Film manufacturer Kodak has been teetering on the brink of collapse for some time, partly because digital filming technology has overtaken its film equivalent, and partly also because Kodak initially refused to embrace digital methods when they became more prominent.
Kodak sold 12.4 billion linear feet of motion-picture film in 2006, but as directors and film producers started to move towards digital recording methods, that figure is estimated to drop dramatically to only 449.3 million by the end of the year.
The only way that Kodak can stay head about water, is if it gets a bit of a cash injection – and that is exactly what film director Quentin Tarantino plans on doing. Together with fellow movie makers Christopher Nolan, Judd Apatow, and J.J. Abrams, they have been in negotiations with various studios, asking them to buy large amounts of motion-picture film for a set number of years.
Fujifilm took a decision last year to stop producing motion-picture film on the back of slowing sales, and that leaves Kodak as the only company that can supply the industry.
According to the Wall Street Journal, “Kodak’s new chief executive, Jeff Clarke, said the pact will allow his company to forestall the closure of its Rochester, N.Y., film manufacturing plant, a move that had been under serious consideration.”
“It’s a financial commitment, no doubt about it. But I don’t think we could look some of our filmmakers in the eyes if we didn’t do it,” Bob Weinstein, co-chairman of Weinstein Co. told WSJ, referring to the fact that they would probably have to use the film. Tarantino has been vocal advocate for using film instead of digital recording.
Films demise can be traced back as far as 2002 when Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones became the first feature film to be shot entirely on digital cameras. Six years later, Journey to the Center of the Earth became the first live-action feature film made and shown in digital 3D, while last year’s The Wolf of Wall Street was the first movie distributed entirely digitally, with no film prints available.