Fuji apparently ceasing motion picture film production -- what are the consequences?

Discussion in 'Industry News' started by kuparikettu, Sep 9, 2012.

  1. kuparikettu

    kuparikettu Member

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    It was only two days ago when I first read about the rumours of Fuji ceasing motion picture film production. Having read some comments on cinematography mailing lists and forums, it seems this isn't only a rumor. A few voices from within the motion picture industry have been confirming the rumor as valid.

    Anyway, the interesting question then is "what are the consequences?" Is Fuji ceasing still film production as well? And if so, does this give an advantage to Kodak?

    I guess nobody knows. But at least we can speculate, eh?
     
  2. RattyMouse

    RattyMouse Subscriber

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    How can they keep making still film and still be profitable? Motion picture film must be several orders of magnitude higher than still. This can't be good news for anyone who shoots Fuji film.
     
  3. kuparikettu

    kuparikettu Member

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  4. MDR

    MDR Member

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    kuparikettu can you name other sources than deadline.com, which currently seems to be the only source other than forum reports based on this article.

    Dominik
     
  5. jnanian

    jnanian Advertiser Advertiser

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    im not sure what the point is of making motion picture film
    if none of the studios want to shoot on film ...
    hopefully kodak can make a go of it ...
     
  6. perkeleellinen

    perkeleellinen Member

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    Uncertainty is the defining characteristic of film photography.
     
  7. kuparikettu

    kuparikettu Member

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    On Cinematography.com, cinematographer John Holland comments:
    "the story about Fuji is very true",
    "'Seriously John? You have reliable word on this?' Yes very reliable , Fuji arnt going to say anything for a few weeks ."
    "'Yes, but are they simply going to shut down the film plant, or are they going to sell it?' Far as i know its closed or closing the plant ."

    On cml-film mailing list (cinematography.net), Kevin Phelan, Head of Post Production of LipSync Post comments as follows: "Yes it is true : Fuji cease making stock by December 31 st : all remaining stock in the UK will go to storage in Holland"
     
  8. Brian C. Miller

    Brian C. Miller Member

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    I'm guessing that Fujifilm saw the "writing on the wall" when Kodak made the first digital camera, and they took it seriously. The Japanese companies have always had a history of diversifying like mad, so of couse Fuji got into everything else it could, and kept the profits rolling in. Unlike Kodak, which kept spinning off successful branches and selling off good ideas. So in 2000 Fujifilm's revenue was 40% film, and 60% everything else. Now it's 1% film and 99% everthing else.

    Fujifilm will, as they have said, continue to make film as long as even one person is using it, but it's going to be done on a small line. So they're going to exit movie film since the studios don't want to distribute actual film any longer, and probably run their still film lines intermittently.
     
  9. thegman

    thegman Member

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    I don't know about Fujifilm's volumes, but they may sell more motion picture film than still, but at what profit? Looking at the price of stuff like Provia 400X, I can't imagine the price per foot is anything like that for motion picture.

    If they can give up motion picture, but stick with still, I'd consider that very encouraging that still volumes are actually still reasonably viable.
     
  10. MDR

    MDR Member

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    Thank you kuparikettu. I've already read the post by John Holland but not the cinematography.net one.
    I am still waiting for a response from Fujifilm, they act very unprofessionaly imho.
    Eterna Vivid 160 and 500 are beautiful films I am sad to see them go, prefer them to Vision 3.
     
  11. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    John:

    I don't think the problem is with studios not wanting to shoot on film. There still seems to be a fair number of productions shot using film.

    The problem is that the distributors don't want to use film to distribute the movie. And it is the millions of feet of film used for release prints that are/were the source of profits for Kodak and Fuji.
     
  12. wildbill

    wildbill Member

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    I happen to be in the film industry.

    while it's highly likely fuji is done, you site quotes from a third party, not fuji. While I'm familiar with cinematography.com, I've never heard of John or Lipsync post. Are these well-known reputable sources? It's kinda like saying "I heard over on apug that kodak sold their film business".
     
  13. kuparikettu

    kuparikettu Member

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    Yes, you are correct, technically these are nothing but rumors as well, if just given by people who claim to have real sources. However, my little experience of the film industry here in Finland is that this kind of big things are known if they are going to really happen. That's because the connections within the industry are close and the amount of money in this business is so enormous. Take for example the post production plants, which might be exploring whether or not they should repair the telecine unit or upgrade to a better one. Or the machinery used to print digital intermediary on film? Usually some people know other people who do know, but who cannot confirm anything in public.

    So yes, technically it is nothing but a rumor. But in my experience it's also quite rare for some people to come up with their own names and claim some rumor to be "very true" on some public forum they have been active for years unless they do have somewhat trustworthy sources.

    But we'll see.
     
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  15. MDR

    MDR Member

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    This could also be a UK only thing. The UK has been moving from Film for quite some time Filmhater number one is better known as BBC. All cited sources are from the UK John Holland, Lipsync Post and Deadline.com.
    Kuparikettu D.I., classic telecines and filmscanners will be used for quite some time in the future. DVD of old movies, Archives, film restoration etc... they all require one or all of these techniques.

    I'll hope for the best
     
  16. CGW

    CGW Member

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  17. Helinophoto

    Helinophoto Member

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  18. Roger Cole

    Roger Cole Member

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    Over the past few years I've been back into photography, I've yet to encounter a rumor about discontinued film that did NOT turn out to be true. Sometimes the truth is even worse. Never has it turned out better.
     
  19. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    Thanks for that, CGW.

    "'The photograph is literally an emanation of the referent,' the philosopher Roland Barthes wrote. 'From a real body, which was there, proceed radiations which ultimately touch me, who am here.' A film image is created by light that leaves a material trace of something that exists—existed—in real time and space. It’s in this sense that film becomes a witness to our existence."

    At its most fundamental, what separates film from digital is just this provenance. A film image bears silent witness to the reality of the image depicted upon it.* It is this most important of film's qualities that we are losing.

    [Edit: I think I may have just found my new signature line!]

    Ken

    * Please don't go there. It's irrelevent to the point being made...
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 10, 2012
  20. semi-ambivalent

    semi-ambivalent Subscriber

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    You old fuddy duddy. Buy an iPhone already, and get with the in crowd.
    :D

    s-a
     
  21. Ken Nadvornick

    Ken Nadvornick Subscriber

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    If the only images of me that survive were to be on an iPhone, it could never be said with certainty that I ever existed. But if you hold up to the light a glass plate negative which depicts my image, you will forever know of me something concrete and certain.*

    :D

    Ken

    * Remember everyone, asterisks are your friends...
     
  22. kuparikettu

    kuparikettu Member

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    Fuji motion picture film products to be discontinued include "Color Positive Film, Color Negative Film, B&W Positive/Negative Film, Intermediate Film, Sound Recording Film, and High Contrast Panchromatic Film". However, "the company says it isn’t closing the entire motion picture department. It will continue to provide archive film stock (ETERNA-RDS, which won the Academy Scientific Engineering Award in 2012), lenses for shooting cameras and screening devices, media for data storage, digital data archive services and its on-set color management system (Image Processing System IS-100)."

    http://www.deadline.com/2012/09/fuji-discontinue-motion-picture-products/
     
  23. MDR

    MDR Member

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    Thank you for the link, meanwhile I am still waiting for a response to my mail from Fuji.

    Dominik
     
  24. kuparikettu

    kuparikettu Member

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    One thing I do wonder though: How come the motion picture film is discontinued first? Is Fuji going to keep still photography film production longer than mp film production, or have they already killed it off and aren't just seeing the need to tell anyone...?
     
  25. MDR

    MDR Member

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    It seems that Fuji is not the last man standing as they have claimed several times but the first man falling. :sad:
    Maybe the stopped making mp films in order to help Kodak, very unlikely but one never knows.
    I also don't understand Fuji's decision after bringing out the Eterna Vivid line two years ago, it seems almost stupid to stop production now.

    Dominik
     
  26. moviemaniac

    moviemaniac Member

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    Don't forget the technology involved which will also be lost - remember how much Kodak's portra relies on their Vision technology? This can't be good news for Fuji's still film production/development...