For the longest time, the only way to film and watch movies was on actual film stock (with Kodak being Hollywood’s top/primary supplier). It’s just a part of the industry, and still was even when I was in film school. Now, however, the digital age is upon us and the quality of recording footage digitally has improved so much that it’s more viable (and cheaper) for filmmakers to shoot their films entirely on it. This has caused the movie theaters to swap out to be all digital as well, and slowly but surely, the use of film stock has declined.
Last year, Kodak ended up filing for Bankrputcy and going into Chapter 11. Many felt this would be the official end of film as we know it, especially since Fijifilm (the other major film stock makers) stopped making film a while ago. Film is a wonderful tool and is important to the preservation of the medium. Not to mention some things just look better on real film. Four directors, Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino, JJ Abrams, and Judd Apatow, have been huge defenders of film and have continued to shoot their movies (including Star Wars: Episode VII) using genuine film stock.
These are some very influential guys and currently dominate the Hollywood landscape. So when they speak, people tend to listen. Thanks to their campaigning, Kodak has entered into a new deal with Hollywood in order to keep producing film stock:
“After extensive discussions with filmmakers, leading studios and others who recognize the unique artistic and archival qualities of film, we intend to continue production. Kodak thanks these industry leaders for their support and ingenuity in finding a way to extend the life of film,” Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke said in a statement Wednesday.
For the near future, at least, film will continue to be made and used in movies. As a filmmaker myself, I’m pretty happy with this news (despite mostly sticking to digital for my own needs), and I’m glad to see that a staple of the industry I love so much isn’t going down without a fight.