We live in a digital world, and Hollywood is no exception. But that doesn’t mean film is obsolete just yet, at least not in the hearts of some filmmakers.
In order to secure a steady supply of actual film, a coalition of major Hollywood studios has agreed to buy up to 450 million feet of the stuff a year from Eastman Kodak. The Wall Street Journal says the agreement involved secret negotiations. It will allow Kodak to keep open its factory in Rochester, New York. Fujifilm has already quit making film for movies and Kodak said it was ready to do the same. Sales of motion-picture film have plunged 96 percent since 2006.
A handful of big name directors lobbied for the deal, including Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan and J.J. Abrams, who is shooting “Star Wars Episode VII” on film. He says there’s no replacing the look of the real stuff:
“There is something about film that is undeniably beautiful, undeniably organic and natural and real,” Abrams says.
Alas, the deal will only guarantee the survival of the Rochester Plant for a few years. At that point, the fate of motion-picture will undoubtedly be up in the air once again.
If you want to read more about what filmmakers are saying about the film vs. digital debate, check out this article from Indiewire.