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Stuart Brereton

Fujifilm to cease making Motion Picture Film

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EXACTLY!!! Thanks, Freya. I was waiting for someone to point this out.

 

Experimental filmmaking would be hit hardest if film were to suddenly disappear completely.

 

While that's true, theres even more to it than that. Theres a reason why artists film would be hit so badly even beyond the formalist/materialist stuff.

 

There are a lot of things around that people tend to think as just having sprung up because of the times but are actually related to the film to digital conversion. For example the "It's all about the story meme" is related to this. The focus on technical specifications, usually in the form of numbers. The "you don't need to light with digital" meme. Many others.

 

This is only the start of changes that will be far more huge and far reaching than what has come to pass so far. Here in the UK I can see the changes all around me very clearly already. In a way the UK is way ahead in the switch to video anyway.

 

Removal of this artistic component of filmmaking will have wider implications than just on experimental film.

 

love

 

Freya

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I agree. And no one has forgotten about Kodak.

 

I've definitely not forgotten about Kodak and will be taking that into account in my future decisions. :(

 

I could be wrong, but I think there are more film lovers/makers outside of the Hollywood circle who prefer to shoot on film nowadays.

 

Hollywood would be very smart to keep Kodak alive as long as possible. Once Kodak is gone it will be the end of Hollywood in the form we know it now. In fact everything will be very different. If Hollywood are smart they will hang onto Kodak tooth and nail.

 

love

 

Freya

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It's all down to the right stock for the shoot, John. That said, depending on how this meeting pans out on Monday; I may fill my Vivid dreams soon ;)

 

 

Good luck with the meeting! I have my fingers crossed for you! :)

Looking forward to seeing some more beautiful cinematic film!

 

love

 

Freya

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Odd, I visited Japan only a few years ago and was delighted by the abundance of film based products in shops all over the place and every street There were full ailes with darkroom equipment and materials. I stocked up on Fujibrome then using the max allowed weight for my luggage.

 

Also Fuji is still into instant film and even selling to hip young people.

 

So why would they cease Motion picture which is still good for 10.000s of kilometers.

 

It would only be good for Kodak.

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Deadline is reporting that Fuji intends to be out of the MP film game by the end of the year.

 

Story here

 

Fuji aren't confirming or denying.

 

Ah, the sign of quality journalism: ending the title with a question mark...

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i dont think anyone would argue that less choices for artists is ever a good thing. yes, film does have a certain nice something to it that digital can never recreate and yes it's terrible that soon there will be no more film manufactured. it will be a sad day when the last stock manufacturer closes its doors, but its not that much were loosing, take any great classic film and subtract the "magic" quality of film; the grain, the jitter, the characteristic color rendition, etc; you still have a great film. those qualities aren't in themselves cinema.

 

The loss of film sucks BIG time, but life goes on.

 

What are you talking about? The Wizard of Oz, Suspiria, Lawernce of Arabia and 2001, just a small sample, shot in digital???? I don't think so. Not to mention the countless artists out there who are not conventional mainstream narrative filmmakers.

 

Oil, watercolors, et al have a magical quality as well and they've survived the advent of photography. No reason why film can't continue for those who like that medium. Even if, as with portraiture, it will never be as dominant as it once was due to changes in technology.

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Come on, it's just the end of one form of one capture medium. That's progress. You'll get over it.

 

Such a naive comment. It's never about progress, it's always about the bottom line.

 

Sound and colour in cinema in the late 20s and 30s wasn't progress. The first colour film company (two strip process) called Kinemacolour was in operation at the turn of the century. The projectors required for the film were too expensive to upgrade for most cinemas and the type of films being produced by the company where of little interest to the public. So, it went out of business. Inventors were already on the verge of adding sound to film as early as 1900, but nobody wanted to spend the extra money because audiences were satisfied with the present product and it cost less.

 

So, at the beginning of the 20th century progress is delayed by a couple of decades because there was no profit in it for the studios and film producers. At the beginning of the 21th century, it's all about progress, but only because the big studios see profit and overhead savings in digital capture and distribution.

 

So, let's quit this whole progress nonesense. That's just snake oil salesman talk from people who stand to profit from digital.

 

If it were truly about giving the audience the best product money and progress can provide, all the films we watch would be shot and displayed on IMAX film.

 

Again, I have nothing against digital and welcome it as another tool in the artist's toolbox, but I get so weary of the BS from the digital side. Let's just be honest and transparent. This is about $$$$$$$. End of.

 

Sometimes I think, subconsiously, it's not really about the lose of film that bothers some cinema artists, it's the underlining naked greed that turns them off.

Edited by Pat Murray

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^ Agreed. IMAX should become the next standard, for quality and archiving purposes, even if they arent all shown in IMAX. Films will at least look better when shown in standard 35mm or digital projection. And theyll be phenominal in IMAX.

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Just talked to our Fuji rep and he has been told production will cease in March 2013. Plus they have raised prices by 35% immediately.

Edited by Chris Riley

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Just talked to our Fuji rep and he has been told production will cease in March 2013. Plus they have raised prices by 35% immediately.

 

Unreal.

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"Fuji says the discontinuation date has not been determined. Products to be eliminated include Color Positive Film, Color Negative Film, B&W Positive/Negative Film, Intermediate Film, Sound Recording Film, and High Contrast Panchromatic Film. But the company says it isn’t closing the entire motion picture department. It will continue to provide archive film stock (ETERNA-RDS, which won the Academy Scientific Engineering Award in 2012), lenses for shooting cameras and screening devices, media for data storage, digital data archive services and its on-set color management system (Image Processing System IS-100)."

 

http://www.deadline.com/2012/09/fuji-discontinue-motion-picture-products/

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......all this could leave the door wide open for Agfa to re-enter the market.

I know they're not in the same league as EK or Fuji, but it's better than nothing !

 

 

John S :rolleyes:

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The below letter came into my inbox from Kodak last week. Reading through it, the most important and encouraging statement in the letter was the following:

 

"As I'm sure you know, Kodak has worked in partnership with Hollywood Studios for many years. We're very happy to see them show their confidence in the Kodak brand by recently signing multi year agreements with the company. "

 

We don't know what multi - year means, but that is at least two years and likely more in some instances.

 

If the news about Fuji is correct, perhaps the word of Kodak signing multi year agreements with many of the studios made Fuji feel like they wouldn't be able to get a big enough share of that market to make things look promising in the immediate future. But I still hope the news about Fuji, just as it has been shown over and over again in the instance of the overblown news about Kodak selling or ceasing their film division, that this little piece of news is not telling the whole story.

 

And I agree with what others are saying, it is very short sighted for people to think that any medium being taken away from artist is a good thing. I personally can care less if 90% of the studios want to shoot only digital and can sell that. I just want film to be around for the artist, at the very least. I already mourn the loss of Fuji 800Z 120 roll film for the still market (which I have about 70 rolls currently in my freezer). If the Fuji news is real, I'll miss the "Fuji Look". Having said that, I'll go on supporting Kodak just as I do now and still shoot film in both motion and stills.

 

-T

 

....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................

 

 

Next Steps to our Future Success

by Kim Snyder (of Kodak)

 

Last week, Kodak announced its next steps in emerging from Chapter 11 as a company primarily focused on commercial, packaging, and functional printing solutions as well as enterprise services. The company has now initiated a sales process for its market-leading Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses.

 

So what does this mean for Entertainment Imaging and its motion picture film products and services? For clarity, I can assure you that Kodak's motion picture films are not part of this announcement and will remain with the company.

 

Kodak will continue to manufacture and distribute its quality line of motion picture film products. As a matter of fact, all film manufacturing will actually stay with Kodak, including that of consumer and professional still film. We will continue providing our entertainment customers with the products and support they have come to depend upon from Kodak.

 

In addition to manufacturing film, we are pursuing potential vertical markets that will utilize our film technologies for a variety of alternative and exciting products. This includes Functional Printing applications as well as Thin Film and Specialty Chemicals growth opportunities.

 

And speaking of new opportunities, based on market demand, we just announced a new color asset protection film and will be adding a black-and-white separation film to the portfolio later this year.

 

As I'm sure you know, Kodak has worked in partnership with Hollywood Studios for many years. We're very happy to see them show their confidence in the Kodak brand by recently signing multi year agreements with the company.

 

Kodak's plan for the future has a sharper focus now, and as part of that plan, our market-leading motion picture products will continue to provide the innovation and creative choices that the production and post community need.

 

I am happy to be able to share this news and to take this opportunity to thank all our motion picture customers who have remained so loyal throughout the last months. As Kodak continues to evolve, we are pleased to continue to offer the technology and the products that have supported this industry for over a century. As always, our global sales force is available to answer any questions you may have or to help meet your production needs.

 

Thank you."

 

Kim Snyder

President and General Manager

Entertainment and Commercial Films Group

Vice President of Eastman Kodak Company

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"Fuji says the discontinuation date has not been determined. Products to be eliminated include Color Positive Film, Color Negative Film, B&W Positive/Negative Film, Intermediate Film, Sound Recording Film, and High Contrast Panchromatic Film. But the company says it isn’t closing the entire motion picture department. It will continue to provide archive film stock (ETERNA-RDS, which won the Academy Scientific Engineering Award in 2012), lenses for shooting cameras and screening devices, media for data storage, digital data archive services and its on-set color management system (Image Processing System IS-100)."

 

http://www.deadline.com/2012/09/fuji-discontinue-motion-picture-products/

 

Taking what is said here at face value, and I suspect we are all hoping it simply isn't true, it means that Fuji are ending production of all film stocks which are of use to cinematographers. So in relation to film stocks it would have been simpler to have said all production is to end except for archival film.

 

It is quite amazing that there has been no formal announcement from Fuji, either in relation to the ending of film stock production or to any increase in prices. They must know that something is out, and silence does seem to lend weight to what is out.

 

Since they appear to be going to continue producing archival film, one might have hoped that a rationalisation of stocks might have been considered, perhaps accompanied by increased prices, but what information is apparently finding its way out seems to rule out that sort of approach to their difficulties whatever they might be.

 

Also, one wonders what the problem is: is it a severe reduction in demand, or are they dealing with losses, or both. Whatever the problem is, the available information does seem to suggest that the Company is not able to attempt to keep things going by a combination of rationalisation and increased prices. But if the situation is so dire, why are they allowing the problem, whatever it is, to continue until March 2013.

 

No doubt time will tell...

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I just saw the above few posts after my last post.. and then I put in a call to Fuji. It is now my understanding that they plan to stop selling negative stock in March. They obviously have plenty of negative stock in inventory at the moment, but it is seemed that they would hand over any remaining inventory after March to someone else (likely a broker?). I asked if they still planned to continue producing still film stock, and the customer service persons reply was, "Oh, yes. We are still committed to that market. There are a lot of artist still using film in that market". I guess she didn't see that she was pointing out that filmmakers aren't considered artist, as well. That they don't require such tools. This is all pretty sad.

 

The only silver lining may be that this will give Kodak's motion division a little more fire.

 

-T

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I think it's sad that the art of film cinematography is going. Where making choices on stock could produce such wonderous differences in the look of films.

I know that there is the Alexa, and the various RED's and the Sony's and the Panavision Genesis. But I still don't think that these have the texture of celluloid.

 

Films like The Wrestler, Clerks, Irreverisble, The Hurt Locker, Primer, Vera Drake...and these are only the 16mm films. I could go on about the films of PT Anderson, and Malick and Kubrick, and Polanski...I'm finding that a generic 'look' is slipping into cinema.

 

I know many of you will disagree. But the feeling of celluloid going through the gate of the camera. Putting it in a changing bag and taking it out to be developed. Wondering has something gone wrong with the stock or the camera (as it did in college films sometimes) being amazed when a great DP brings something to life in the image.

 

It's all 1's and 0's now.

 

And I'm not even a cinematographer.

 

Also, Fuji always looked after us in University. And even after we left shooting short films and making music videos.

Edited by Paco Sweetman

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As I just said on my facebook, I worry the first real casualty will be imagination... that forced thinking out what you're doing, which comes only on film.. when you can't see it, so you have to "see it."

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As I just said on my facebook, I worry the first real casualty will be imagination... that forced thinking out what you're doing, which comes only on film.. when you can't see it, so you have to "see it."

 

Adrian, I believe that unfortunate phenomenon began awhile ago.

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Oh I know, it's nothing new; yet for awhile, it could be semi-avoided when shooting. However now, all these people coming up in the next few years, those who have never seen film, used it, where everything is, "apple easy," oh let's just say it'll be a dark, dark time I fear.

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Now its official I finally feel I can comment on this, I've known a few days before it broke here, and what can I say I'm heart broken... Normally I'm the sort of person who hasn't got a high opinion of corporate loyalty... those people who camp outside the apple shop for the next i-phone should really get a life.

 

But with Fuji Motion Picture they were great, wonderful and supportive staff, great products that allowed you achieve the looks you dreamed off.

 

 

The night before I found out I was at BAFTA at a new talent screening, on this massive screen there was a mixture of formats, a great deal of Alexa material, including a Firefox ad i shot. Second to last in the roster they showed the Fuji Complete 16 Promo I shot, even though its Super 16, it blew up extremely well, and with its over saturation and general weirdness it felt almost like a breath of fresh air to all the digital stuff. Then last of all a short film shot on 2-perf 35mm came on and looked wonderful - blowing everything else out of the water.

 

However, how do you explain that 'extra something' to a producer, that its worth the extra money and effort to shoot film, in particular 35mm?

 

The following day, the day I found out about fuji, but before hand i called up a director I had had a job meeting with over a week before and hadn't called me back. "Really sorry we haven't contacted you, we decided to go with the other guy because we thought as you're more film based, you'd want to shoot film and you didn't have enough experience shooting Red..."

 

Ironically I had been shooting on Red earlier that week, and in the meeting I'd been keen to push my willingness to shoot other formats. But a label is a label, and now brands and consumerism is taking over, craft is irrelevant.

 

Of course its not surprising this has happened, for years Fuji saw motion picture as a prestige department - they make most their money from the materials used for LED TVs. They only had 30% of the market so obviously as the market was squeezed they would be the first to go. Had Kodak not been so famously in trouble we would have seen that all along. Kodak also has the loyalty of the big studios and some major contracts securing them for the next half a decade.

 

In a way this reminds me of having an Amiga computer as a kid, it did everything I wanted it do, animation, video titling and word processing for school, yet eveyone at school used to jive me about it, plus it got more and more depressing as accessories and software got harder and harder to get...

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