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Sal Santamaura
08-24-2012, 01:18 PM
...the group of people who work hard to keep the film biz moving forward despite the battle going on much further up the corporate ladder, I am not sure most people realize just how human an element this is...a lot of the people...have had just as much hope to keep giving you great films as you have hoped to keep buying them, this has not changed, they are as sad as you are that we are all in this boat at this point...Dan, I come to this discussion after a long career in the corporate world, having witnessed from an "in the trenches" location numerous battles "further up the ladder" similar to what's going on now at 343 State Street.

Reality is cruel. Nobody, especially those who are passionate about and work hard doing things like making the films posters here enjoy, ever likes it when reality stomps all over their world and products. I know from personal experience. Nonetheless, despite any claims of "our people are our most important asset," "people first" or similar HR / executive management pronouncements, reality is that numbers, and only numbers, drive all decisions. Kodak's numbers are like "spray painting on the wall." The operation is oversized for today's market. Today's market is more robust than tomorrow's market will probably be. Especially when the inexorable march of digital into cinema progresses further in a few years. Hope won't change reality.

Over the course of commuting 750,000 miles during the above-mentioned corporate career, while never affixing any to my own car, I observed many bumper stickers. The one that stood out said "I feel much better since I gave up hope." My suggestion to everyone fretting about Kodak film's future is: Buy and use what you can while it's still available, don't count on continued availability and support Ilford whenever possible. Reality always prevails.

railwayman3
08-24-2012, 01:18 PM
Not nonsense. It's not about the "image of the industry". It's about the perception of the industry.

Nonetheless, "image" and "perception" both affect sales.

Agreed....I fear that the perception amongst the general public is that the analogue film industry (and maybe Kodak is seen as the same thing) is finished.
I was at a wedding last week when guests were given a Kodak recyclable camera to use...people were interested and amused by them..."didn't think you could still get these", "can you remember when you had to wait a week to get your photos back", "my Dad used to use film", "don't hear anything of Kodak now...do they make anything these days?". :)
(Even, "where's the screen thingy on the back?" ;) )

Hatchetman
08-24-2012, 01:20 PM
The Wall Street Journal said this lump of businesses had sales of about $1.3 billion last year. That is still pretty damn big. A good % of that is color film I would guess.

Diapositivo
08-24-2012, 01:22 PM
It's very important to read all words posted and evaluate their meaning. For example:

Note that, first of all, the construction includes "a sale." There is currently no sale, just an offer. A PR person's job in this instance is spinning things so customers don't prematurely abandon Kodak film, which, if they did, would diminish the operation's desirability to potential purchasers.



Sal, I see no spinning here. It is talked about "discussions about how a sale would proceed" not "the sale". It's all hypothesis and it's all treated as such.

And yes, Kodak understands the importance of reassuring all stakeholders that film business is not going to stop during the transition phase. And yes, there's no guarantee that Kodak film will survive in any case. Nonetheless, I think it is important that Kodak recognises that keeping film alive, in this conjuncture, is important for its survival.

I agree with the orphanage reasoning by PKM-25.

And I agree that if Kodak film ceased to be some "ripple effects" (abandoning of film use by some, abandoning of film distribution by shops, abandoning of film development by large distribution chains etc.) is to be feared and it might even damage the entire industry beyond repair.

NB23
08-24-2012, 01:24 PM
Agreed....I fear that the perception amongst the general public is that the analogue film industry (and maybe Kodak is seen as the same thing) is finished.
I was at a wedding last week when guests were given a Kodak recyclable camera to use...people were interested and amused by them..."didn't think you could still get these", "can you remember when you had to wait a week to get your photos back", "my Dad used to use film", "don't hear anything of Kodak now...do they make anything these days?". :)
(Even, "where's the screen thingy on the back?" ;) )

Well exactly, you make my point. for the general public, Kodak's been dead for at least a decade. kodak dying today will not hurt but support the other film makers.
Try and make me believe that Ilford will be sad when Kodak disappears :laugh::laugh:

batwister
08-24-2012, 01:25 PM
Chris-

Don't sweat it. Asking this is like asking "should I sell my '57 chevy because Exxon/Mobil wants to sell Mobil?". Unless you're trying to make a living at photography, you shouldn't be looking at the gear you've bought as an "investment" anyway. Quite frankly, the biggest fear if Kodak should fail to find a buyer for their film manufacturing business would be that their color films would no longer be available. Which would of course be a tragedy, but it would not mean the death of film. Fuji would rapidly absorb the business left on the table by Kodak's departure in the color film department, and Ilford will be around to continue making b/w emulsions (which are excellent btw, and you ought to give them a try if you haven't already).

What about that large percentage of colour film consumers who dabble in black and white and perhaps convert to it? The existence of and interest in colour film eventually breeds a large number of black and white converts - I'm one myself. I only wonder if it's these people that keep Ilford going. I worry that today most people develop an interest in black and white materials *only* after a preliminary period with colour. It's all about transition - today, from digital to colour neg, then depending on how 'deep' the person gets, eventually a move to black and white and darkroom. The transition from digital to the darkroom is a massive leap of faith. Without colour, I really do worry for black and white. Slide film was the way I eased myself into traditional photography.

Roger Cole
08-24-2012, 01:29 PM
Aside from a random roll of HP5 or Delta400, all I ever shoot is TriX. Ever. I don't, or haven't done anything color thus far, and probably won't now.

I get the analogy of the '57 ford, but I don't want something that sits in a garage and only gets taken out once every decade for the town parade.

Since your main interest is black and white, relax. It's great that you've standardized and you standardized on a great film but you can get just as proficient with Ilford. Or Acros. Or even Foma.

jnanian
08-24-2012, 01:33 PM
Well exactly, you make my point. for the general public, Kodak's been dead for at least a decade. kodak dying today will not hurt but support the other film makers.
Try and make me believe that Ilford will be sad when Kodak disappears :laugh::laugh:



part of the problem is materials used to make film.
kodak is a huge consumer of these chemicals, and if they stop
some of the places that make the raw chemicals might have trouble
producing smaller quantities of these chemicals and it will disrupt the whole industry.

these things have been discussed ad nauseum in the past 6 or 7 years here
with people like PE who have an idea about the chemistry &c used to make the materials we
consume.

it would be hard to educate yourself about these topics ...

DREW WILEY
08-24-2012, 01:37 PM
I know people for whom digital shapshooting became the path for upgrading into film and darkroom.
I have also met a fair number of aspiring photographers and graphics types from the art schools who
would like to broaden their skill set by learning traditional film skills, including large format. But the
big hurdle isn't the availability of film per se - it's the cost of real estate and having a hypothetical surplus of income and space where one can build a darkroom! Not so easy for the younger set, for whom jobs per se are becoming a scarce commodity. The other problem is the demise of venues
where people can see real prints and learn to appreciate them, versus the generic smudges over the
web that are now taken as the standard of visual communication.

PKM-25
08-24-2012, 01:39 PM
And I agree that if Kodak film ceased to be some "ripple effects" (abandoning of film use by some, abandoning of film distribution by shops, abandoning of film development by large distribution chains etc.) is to be feared and it might even damage the entire industry beyond repair.

This is actually my biggest concern.

As a working professional, I have noticed that photography in general is subject to the nastiest of all "jabs" by people who are not self informed but hype informed. My wife and I had an hour long discussion about this last night, the whole hype driving large scale perception thing. When Kodachrome left and the ensuing media coverage hit the web, most people simply thought that Kodak had stopped making all films and to give credence to how strong the brand still is, most people had no idea that Fuji made film let alone Ilford or Efke.

So now we face the even bigger challenge that if a sale is completed or god forbid, Kodak film leaves us, well that will really drive the perception in the public's mind that film is simply history and not to be found in any shape or form at all, ever. This is not good. When a person sees an oil painter working, they do not ask can you still get that stuff, why are you not using Adobe Illustrator? Same thing for the acoustic guitarist, they don't say to him he is stuck in the past and really ought to try "Garage Band". But when it comes to film, people just LOVE to stick that jab in, it is truly sad and frankly disgusting, it is a real problem and will only get worse if we lose Kodak film....a lot worse actually.

There is no reason for this, I don't have to tell John Sexton that film is still a viable medium for the artist, but yet, when I asked him last week what he is planning in the face of these possibilities with Kodak, he simply said he is well stocked up in several freezers, even has long gone Kodak black and white readyloads to use.

Artists and hobby shooters know better, but the public does not, this is why I am going to repeat until I am blue in the face, we the film users HAVE to be the best marketing that film will ever have. This is *so* critical at this point that I want to get on NPR and scream this at the top of my lungs. We can no longer be partisan here, use Ilford, use Kodak, use Fuji, but promote ALL OF IT and NOW!!!

MattKing
08-24-2012, 01:40 PM
Try and make me believe that Ilford will be sad when Kodak disappears :laugh::laugh:

Simon Galley has posted specifically on that issue here.

My best recollection is that this is a good paraphrase: "Harman Technology Ltd. (Ilford) strongly prefers having a healthy Kodak in the marketplace."

batwister
08-24-2012, 01:46 PM
Simon Galley has posted specifically on that issue here.

Harman Technology Ltd. (Ilford) strongly prefers having a healthy Kodak in the marketplace.

I'd like to know from Simon if this is because, like I said, people generally seem to transition from digital, to colour film, to black and white.

lxdude
08-24-2012, 01:47 PM
Thanks for the cynicism, Sal.

Colleen said at the outset that she is a PR person. Let her do her job. We all have a pretty good idea what "Public Relations" means. Her job is to communicate to customers and deal with questions. We should be gracious and listen. For a long time many of us have complained that Kodak and Fuji have no presence here. Now Kodak does, admittedly through a PR person rather than a principal of the company, but then Ilford and Adox are quite a lot smaller.

None of us are expecting some inside information or anything other than what Kodak's still film division wants us to hear. That does not make Colleen someone we should not listen to and ask questions of. Someone in the still film division thinks we should hear what's going on, which is a hell of a lot better than all of us blabbing on forums without a clue as to what's happening. They are smart enough to know that there would be a lot of jittery customers and also smart enough to know that being silent would serve neither the company nor the customers.

Lots of us have felt burned by statements from Kodak saying "We continue to make" a product, then it's discontinued soon after. So, skepticism is warranted. And Colleen can only tell us what she knows. Still, that doesn't mean it's all BS to be rejected out of hand. I don't agree with all of your opinion; I also consider some of what you said to be stating the obvious.

Regarding your final statement: there's nothing Colleen could say that would satisfy you.

Thomas Bertilsson
08-24-2012, 01:51 PM
Artists and hobby shooters know better, but the public does not, this is why I am going to repeat until I am blue in the face, we the film users HAVE to be the best marketing that film will ever have. This is *so* critical at this point that I want to get on NPR and scream this at the top of my lungs. We can no longer be partisan here, use Ilford, use Kodak, use Fuji, but promote ALL OF IT and NOW!!!

I agree with all that you said. The public is generally ill informed about things they are not passionate about. The quality of information available on the web is incredibly questionable, but since it's quick to access, people don't bother looking for information that is accurate because it's not practical. The only way to get through is to have enough information out there to convince. You can have the best idea in the world, but if nobody knows about it you can't make any money on it.

PKM-25
08-24-2012, 01:54 PM
Well exactly, you make my point. for the general public, Kodak's been dead for at least a decade. kodak dying today will not hurt but support the other film makers.
Try and make me believe that Ilford will be sad when Kodak disappears :laugh::laugh:

Ned, you are a creative photographer who makes his living shooting weddings on film. That takes a certain level of belief in your self and drive to keep the momentum moving forward. That said, I think you have had every right to emote the way you have, but after a certain point and without even knowing it, you are undermining the very thing that allows you to move forward, vision.

You may disagree with me on this, but I think you have nothing to lose by having a change of viewpoint in how this will all look in going forward. What I mean by that is when you knock Kodak, you knock film. For as much as you may not like it, when the vast majority of people think of film, dead or alive, they think of Kodak so adding to the witch hunt in this regard might be doing more harm than good when it comes to your personal future with the medium...

Why chance that? Take a deep breath my friend, know that your frustrations are shared and founded, but they are history and might be doing you personally more harm than good at this point.

BrianShaw
08-24-2012, 02:01 PM
... They are smart enough to know that there would be a lot of jittery customers and also smart enough to know that being silent would serve neither the company nor the customers. ...

... and I think that they are smart enough to know that they really don't know much at this point.

NB23
08-24-2012, 02:05 PM
Simon Galley has posted specifically on that issue here.

My best recollection is that this is a good paraphrase: "Harman Technology Ltd. (Ilford) strongly prefers having a healthy Kodak in the marketplace."


If so, they are wrong.
Remember: Ilford is the new Kodak. HP5 is the new Tri-X.

Roger Cole
08-24-2012, 02:08 PM
This is actually my biggest concern.

As a working professional, I have noticed that photography in general is subject to the nastiest of all "jabs" by people who are not self informed but hype informed. My wife and I had an hour long discussion about this last night, the whole hype driving large scale perception thing. When Kodachrome left and the ensuing media coverage hit the web, most people simply thought that Kodak had stopped making all films and to give credence to how strong the brand still is, most people had no idea that Fuji made film let alone Ilford or Efke.

So now we face the even bigger challenge that if a sale is completed or god forbid, Kodak film leaves us, well that will really drive the perception in the public's mind that film is simply history and not to be found in any shape or form at all, ever. This is not good. When a person sees an oil painter working, they do not ask can you still get that stuff, why are you not using Adobe Illustrator? Same thing for the acoustic guitarist, they don't say to him he is stuck in the past and really ought to try "Garage Band". But when it comes to film, people just LOVE to stick that jab in, it is truly sad and frankly disgusting, it is a real problem and will only get worse if we lose Kodak film....a lot worse actually.

There is no reason for this, I don't have to tell John Sexton that film is still a viable medium for the artist, but yet, when I asked him last week what he is planning in the face of these possibilities with Kodak, he simply said he is well stocked up in several freezers, even has long gone Kodak black and white readyloads to use.

Artists and hobby shooters know better, but the public does not, this is why I am going to repeat until I am blue in the face, we the film users HAVE to be the best marketing that film will ever have. This is *so* critical at this point that I want to get on NPR and scream this at the top of my lungs. We can no longer be partisan here, use Ilford, use Kodak, use Fuji, but promote ALL OF IT and NOW!!!

This post is so good it should be a sticky.

But WRT Ilford and Efke - Efke is going away too. :( The makers of black and white materials I am aware of (discounting people doing their own emulsions and such which is great but not something I can buy from them in viable quantities) will be Kodak, Fuji (and not much black and white but Acros is a unique product) Ilford, Foma and Adox.

Ilford is the great hope of black and white and Fuji for color. I'm a lot more optimistic about Ilford than Fuji since Ilford is now seemingly right sized for the market AND run by people seemingly passionate about black and white photography.

I hope for continued availability of Portra and Ektar but that's really all any of us can do - hope and shoot what we have while we have it.

lxdude
08-24-2012, 02:09 PM
Simon Galley has posted specifically on that issue here.

My best recollection is that this is a good paraphrase: "Harman Technology Ltd. (Ilford) strongly prefers having a healthy Kodak in the marketplace."
I remember that also.

Ken Nadvornick
08-24-2012, 02:14 PM
Simon Galley has posted specifically on that issue here.

My best recollection is that this is a good paraphrase: "Harman Technology Ltd. (Ilford) strongly prefers having a healthy Kodak in the marketplace."


I remember that also.

As do I...

Ken