We’ve witnessed the perks of technological advancements in cinema over the past decade, but there has been a downside. As digital media usurps film-based cinema, some companies are struggling to survive — like the famous Eastman Kodak. The Wall Street Journal reports that “Kodak's motion-picture film sales have plummeted 96% since 2006, from 12.4 billion linear feet to an estimated 449 million this year.”
The numbers are staggering, which is why a group of Hollywood studio heads are negotiating to set up an agreement that requires them to purchase a set quantity of film over the next several years, regardless if they will use that film or not. Several directing giants are persuading the studios to ink the deal, including Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, Judd Apatow and J.J. Abrams (who is currently shooting the highly anticipated Star Wars: Episode VII on film).
If the arrangement is successful, Kodak can avoid closing its Rochester, New York manufacturing plant. It should be noted that Kodak is the only major company left that produces film stock, as competitor Fujifilm left the business last year. "It's a financial commitment, no doubt about it," said Bob Weinstein, “but I don't think we could look some of our filmmakers in the eyes if we didn't do it."
Kodak’s chief exec Jeff Clarke's statement on the matter resonates: "I am confident we will see a slowing of the [revenue] decline, but a large part of this will be a deeper recognition that film is valuable."
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