. Film stock has a much higher film resolution than digital, with a 35mm stock having a roughly 8K resolution and IMAX stock having 18-20K resolution. Digital is mainly at 4K right now, with some newer cameras pushing 6-7K, albeit very inconsistently and with major problems. That’s not even taking into consideration the texture and massive depth of color that film has and film doesn’t, although some cameras like the Alexa are getting to the point where they’re starting to look like film.

Long story short, there’s a reason why film is loved, and that now, even 100 years later we’re able to pull massive resolutions off of it for new viewings, restorations, and home video purposes. It’s not going anywhere.

Yann

Digital definitely hasn’t exceeded film yet.

Raimi Fasula-Moore

@VictorHuey Apparently Cinelab is currently looking for a new location in the city to process film. For now we have to send it out to MA

anonymous

I understand why some prefer digital but what I don’t understand is why some people don’t want shooting on film to be an option for the filmmakers that prefer film.

Kevin P Phelan

as a fan of film for many years , and a fan of good digital too : it mitt be worth noting how many cinemas could not convert to digital projection/servers : and why I went into partnership with a new film laboratory in the UK to make first-class film prints : we have done 1,000,000 feet in two months !

Sarah

Real artists use film.

Aaron Versiontwo

Oh that was priceless. Thanks Steve. I love how you said "digital now exceeding it"

I really enjoy this level of ignorance to basic analog formats.

Film is not dead either. 35mm photographers run rampant and most process the film themselves. Oh and also. Instant Film is making a HUGE come back.

I appreciate that you really get a kick out of pontificating but you should stick to stuff you know dude.

Kate H

I have a great emotional attachment to film and an appreciation of the tactile qualities of film formats, so I’m happy that its going to stay as an option. At the same time, digital strikes me as the practical and less wasteful option – in terms of time, expense and resources. So I’m torn!

sma

I remember the arrogance of Kodak in the 90’s and the only thing that comes to mind now is – HA HA. Suck it. A couple last kicks of the dying and over rated horse.

STEVE OAKLEY DOES NOT SUCK

Steve is right. Don’t cry.

Steve Oakley

Before you say nasty things about me, how many of you have actually shot film ? … ya… exactly. You can be on your game but there are so many other things that can go wrong in the process. if you haven’t actually shot film in any significant way, sorry, you don’t get an opinion here. When you are pissing away $85/min on 35mm on a low budget thing just for film / process / xfer, you don’t understand. so shoot your mouth all you want. let me see you pull out your cash instead and pay for what it costs. Canon C series cameras typical equal film most days in regular shooting situations. 12 stops or so so plenty. 14 stops on RED / alexa is more than you’ll get on film on a good day when you nail everything. don’t believe the spec sheets… because actually having shot the stuff, there is some knowledge to be gained that clearly many do not have.

Steve Oakley

Call me all the names you like. I’ve shot 35 and 16 plenty. I don’t miss it in terms of costs, transfers, scratches, if the lab is on their game and doesn’t wash your emulsion away because they F’d the chemicals that day…. I don’t suck. film does in most ways

STEVE OAKLEY SUCKS BALLS

Steve sucks big balls!

PEter

This isn’t news. It’s a Kodak PR puff piece

Filmbuff

This is great because the qualities of movies captured on film stock can’t be recreated digitally.

STEVE OAKLEY digital fag

Steve grab your new go pro and step out of the room please

Bob's ur Uncle

Style over substance. It’s not the medium it’s the message.

Amaristic

I meant to write…

They trash film instantly whenever anyone defends it.

Amaristic

Exactly, Max. The digital fanboys are almost fundamentalist in their love of digital. And they trash it instantly whenever anyone defends it.

Max Liebster

I’ve always been mystified by the bitterness of digital fanboys.

Steve Oakley sux X2

I agree. Steve majorly sux!

Sam

Yeah shut up Steve. Film still looks infinitely better than digital.

akona

Yay

anguy

And which emulsions will these putative films be, Mr. Clarke?

John Smith

If the labs close then we’ll build another! Comrade, throw up your hands. Film will march on for another thousand years!

Sparky McLenscap

So a few dozen rich guys will still shoot in an antiquated medium. Woopideedoo!

Sydney Levine

Now what about those theaters that junked their 35mm projectors because they were forced to go digital? Film is good. Hollywood "planning" sucks.

John

This isn’t film for photography dimwit, it’s film for film making. No one buys, or has bought, film for a photo camera in years. This is so the grain, color, and texture that is true to film continues on. I’ve seen too many films lately that look like they were just basically shot inside a computer because digital medium offers no warmth or feel to it. Digital has its place as far as cheap, easy to do films with no soul, but any biopic or historic film has a warmth to it due to the weight and grain that only true film provides.

steve oakley sux

u suck steve!

Steve Oakley

I bet the deal is something along the lines of kodak fires up its production line, makes X amount of film + 10% and shuts it down for the next 11 months until next years orders. really… except for B&W for doing archival RGB separations for long term preservation, film is dead. there’s only a couple places left that will even process it now. can we just put film down once and for all with digital now exceeding it….

Christopher Binder

THANK. YOU. GOD!!!

Victor huey

What about the labs, new York’s last lab just closed, wtf?????

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