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David S Carroll

Kodak Preparing to File Chapter 11

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Wouldn't be the first (or last) a big company has filed for bankruptcy to restructure ect. Honestly, I'm not really sweating too much of anything with Kodak (which most people read as film) disappearing forevermore, despite their dire financial straights; and if they did somehow magically disappear, well Fuji would soon find themselves with a lot more customers.

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Given both the concrete and historical/symbolic importance of Kodak on film, I'd say this is not just another company seeking protection.

This is the one that could be the nail in the coffin for so much smaller film-making if they suddenly start shutting down S-8, 16mm and so on.

 

God, this is bitter. Call me a sentimental fool, but this affects me.

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Keep shooting film. Don't worry about anything. Shoot film, support your local film lab. Push for your projects to be shot on film, when it suits the story. Chapter 11 is a financial strategy that allows them to figure out the next step. It is not the end. Save up some money and buy in bulk and freeze the film for a later shoot. Keep shooting film.

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When wouldn't it suit the story?

 

Jon,

 

YOU'RE RIGHT. I always push for film. Always. I added that because somebody will always say "film doesn't fit every project'.

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When wouldn't it suit the story?

 

Cloverfield comes to mind as a time when film doesn't fit the story... It's not always the right choice.

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thats crazy, I think they need to loose some of there waste of money operations, they make there bulk through printing services, equipment, film, chemicals and patents etc. loose all the other stuff focus on film that's what there good at, reduce the size of the company and they could keep going for a few more years. But lets face it when practicality overtakes the cost of nostalgia they cant afford to keep in business just because we love film you know., I've heard digital vs film too many time im getting sick of it, i personally love film but I can see the future is clearly not going to last. Move on a great cinematographer can make a masterpiece using any type of equipment he just has to know how to use it weather film or digital.

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Cloverfield comes to mind as a time when film doesn't fit the story... It's not always the right choice.

 

 

I liked Cloverfield as a sort of experimental feature but I thought the Si-2K clipping was distracting.

 

-Rob-

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I don't think there was an SI-2K on cloverfield. It was a Viper and an HVX200 if I'm remembering correctly.

 

The only Si-2K film I can think of which was really big was Slumdog MIllionare, and I think some parts of 127 hours were captured with it.

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I don't think there was an SI-2K on cloverfield. It was a Viper and an HVX200 if I'm remembering correctly.

 

The only Si-2K film I can think of which was really big was Slumdog MIllionare, and I think some parts of 127 hours were captured with it.

Panasonic AG-HSC1U

Panasonic AG-HVX200

Sony CineAlta F23

Thomson VIPER FilmStream Camera

 

:)

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not a good news for sure. i'm not american, i do not know much about chapter 11 and this sort of stuff, what i definitely know is that my life, not just my career, changed after shooting the glorious double x 5222 b&w eastman kodak. that's when i definitely fell in love with the craft of cinematography, that's when i truly understood the meaning of lighting for narrative motion picture. it was a honour and a privilege. nowadays worldwide cinematographers of my generation (those in the mid 30s-early 40s) are facing a huge challenge in a time of great transition. what we need to preserve is not a specific support or a tool, what we need to defend is the integrity of our work, the control and the vision. long live film, but it's our eyes that makes the difference not the support we shoot on.

Edited by Vincenzo Condorelli AIC

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This actually might be good for Kodak. They will be forced to restructure. For the last 3 years, they have had their head buried in the sand and doing nothing to compete against digital except raise the prices in stocks. Now the labs are gone, digital projection has taken over, and everyone and their mom shoots on digital, Kodak has to change itself for the 21st century. Think positive about this.

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or the last 3 years, they have had their head buried in the sand and doing nothing to compete against digital except raise the prices in stocks.

I'd have said more like the last 15. Or 25. It's not as if we didn't know this change was coming, and in my view Kodak has had reprieve after reprieve as the industry somehow managed to persuade people to keep paying for film. As I've said before, film as a technology is unique in that it fought off competitors until those competitors were really pretty reasonable. Many other technologies (tube video cameras spring to mind) were usurped by replacements that were often significantly less good in at least some respects, albeit cheaper and more convenient.

Clearly it's difficult to execute a complete shift in the technology base of a company, but there was lots and lots and lots of warning.

P

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I personally think, that Kodak needs to know how to evolve and adjust to the new digital era..

 

I mean, is always about money, small productions won't go to films because the budget, that's why digital is taking the place.. More and more bigger productions are starting to do the same, saves money and some time. Think about what happened to the film photography camera, professional and photography lovers are still using them, but they are not enough for Kodak to invest money on that to produce insignificant amount of film just for them. They why they stopped.

 

Also think about what happened to Blockbuster, I think they didn't know how to adopt to the new digital era, internet and new generation TV took them down. I think a drastic change is needed to overcome this...

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Not just moving pictures, but stills as well, film is "not so gradually" dying out it seems. It's a shame in many ways that iconic companies like Kodak are struggling so much, but it's the reality of a changing world. I use a digital camera to take pictures, it's so much easier, but when it comes to that "mood" picture I still like to grab my old 80's Minolta SLR and snap a shot or two as well. But it's harder to buy film, you don't have the instant pictures that you get with digiital, and processing is relatively expensive.

It's the same with the world of amalog audio tape..getting harder to source and more expensive. There are less people capable of servicing tape machines, parts are harder to get as well. The life of analog film and tape use, except for maybe a few specialties, is probably limited from here on in I suspect. Digital keeps getting better and cheaper.

Still it is kind of sad to see. BUt Kodak will have to find a way to adapt to the digital world or it's "good night nurse" to them.

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Clearly it's difficult to execute a complete shift in the technology base of a company, but there was lots and lots and lots of warning.

Yeah, but the same ol' same ol','twer ever thus ....

 

What 6/7/8 figure salaried executive is going to tell the board that in reality he's just a clueless twat in a business suit and maybe they'd better get someone in with some fresh ideas (preferably on a more realistic salary package)?

 

That NEVER happens. They just keep pulling one "sure fire" scheme after another out of their arse until they either get fired (usually with an obscenely large golden handshake), or the company goes belly-up.

 

I would say that in a very large number of cases these people know full well that there are people out there who could save these companies, but that's of no interest to them, because it won't be THEM saving the company.

 

Restructuring is all well and good, as long as it's restructured around the "incumbents".

 

It's like every company is in favour of industry standards, as long as they're THEIR standards that get adopted.

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One thing that's frustrating about this is that many executives will be thinking to themselves, "See, this just proves that that old dinosaur film technology is needs to go, there's no market for it, it can't sustain itself, blah blah blah". I mean, if these companies are going out of business, there must not be enough business, right? Wrong. Polaroid thought their instant film was a thing of the past, so they jettisoned it, when actually, there was still enough demand for it for another company to come along and try to reinvent the wheel with some of Polaroid's old tools. Granted, it's now more of a niche market, but it's there, it's loyal, and it's not going away. The problem is, the product isn't as good as it was when Polaroid had it. I wonder if that will happen with Kodak's film stocks, should they ever drop it altogether? The moral of the story here is that it's cheaper for a company that owns an existing technology to just be a good steward of it than it is for a new company to come along and try to restart the same thing from scratch. Obviously, the market for film is always going to be there, but are they going to have the good sense to want to put out the effort to keep that segment of their business, even though there are more lucrative areas to get into (ie- catch up)?

 

All I know is, it'll be a sad day if I ever don't have the option of shooting a few sheets of 8x10 Tri-X 320 and processing it with HC110 dilution H, or some 35mm TMax 3200, or some 16mm b&w like I've been wanting to do for years now :(

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Jason, Keith:

 

Please do all the pros here a favor and don't post about things you are fond of but contribute *nothing* towards, in terms of your professions, artistic/technical contributions. . .

 

 

It is like you are cheering on a man being led to his execution for a crime he didn't commit. "We all support your freedom!" you yell, while eagerly looking about to make sure no-one witnesses your uttering these statements.

 

 

Let me put it another way: What do you think, that shooting

 

"a few sheets of 8x10 Tri-X 320 and processing it with HC110 dilution H, or some 35mm TMax 3200, or some 16mm b&w like I've been wanting to do for years now[,]"

 

helps EK pay its bills and maintain a price on NYSE above $1US/share?

 

 

I assure you, "wanting" [. . .to shoot film. . .] "for years now," only reaffirms the press's notions that AgX photographic film is a dinosaur unworthy of investment rather than a viable technology for the production of television and motion picture content.

 

Do executives, Institutional Investors, daytraders really want to buy 1,000 shares of EK common stock when consumers are writing ignorance like this, to justify this 131-y.o., former blue-chip company's continued for-profit existence???

 

 

 

This is supposed to be a community full of Kodak supporters, and that is, honest to God, the best you can do, *want* to shoot film, really?!?!?! :unsure:

 

 

Why don't you just let Kodak roll over and die instead of attaching your worthless hobbyist, former career, flights of fancy to the fortunes of a REAL COMPANY whose employees have to earn a decent yearly income, & pay bills, not run on faith, hope, empty promises, fond memories of a bygone era?

 

 

 

 

 

I get violently, fervently, ANGRY, seeing unqualified hacks such as yourselves mingling among DPs, producers, directors, industry professionals, and ACs as if anything you say should be regarded with any relevance.

 

Should I buy 1,000 shares of EK on Monday because you have *WANTED* to buy 8x10" sheet film for a "couple of years now?" You are, Jason, a frustration, a middleman, someone who plays one's-self off as a "decision maker" but really just hinders the actual production of any film content because you pretend to be someone important while your wife/girlfriend works the 9-5 job and has to sign the checks for all of your "blockbusters."

 

What is your day job, working at Home Depot, working as a short-order cook at a downtown diner?

 

 

 

 

I am going to go into work tomorrow and do something to [albeit minimally] support the Eastman Kodak company. I am going to use its chemistry, film stock, color print film, and color control strip parameters; you are going to add some more irrelevant posts here, and up the "signal-to-noise ratio" that does nothing but confuse newcomers to the world of dramatic filmmaking as to the viability of silver-halide products and expenses.

 

If an industry has a far higher amount of hobbyists, wanna-bes, and fakes, do you think that *raises* or *lowers* the cost of a 35mm production? I guarantee you if you have to call 250 phone numbers and you have to figure out which 125 of them are full of __it, you have just doubled the cost of recruiting talent for your movie. . .

 

 

 

 

I had a dream last night that Fujifilm Holdings Corporation, on news of EK's bankruptcy, raised all of their prices by 9%. Where do you think a 9% hit to the cost of consumables on a big-budget Hollywood motion picture is going to need to be re-balanced by the production accountant? I guarantee you the number of interns on a 35mm film shoot is going to double if this happens!

 

Either that or one whole hell of a lot more productions are going to drop 16-, & 35mm and switch to HD, including the likes of "Mad Men," "30 Rock," "2-1/2 Men," "CSI," and a whole host of others. WIll either of you get off of your soap boxes and volunteer your time, travel to the United States to shore up the budget deficits that are going to have to be addressed come springtime?

 

Maybe we can use some Eastman Kodak-esque "creative accounting" to hide the 9% price increase on consumables until the completion bond agencies, insurance companies call our bluffs and stop paying the bills. . .

 

 

 

 

Seriously, pass a math class before appealing to a rational producer's sense of nostalgia. Also, unless EK is paying you to repeat their tired, old, cliche propaganda magazine articles, you shouldn't repeat or trust any of them unless you have first-hand knowledge of industry attitudes, trends, and dissenting opinion before you repeat them here as fact.

 

 

 

-Take Care

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Karl, I've interacted with you before in other threads here on and off over the years and you were always very personable, so I'm not sure why the venom now. I have never passed myself off as a "decision-maker" for the industry, and I'm pretty certain that no one on this forum has ever taken anything I have ever said as being authoritative. To the extent that anything I have ever said has ever made any sense, great. If not, fine, people here are big kids, they can sort it out for themselves. I don't think you need get so angry because I made an observation, so take it easy. I honestly think most forum members here would get along great in person, sharing a pint or whatever, and you're probably no exception to that. I just don't see the need for things to be so heated on an internet forum, particularly given that you know zero about me. Is that cool?

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Jason, Keith:

 

Please do all the pros here a favor and don't post about things you are fond of but contribute *nothing* towards, in terms of your professions, artistic/technical contributions. . .

 

Er ... what...?

 

I get violently, fervently, ANGRY, seeing unqualified hacks such as yourselves mingling among DPs, producers, directors, industry professionals, and ACs as if anything you say should be regarded with

any relevance.

 

I add "negative cutter" to the list of jobs I don't want to do like "brain surgeon" or "bungie chord tester."

 

I would have a nervous breakdown doing that jo

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What no one talks about is the generation of professionals that know more about digital than film. From cinematographers to lab techs. Eventually they will all be video/digital based and won't know the tricks, methods, etc. that you can do with film. So if Kodak comes or goes, film is still being pushed aside.

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