Can and will Kodak still make film?

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by art_thomas|1, Jan 2, 2012.

  1. In another forum, Ron Andrews , Dec 27, 2011; 09:36 a.m. posted “When I first saw the headline that Kodak was selling Eastman Gelatin, I was concerned. When I learned they were selling to Rousselot, I felt better. Rousselot is a quality supplier. Kodak has been buying gelatin from them for years.” (Partial quote).
    I understand that gelatin is a necessary ingredient in film. If so, their future in film sales raises questions.
    Did they retain enough gelatin to make at least some more master film rolls? Will they end film production when their supply is exhausted?
    Did they sell the company and retain the right to share use of the intellectual property rights and enough machinery to still manufacture film but on a smaller scale?
    Did they sell the company with the exclusive rights to market what was formerly their gelatin? Will they then buy gelatin from to Rousselot and keep making film? Or, has Kodak made their last master roll of film but will presumably continue to cut and roll marketable product until the supply of already made film runs out?
    Is the sale irrelevant and will have no bearing on Kodak film production? Or is there some other answer to their gelatin needs?
     
  2. I doubt even Kodak can answer this. :) My bet is .. Don't worry be happy.
     
  3. Only Kodak can answer this, but do like Larry says... ;)
    I worked for a company that wound up selling the building they ran their business from. They negotiated a lease as part of the sale. I would think they still have access to all the gelatin they need; management may be doing stupid things but I don't think their lawyers are.
     
  4. This was a good sale for Kodak (for once). Rousselot will provide EK with as much gelatin as they need, possibly for LESS than it cost Kodak to produce it 'in house'.
     
  5. This was a good sale for Kodak (for once). Rousselot will provide EK with as much gelatin as they need, possibly for LESS than it cost Kodak to produce it 'in house'.
    I hope you are correct
     
  6. Stock answer; if more and more of these companies did stop making film, the remaining company/companies would be making all the film used worldwide. Whether its Kodak,Ilford or someone else, there will be one or two companies left making truely huge profits on producing film.
     
  7. Lack of gelatin will not keep Kodak from making film. Rousselot has the capacity to supply all of their needs for the foreseeable future.
    The sale makes sense for Kodak. The Eastman plant has capacity far beyond what Kodak can use today. Roussellot has the marketing contacts to sell more gel from the Eastman plant.
    The factor that is likely to end film production at Kodak is the conversion to digital in the motion picture business (both negative and print). This conversion is underway and will probably take about as long as the conversion from film to digital in still cameras. Once the conversion approaches the 90% point, Kodak will not have enough volume to keep their one remaining film coating facility running.
     
  8. Watch the expiration dates on current Kodak emulsions. Maybe this is a coinidence or not, but I noticed the expiration dates of 120 Plus-X didn't go beyond a certain date for nearly a year before it was announced as discontinued. I've noticed the same with 35mm Plus-x which was discontinued in 100' bulk rolls, but for now is still available as boxed rolls. I'm guessing that the latest expiration dates are from the last master roll and once it's been cut into single rolls and sold there will be no more if it is indeed discontinued.
     
  9. Once the conversion approaches the 90% point, Kodak will not have enough volume to keep their one remaining film coating facility running.​
    It would be quite sad if this happened. I'd actually be a little angry. That sounds odd coming from someone who shoots 90% digitally, but I hope to increase my film usage eventually. I just like it that much (I always did but thanks to digital I like it even more). That's not a prescription for other photographers but just my preference. YMMV.
     
  10. Fuji seems to be sticking it out, for which bless them. Otherwise, future film supply looks increasingly to be likely to be made in those old "non-economical", formerly nationalized, film factories in the former Second World. Former Jugoslavia, etc.
     
  11. I would not worry about BW production. If the big two go, it's really the death of good quality C41 and E6.
     
  12. We know for a fact that they can and I'm sure that they still will.
     
  13. one or two companies left making truely huge profits on producing film.​
    As "truly huge" as profits being made from Super 8, VHS ect... ?
    I have no idea what kind of future profit will exist but, if you're that confident, wouldn't you want to invest in the remaining few now to sit on the eventual vast fortune to come? Shouldn't we all?
     
  14. I find this topic sobering and a little depressing. It appears that the general consensus is that once the movie industry mostly transitions to digital, then the manufacture of color film will very likely end. The only expensive film camera I have left is my Hasselblad 501CM. I suppose I can hold on to that with the hope that perhaps someday, maybe with new sensor technology, a digital back for it will not break the bank? What doth thou think?
    On a related topic: I'm getting close to actually buying a digital camera. With more of them looking and acting like real film cameras, with knobs and dials to twist and turn, instead of looking and acting like plastic-encased, menu-driven, programmed appliances, the temptation is biting me to plunge into the dark side. Besides, having purchased CaptureOne Express to process my digital files from scanned film, and liking it as a great tool, the transition to digital should be painless.
    If film diehards like me transition to digital, how can the future of film be anything but dark?
    And with those thoughts.....Happy New Year!
     
  15. A bunch of news caught my attention lately. One is a market research report published in Nov, 2011 about "The End of an Era Arrives as Digital Technology Displaces 35mm Film in Cinema Projection". The projection is, "January 2012 will mark the crossover point when digital technology overtakes 35mm. By the end of 2012, the share of 35mm will decline to 37 percent of global cinema screens, with digital accounting for the remaining 63 percent. This represents a dramatic decline for 35mm, which was used in 68 percent of global cinema screens in 2010. In 2015, 35mm will be used in just 17 percent of global movie screens, relegating it to a niche projection format."

    The second news just come in after the New Year 2012: Kodak lost three board directors recently, or in one week, if not bad enough. Kodak sold its digital sensor business. Kodak just sold its gelatin business. And Kodak is trying to find buyers for its patent portfolio. Kodak does not only offload its traditional production capability, but is also selling out its digital lines and research results.
    Those efforts are nothing new. All of those points to the same direction as Polaroid did.
     
  16. When people think of Movie film production and Digital they forget one thing. Not all the world is North America and Europe. I know Bollywood can't afford to switch nor all theaters that show these movies. Take the new and blossoming productions made in the Arab world that is just getting started.
    No folks you can't just read local news look at the big picture.
     
  17. If film diehards like me transition to digital, how can the future of film be anything but dark?​
    You may not have a choice - at least for color. The film market's decline hasn't slowed and doesn't look like it's going to slow anytime soon. And even if enough filmmakers stick with film to make it economically viable to continue its manufacture (not likely), it doesn't mean that film for still cameras will still be available.
    As far as Fuji is concerned, if Walmart stops carrying film - everything in stock is Fuji - you can rest assured that Fuji will probably pull out. I think Walmart is the only that's keeping Fuji in the film business here in the US.
    In the future, film (most likely just B&W) is going to be made by small specialty manufacturers.
     
  18. It seems to me the report is talking about the global market. Not just North America or Europe.
    "In the United States, there will be no more mainstream 35mm usage from the end of 2013. For Western Europe, this event may happen at the end of 2014, given the large number of countries and the possibility of public support.
    The rest of the world will then be under some pressure to follow suit. Because of this, 35mm will see its last mainstream usage by the end of 2015."
    Here is the URL for the original article if anyone plans to do further research on this subject:
    http://www.isuppli.com/Media-Resear...isplaces-35-mm-Film-in-Cinema-Projection.aspx
     
  19. Well I do see Color 35mm for still photography in the end times but I must say the decision I made to go B&W is looking better all the time However; Under pressure and doing it are 2 different things as it comes to transferring to all digital projection. Also even Digital movies are backed up on film do the the unknowns of long term storage of Digital media. I just don't see it.
     
  20. The article refers to motion picture print film. There is another conversion proceeding for motion picture origination. I don't have precise data. I suspect this conversion will take a bit longer. In any event, I will not be surprised if color photographic film is difficult to find in 2020.
    I expect B&W to have a long life measured in decades. Ilford will likely be the largest film manufacturer in future decades.
     
  21. Ron I think many of us old dogs will be hard to find in 2020. :(
     
  22. Larry, let's hope the 'spirit' lingers around in photo.net after 2020... :)
     
  23. To our archived spirits. :)
     
  24. Philip Wang mentioned some of the various divisions and properties that Kodak has been selling off. Another poster (A. T. Burke?) mentioned earlier in another thread that Kodak appears to be in non-bankruptcy liquidation. Assets generally sell for less during bankruptcy than before. Kodak CEO Perez is often quoted strongly denying that Kodak is going to file bankruptcy. On the other hand they did hire a bankruptcy specialist.
    I speculate that Kodak hired the bankruptcy specialist (a bankruptcy specialist would be knowledgeable and experienced in asset liquidation) to help them liquidate as many assets as they can before Kodak has to file bankruptcy. During bankruptcy they would otherwise be selling the same assets, but for less money.
    Many knowledgeable people think that bankruptcy is going to come to Kodak, sooner or later. If the film unit is and/or would be showing a profit as an independent film producer, the Creditor’s Committee may well petition the judge to require the trustee to continue making film. This would create income to help finance the proceedings and also retain more value for the film unit’s assets eventual sale.
     
  25. OK It is a new year. I will now from this point on refuse to respond to any Film is going to die threads... :)
     
  26. Larry, this thread is not about the issue of film dying. This is about Kodak. We are talking about "Can and will Kodak still make film".
    We are not equalizing Kodak's fate to the fate of film. Actually if Kodak film is gone, it might help Fuji and Ilford and some other film manufacturers. To those companies, they might have a chance to increase their production, or at least will not need to reduce their productions.
    The latest Kodak news from Wall Street is here, sadly but it seems will be true about my prediction:
    http://online.wsj.com/article/SB100...95542810.html?mod=WSJEUROPE_hpp_MIDDLETopNews
     
  27. Wall street journal has reported that Kodak is considering filing for bankruptcy and no one is interested in buy out. Will this be the final nail in the coffin for film and film processing?
     
  28. When people think of Movie film production and Digital they forget one thing. Not all the world is North America and Europe. I know Bollywood can't afford to switch nor all theaters that show these movies.​
    Actually, Bollywood is an enthusiastic early adopter. They have a piracy problem that you would not believe, and digital lets the studios actually receive some profits from their work.
    Take the new and blossoming productions made in the Arab world that is just getting started.​
    Another bad example. Their also adapting fast, just like they pretty much bypasses the whole landline stage and started building well-planned wireless networks. The "Arab world", as you put it, has money, and if you can field the upfront expense, digital distribution pays for itself in about 18 months.
    It's only the countries in such poor shape that they can't afford and investment now with an 18 month payback that have below average adoption rates. Greece, many African nations, many South American nations...
    No folks you can't just read local news look at the big picture.​
    Agreed. But that would include reading the publications of the particular industry you're commenting on, Larry. ;)
     
  29. :) I have retired for all of this....
     
  30. Selling that operation doesn't mean Kodak will not have gelatin, it means Kodak will buy it instead of making it. This is
    a really common sort of thing to do these days - Kodak has been behind the times by making their own raw materials.
    Many companies are finding it more profitable, instead of making some component they need, to buy it from a company
    that makes so much more of whatever it is that economy of scale and expertise kicks in and it's cheaper that way.

    Heck, many computer companies don't own any production at all. I don't think Apple owns any sort of manufacturing
    facility anymore.
     
  31. Saturday evening, I took pictures at our company holiday party. I shot about 2 and 1/2 rolls of Portra 800 through my FM3a. Just to mess with people, I would go up them after taking a picture and say, "Want to see?" And I would show them the back of my FM3a. :)
     
  32. just went on the kodak website and the wall street journal, and as expected, film seems to be the only thing that kodak CAN do properly these days. management? forget about it, they're hopelessly confused.
    but film, film they can make! they have a very new cinema film in fact, samples look like a beauty.
    http://motion.kodak.com/motion/index.htm
    get a load of that slogan:
    Tired of hearing that film is dead? Well, so are we.​
    A toast to that, long live the Eastman Kodak Company. It would take a total idiot to kill kodaks film production even from a soley economic point of view, its almost the only thing making a consistent profit for them. Their printers barely made them any money after all that huge investment, and Phase One/mamiya/leaf and Hasselblad stole their place in the high end MF digital back market because kodak failed to innovate fast enough. But film lives on.
    by the way, I'm loading some ektar into my rollei right now. No worries.
     
  33. A toast to that, long live the Eastman Kodak Company. It would take a total idiot to kill kodaks film production even from a soley economic point of view, its almost the only thing making a consistent profit for them.​
    Awesome Harry!
    Can you link to some numbers so I can post them on the investment websites? Like - fool.com. marketplace.com. and a few others? Because the "smart" money is saying Kodak is dead - especially the film division - FPEG.
     
  34. Well the WSJ was about the difficult time they had in printers and ink (finally turned a small profit margin apparently) and the fact that large companies will typically fall behind when they cannot innovate fast enough, as with digital backs and competition from Hasselblad Phase One etc.
    as for profits from film:
    http://www.photo.net/film-and-processing-forum/00ZqnD​
    ask ron andrews where he got his stats, thats actually a realistic number, i only heard non-numerical generalizations not statistics.
    Someone mentioned the fuji strategy on that forum as well: stop making crud products just to broaden your 'market range' and focus on a few quality items: maybe some printers designed for extreme color accuracy but not large format so demanding semi-pros can afford them: there is a market for that.
    Focus on unique products: Case in point Fuji X-1. Digital rangefinder without the leica price and with a sharp prime lens. Add in lovely design and no-frills feature set and of course it's a winner.
    I'm no design innovator, but those things sold FAST. come up with something new and special, and it will sell and endear itself to buyers.
    And then make FILM!! Its a niche company's dream: a relatively small but dedicated and loyal buyer demographic who will continue to buy your products as long as you don't screw them over.
    Consumers are smarter than companies think, many investors are often less intelligent than we would hope.
    and really, can we please have no more new threads about the coming apocalypse that is not determined yet. Its 2012, when the big fissures start spewing water out of the ground and create worldwide tsunamis at the end of days, i think kodak will be one of the smallest priorities on my mind compared to getting the heck out of here.
    But all Mayan apocalypse jokes aside, can we just consolidate the threads into already existing ones so i don't freak out over nothing every time I log in to photo.net? Im sure many others share this sentiment.
    - Harry
     
  35. Sigh.... "And when I can't get it I shall invent it"... The time traveler.
     
  36. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    "...when the big fissures start spewing water out of the ground and create worldwide tsunamis at the end of days..."

    Man, what a photo op and there you are without any film.

    There are probably thousands of threads dealing with the demise of film in general and Kodak in particular. It would be a bit of work to combine them all into one humungous thread. But then, it would be a simple matter to just delete that one thread and everyone could get a good night's sleep.
     
  37. James I agree in more ways than you know but it is fire not water the next time.. :)
     
  38. Ah, I love it. At least for the dramatic 'struggle' between film and digital. ;-)
    I still think they should have kept the Eastman name for movie film. Come on: who would not rather have an Eastman EXR 5203? :)
    00Zqx2-432261584.jpeg
     
  39. Even movies that are shot completely digitally are currently archived on film by most, if not all studios. It's the ultimate backup file or raw image in an age of constant and rapidly evolving digital technologies, formats, and storage mediums. And who knows when a sensor capable of matching 4x5 or 8x10 film will be available at anything resembling an affordable price. There's a resurgence in film use amongst the younger generation too. It may just be passing fad though. Whether or not the combined world film consumption from these "alternative" uses will sustain an economically viable business model very long term is any one's guess. I figure I have maybe 30 years before my bones will be gelatin raw material. At the rate I shoot film as a "hobbyist" I actually think I could buy enough film (and a couple of big fridges) to last me.. haha!
     
  40. Even movies that are shot completely digitally are currently archived on film by most, if not all studios.​
    Of course they're not. Someone (maybe you) claimed this in a previous discussion, and I posted a lovely set of links to statistics on the use of digital film recorders for archiving. It's on the order of 3% penetration. Not "most", not even "many". "Few" is the word that fits.
     
  41. Is this thread still alive? Just like the email I got the other day.. Hi Larry I have shot some Kodachrome where can I get it developed....... 3%? Semantics Choice of words? Blanket statements? Change in times? We all adjust as I would still love to have my 61 mercury Monterrey that served me well all through my High School years but I adjusted. I do have to say this. Just shoot film if that is what you like and you can't blame anyone.
     

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