Tarantino, Nolan, Abrams, Scorsese and Kodak Keep Real Film Alive
A year ago, it seemed that film was truly dead. Digital cinematography – pioneered in the 1990s by the likes of George Lucas with Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace, among others – has been perceived as having replaced film almost entirely, with Kodak film sales having declined a staggering 96 percent over the past decade.
Now, however, the appeals of filmmakers including Martin Scorsese, Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan and J.J. Abrams have made an impact. Yesterday, CEO Jeff Clarke announced that Kodak as struck a supply deal with all six major Hollywood studios. “Film has long been – and will remain – a vital part of our culture,” he said. “With the support of the studios, we will continue to provide motion picture film, with its unparalleled richness and unique textures, to enable filmmakers to tell their stories and demonstrate their art.”
Influential filmmakers have been pressuring the studios to keep film in stock, all for the sake of the stories they seek to tell. Several of this year’s high-profile Oscar nominees, including Boyhood, The Grand Budapest Hotel, Foxcatcher and Interstellar, were shot on 35mm film. Some of this year’s massive tentpoles – including the 800-lb. gorilla in the room, Star Wars: The Force Awakens – are being shot on the format.
Time will tell whether film will be more readily available for every director who wants it, or if it will only be the province of those filmmakers with serious clout, but, at least for now, film is still alive and kicking.