Kodak has finalized deals with the major Hollywood studios that will allow film to remain alive, at least for the near future. This marks the completion of the deal that Kodak said was near-final last summer, when negotiations began. Disney, Fox, Paramount, Sony, NBC Universal and Warner Bros. have all reached agreements with Kodak to purchase undisclosed amounts of film over “a few” years that would be enough to extend Kodak’s film manufacturing business. The value of the deals were not disclosed.
Andrew Evenski, Kodak’s president of entertainment and commercial films, told The Hollywood Reporter that Kodak is now “actively working with the independents. We are currently looking at it film by film, but hoping for some agreements [along the lines of the majors].” He added that Kodak is also aggressively targeting pilot season work.
J.J. Abrams, who has shot Star Wars: Episode VII on celluloid, Christopher Nolan, who used film on Interstellar, Quentin Tarantino and Judd Apatow are among a group of leading filmmakers who are passionate film supporters and stepped up to urge Hollywood to keep film going.
“The point at which you’re told you won’t have a choice anymore, that becomes an important creative issue that needs to be brought to people’s attention,” Nolan told THR in a December interview, during which the filmmakers’ effort was featured in the Rulebreakers issue.
Noting that Kodak — the last remaining manufacturer of film — launched a “Film Worthy” campaign at Sundance and Slamdance, Evenski said the company is aiming to spread a message that indie filmmakers could also afford to shoot on film and have access to its aesthetic look.
With the rise of digital imaging technologies, Kodak’s film sales have plummeted by 96 percent over the last decade. The decline has accelerated in the last three years as most theaters have converted to digital.