Kodak Exec Unveils Plans to Keep Film Product in Hollywood

Kodak emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy this week and has a plan to keep its product in Hollywood, despite a market that favors digital imaging. While more than 75 percent of the world’s cinema screens currently support digital projection, Kodak has commitments to provide film to the major studios for production needs and distribution, deals that run through 2014 or 2015 (depending on the studio). Filmmakers such as J.J. Abrams and Christopher Nolan are using celluloid for their movie projects.

“While digital cameras have become common, there are still high-profile filmmakers that are not giving up on celluloid,” writes Carolyn Giardina for The Hollywood Reporter. “J.J. Abrams is making his ‘Star Wars’ movie on film. Also using film is Christopher Nolan for his ‘Interstellar,’ Wally Pfister for ‘Transcendence’ and Marc Webb for ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2.’ Six of the nine movies nominated for the Oscar for best picture were shot on film.”

While digital imaging is growing in popularity, the market for film is different from country to country.

“There still is a very sizable market, particularly in Latin America and Eastern Europe,” said Andrew Evenski, Kodak Entertainment & Commercial Films president, speaking with THR. “We are still providing them with a lot of film.”

When asked about future R&D investment, Evenski stressed that Kodak plans to keep costs down in a shrinking market. “We’re focused on keeping the cost of film down and making it a viable option,” he said.

“The company’s most recent stocks include its Vision 3 line, as well as Color Asset Protection Film 2332, which was introduced roughly a year ago, aimed at archival and preservation uses — where film is still widely relied upon,” explains Giardina.

Deluxe and Technicolor, the two largest lab service providers, have been gradually shrinking.

“We had to reduce our footprint, so they did too,” Evenski said, suggesting that “the landscape will change… I still see Technicolor and Deluxe there. I believe there are 103 labs running today worldwide.”