Kodak Tries to Sell Film Business

Discussion in 'Film and Processing' started by douglas_vitello|1, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. And with this....we witness the end of Kodak. Run by a team of incompetent management thinking they're gonna change the world of printing.
    Guess I better stock up on Ektar 100. Ilford...pay attention. Here's your chance to pick up business from the failure that is Kodak!
     
  2. Actually there is an argument that the overall strategic management was on the mark. Kodak was one of the first to do digital, etc.
    It was the realization of those directions that seems more at fault to me. Who do you blame that on?
    Middle management? Fossilized technical work force? I wouldn't be too quick to say.
     
  3. I can't see why the Chinese would have any interest in purchasing this.
    The Kodak story will be studied in business schools for decades. Kodak knew digital photography would take over eventually, but they badly miscalculated on the speed of the transition. After the transition occurred they could never decide on what their core business should be, and this led to their demise. What a shame.
    I think the film business could be refigured as a "boutique" product -- and I hope it will -- but Wall Street isn't interested in that.
     
  4. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    I don't think Wall Street has any interest in Kodak at this point, there's no real upside for them no matter what happens. I do agree that there will be little interest from China, and that they completely misunderstood what was happening. The brand may be worth something.
     
  5. I wonder who would consider buying it other than the Chinese?​
    Why would "the Chinese" have some special interest over others?
     
  6. I don't get it. How would it make sense to separate the photo film division from the cine film division? Don't they use
    the same materials and equipment?
     
  7. Are they crazy? Why sell the only part of the business making any money?
    Why would "the Chinese" have some special interest over others?​
    I was wondering about that too.
     
  8. Because they are going to revolutionize inkjet printing....LOL
     
  9. The Chinese have huge resources (money & people) and seek familiar world name brand images.Lots of people in China (1.25 billion people) still shoot a lot of film and it would be a good temporary fit for their domestic film producers ( world class technology for pennies on the dollar) and competition for Fuji ( Japan - where there is no love lost in China).They could milk it for all its worth for very little cost and make a seamless transition to all digital when their standard of living is ready for it.They are very smart people who many times in the past have bought 'obsolete' cast off second tier technology from especially western countries after they throw in the towel because it does not fit their current profit model.They have done it in about just about every other industry why not photography?Travel to China and try getting away from the main cities and get a real taste of the country and the people.It would be a good fit for about another decade.
     
  10. The Chinese might be interested for the same reason they bought the Hummer brand of truck manufacturing.
     
  11. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Lots of people in China (1.25 billion people) still shoot a lot of film​

    What statistics do you have to support this? My experience in Asia (not China, but around it) is that there is very little infrastructure for processing film. In Vietnam eight years ago, I saw one person using a film camera besides me, and digital cameras were everywhere. Even in remote villages, there were places that would do print from digital but had no film processing, often because of the chemical and water issues. And I only found one store in the whole country that carried 120 film. And this was eight years ago.
    Japan - where there is no love lost in China​

    Old stereotypes never die.
     
  12. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    The Chinese might be interested for the same reason they bought the Hummer brand​

    Brands are different than building something. I think the Kodak brand may still have some value, although far less than if they had sold it ten years ago. But buying a brand is very different than building something, as "Polaroid" has shown.
     
  13. I doubt that anybody in China with the kind of money to buy that business would do so just to annoy some Japanese people. Whoever buys it is going to want to make money.
     
  14. Jeff....Fuji is a tough sell in China because it is Japanese. I have a lot of friends in Shanghai and Hong Kong who have confirmed that Fuji is indeed used less because of national pride...and that a lot of people still use film in China.
    So, it's not a stereotype. Just because you don't know something...doesn't mean it isn't true.
     
  15. If it is true, as is often asserted here, that Kodak is, on the whole, making money on film manufacturing and sales (with or without the associated processing chemicals and RA-4-based paper business), then I can promise you that some Wall Street-type will be interested in buying that business at some price. The price has to be low enough to repay the investment, plus a reasonable profit to the investor, before the film business's profit is expected to decline to zero.
    Can that be done? I suspect yes. Will it be done? I have no idea how the Kodak bankruptcy is going. Also, if the financial parties believe that the film business's assets (factories, land, patents, whatever) are worth more broken apart and sold off piecemeal, than they are worth in terms of anticipated profit from ongoing film business, then almost certainly that is what will happen.
    What would a sell-off on an intact film business do for film users? Maybe preserve Kodak film products for a few years longer than otherwise would have occurred, and maybe preserve them indefinitely. But I don't think it is remotely safe to assume that some buyer will ultimately make a go of it in the long term. (Because, IMO, as is being dicussed in another thread, I can't see the mass market ever returning to film even if both film and processing were free, given digital's convenience and, by any reasonable standard, plenty-good-enough-for-most-people/uses quality.)
     
  16. zml

    zml

    Digital has won the battle of quantity and an "avreage Joe" everywhere uses digital. Especially in the developed world (=lack of viable film processing infrastructure as already noted) almost everybody has a digicam or a cell phone with one.
    Yes, there is a "back to film" movement, especially among young "hipsters" (for the lack of a better word...) but it is akin to the "back to vinly LP" movement: fringe of a fringe of a fringe.
    I shoot film (MF 6x17 mostly, but also some 6x6) and hope that Kodak is smarter than the assholes at Polaroid who just shuttered down the film production line. Of course they need to spin off the film and paper lines into a boutique operation, devoid of the Kodak's Byzantine corporate structure. You know, 100 emplyoees per manager not the other way around.
    If you are a shareholder in Kodak and want film/paper production to continue, write to them...
     
  17. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Fuji is a tough sell in China because it is Japanese​

    Fuji is heavily embedded in China and has huge sales, although mostly outside the consumer sector because the profits are there. From copiers to heavy construction machinery, Fuji is a major player in China, both in sales and in joint ventures.
    I have a lot of friends in Shanghai and Hong Kong who have confirmed that Fuji is indeed used less because of national pride...and that a lot of people still use film in China.​

    That's about as far from a usable statistic as anything could be. A small amount of anecdotal comments. "National pride" as an objection doesn't really apply when Fuji is building in China.
     
  18. I don't know what to think anymore, those poor people who work there that have just been hoping for some good
    decisions from the top seeing nothing but radically self defeating thinking, it's got to be rough. And the media has field days
    with this stuff, film is dead threads on dpreview that take less than 48 hours to hit 150 posts....horrible man.

    I do know this though, all film, motion and still is coated at Building 38 and Kodak has signed on to contracts with the
    motion picture industry to provide stock through 2015. So maybe who ever buys that division will use the brand name and
    keep making the film on that coating line. Heck, maybe the motion picture industry will buy the whole deal and keep
    Kodak still films around until the digital transition is done.

    Also.....if you like to use the product and don't want to chance paying 10-30% more, then stock up now
    because this stuff is not going down in price. I have enough Kodak film to where as I use it along with Ilford, I am set for
    20-30 years.

    But this news just makes me sad, we stand to possibly lose a lot of film options in the next 12-18 months with this and demise of Efke....damn.
     
  19. I doubt that anybody in China with the kind of money to buy that business would do so just to annoy some Japanese people.​

    I work for a $multi-billion Chinese company. The owner of the company could easily buy Kodak's film division but would only do so for a good business reason. i.e. if there was a market for the products or the technology could be used elsewhere. Most certainly not to annoy the Japanese.
    He's visiting our UK factory next week - perhaps I can get him interested in film photography!
     
  20. Whatever happened to communism? It's even deader than Kodak.
     
  21. Is film production really going to be stopped, or is that just the conclusion everyone is leaping to?
     
  22. They might be able to sell the personal imaging business, but there is no way to separate the personal film manufacturing from motion picture film manufacturing. As Dan points out, they share the same manufacturing facilities (not only Building 38 where film is coated, but also support and component manufacturing). Perhaps they will sell the film finishing plant in Mexico and supply it with master rolls from Rochester.
    Buying the Kodak Park site may be difficult since it is on the Superfund list. The ground water contamination is controlled but requires continued attention. Few business will want to buy that liability. I suspect they will eventually divest the Kodak Park site and let the spin-off business deal with the liability.
    The film business still makes a profit, but it is shrinking rapidly. Once the motion picture business completes the digital transition (2-5 years?) I can't see how they will be able to continue. Once they close, Fuji will finally attain their lifelong dream of becoming the largest photographic film company in the world. Their reign will be short. In 10 years, my guess is that Ilford will be the largest film company. I expect they will have a long life. They have facilities that are about the right scale to serve the market.
     
  23. Assuming this does kill the film business, that leaves me on the horns of a dilemma. Before I get around to buying a 5x4 camera, do I stock up on Velvia 50 (Fuji discontinuing in large format) or Portra? Sad news, anyway.
     
  24. Hey Jeff, I was using film in Vietnam 8 years ago. Was that me you saw?!
    00akmS-492443584.JPG
     
  25. Although B&W film will be available for many years, we are probably in the last decade of freshly manufactured color photographic film from Kodak and Fuji. It is possible that niche manufacturers may start offering color film, but I wouldn't count on a steady supply. Unlike Kodachrome, there are viable options for dedicated color films users in the future. I've successfully used low speed films (Ektar 25 and Kodachrome 64) after 25 years of freezer storage (although the K-64 was starting to show signs of radiation fog). If you rent freezer space in a salt mine, you can store film indefinitely. There are options for film processing. The C-41 and E-6 processing chemicals are likely to be available from 2nd party suppliers indefinitely. Even if the kits are no longer available, it is possible to mix the solutions in a home darkroom. The only additional equipment you need is a good balance, a magnetic bar stirrer, and a pH meter (and you could probably survive without the pH meter).
     
  26. The only additional equipment you need is a good balance, a magnetic bar stirrer, and a pH meter (and you could probably survive without the pH meter).​

    And the stirrer.
     
  27. Some more info ..
    http://www.bbc.com/news/technology-19366113
     
  28. What about Ilford? It would give them color capability right?
     
  29. Ilford (Harman) has said, more than once, they have no interest in producing color film.
     
  30. It's not enough for a public company to be "making money." Stockholders expect management
    to use capital to fund businesses that are going to grow, thus raising the stock price. I suppose
    there might be some stockholders who are interested in something other than a higher stock
    price, but I'm sure very few.

    Does anyone seriously think film is a growth business? Selling it, assuming there's a buyer who
    is willing to pay a fair price, frees up capital for investment in something better. It also frees up
    management attention for the strong areas of the company, rather that the distraction of the
    mediocre areas.

    I view this as very positive for Kodak, and probably positive for film, too. As it stands, the Kodak film business is inside a bankrupt company, not a good situation for the future of film.
     
  31. Because, IMO, as is being dicussed in another thread, I can't see the mass market ever returning to film even if both film and processing were free, given digital's convenience and, by any reasonable standard, plenty-good-enough-for-most-people/uses quality.​

    And that's the whole thing in a nutshell.
     
  32. Well, at least their photo paper is still relevant in the digital age. I recently put together at Adoramapix.com two photo books of images from scanned film, using Kodak photo paper. Of course, the photo paper is agnostic as to how the digital image was created. Although the color gamut of the photo paper doesn't produce all colors that one sees on a calibrated computer screen using sRGB space, it is still pretty close and the results look very good. And what is probably most important, it is far less expensive than inkjet prints, although good Epson inkjet prints have a wider gamut.
     
  33. I don't know why anybody talks about the Kodak stockholders.
    The current stock will be wiped out and left worthless in a short while. It's only worth pennies as it is.
    If Kodak happens to survive, a whole new stock will be issued to raise cash that the management will subsequently raid.

    My bet is that Kodak comes out of BK and into the arms of a private equity fund who will pick over the carcass and toss the skeleton aside.
     
  34. Interesting news, but the key to me isn't selling the film/paper business but the patents and technology of the film and paper, and that's where Kodak will profit, but the buyer could simply decide to pocket the patents and technology or sell rights to companies to produce the products for them. It's all a wait and see who's the buyer and what's their strategy. That's where Chinese companies step into the mix, to own the patents and techology.
     
  35. Ilford's non-interest in color film is probably a smart business move. A coating machine designed to coat B&W film would coat 1 or 2 layers at a time. It is easy to coat a color film in this kind of equipment. You just have to run the film through the coating machine many times until all of the layers are coated. You can produce a good quality product this way, but you can't make a reasonably priced product this way. Early color films at Kodak were made on this kind of equipment, but when they developed slide-hopper coaters that could deliver 5 to 9 layers at a time in the 1950s, they upgraded all of the coating machines.
    Then there is the development cost. Even if Kodak gave them the formulas and process details, it would take millions of dollars and at least a year before they were coating good product.
     
  36. Scott,
    I don't believe the patents that cover photographic film and paper have any commercial value. The patents that Kodak put up for auction pertain to digital imaging. If they could sell film patents, they would.
    The only reason the Chinese would be interested in any patents would be for sales to places in the world (mostly North America and Europe) where patents are recognized. For internal sales and some other parts of the world, patents are ignored.
     
  37. If there is no Gold, let them eat Superia!
     
  38. I don't know why they didn't sell Perez on ebay for $1. He successfully nulifiied 1000 of my shares of Kodak into nothing.
     
  39. I am not worried. There is still Walgreens.
     
  40. I have been wondering for a few years when it would come around.
     
  41. But is there a buyer for this?
     
  42. Patrick Mont , Aug 25, 2012; 09:06 a.m.
    But is there a buyer for this?​
    I'm not sure...but if if anyone does buy it, I believe they would only be interested in this:
    http://www.cinematography.com/index.php?showtopic=55564
    "Regarding consumer films, she said that they [Kodak] are considering restructuring
    a new approach aimed at producing these at a reasonable cost in much
    smaller volumes than in the past. She said that new technology will
    permit them to continue to produce these in "boutique quantities" using
    single coating machines rather than the huge multiple coaters of the
    past [emphasis added]. She said that basically, as long as they had sufficient orders for
    a minimum of a single master roll "54 inches (almost 1-1/2 meters) wide by
    whatever length - no minimum stated", they would consider examining
    production in terms of the economics involved. Future production would
    primarily be on an "on demand" basis."
    Ron Andrews, any thoughts?
     
  43. The Chinese might be interested for the same reason they bought the Hummer brand of truck manufacturing.​

    The Chinese? What, all of them? Or do you mean a Chinese company?

    Saying the Chinese are interested in buying something is as ridiculous as saying the Americans or the British are interested in buying something.
     
  44. With all of the Kodak still film products on the market, Professional films, Portra, Ektar, Tri-x. etc, what is it about the article posted that leads one to believe that the consumer will lose these products? Is there any news in these press releases that states, you, the Photography enthusiast consumer will no longer have access to these films? I have seen nothing that indicates these films are going to be discontinued. If discontinuation of these films is the case, if there's a Kodak press person reading this, then print a press release that states that. I see Kodak working through a chapter 11 phase, repositioning itself to protect, and enhance still film products for the future.
     
  45. TOO many business schools graduating TOO many business students with TOO many "proper business models" creating a world with LESS entreprenaurship, LESS innovation & flexibility, all adhearing to the God of "Global Economics". Everyone has there own explanation why film is dying, but most of them, to me, don't shed much light on what's really going on.
     
  46. This is as a long a thread as is Kodak's list of problems. I seriously doubt that there would be much interest in China for the film making business, however, despite what has been said by a moderator there is no love lost for Japan in modern China. Many young Chinese do look up to Japan for what it has achieved in the last sixty years but the underlying animosity amongst the older population runs deep.
     
  47. I don't know why they didn't sell Perez on ebay for $1. He successfully nulifiied 1000 of my shares of Kodak into nothing.​
    Given the record of his business acumen, I'd say $1 is way too much. All he knows is cheap inkjet printers - he never got out of the HP mindset.
     
  48. To be fair to Antonio Perez, Kodak's string of poor business
    decisions started long before he became CEO. No one could stop
    the digital onslaught and film's decline. That being said, he has
    certainly turned out to be the wrong man to put at the helm,
    totally miscalculating the speed in which digital would become
    dominant. Instead of utilizing the company's strengths, he
    decided to take a much-weakened Kodak in the ridiculous direction of becoming a major player in inkjet printers, where much more
    established players had the advantage of years of in-house
    capabilities, technologies and market share. Not to mention that,
    unlike Fuji, Kodak once again failed see the future and
    understand that most consumers would simply prefer to take
    their memory cards to a kiosk at Walmart or a chain pharmacy to
    get prints made.
     
  49. Not to mention that, unlike Fuji, Kodak once again failed see the future and understand that most consumers would simply prefer to take their memory cards to a kiosk at Walmart or a chain pharmacy to get prints made.​

    I don't think that's completely accurate, at least in my experience; Kodak had memory-card kiosks in place concurrent with Fuji. The problem there is that it doesn't make much money for Kodak (or anybody else).

    People don't want prints in anything like the quantities of the past. They want a quick digital photo which they can upload to Facebook and show to people on their phones. Prints are by far the exception now, instead of the rule, as in the pre-digital era.
     
  50. The inkjet market will not likely fly for Kodak. The market is flooded with printers for $39.00 to $50.00 which is all the average person needs. The photo enthusiastic printer will most likely keep buying what has been working for them. Such as an Epsom photo printer. I have an Arisan 50 printer and think it's awesome. I will use it for quite some time and then eventually buy another Epsom printer.
    I think Kodak should go into the movie business. I don't mean making film or supplies but rather they should hire directors, actors and make fun PG13 movies. Especially music types as the kids eat them up. They could use their film if they wanted to but it would not matter. There is always a market for an excellent well made movie.
     
  51. China owns Volvo so we cannot say if they would or would not buy kodak. I have always heard that kodak film labs, film and digital cameras were not the greatest so maybe they have been doing things in that poor direction for a long time and not just now.
     
  52. True, Kodak did have kiosks in place, but they spent a vast amount of money and resources in the mistaken belief that the
    average consumer would prefer to make prints at home, hence their printers targeting that market. Most printer
    manfacturers don't make money on the hardware in that price segment, instead making profits on inks. Kodak's brilliant
    idea? Sell lower-end printers to compete at the price point of other manufacturers comparable models, but undercut
    them on ink. The problem with that strategy? Where, then, were they going to make a profit in connection with their
    consumer inkjet printer business?
     
  53. Its scary when a person running a company isn't aware of the product that their providing. This is becoming commonplace in too many instances. How did we get to a place that just because someone finds success in one field, they are a genius in any field.
     
  54. So there we have it; the 'plan of the week' from Mr. Perez on how Kodak will emerge
    from Chapter 11 as a successful company. If it happens (and I certainly hope it does) it
    will be despite him. First, consumer inkjet printers were going to save the company.
    Ooops...that didn't happen, but he continues to throw money at it. He stated many
    times that Kodak was committed to film as long as it is profitable. While film sales are
    obviously nowhere near what they once were, it is still the only profitable division
    within the company. Well, more hollow words from Mr. P, as the division is now up for
    sale. Digital cameras? Bailed on them, not seeing even slightly into the future and
    realizing there would soon be no reason for 'Joe Consumer' to carry two cameras; a
    Kodak and a cell phone able to match the features and photo quality of the lower-end
    Kodaks. With their vaunted digital imaging patent portfolio and Mr. P's own claim of
    the company's "digital imaging know-how", did he set the ship in the direction of
    producing more advanced digital cameras to rise above the cell phones as the other
    camera manufacturers have? Nope. After investing truckloads of money, he just bailed.
    Perhaps the rear bumper of his limo should have a big green sticker that reads,
    "WWFD?"
     
  55. Perez is a product of the modern American school of business. Figure out how to make money while producing nothing. His solution? Make money off patent sales or licensing.
    While our preceding captains of industry made their fortunes by building factories and mills, this generation of executives is dedicated to sucking out the blood of equity and not so interested in building anything. The height of laziness. Claim their hundred million dollar paychecks and leave nothing of value behind.
     
  56. Bill
    I couldn't agree with you more.Weak and selfserving leadership is rapidly causing permanent damage to most western countries and companies.Kodak has been offered very little for their 'golden egg' patent portifolio so far,I can imagine what would be offered for the film group.I personally would hope someone buys it and succeeds where Kodak has failed.It is very good film and deserves to survive along with the dedicated employees who are innocents caught up in the debacle.
     
  57. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    Kodak have been mismanaged for years and have made the wrong calls at every opportunity. Noew they want to sell a film division where the art of management largely consists of predicting how steeply the volume curve will go down in future, how much the unit costs of production will increase as volumes fall further, and what the correct response to rising costs in a declining market should be (almost certainly to reflect those costs in prices and accept that the volume decline is going to be worsened by higher prices).
    This isn't the sort of business that tends to get snapped up.
    Now if Kodak had used the unique knowledge of the market they presumably once had to arrive at a view, before anyone else, that the future of film was downwards they might have made a lot of money selling to a company or capital group who could have projected short term results forward with more optimism. Now the calculation of business value is pretty much actuarial as there really isn't much that any management can do to reverse the structural negatives that surround the business.
     
  58. I have not seen any, whatsoever effort in promoting the belief of film from any film manufacturer. I could have missed it, could be wrong, but even as recent with the advent, or release of a new film, no word, not a peep. The recent films rock! They're beautiful, but you wouldn't know it the way marketing behaves. The silence on this issue is loud. I'm just saying, Make it! Sell it! Look at magazine periodicals, ZERO mention of film. Consequently the introduction of a new release is squelched. I don't see the same kind of enthusiasm from the customer on films alternative at the magazine rack. We used to have access to a list of films, and reviews as to what films had a specific purpose. Now what do we have? One.
     
  59. At an amateur level its noticeable how photography club/societies have ditched slide competitions over the last year or two. Certainly at my local one I and two or three other people have drifted away from the club 'in protest' so to speak.
    I just wondered (a) how many people are in the UK and (b) how many are members of clubs and might help fighting back and stick with, say, slide film so as to do their little bit to keep the truer art and skill side of photography (as opposed to the desktop publishing and computer-art it seems be turning into) alive.
    I know Kodak have ditched slide film earlier in the year but then again they've ditched pretty much all their films so whoever buys the residue might welcome all hands to the pump in trying to recreate demand.
     
  60. @Jeff Spirer Funny you say that, I am a Chinese, but not from China. Here in Singapore, there are quite a bit of film developing shops. Even in Vietnam, I have seen lots of shops doing it, you just have to look for them.
    And the please explain why there are more VWs, Audis in China than Toyotas. I mean seriously, why get a more expensive saloon when 80% of them can barely afford it? I don't think you understand why the Chinese hate Japanese so much, probably because you never experienced it. Go ask some Korean or Chinese who has survived through the ordeal and let them tell you their stories and stop being ignorant.
     
  61. Go ask some Korean or Chinese who has survived through the ordeal and let them tell you their stories and stop being ignorant.
    Fifteen years ago, there were almost no Japanese products here in Korea. Now, you see Japanese cars, electronic equipment, cameras (lots of Japanese cameras!), and other products all over the place. Even young people who say they hate the Japanese might have $500 worth of Hello Kitty apparel and paraphernalia. Nationalist resentment definitely exists, but it doesn't mean that there's no market for Japanese goods.
     
  62. I feel this discussion of Sino-Japanese relations is moving off-topic, and I certainly am no authority, but for anyone interested, the opening paragraphs of this Wikipedia article are a good summary:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/People%27s_Republic_of_China%E2%80%93Japan_relations
    (Note too the Wikipedia message that the article's neutrality has been questioned.)
    I think the angle that Jeff Spirer was getting at was that multi-billion-dollar China-Japan trade partnership.
     
  63. Ok, back on topic...
    According to this USA Today article, the motion picture film division might be up for sale as well:

    "Kodak made a point of saying that businesses, such as consumer inkjet printing, motion picture and television film, and specialty chemicals, are outside of the core. Ken Luskin, president of California wealth management firm Intrinsic Value Asset Management, said the company seems to be indicating that it will also sell those businesses."

    Eastman Kodak exiting still photography business – USATODAY.com

    I also got an email from Audrey last night that states Kodak film and pro paper will be represented at the Kodak booth at Photokina in Germany next month. At that time, they will launch the updated Kodak Professional Film website and brochures. It is expected to take until early to mid next year to finalize the sale of the still film unit.

    The key thing to remember here is that Kodak is marketing both Kodak still film and the Kodak still film customer to the potential buyers, so we are all literally in the spotlight together at the moment.
    So my feeling is lets not blow the chance we have all been talking about for years to get Kodak film in the hands of an eager new owner that could very well want to keep the products in our hands for longer than we thought possible.

    Keep buying it, shooting it and for god's sake, keep the vibe as positive as you can, I am going to.​
     
  64. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    And the please explain why there are more VWs, Audis in China than Toyotas.​

    This is a data point? Is that your idea of solid market data?

    If one actually takes the time to look at the data out there, it's pretty easy to divine. First of all, Nissan, which you apparently don't know is a Japanese brand, outsells VW and Audi. Second, Toyota made well-known errors, in particular by trying to sell higher priced, larger vehicles in China. However, they have done some course correction and their sales are up 68% in China this year.
     
  65. So my feeling is lets not blow the chance we have all been talking about for years to get Kodak film in the hands of an eager new owner that could very well want to keep the products in our hands for longer than we thought possible.​

    Daniel --who would this new owner be? Have you heard anything?

    I would love for this to happen, but I'm not sure how an internet forum could help accomplish this. How can we help? Or, how could we blow it? I'm just not sure what you're driving at.
     
  66. Thousands of commentaries on internet forums have had nothing but heartfelt outpouring of hope and good will for the future of film. Simply expressing the will to have choice, and continuity for an Art form that has brought happiness to the creative spirit. No one medium, has a monopoly on creativity, nor should.
     
  67. You are absolutely correct Don, but my questions are in all earnestness.
    I shoot film, but "hope and good will" won't pay the bills for whoever's manufacturing film. I'm genuinely interested in how color film can best be marketed so it will be available and reasonably priced for all of us who use it. I just haven't seen any ideas here...and I freely admit I don't know the answer either. Thus my inquiries to Daniel.
     
  68. For one thing, what film manufacturer is selling their product? The public sees this and thinks something is wrong with film, and then gravitates to the alternative only. It's a all or nothing, we against them mentality that didn't start in forums. The campaign in celebrating 0s, and 1s has worked, and it has its place, but for the blatant war that there is only room for one around here attitude.
     
  69. No buyers yet that I know of, it is still early in the game.
    I am at a loss as to why anyone would expect a niche industry like film to take out a print ad in your favorite magazine. For starters lets look at the very real and present decline in print ad revenue, regardless of who would advertise. This is partly due to the economic crash of 09/08 and more profoundly due to social and web advertising replacing it, hence the decline in magazines that would show those ads. I am not sure how much Fuji and Ilford have taken out in spendy print ads in PDN, Popular Photography and other periodicals but they tend to cost tens of thousands and that is not something we can realistically expect from Kodak's current situation or even going back 2-3 years when losses were mounting with the exception of 2007 ( ? ) when patent suits yielded a different number.

    But Kodak does engage in social marketing such as Facebook pages that have "Likes". For example, Ilford has 3,802 likes, Kodak Professional 3,631 and Kodak it self over 437,000 likes. Colleen Krenzer has been posting on Kodak Pro on a regular basis, digging up interesting projects, photographer profiles and generally fielding questions, comments and complaints. It would not be out of the question for new Kodak Still Film ownership to engage in a more forward thinking and progressive approach to both market identification and campaigns, there are ideas out there, but they have been hard to implement under the current corporate structure, especially considering the C-11 filing has all but put the breaks on marketing of any kind for any division.

    You want to use film in the future, regardless of brand? Then make sure your friends are using it too, this is going to take a grass roots approach to casting the net far and wide. Not only are the old models of marketing dead, the expectation that they should ever return should be too. If a company sees momentum in social, they might just take out a $30,000 ad for a quarter, but if there are the sound of crickets on a Facebook page, don't bet on it.

    Besides, I did indeed write about Kodak Professional is going to be in Cologne Germany for Photokina, will launch the updated Kodak Professional website and be handing out the new Kodak Professional Film brochures. If it were mentioned that Ilford or Fuji were doing this, people would say "Golly-Gee! I sure love Fuji, way to go!" but because it is Kodak, no one seems to give a crap and instead, wants to just bash them every chance they get.

    Partisanship in a declining industry with pissed off film shooters who can't get passed the way it used to be or the products they lost is a sure fire way of working against what should be the way forward.
    Regardless of who makes the film, it is never discontinued for any other reason than your friends stopped using it.
     
  70. I don't think any of us would be here reading or posting if we didn't love (or at least enjoy) Kodak's film and papers.
    We aren't bashing Kodak, just their management, who is hell-bent on killing the products we do care about.
     
  71. zml

    zml

    > Regardless of who makes the film, it is never discontinued for any other reason than your friends stopped using it.
    Or perhaps because digital does everything so much better than film?
    This is not the "vinyl vs. CD" battle: the sound quality of CD is inferior to that of a well recorded, edited and pressed vinyl revolving on a good turntable through a well-balanced system (hence twenty thousand dollar CD players and, SA CD and other formats seking to improve on it - too little too late...) Digital is simply a much better way of achieving the end product (i.e. photograph) in every respect, not only faster but also with more control, more photographer's input at every stage, better dynamic range, sharpness, level of detail, freedom from aberrations, or at least the ability to correct them fast, etc.
    Yes, Kodak screwed up everything big time: around 2008 one would start to wonder why are they still alive, but they would have to give up on film (other than a smidgen of Pro film for "passionate amateurs") because simply there is no demand for it, mismanagement or not.
    I do use film partially because it looks different than digital (not better, worse in pure technical terms, but still different) and partially because of nostalgia (I've been doing this since the late 1960s...) but I question the latter reason each and every time I bump into limitations of the film, limitations that don't exist with digital.
     
  72. david_henderson

    david_henderson www.photography001.com

    As you'd guess from my post above I'm not optimistic that Kodak will find a new home for its film businesses easily. But the one bit of optimism I can see is that if they do, then the ownership of these films is likely to be in the hands of an organisation that has a vested interest in the survival of their purchase for as long as possible, and probably one that is less prone to silly decisions than Kodak has been. Kodak films not managed by Kodak the company may not be an excitingly optimistic scenario, but it may well be better than brand Kodak managed by Kodak the business.
    It is at the very least embarrassing for the board of a business to close or write down an acquisition in the few years after the deal is done, since its tantamount to admitting that the purchase was a mistake or the price was wrong.
     
  73. Michael, that is your opinion and you are certainly entitled to it, but I have been shooting digital professionally for nearly 20 years, I simply do not agree and neither do quite a number of super talented young people who are loving the journey that is film.
    All that matters in the end is how talented you are or not and if you are really bonding with the journey that is making the image. If you love shooting film more than digital, then that will translate in your resulting work. An image made with passion that speaks to what the photographer wants to spend his or her time doing and what that image does for the viewer trumps any technical perfection or ease of use every single time.
     
  74. We aren't bashing Kodak, just their management, who is hell-bent on killing the products we do care about.​
    Bill, that is not going to do anything good for us, never would have either. The division is up for sale, that puts the film user in the spotlight along with the film maker and the interested buyer. It's show time, lets all put our best foot forward and make it happen.
    There is no sense in dwelling on the past when there is still a chance for this to come out good, even if only for a few years more.
     
  75. Daniel you are right, of course, but everyone loves to complain. Especially when they can identify the specific people that are ruining their fun! :)
     
  76. At this point, all I can hope for is that some company/investors will buy whatever part of their film business is up for sale, and work hard at keeping film affordable. But from some earlier conversations in this thread, it appears that some have suggested that Kodak might continue to make master rolls of C-41 film on the same machines that they use for cine, which will be sold to whoever is spooling it into consumer products? So is that the consensus.....that due to scale of economy, the same machines for cine need to also be used for C-41?
     
  77. Hey Mike. You are entitled to your opinion but I disagree. Digital is always going to be an obsolete disposable medium. What's here today is gone tomorrow and that includes your digital camera. Even the new cameras coming out there technology is already obsolete . If digital was great you would not need photoshop but we know that is not the case. You may not like film but yet you strive to photoshop your photos to look like film. That does not make sense to me. Why not have your digital images look like digital, processed and sterile looking. If you want the look of film then shoot film. If digital was better you would have award winning prints from the camera to the printer, no photoshop/postprocessing needed and you would be a world famous photographer with your work hanging in every museum in the world. So digital is not that great. Oh yes that medium format digital camera cost a mortgage payment and if you drop that mortgage payment you have no camera or any digital camera for that matter. I can drop my film cameras pick them up and they still work. No medium format film camera, to my knowledge cost anywhere near that much. It is all about megapixels and everyone and there mother camera company has flooded the market with any and every typ of digital camera. In the film days I do not think the photogrpahy market was as competitive or cut throat as it is now in the digital age. Every pro photographer is now being undercut in price because someone wants a wedding for cheap and some kid with a digital camera, because he can look at what he just shot is a photographer now. The quality may suck but the bride and groom saved money. So praise digital all you want, to me it seems it is not so great with it's many downfalls.
     
  78. zml

    zml

    Daniel: the old, young, talented, passionate, masterful and complete photographic dolts have all been swallowed by digital. But be it film, digital or ESP, if the final product (i.e. picture) doesn't stand on its own legs and isn't able to defend itself as a picture, then what's the point? No amount of philosophising or "program art" will help it. Many people want to preserve film (I'm in that group) but at the same time it is good to have a realistic view of the situation.
    Eddy: ah, that angle again. Yeah, pretty much all modern cameras can deliver results far superior to what even good photogs could achieve with 35 mm film just a few short years ago. But that does not mean that all owneres of these cameras are photographers. And nothing is obsolete as long sa it fulfils its original design objectives. (You might be watching too much TV...) And no, it is not all about megapixels.
    Also, as a long time wet printer, mostly B&W but I did my time with C-41 and Ciba (remember Cibachrome..? It was called Ilfochrome much later...) as well, I can tell you that way more post processing work goes into a good print in the wet lab than in the digital domain.
     
  79. The division is up for sale, that puts the film user in the spotlight along with the film maker and the interested buyer.​

    Indeed it does. They have to sell a customer base as well as the manufacturing side of things. A product without customers is just a factory, not a business.
     
  80. If digital was great you would not need photoshop but we know that is not the case.​
    Have you ever used a film darkroom? Does that make film better or worse?
    I have been using film since Kodachrome II. In that time I have never seen a worse defense of film.
    You have also overused your yearly quota of straw men.
     
  81. Daniel, thanks for sharing that info...I was not even aware of Kodak Pro's Facebook page, and I'm on there every day. Now I know about it, so I'll check in on it.
     
  82. pretty much all modern cameras can deliver results far superior to what even good photogs could achieve with 35 mm film​
    A patently false statement.

    I, like many on this forum, are happy with and often use digital for casual everyday snapshots and for situations when convenience trumps all other considerations. I am also not, however, under the illusion that the results achived by digital are even remotely the aesthetic equal of those easily obtained with commonly available high quality films like TMAX 100 and VELVIA 50. Not even close. Perhaps you'll recall that there were certain troglodytes ten years ago who couldn't dump their cheap plastic SLR zoom kits fast enough for the then current breed of "modern" junk digital cameras, claiming that 4MP sensors rendered traditional 35mm picture taking obsolete! HA!

    Photos from modern digital cameras exhibit excellent resolution and clarity, but they are still just as sterile and clinical in appearance as those produced by the 4 megapixel juggernauts of yesteryear when compared with the richness and tonality of a color transparency projected on a large matte screen through a Leitz projector lens, with which no monitor in existence can compete in resolution and color depth. Fine grain B&W negative film, shot in a forty year old all-mechanical Canon FTB QL and optically printed by a skilled photographer, blows even the latest FX digital cameras clear out of the water, even in 35mm. If you are experiencing "limitations" in your film images that you don't observe with digital, I assure you that the film itself is not the source of that limitation.

    In the hands of a skilled photographer, modern films are still far better looking when projected or skillfully printed than anything possible on an electronic computer monitor, and in the larger formats there is simply no comparison. Every comparison test ever published pretending to demonstrate vast digital superiority to 35mm (and by extension competitiveness with medium and large format emulsions) has been shown to commit serious methodological errors. It is true that a relatively cheap digital camera can often produce images on a computer monitor that look clearer than the average consumer digital film scan. To this I say: so what? Who wants to sit there and look at images on a 22" computer monitor? Kodak TMAX 100 has approximately 19.5 stops (!) of exposure latitude and can resolve, under ideal conditions, as much as 200 lp/m. Last time I checked, that was about TWO TIMES the resolving ability of even the most advanced practical digital SLR currently on the market. Fuji Velvia is not far behind at 160 lp/m (and vastly superior color). Even moderately priced professional scans of either film will yield more refined tonality and highlight rendering than any modern DSLR. And not only do these films not cost $3000 to shoot, I have found by experience that the people who tend to prefer them also generally seem to possess a much more advanced technique and superior taste when compared to the stereotypical meat-eating yokels I regularly witness stalking about triumphantly with their corporate-emblazoned "camera bling" dangling revealingly from sweaty, fake-tan encrusted necks. And that isn't even addressing all the other less easily quantifiable ways in which film renders superior images from an aesthetic point of view. And that is what photography is, in the end, all about; aesthetics, art, beauty; not mere technical gadgetry, and certainly not "convenience" (a thoroughly plebeian virtue if there ever was one).

    The opinions of "professional photographers" hardly settle the matter, though I know from personal experience that many prefer film over digital when commercial factors don't come into play. Unless, of course, you happen to believe that the community of tradesmen who make their livings taking snapshots of drunk ugly brides (and their even uglier bride's maids), miscellaneous consumer products, and big breasted bimbo beach goddesses, somehow also constitute the most exalted arbiters of photographic taste.
    As many have observed with much chagrin, digital has given rise to an entire generation of sorry individuals calling themselves "photographers", who have yet to master the bare rudiments of photography; things like exposure, composition, lighting, and posture/breath control, while nourishing a feverish preoccupation with technological gimmickry and the acquisition of mass-produced goods which more closely resembles a mode of consumption characteristic of rootless post-modern globalist consumerism than it does the pursuit of a serious art. The problem is that gadget-geekery can't purchase any of these things with their credit card, and thus buy into the marketing rhetoric which pretty much blatantly insinuates that the key to making great photos is to just buy one of these overpriced high-pixel dinguses, and leave the rest to them. For most of these people, the "study" of photography often does not extend much beyond the act of reading (or even skimming!) through a thick camera manual translated from the original Japanese.
    Digital is clearly an inferior photographic medium for reasons having nothing to do with image resolution, that great bugaboo of pixel-obsessed digital geeks everywhere. Besides its characteristically flat, clinical appearance and garish tonality, digital promotes a kind of sensibility that is inimical to the imperatives and tastes of genuine photographic culture. It is a phenomenon driven primarily by consumerism and the tasteless yielding to the dubious ideals of crude self-gratification and convenience-at-any-cost that have become the hallmarks of the insidious social and economic leveling forces of post-post-modernity.
    Anyone who cares about photography as an art-form, should also care about preserving the medium of film.
     
  83. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    Unless, of course, you happen to believe that the community of tradesmen who make their livings taking snapshots of drunk ugly brides (and their even uglier bride's maids)​

    This pretty much sums up the kind of attitude that makes me never read what someone has to say, ever. It's a repulsive and disgusting way to talk about people.
     
  84. I just hope they keep making photo film.
     
  85. Daniel: the old, young, talented, passionate, masterful and complete photographic dolts have all been swallowed by digital.​
    This is pretty much as far as I needed to read...using the word "All"...it's actually offensive, as if I don't exist or matter. You are totally clueless, there are many a great talent out there choosing both film and digital together and one or the other. You need to open your mind a lot more than you are.
    For example, here is a very talented photographer who is choosing to continue to use film:
    http://www.kosoff.com/
    You *definitely* need to get out more...so you can possibly stop insulting those of us who shoot film as a personal choice by saying things like "All".
     
  86. 'Anyone who cares about photography as an art-form, should also care about preserving the medium of film'.

    Anthony, a sharp and passionate post (ugly brides included): very good stuff indeed.
     
  87. Kodak TMAX 100 has approximately 19.5 stops (!) of exposure latitude and can resolve, under ideal conditions, as much as 200 lp/m.​
    So, show us an example of 19.5 stops and 200 lp/mm.
    Here is an interesting article by Erwin Puts concerning B&W film resolution.
    http://www.imx.nl/photo/Film/Film/Film/page35.html
     
  88. 19.5 stops? This image on Acros 100 using the methods I describe probably exceeds that by 3-5 stops:
    http://www.photo.net/casual-conversations-forum/00ajVS?start=40
     
  89. using the word "All"...it's actually offensive​

    I think so too. Along with phrases like "no one uses film any more", "everyone is on the internet", etc.

    People now think that if most people do something then everyone does it - especially if they do it themselves.
     
  90. Spearhead

    Spearhead Moderator

    big breasted bimbo beach goddesses, somehow also constitute the most exalted arbiters of photographic taste.​

    Missed this one too. Is it possible to make more repugnant statements about strangers. "Fat, ugly, bimbo", all about people the poster doesn't know.
    using the word "All"...it's actually offensive​

    I don't think it comes close to the misogynistic trash Jeeves spews above.
     
  91. James G. Dainis

    James G. Dainis Moderator

    Note from Moderator: This thread is beginning to turn a bit ugly. Let us keep posts to the standards that we are used to seeing here and expect to see here.
     
  92. Don't Jerry Uelsman and Albert watson still shoot film?
     
  93. Thank you James. I think this has been a very interesting and enjoyable thread, and I'd really rather not see it turn into another digital vs. film argument. That's been done to death, and it's not what this thread is about.
    From Kodak Professional's Facebook page, under their byline:
    Within the film (and paper) business, there is a dedicated and passionate group of people who love these products and love what you all create with these products.​
    And if Kodak film is to have a future, these folks will be needed to make it happen.
     
  94. Is it the passionate case of the defense of film, a beloved medium, that has ruffled some feathers ? Or shall we just go our merry way with the lopsided argument to the contrary? I'm not offended by anything said here, no one used profanity, or made personal attacks from what I've gathered so far. This is a film forum. Film and Processing, and if there are truths about film expressed passionately, so be it.
     
  95. Current Kodak CEO was an executive at HP. He probably brought all the mismanagement skills from HP. The film business is Kodak's most important icon for Kodak. It can be one that doesn't make much money. But without it Kodak is no longer Kodak. He is selling Kodak's patents in digital technology too. It is just another unknown stardust in the sky soon to be gone. We will see Kodak turns itself into a commodity trader, selling imported junky made in Asia.
     
  96. He is selling Kodak's patents in digital technology too.​
    He is trying to sell Kodak's patents, but with no success as yet. As the article states, "So far, he has not found buyers".
    And this, from a businesswire.com article:
    In accordance with its prior announcement, the company is continuing discussions with parties with respect to the potential sale of its digital imaging patent portfolio. The company reiterates that it has made no decision to sell the portfolio and Kodak may, in consultation with creditors, retain the portfolio as an alternative source of recovery for creditors.​
    Translation: Kodak wants far too much money for its patent portfolio, and nobody's buying. Potential buyers will wait for a final bankruptcy liquidation and pick up the patents for pennies on the dollar, if at all.
    We will see Kodak turns itself into a commodity trader, selling imported junky made in Asia.​
    As I understand their latest news release, I don't think Kodak is interested in selling anything like that. Even they know that wouldn't make any money. They seem to be trying to remake themselves along the lines of IBM, as a business services/consulting company.
     
  97. Because we all know Kodak is a hotbed of expertise in business services and consulting!
     
  98. Sadly, Antonio Perez hasn't exhibited the skills to manage a lemonade stand, no less
    Eastman Kodak. I fear not only is he one of many inept CEOs the company has
    suffered, he will also be the last. I really do see the remainder of the company being
    sold off piecemeal, and Kodak becoming just a meaningless, licensed name like
    Polaroid. I hope I'm wrong, but things certainly appear to be heading in that
    direction.
     
  99. Im thinking Impossible Project. $26 Tri x 20 exp.
     
  100. "The film business is Kodak's most important icon for Kodak. It can be one that doesn't make much money. But without it Kodak is no longer Kodak."
    Kodak's response to this is:
    "Indeed our company was formed more than 130 years ago around consumer photography, and it has been the core of our business for most of those years. It is also important to note, however, that our brand is strong in commercial markets. We have worked over the past several years to grow our presence in the commercial area, which now represents more than two-thirds of our sales."
    (from: http://www.kodak.com/ek/US/en/emergence-faq.htm)
     
  101. Kodak's market cap is only 65 million and the share price is 24 cents. One cannot buy a majority stake and take total control of Kodak. There is a poison pill so this scheme cannot be used.
    KODAK is like a drunkish idiot relative that constantly flushes away good cash on dumb poor investments. This is common with a poorly run company. Earned income is reinvested on projects that have low returns or non.
    Go read the many old Kodak financial reports. They only need more cash and more time for the XXX project to pay off.
    Each Kodak CEO for the last 20 years has been unable to steer the giant battleship's path. The razor blade model of film ended and failed with APS. Kodak was a player in pushing the APS system to hook folks on a new bastard format to lock in an annuity of future sales. Kodak pushed APS when early users were using high end VGA to create BBS and web pages.
    KODAK DISMISSED WHY some folks used digital; ie to save time. Some folks have deadlines and are not fine art folks shooting waterfalls. As mentioned earlier it was like 35mm replacing the speed graphic for newspaper work. Then digital replaced 35mm film for news. Few here seem understand what "good enough" is for a project. Thus the lay go into endless film versus digital debates.
    Kodak mentioned a year ago that their patents they were going to sale are worth 3 Billion. Today we do not know yet but my guess is more like 1/10th of that or less.
    With the FILM DIVISIONS sale they are selling off a profitable super declining business to raise cash to pay Citibank and other creditors. Film really needs zero new development since the volumes are declining.
    The injected cash from patent auctions will help pay off creditors and if the auctions are enough will give bonuses to some. Your beloved boy Perez does not give a damn about film. He got crowned the worst CEO for 2011.
    Does a sale of the film divisions involve the toxic risks of Kodak's toxic sites?
    Kodak does not hawk Mardi Gras 1 shot cameras at Walmart here in Baton Rouge each spring but FUJI does for a REASON!
    Expect the same from Kodak, more sizes and film types dropped as volumes drop.
    The 24 cent Kodak stock may be 5 bucks in one year or zitch too. Your worst CEO of 2011 is at the helm looking for things to sell off so the B17 does not crash into the cliff.
     
  102. Flashback to 1997:
    "Kodak has more than $1 billion in short- and long-term debt and is in the midst of a sales and profit slide, not to mention impending restructuring write-offs likely to run to $1 billion or more."
    Fuji's sales last year were a record $11 billion, and profits were a near-record $757 million; at the same time, Fuji has a net cash position of about $4.5 billion"
    October 27, 1997
    (FORTUNE Magazine) – As if Kodak's George Fisher didn't have enough problems. Over the past few weeks, his earnings tanked, his stock self-destructed, and he has been forced to announce layoffs numbering in the thousands. Now to top it all, his biggest competitor, a lean, hungry company called Fuji Photo Film Co., is making an aggressive, and successful, grab for market share in Kodak's own backyard.
    http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/fortune_archive/1997/10/27/233297/index.htm
     
  103. Lots of thoughts here. But, I think its rather simple. Why should someone save it. Because the film product is still dam good. I recently picked up some Portra 160. Great skin tones and resolution that surpassed by D3 and came pretty close to my d3x. The roll, with development, cost me about $8.50. Here is a scan and a crop. The crop is came off the full scan which was to about 20mp.
    Anthony
    00amKZ-494199584.jpg
     
  104. And the Crop
    00amKd-494199784.jpg
     
  105. Gentlepersons:
    An alternate possible means to keep Kodak film available to the film public other than a sale.
    Some of the problems facing purchasers of the still film production abilities are:
    1. They may have to move the material, employees and equipment if the land is sold in bankruptcy.
    2. There are unfunded liabilities. Kodak Park has got to be a Superfund cleanup site, or will be declared so sometime in the future. I understand the pension plans are not fully funded and intact. Some of the equipment may have bonded debt or other liens against it. For all I know, the product on hand in master roles could have already been factored or pledged as collateral during a general or continuing master loan agreement made either before or during the bankruptcy.
    3. Large initial capital outlay.
    4. Fear of future actions by the bankruptcy court (look how surprised the bondholders in the automotive industry were to find themselves as unsecured creditors for the first time in history.).
    5. The general belief that film is on the decline, which would give not only a short period to recoup initial outlay, but also the declining cash flow in excess of bare costs with which to effect recoup.
    Some reasons that a new entity might be willing to take over the business aspect of Kodak’s film making resources:
    1. Although declined tremendously in recent years, the Kodak name still has market value.
    2. Kodak has proven product formulary, patents, personnel, and mechanical manufacturing capacity.
    3. There is product already produced, sitting on master rolls, that simply need to be cut and inserted into canisters; onto film rolls and into sheet film packs.
    4. They have a product distribution pipeline in place and former cut-off (foolishly) wholesale and retail sellers who would like to carry the product again.
    I think leasing the film making ability as a package, including use of patents, reimbursement for Kodak personnel costs, site and machinery would avoid many of the problems listed above, but would still provide a profitable way of using the four resources stated above. There would have to be guarantees put in place by the bankruptcy court that would keep the new operators from becoming liable financially for Kodak’s past mismanagement.
    Two entities come to mind that could be a new operator. The most obvious is Fuji, who would insure a virtual monopoly without having to put out a large capital outlay. They could then distribute their products through Kodak’s marketing chain and Kodak’s through Fuji’s marketing chain, thereby increasing sales of both products. They also have the expertise and understanding of the business. They would secure an additional manufacturing facility in a different area of the world with no capital outlay.
    Another possibility is a consortium of major Kodak distributors, jobbers, wholesalers, and even some extremely large retailers, i.e. B&H and Adorama. The problem at Kodak’s still film production is not their ability to produce a quality product, providing management does not impose restrictions and poor corporate policy upon them. Therefore if they were to include in their lease, payroll reimbursement for the current employees, who would probably like to stay employed anyway, they don’t have to have particular experience in the manufacturing end. They already have the distribution pipeline set up. It’s in their interest to keep film alive and selling, beyond the profits of the film itself. There are always chemicals to sell, as well as photo accessories that are purchased either as an additional item to the photographer, or worn-out replacement because s/he is still taking pictures. Plus one of the strongest reasons of all, would be the limiting of their capital expenditures to reserve for startup costs, legal fees, etc. and they would not have to come up with capital or lender for the bulk of the expense which would be the purchase price.
    Both Kodak and the bankruptcy court need cash flow to continue their respective operations. Additionally, legal and trustee’s fees are being accrued. Both secured and unsecured creditors have an interest in continuing the bankruptcy for now so as to increase the possibility of financial recovery. With a lease that would be structured with a minimum payment against a percentage of sales, would put a floor, but not a top on income, to help keep the bankruptcy action and Kodak going. The lease could be for two, three, or five years, so both the bankruptcy and the new operator would have both assurances and limits. Of course, included with the lease could be an option to purchase or first right of refusal. Although as a practical matter, the latter is probably worthless, there is no sense in not including it.
    The concept of leasing the production facilities, with or without personnel reimbursement, would add another dimension to the possibility of continuing the production of Kodak still film products. I’ve only enumerated few thoughts in a vague outline in order to put forth the concept. There would be many more considerations to be made and ironed out. It would still be less than those necessary for sale.
    I’m old and my mind is half gone. … okay, three-quarters gone. However, where there’s a will and a market, there’s a way, like the concept of leasing. Surely the people involved in the bankruptcy, as well as unconnected entrepreneurs could come up with additional, perhaps better, ways of keeping film going, while putting some money in their pockets that I would never think of.
    A. T. Burke
     
  106. I wonder if the film division buyer gets to still use the Kodak name? or will it be like Agilent the HP spinoff's weird name. ? how about a weird name brand non yellow box of Tri-X?
    The buyer of the film division might just keep a few core film products
    ie kill off the marginal rate of return products and just keep the most profitable
    Most buyers that buy stuff at a bankruptcy sale make changes or only use part of what they bought.
    There is little upside to keep marginal products still in production once a division is sold. The management at Kodak should have trimmed down earlier but failed since they are poor managers. The new buyers have no attachment to dead products thus expect radical contraction in the film products still made. ie they let the new buyer fire the fossil products.
    The whole market cap of Kodak is just 65 million bucks The stock is at 24 cents and not marginal since junk turd risky status as a company in chapter 11.
    Film production can go on longer if the overhead is radically cut.
    A new division buyer risks hard cash. They are not golden boys riding a sinking ship selling off divisions to raise cash to pay Citibank loans or throw the long bomb to beat LSU.
     

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