Fujifilm Ends Motion Picture Film Manufacture

Kodak last man standing

By James DeRuvo (doddleNEWS)

Director Christopher Nolan and other kindred spirits who have dug their heals in protest against the digital revolution may have had a glimmer of hope to end their careers shooting on film… then ‘it’ came: Fujifilm announced  it was ceasing production of 35mm motion picture film.  And that, much to Nolan’s chagrin, means there’s only one source left… Kodak.  Which is as it should be.

As previously announced, Fujifilm has stopped production of the majority of Motion Picture Film products… We would like to thank you very much for your patronage during the long history of manufacture, sales and marketing of these products which will continue to be available until the inventory is exhausted. Please contact our worldwide distributors for availability information. – Fuji Press release

Fujifilm will be dropping production of all celluloid products, including Color Positive Film, Color Negative Film, B&W Positive and Negative Film, Intermediate Film, Sound Recording Film, High Contrast Panchromatic Films, and all the chemicals used to create and develop them.

This isn’t to say that Fujifilm is ceasing production completely… sort of… kinda… maybe?  Fujifilm will continue to make recording film for digital archiving.  But as for actual motion picture negative and positive film, Fujifilm has called it a century, being the last company to offer motion picture film. So, all that’s left is existing film stock and that’ll be going for a premium.

But it means that Kodak is the only major player in motion picture film production and that can only help but be good news for a company that’s had way too much bad of late.  And Kodak was quick to jump on the opportunity with a statement reminding us all that they’re still in the movie business.

“Kodak continues to sell billions of feet of film, as we continue to enjoy demand for our products and support from our industry partners,” said Andrew R. Evenski, Kodak Entertainment Imaging President and General Manager. “We intend to continue providing our customers with the products and support they have come to depend upon from Kodak.”

And that’s the way it should be.  Frankly, I prefer Kodak film anyway.  But as for Fuji, that’s a wrap on film, gang. Check the gate one final time, because chances are, the last roll of movie film has already been made.   And it makes me wonder, how long will Kodak continue to make movie film?  If it’s the only game in town, it stands to reason that they could do it as long as there is demand.  And with directors like Nolan championing the film cause, there’s sure to be plenty of demand.  But digital has so quickly overtaken the industry, and studios are now moving to digital distribution to theaters.  So even though Kodak is committed to the long haul, it’s easy to see that film is on the clock and time is running out.

And that begs the question… if you could decide what the last roll of movie film would be shot for, what would it be? Leave a message in the comments below.

Hat Tip – NFS

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Press Release:

Discontinuation of Motion Picture Film production

April 2, 2013

As previously announced, Fujifilm has stopped production of the majority of Motion Picture Film products by March, 2013.

We would like to thank you very much for your patronage during the long history of manufacture, sales and marketing of these products which will continue to be available until the inventory is exhausted. Please contact our worldwide distributors for availability information.

Fujifilm will continue to provide products and services designed for digital workflow of motion picture production and exhibition such as Recording film for Digital Separation [ETERNA-RDS] for long-term archiving, Imaging processing system [IS-100], and high-performance Fujinon lens for digital motion picture camera and projectors.

With an expertise in optics, image processing, storage and archiving, Fujifilm will continue to provide new and innovative products and services to contribute to the creative entertainment and broadcast industry.

Products in discontinuation of manufacturing

  • Color Positive Film
  • Color Negative Film
  • B&W Positive and Negative Film
  • Intermediate Film
  • Sound Recording Film
  • High Contrast Panchromatic Films
  • Chemicals (Japan only)
About James DeRuvo

James has a multi-faceted career that spans radio, film and publishing. A writer about the technology in the video industry for nearly 20 years, James is also an award winning film director, having garnered a Telly Award for his short film Searching for Inspiration. He's also worked as a producer of many talk radio programs in Los Angeles with topics ranging from entertainment to travel to technology.

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