Kodak to continue making movie film, supplying Hollywood

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ROCHESTER, N.Y. (AP) — The Eastman Kodak Co. will continue to make motion picture film in the age of digital filmmaking after reaching new supply agreements with the major Hollywood studios.

The Rochester-based photography and film pioneer had been in talks with the studios, as well as several filmmakers including Quentin Tarantino, Judd Apatow and Christopher Nolan, to keep movie film alive after seeing sales fall 96 percent since 2006.

The agreements announced late Wednesday call for Kodak to continue to supply motion picture film to 20th Century Fox, Walt Disney Co., Warner Bros. Entertainment, NBC Universal, Paramount Pictures and Sony Pictures. Without the pacts, production of motion picture film, which Kodak began in 1896, was in danger of being halted.

Competitor Fujifilm stopped production of movie film in 2013.

“Film has long been — and will remain — a vital part of our culture,” Kodak Chief Executive Jeff Clarke said in a statement. “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.”

Details of the agreements were not released but cover multiple years, according to Kodak.

Three of this year’s eight best-picture Oscar nominees — “Boyhood,” ”The Grand Budapest Hotel,” and “The Imitation Game” — were shot on Kodak film, Kodak spokesman Christopher Veronda said.

Several movies due out this year, including “Mission: Impossible 5” and “Star Wars: Episode VII — The Force Awakens,” are being produced on film, Kodak said.

“Enabling artists to use film will help them to create the moments that make cinema history,” said Andrew Evenski, Kodak’s president of Entertainment & Commercial Films. “The agreements announced today are a powerful testament to the power of film and the creative vision of the artists telling them.”

Founded by George Eastman in 1880, Kodak is credited with popularizing photography at the start of the 20th century, but its revenues today are primarily from commercial imaging. Film now provides less than 10 percent of company revenues.
Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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