We may be in a new digital age, made up of quicktime files, H.264, and terabytes, but let's not forget what came before, what it brought us and what we can still learn from it. I'm talking about film and I'm among those who believe we shouldn't let the art form die, which it's perilously close to doing. Fortunately, though, it looks like it will hang on awhile longer thanks to a group of Hollywood heavyweights including J.J. Abrams, Quentin Tarantino and Christopher Noland. These producing powerhouses have banded together to lobby Hollywood studio execs to keep buying film stock from Kodak. According to the Wall Street Journal, Kodak's motion-picture film sales have plummeted 96% since 2006 and with numbers like that, you can see why the company would be ready to shut production down. Or at least they were, until Hollywood studios recently agreed to buy a certain amount of film stock over the next few years, whether it's used it or not.
“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.
The agreement is between Eastman Kodak and Paramount, Disney, Universal. Warner Bros. and the Weinstein Company.
While J.J. Abrams is a fan of both digital and film, he told the Wall Street Journal that "film sets the standard and once it’s no longer available, the ability to shoot the benchmark goes away. Suddenly you’re left with what is, in many cases, perfectly good but not necessarily the best, the warmest, the most rich and detailed images."
Abrams is currently shooting “Star Wars: Episode VII” on film. The movie is due out in 2015.