Good news everyone! Film isn’t dead yet, and it just got a stay of execution!
The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Hollywood has struck a deal with Kodak, the last remaining manufacturer of film after Fujifilm’s exit from the business in 2013, to purchase a minimum amount of film every year regardless of the number of projects slated to use it.
“It’s a financial commitment, no doubt about it,” said Bob Weinstein, co-chairman of Weinstein Co. “But I don’t think we could look some of our filmmakers in the eyes if we didn’t do it.”
This is nothing but good news. Films still look best, in my not so humble opinion, look best when shot on film. Film also holds up well as an archival format.
That second point is important for two reasons. First: because we know how to do that well and digital is, at least as of now, unproven as an archival format (because we haven’t had long enough to archive any of it). Second: it’s really easy to take a film and scan it at ever-increasing resolutions while digital doesn’t scale up at all.
A few notable directors, including Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, Judd Apatow, and JJ Abrams (All of whom are either shooting of have just shot films on film) were among the directors lobbying Hollywood to make the deal and while the deal isn’t indefinite so this is an issue that will come up again in the future but for now it looks like we’ll have films on film for at least the next several years.