There’s no doubt that digital is taking over, even after a big revival in the last few years, our beloved friend analog is still struggling hard. To some of us that are avid lovers of this medium, it’s hard to watch her dwindle. You feel as though analog film in any medium is a person in your family, and she’s suffering. This digital world is eating her alive. Please, someone throw her a lifesaver!
Apparently someone did, well, a few someones actually.
With Fujifilm shutting down their film stock production last year, Kodak has been the only company left keeping the medium alive. To help analog not end up in the extinction list, a handful of Hollywood A-list directors have stepped in: J.J. Abrams, Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino and Judd Apatow, alongside a few other allies, have joined forces and pushed Hollywood studios to take action and lend Kodak a hand financially so film stock doesn’t sink under the surface, and it can continue to be made and processed. Not only that, but the efforts of these folks will also help keep open the last film processing lab in Hollywood, Fotokem.
Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke, stated: “After extensive discussions with filmmakers, leading studios and others who recognize the unique artistic and archival qualities of film, we intend to continue production. Kodak thanks these industry leaders for their support and ingenuity in finding a way to extend the life of film.”
Nolan has always been a big defender of analog film, in the documentary Side By Side, both Nolan and his director of photography, Wally Pfister talk about their passion behind shooting in that medium. If you want an in-depth comparison from directors, editors, cinematographers, and colorists on how analog differs from digital, Side By Side is a great documentary to catch on Netflix.
It will be a long road to recovery for Kodak, even though these directors have used their Hollywood magic to help preserve the life of analog a little bit longer. Kodak’s profits have fallen 96% over the last ten years, which forced the company to file for bankruptcy last fall, especially since so many movie theaters are trying to keep up with the times and converting all their projectors to digital. Despite the fact, Kodak is still dedicated to keep the film stock production going.
Film enthusiasts, you will be glad to know that a few upcoming movies, like Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar, was shot on film, as well as J.J. Abrams’ Star Wars: Episode VII, which is currently in-production. Quentin Tarantino, adds himself to the list with The Hateful Eight, which will be shot in 70mm.
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