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2022 Film Stock Price Increases?


Robin Phillips
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At some point, people will just stop shooting film altogether with these prices. Kodak is pricing itself out of the game... it is sort of out of the game but with this price escalation, I dont know....

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15 minutes ago, Giray Izcan said:

At some point, people will just stop shooting film altogether with these prices. Kodak is pricing itself out of the game... it is sort of out of the game but with this price escalation, I dont know....

Since I've been buying direct from Kodak, I've seen the prices go up 3 times and recently they reduced the discount percentage as well. So not only was the price higher per roll, but there was less discount for people who buy in bulk. In that time, the amount of people shooting narrow gauge formats has gone up by such huge margins, Kodak has not been able to keep up with manufacturing. 

We've already seen huge price hikes in the processing world. Everyone has gone up at least 10% in the last two years, some have gone up 30%. That increase will keep happening as the cost to run labs continues to increase along with inflation. Yet, they're very busy! 

So IDK! 

 

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22 minutes ago, Giray Izcan said:

At some point, people will just stop shooting film altogether with these prices. Kodak is pricing itself out of the game... it is sort of out of the game but with this price escalation, I dont know....

Agreed. I had even thought about coming back to film. I had some good news today that will mean a bit of a windfall of bonus cash in about 6 months. Nonetheless, I am not about to spend my windfall just to add to Kodak's coffers.

I am completely blown away at how Kodak has stayed faithful to the "elitist" mindset they had back when they controlled everything. It is like they would prefer to lose everything rather than find a way to make shooting film more affordable.

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At some point, the prices will only allow big pictures to be on film. Noone will pay 1000 fpr 1000ft of 35 film... Even now, with shipping etc, it costs nearly 900... i guess s16 is more affordable but s16 look isn't right for every project. I am located in la so it isn't some remote place either.

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2 minutes ago, Giray Izcan said:

At some point, the prices will only allow big pictures to be on film. Noone will pay 1000 fpr 1000ft of 35 film... Even now, with shipping etc, it costs nearly 900... I am located in la so it isn't some remote place either.

Right, but guess what? The little people like you and me, do not make up 5% of Kodak's sales. My best year, I shot roughly 40,000ft. That's nothing to Kodak, the last Bond film shot 2.7 million feet and that's ONE movie. They have 30 movies like that per year shooting on film. They make 60+ million feet of camera negative a year. What does a small decrease of 200k feet from the little people matter? It really doesn't in the long run.

The real die hards (myself included) will just shoot less film. 

The people just scraping by, will find it difficult to shoot film, that's for sure. 

It's a shame the prices have to go up, but material costs are through the roof. The fact Kodak has waited this long to do a major price increase, is quite amazing honestly. I figured they would have done this the moment silver started going up, but they didn't. Now we're getting 2 years of price hikes all at once and it's going to hurt... but I'm going to invest heavily before this happens. I should be able to stash away enough film to last me through the next two years if I play my cards right. 

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9 minutes ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

I am completely blown away at how Kodak has stayed faithful to the "elitist" mindset they had back when they controlled everything. It is like they would prefer to lose everything rather than find a way to make shooting film more affordable.

Oh trust me, they have tried to find ways of making it cheaper. If you knew how much development goes into making different ISO stocks all work in the same processing bath, you'd be shocked. There are countless compromises in the current process and if they made more, I'm afraid people would be too scared to shoot film incase it just didn't come out right. 

I for one am happy Kodak has spent so much money buying labs and keeping the format alive. They could have shut everything down when they filed for bankruptcy and let the labs die. They didn't tho, they figured out a way to make their least profitable business profitable again and they've been very successful. Kodak's motion picture film division only exists because professional filmmakers have begged the studio's to pre-buy years worth of film. Without those contracts, we would have NO film. So you can call it an "elite" format all ya want, but you can't complain about the "elites" which kept it alive. You can't complain about all the people who work very hard to buy film and shoot their projects on film. My last short cost me $6k or so in film/processing and scanning. It all came out of our pockets because we wanted to shoot on film. We're not "elitists", we had a vision and made it happen. 

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Just to shoot a 5 pager, just the stock itself costs nearly 5k.. not to mention the lab costs... I love film and as you are aware I even do photochemical finish but at some point though, I mean the film image is good but is it thousands and thousands of dollars better?

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3 minutes ago, Giray Izcan said:

But that film you are planning on acquiring will not stay fresh for 2 years. Essentially yoj will end up spending thousands ag the lab for less than ideal image quality you would get from a fresh roll. 

Oh it will be fine if it's frozen. Ya gotta get it and throw it in the freezer. Remember, once film is a few months old, it's already starting to fog. So film you buy new from Kodak has already started to decay anyway. When you freeze it, you prolong the decay. So you when you need it, you may have a 5% fog layer, but that's not bad. 

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1 minute ago, Giray Izcan said:

Just to shoot a 5 pager, just the stock itself costs nearly 5k.. not to mention the lab costs... I love film and as you are aware I even do photochemical finish but at some point though, I mean the film image is good but is it thousands and thousands of dollars better?

You saw my last short right? That was $6k to shoot in 3 perf and it's what, nearly 26 minutes? We shot 13k feet. Ya just need to work the system to get what ya want. I can help ya of course. 

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So you shot 8:1 ratio? You need to have money if you really want to shoot comfortably without compromising from the product quality in terms of performance, angles etc. You should see how many takes we do on commercials... you could easily burn through 30k plus ft of film per day. When you do the math.. it comes up to 100 dollars a minute or so after all processing and scanning etc. Bmd scanner is ok for dailies but is certainly not a finishing type scanner.

 

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1 hour ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Right, but guess what? The little people like you and me, do not make up 5% of Kodak's sales. My best year, I shot roughly 40,000ft. That's nothing to Kodak, the last Bond film shot 2.7 million feet and that's ONE movie. They have 30 movies like that per year shooting on film. They make 60+ million feet of camera negative a year. What does a small decrease of 200k feet from the little people matter? It really doesn't in the long run.

The real die hards (myself included) will just shoot less film. 

The people just scraping by, will find it difficult to shoot film, that's for sure. 

It's a shame the prices have to go up, but material costs are through the roof. The fact Kodak has waited this long to do a major price increase, is quite amazing honestly. I figured they would have done this the moment silver started going up, but they didn't. Now we're getting 2 years of price hikes all at once and it's going to hurt... but I'm going to invest heavily before this happens. I should be able to stash away enough film to last me through the next two years if I play my cards right. 

Yes, of course we don't "matter". But this is the attitude that will kill their business in the end. A business needs more than old guard, wealthy clientele to sustain itself in the future. New DPs are coming up in colleges (and on their own) from many places and many of them do not know film and will likely have little reason to get to know it. 

I used to defend film costs for the quality but this is reaching a tipping point where it is not worth it unless someone gets the budget for it from some one else. At that point, some might feel "why bother?"

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1 hour ago, Giray Izcan said:

So you shot 8:1 ratio? You need to have money if you really want to shoot comfortably without compromising from the product quality in terms of performance, angles etc. You should see how many takes we do on commercials... you could easily burn through 30k plus ft of film per day. When you do the math.. it comes up to 100 dollars a minute or so after all processing and scanning etc. Bmd scanner is ok for dailies but is certainly not a finishing type scanner.

 

I mean ya don’t need to run the camera like crazy. I disagree that not being able to shoot a 20:1 ratio compromises anything. If you have a good cast, 7:1 can work. We didn’t have a ratio, I just shot and when I was happy we stopped. I had lots of film saved up and I just bought more when we needed it. Fine for a short film, but for a feature I’d book 10:1 to start with and save film whenever ya can. 

I do a lot of commercial work as well, we shoot crazy ratios for a 30 second spot. But I don’t pay for it, so why do I care lol 😆 

I only scanned with the BMD scanner because our lab was closed at the time. I couldn’t get in to use the machines. I needed to get instant scans so I knew what I needed to reshoot. The actors had changed their hair for the film and I needed to make sure we got it. I could have done a telecine but it would have cost the same. I’m happy with the scan I did, it’s not perfect but neither is the film. 
 

 

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24 minutes ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

Yes, of course we don't "matter". But this is the attitude that will kill their business in the end. A business needs more than old guard, wealthy clientele to sustain itself in the future. New DPs are coming up in colleges (and on their own) from many places and many of them do not know film and will likely have little reason to get to know it. 

I mean I don’t generally shoot with people older than I am. There are gobs of young people shooting film, even big features. Who do you think buys a $18k s16 camera? Some 50 year old? Na it’s some 20 year old who uses it to shoot commercials and music videos. You’d be shocked if ya went to a media city like LA or NY. There is film everywhere. I guess because I’m so heavily involved in that part of the industry I see it more than most people. 

24 minutes ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

I used to defend film costs for the quality but this is reaching a tipping point where it is not worth it unless someone gets the budget for it from some one else. At that point, some might feel "why bother?"

I wouldn’t shoot a feature on film unless someone else paid for it. But short films and music videos? Yea of course, they’re cheap enough to make. Remember the goal of pro filmmakers is to get others to pay for your art 🙂 

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22 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

I do a lot of commercial work as well, we shoot crazy ratios for a 30 second spot. But I don’t pay for it, so why do I care lol 😆 
 

 

A horrifying attitude and one of the reasons why I don't hire DPs for my projects.

13 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

You’d be shocked if ya went to a media city like LA or NY. There is film everywhere. I guess because I’m so heavily involved in that part of the industry I see it more than most people. 

You'd be shocked how, outside of those markets, literally no one gives a damn. I have worked with talent that has imdb pages with dozens of credits and I was their first time on celluloid.

Edit: Even when I went to Grad school in Chicago, film wasn't very widely used. I wasn't too much "in the scene" outside of the fact that my college was shared between the computer geeks and the film majors but they were exclusively "digital" there and had already ditched emulsion.

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2 hours ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

A horrifying attitude and one of the reasons why I don't hire DPs for my projects.

I mean I do this professionally, I'm sure in the world of self funded indy projects, things are different. 

In the world of professionals, you pitch to the producers what you want to do and they say yes or no. We always pitch film and sometimes we don't get the gigs and other times we do. If the producers allow the director to shoot 50:1 ratio, why would I stop them? I just did a commercial that was 30 seconds long and we shot 33 minutes (3 rolls of 400ft 16mm) of film. 

2 hours ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

You'd be shocked how, outside of those markets, literally no one gives a damn. I have worked with talent that has imdb pages with dozens of credits and I was their first time on celluloid.

I have friends from all walks of life, from countries like Brazil, South Africa, India and Qatar, who shoot everything on film. I have friends who work at labs, who are always amazed what countries they get film from. I for one have been across this country shooting on film and have run into so many other people shooting on film, just by accident. You wouldn't even believe the people and conversations I've had about film. The fact I'd randomly run into people walking on the streets of random cities, out shooting film themselves, really shows that film is still alive and well. From the rural areas of Colorado and New Mexico where we shot my last short documentary, to cities like Seattle and even my home town of Boston, film is everywhere you look. 

2 hours ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

Edit: Even when I went to Grad school in Chicago, film wasn't very widely used. I wasn't too much "in the scene" outside of the fact that my college was shared between the computer geeks and the film majors but they were exclusively "digital" there and had already ditched emulsion.

I mean a lot has changed in the last 5 years. In 2016 you could buy a Super 16mm camera like my XTR for $6k no problem at all. I got my LTR in 2015 for $1500. You could buy an H16 Rex 5 for $400 bux any day of the week. Today, things are totally different. Good working cameras are nearly unobtanium and it's because they are in such high demand. We have 3 more labs then we did in 2016, all of them pretty busy. The rental houses have re-acquired film cameras, because there is so much demand. I was the only guy renting an XTR Prod on Share Grid when I got into this game, now there is a dozen people. The pricing is crazy because there is simply so much demand. 

So don't think of the past being anything like the present. Today is a whole new day and this film thing isn't going away, more and more people are going to watch films like Licorice Pizza, presented on film and are going to go "holy crap, how can I get this look" because let me tell ya, no way is what I just saw possible on digital. The more people project projects shot on film to a mass audience, the more younger people who want their projects to look different, will be obsessed and that's how film is sold. It's not sold because I make YouTube videos, it's sold because the "elites" as you call them, are as obsessed with it as I am. 

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23 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

I have friends from all walks of life, from countries like Brazil, South Africa, India and Qatar, who shoot everything on film. I have friends who work at labs, who are always amazed what countries they get film from. I for one have been across this country shooting on film and have run into so many other people shooting on film, just by accident. You wouldn't even believe the people and conversations I've had about film. The fact I'd randomly run into people walking on the streets of random cities, out shooting film themselves, really shows that film is still alive and well. From the rural areas of Colorado and New Mexico where we shot my last short documentary, to cities like Seattle and even my home town of Boston, film is everywhere you look. 

Thing is, I doubt you can point to any statistics on the matter. Anyone can pull out anecdotal stories (myself included) but film is on life support compared to where it once was and raising prices isn't going to make things better. I really don't care who you know or who you speak to. You know that film is a sad and pathetic pile of poop compared to where it once was. All of the cope and posturing in the world doesn't change that. Kodak once ruled motion pictures and now they couldn't touch Sony's jockstrap.

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27 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Today is a whole new day and this film thing isn't going away, more and more people are going to watch films like Licorice Pizza, presented on film and are going to go "holy crap, how can I get this look" because let me tell ya, no way is what I just saw possible on digital. The more people project projects shot on film to a mass audience, the more younger people who want their projects to look different, will be obsessed and that's how film is sold. It's not sold because I make YouTube videos, it's sold because the "elites" as you call them, are as obsessed with it as I am. 

I am sure that most people who shoot on film are going to get results far different than a well shot film you saw. Film doesn't magically make people good DPs. Much of what people remember of film is "survivor bias" but there was a lot of garbage shot on it. Also, look at some K3 16mm vids on YT or Vimeo done with subpar transfers and you'll see how bad it can look.

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1 hour ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

Thing is, I doubt you can point to any statistics on the matter. Anyone can pull out anecdotal stories (myself included) but film is on life support compared to where it once was and raising prices isn't going to make things better. I really don't care who you know or who you speak to. You know that film is a sad and pathetic pile of poop compared to where it once was. All of the cope and posturing in the world doesn't change that. Kodak once ruled motion pictures and now they couldn't touch Sony's jockstrap.

I mean Kodak does release annual numbers. I can also tell you that in my entire life shooting on film, I have never once found it difficult to get stock. Kodak is making as much stock as they have been for the last few years, but there is so much demand for 16mm color negative, that it's nearly impossible to get. There have been shortages of 5219 before, due to big films gobbling it all up, but never the 16mm counterpart. One more piece of data that you probably won't care about, but I will mention it. Prior to covid, Fotokem was dead. Now, every time I go, someone else is there picking up or dropping off film. Prior to covid Spectra was dead. Now there is a line most days to even get in. Every lab in the US is doing well, much better then they were prior to covid actually. This is partially why they all raised their prices, because they can finally do that, due to how much business they have. 

I mean Kodak is a poorly run company, but the only reason they dominated in the last 20 years is because they had secret non-competition deals with the studio's. Filmmakers preferred Fuji over Kodak in may cases, but were stuck to Kodak due to those deals. They actually killed their competitors, but not for long. Owro is coming out with a brand new color negative and a print stock as well. It's been years in development and when released, Kodak will have competition due to the non-competition deals being over. This will actually spark renewed interest in film from people who want a different look to even Kodak. 

Ohh and from most filmmakers point of view, Kodak triumphs over anything Sony makes. Your statement isn't even logical, it shows how out of touch you are to the actual film industry. 

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1 hour ago, Matthew W. Phillips said:

I am sure that most people who shoot on film are going to get results far different than a well shot film you saw. Film doesn't magically make people good DPs. Much of what people remember of film is "survivor bias" but there was a lot of garbage shot on it. Also, look at some K3 16mm vids on YT or Vimeo done with subpar transfers and you'll see how bad it can look.

I mean if you don't know how to light properly, if you don't know how to expose properly, if you don't understand color temperatures, framing/composition, eye lines, blocking and such, then it doesn't matter what camera you shoot on.

Anything can look bad, I don't think anyone is arguing that point. I'm merely stating that for quite a few people who know what they're doing, they choose a look that is different then everyone else. You can call those people "elites" but I will be the first to tell you, they are no different than you are. Many have full time jobs outside of the industry, many only shoot for fun and only shoot their own projects. They'll save up for months, maybe even years to make one small project, but they strive to make something good. They work hard to insure what they shoot is worthwhile and you can pick on them as you picked on me for what we achieved, but we did it. Our movies will not look like something shot with a Blackmagic pocket camera, which is basically the whole point and your biggest complaint. Film in your eyes does not warrant any accolades, any special treatment, but the mere fact you can't watch what you shot, that you can't even see what you're lighting will look like until you get the scans back, actually means you have to have talent to shoot film. So yea, people who do shoot film, are propped up a bit more than people who don't. However and I can't repeat this enough times; if ya don't know what you're doing, it won't matter. So yes, there is plenty of junk, but when it comes to modern "production", where people actually try to tell stories, there is far less junk shot on film than when film was the only way to shoot and get good quality. Now, nearly all of the junk is being shot on low-end cameras and that's why so many people have shifted away from digital and back into film, so they aren't associated with it. 

I agree, there is a lot of reminiscing about a day when everything was on film. I have to constantly remind people that 4th generation worn out 35mm prints looked like shit, but that's hard to do. Since you never get to see excellent film projection, it's hard to relay what it looks like and what it feels like, but just because you can't see it, doesn't mean it's shit. I've seen some outstanding prints from the restoration of "Red Shoes" to the restored 70mm versions of "Vertigo" and "2001", experiences that are entirely different on film than digital. I know those three films like the back of my hand, I've seen them dozens of times, especially "Vertigo" and honestly, I saw things in that 70mm print I had never noticed. Colors that popped, more contrast then I had ever seen before on any video release, a more immersive experience. Is that what the film looked and sounded like during it's original release? Maybe? We don't know as all the original prints are worn out or turned pink. What we do know is that using modern photochemical restoration processes, we can make a modern print of the film and it looks outstanding. 

 

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