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Bold prediction: film will become cheaper in the medium to long term


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2 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

It's self evident how many people shoot film when you're part of the community. I'm also talking stills by the way, not just motion picture. There are probably only a few thousand people who shoot motion picture. But the stills market is huge. It's rare I go somewhere these days and NOT see someone with a film camera, very very rare. I was just on a hike yesterday and passed a group of people with film cameras. 

Anecdotal evidence of something you saw on your hike does not explain the discrepancy between "millions" and "only a few thousand". You are careless with language, unconcerned with accuracy, and extremely prone to exaggerate details in service of whatever point you are trying to make. Makes you a very untrustworthy source and devalues whatever it is you're saying.

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Well they don't have to worry about that anymore  , Tyler has clearly stated Silver is  a very stable priced commodity ... weirdly in contradiction with the worlds commodity traders ..   according to

Why argue about such thing? After all, for those who want to shoot on film only thing that matters is sustainability of film manufacturing and availability of film & cameras. It's all relativ

Covid has destroyed the film market, totally obliterating what little bit of it existed. Companies like Kodak, can't stay afloat by selling camera negative, they make their money on print stock. Since

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1 hour ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Niche is a specialized part of a market.

Niche refers to a small segment of a larger market. Often specialized, yes, but small is the operative word here. Film, regardless of its current popularity, represents a very small portion of of the entertainment imaging market. The term "niche market" is therefore entirely accurate, as you would know, had you bothered to look it up before you started arguing about it.

 

1 hour ago, Tyler Purcell said:

I wasn't the one who came on here with zero knowledge of what's going on 

Actually, it seems like you have zero knowledge of what this thread is actually about. Had you read the original posts, rather than picking fights about nothing, you would know that the actual subject is whether fluctuations in the silver market might have an effect on the price of film stock. No one was comparing film to digital, in fact no one was talking about digital at all.

You came here with straw man arguments and fake statistics, looking for an opportunity to show everyone how clever you are, but you just ended up making yourself look stupid and immature. Well done.

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I go into appliance stores and walk around truly in amazement, looking at the television screens. I look at screen after screen of what to me looks the most amazingly unappealing imagery I could ever imagine, all shot on digital. I stare at it in wonder. It is fascinatingly awful.

Film is beautiful, expensive, and it's worth the extra cost.

Digital's position at the top is unassailable of course but that doesn't mean film won't survive.

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3 hours ago, Stuart Brereton said:

Anecdotal evidence of something you saw on your hike does not explain the discrepancy between "millions" and "only a few thousand". You are careless with language, unconcerned with accuracy, and extremely prone to exaggerate details in service of whatever point you are trying to make. Makes you a very untrustworthy source and devalues whatever it is you're saying.

I guarantee the numbers I quoted. MILLIONS of people are shooting film in the United States of America. Nobody would disagree with that statement. Can you back up how many people are shooting digital? 

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3 hours ago, Stuart Brereton said:

Had you read the original posts, rather than picking fights about nothing,

That's all you do when I post. Sounds like you don't like that treatment. 

You always tell me to stick to subjects you know about. Check out that mirror. 

 

 

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8 hours ago, Jon O'Brien said:

I go into appliance stores and walk around truly in amazement, looking at the television screens. I look at screen after screen of what to me looks the most amazingly unappealing imagery I could ever imagine, all shot on digital. I stare at it in wonder. It is fascinatingly awful.

Film is beautiful, expensive, and it's worth the extra cost.

Digital's position at the top is unassailable of course but that doesn't mean film won't survive.

That is so true. 

The fact is tastes adapt to the reality on the ground and eventually people get used to it. 

The same thing happened with audio. CDs were vastly inferior sonically to records and then mp3 files were another huge step down. But, no one is really complaining. Except that when I invite someone to listen to records being played on a high end system, their jaw drops. 

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On 1/19/2021 at 1:43 PM, Tyler Purcell said:

Right because there is a database on who shoots film. LOL 

Whatever, it's not worth arguing with someone who doesn't care. 

 

 

On 1/19/2021 at 1:45 PM, Tyler Purcell said:

Whatever bro, you have no idea what you're talking about. Keep shooting digital enjoy. 

Can we please not make this personal? I have no objection to the nature of the debate, or the fact that those points are tangential to the thread. It's all good. But this sort of language is the kind you'd usually see on a photography forum (lots of photographers are very bitter people for some reason). DPs are usually much more professional and respectful, and I am very surprised to see this kind of exchange.

On 1/19/2021 at 7:22 PM, Raymond Zananiri said:

As Kodak is the only manufacturer of color film at the moment, there is a good chance that film could disappear in any day. I don't think more producers, planning to use film in the next few years can guarantee its survival. There are financial considerations that Kodak as a company has to face that could push it to fold altogether, such as debt, asset value, labor contracts, etc. 

My question is: is it feasible at all for a new small company to manufacture color negative? Or is the complexity of the process that high that it's impossible? 

When CDs came to market in the mid 80s they killed Vinyl within a few years and all vinyl pressing plants stopped operating. A few years later, small firms such as Classic Records and others, started pressing vinyl in small quantities for what became a "niche" market (I hope I'm not going to get in trouble for using that word 😊). Is there any chance that something like that could happen to film? If Kodak shuts down tomorrow, is film gone forever?

Good question. I have no idea what the answer is, but I'm optimistic. Ferrania was supposed to be making at least one colour emulsion by now. They believe that this year they will reach that goal. I think they will succeed, even though they're quite late.

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Presumably black and white film is technically easier to make and process. Perhaps if Kodak completely gave up on film that some enterprising company somewhere could nevertheless take up the production of black and white film to keep movie cameras whirring away.

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On 1/19/2021 at 3:11 PM, Tyler Purcell said:

I was just on a hike yesterday and passed a group of people with film cameras. 

Can't agree that motion picture film isn't niche, but as far as stills go I was surprised to see still 35mm film still being sold in Walmarts, if it's in a Walmart I can't call it all that niche... Super16 on the other hand.....

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1 minute ago, Jon O'Brien said:

Perhaps if Kodak completely gave up on film that some enterprising company somewhere could nevertheless take up the production of black and white film to keep movie cameras whirring away.

Orwo makes black and white 16mm and 35mm films http://www.orwona.com/b-w-motion-picture-cinematography-films/

Haven't used it before but I do have a couple rolls I bought recently to try out. There was also another company that was supposed to be working on some b&w 16mm film, but I can't remember who it was or if they have it out or not.

I hate to think about Kodak getting out of film, but the truth is that they haven't been very profitable for quite a while. They do seem to be trying to get new business lines going (I saw something about them partnering with Microsoft on something, I also remember a while back them working on some chemical deals). Kodak remaining profitable is certainly good for film to continue. Also bear in mind, that Eastman Kodak that sells motion picture film is separate from Kodak Alaris that sells the photographic film, so the resurgence in film photography doesn't not necessarily portend well for the future of motion picture film (unless there's some sort of deal between them for Eastman Kodak to supply them with film, could probably find something on that by poring through Eastman Kodak's annual reports).

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6 minutes ago, Max Field said:

Can't agree that motion picture film isn't niche, but as far as stills go I was surprised to see still 35mm film still being sold in Walmarts, if it's in a Walmart I can't call it all that niche... Super16 on the other hand.....

Just went on their site, and sure enough two of their stores nearby show having some Fuji film.  Wow, I had no idea Walmart even sold film anymore.

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6 hours ago, Max Field said:

Can't agree that motion picture film isn't niche, but as far as stills go I was surprised to see still 35mm film still being sold in Walmarts, if it's in a Walmart I can't call it all that niche... Super16 on the other hand.....

Exactly and my quote was "film" not motion picture. Remember, insta cameras are ALL photochemical and there are literally hundreds of millions of them in the world. For gosh sakes Walmart, Target, Best Buy, they all sell insta cameras AND FILM to go along with them. So no... "FILM" is not a niche market. 

Perhaps one could call motion picture film niche, but reality is, the entire professional industry is niche compared to smartphone cameras. So when one says "niche" are they referring to people who shoot with Alexa's or are they referencing people who shoot anything with a video camera. Because reality is, our entire business is niche compared to consumers. I'd argue in the professional world, film is not "niche" at all. In fact, the majority of people who use film, are professionals. Just look at the theatrical bound features for 2019. A solid 1/3 of them were shot on film either entirely OR segments. Just look at the commercial and music video world, it's FULL of people shooting on film. 

In my eyes, "niche" is hand processing. "Niche" is double 8mm. "Niche" is consumer sound on film. "Niche" is shooting on short ends. 

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11 hours ago, Max Field said:

Can't agree that motion picture film isn't niche, but as far as stills go I was surprised to see still 35mm film still being sold in Walmarts, if it's in a Walmart I can't call it all that niche... 

Apart from the “millions” of people who are apparently busy hiking around LA with their 35mm cameras, worldwide stills film sales are at about 2-3% of what they were at their height. Sales of nearly one billion rolls a year has dropped to a few tens of millions, and while the market has stabilized and is even showing healthy growth, it’s still a very small proportion of the larger picture. Outside of large cities, stock and processing can be hard to find. Stores like Walmart may well still carry a few rolls of film, but that’s because their huge stock turnover makes it possible to carry items with a limited market. In much of the world outside of LA, film remains a boutique item.

@Karim D. Ghantousmost of this thread has been entirely tangential to the original discussion, but the salient point is that the small size of the film market currently prevents things like economy of scale from making much of a difference to retail prices. Kodak Alaris is increasing their prices, citing the need for reinvestment. This suggests that their profit margins are pretty small, which in turn makes it unlikely that a decrease in production costs would result in a corresponding drop in retail pricing.

Another important point, I think is that a large part of film’s renaissance has been its positioning as a prestige item. In that way, it has managed to retain a base of people who are willing to pay a premium in order to use it. Those people will happily spend $6 on a roll of film and another $6 on processing 36 exposures, rather than shoot digital for virtually nothing. There are filmmakers who will sacrifice every departmental budget in order to afford film. There are directors who throw tantrums if they can't shoot film. If a manufacturer has managed to establish a premium price for their product, why would they voluntarily change?

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13 hours ago, Stuart Brereton said:

Apart from the “millions” of people who are apparently busy hiking around LA with their 35mm cameras, worldwide stills film sales are at about 2-3% of what they were at their height. Sales of nearly one billion rolls a year has dropped to a few tens of millions, and while the market has stabilized and is even showing healthy growth, it’s still a very small proportion of the larger picture. Outside of large cities, stock and processing can be hard to find. Stores like Walmart may well still carry a few rolls of film, but that’s because their huge stock turnover makes it possible to carry items with a limited market. In much of the world outside of LA, film remains a boutique item.

The counterpoints I'd say are if I was selling 20 million of anything I wouldn't feel like it's a microscopic niche. Also this Walmart was in north eastern, PA. A total backwoods dive compared to LA or NYC. I discovered in 2018 (my year for attempting still film) there's still a number of development labs within 30 minutes of each other in eastern rural areas. I know it's surprising but still film is hanging on more than most would assume. 

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Stuart, those are good points. The opposite might happen: the price of silver might go higher, against my projections, and film will just be not viable anymore. It will suck, but it's a technical possibility. Unless of course someone finds a substitute for silver. 

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1 hour ago, Karim D. Ghantous said:

he opposite might happen: the price of silver might go higher, against my projections, and film will just be not viable anymore. It will suck, but it's a technical possibility.

Sliver has been very stable, it hasn't budged more than a few dollars in decades. We actually moving over to it and gold as our savings because precious metals will probably be more consistent than the dollar in the future. 

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3 hours ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Sliver has been very stable, it hasn't budged more than a few dollars in decades. 

Silver was about $5 for a long time until 2004. It hit $45 in 2011. It's now $25. It's good if you bought it at $5!

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2 hours ago, Karim D. Ghantous said:

Silver was about $5 for a long time until 2004. It hit $45 in 2011. It's now $25. It's good if you bought it at $5!

There was a spike for sure, but seeing as that last spike was during the recession and this current spike is also during a recession, I guess the prices have fluctuated more than I remember hahahaha 😛

I miss the stable times :sigh: But it shouldn't really matter too much, over the long haul, silver is still pretty stable outside of the peaks during recessions. 

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15 hours ago, Karim D. Ghantous said:

The opposite might happen: the price of silver might go higher, against my projections, and film will just be not viable anymore. It will suck, but it's a technical possibility.

The silver market seems to have been fairly tumultuous ever since the recession in 2008/9. In the last twelve months, silver has jumped from $12 to $28. A few years back, Harman Photographic, who make Ilford film, had to suspend production for a few months because of silver prices. It obviously has the potential to be a major headache.

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17 hours ago, Max Field said:

The counterpoints I'd say are if I was selling 20 million of anything I wouldn't feel like it's a microscopic niche. Also this Walmart was in north eastern, PA. A total backwoods dive compared to LA or NYC. I discovered in 2018 (my year for attempting still film) there's still a number of development labs within 30 minutes of each other in eastern rural areas. I know it's surprising but still film is hanging on more than most would assume. 

No one is saying it's microscopic. I won't use the word niche as it seems to trigger some people here, but it's undeniable that the film market is a fraction of what it used to be. It's good that there are still labs outside of cities. Where I am right now there are only two serving a city of 500,000 people and its surrounding areas. A far cry from the days when there would be a mini-lab in almost every drugstore.

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On 1/22/2021 at 11:48 AM, Tyler Purcell said:

Sliver has been very stable, it hasn't budged more than a few dollars in decades. We actually moving over to it and gold as our savings because precious metals will probably be more consistent than the dollar in the future. 

Totally not true sir .. according to my wife , head of commodities trading Mitsui Banking Corporation , and not to be argued with , Silver was $50 an ounce in 2011.. !!  its now $25.50.. its all over the place, same as copper .. its much more an  industrial metal more than a store of wealth like gold ..

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38 minutes ago, Robin R Probyn said:

Totally not true sir .. according to my wife , head of commodities trading Mitsui Banking Corporation , and not to be argued with , Silver was $50 an ounce in 2011.. !!  its now $25.50.. its all over the place, same as copper .. its much more an  industrial metal more than a store of wealth like gold ..

Yes Yes, during the recession the prices went crazy. If you look at non-recession periods, silver has followed inflation very closely, even with those substantial fluctuation. 

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45 minutes ago, Tyler Purcell said:

Yes Yes, during the recession the prices went crazy. If you look at non-recession periods, silver has followed inflation very closely, even with those substantial fluctuation. 

Sorry but no way could silver ever be described as a non volatile commodity ..., its a very harsh mistress .. the Misses almost choked on her sushi at the mere thought ..

"The price of silver is driven by speculation and supply and demand, like most commodities. The price of silver is notoriously volatile compared to that of gold because of the smaller market, lower market liquidity and demand fluctuations between industrial and store of value uses. At times, this can cause wide-ranging valuations in the market, creating volatility.[6]"

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23 hours ago, Robin R Probyn said:

Sorry but no way could silver ever be described as a non volatile commodity ..., its a very harsh mistress .. the Misses almost choked on her sushi at the mere thought .

Really, you wanna talk precious metals with someone who has their entire life savings in that market? Please. 

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