Film traditionalists got a victory Thursday as Eastman Kodak Co. will finalize an agreement to keep supplying motion picture film to the studios.
The supply agreement includes the big six studios: 20th Century Fox, Warner Bros., NBC Universal, Sony, Walt Disney, and Paramount.
The agreement comes at a time where film sales have dropped 96% in less than decade. However, some of Hollywood’s biggest names — including Qentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, Judd Apatow and J.J. Abrams — have been lobbying to keep film alive.
When Fuji Film dropped out of the game, Kodak became the sole supplier of film to the industry. But that didn’t stop the struggles, including a Chapter 11 filing in January 2012 which it managed to emerge from by September 2013.
It’s not difficult to understand why the supplier is struggling. Digital filmmaking is becoming the norm, as are digital projectors at theaters. RED cameras are taking over as the standard for movie-making. While the costs of producing in a digital format are comparable to that of film, it is much easier to edit the in the digital format.
Nevertheless, purists believe the value of film is enough to incur those additional costs and keep the format alive. While the details are yet to be known, supporters of the film format should be happy for now. Although it might be an uphill battle for the decades to come.