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View Full Version : Fuji apparently ceasing motion picture film production -- what are the consequences?



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MDR
09-11-2012, 04:58 AM
Thank you for the link, meanwhile I am still waiting for a response to my mail from Fuji.

Dominik

kuparikettu
09-11-2012, 05:42 AM
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...?

MDR
09-11-2012, 05:56 AM
It seems that Fuji is not the last man standing as they have claimed several times but the first man falling. :(
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

moviemaniac
09-11-2012, 06:06 AM
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...

Helinophoto
09-11-2012, 07:49 AM
RattyMouse: Adox just released a new film at photokina.

A few Adox films were hit by the demise of fotokemika, but as far as I know from various discussions online, Adox will keep produxing films.

benjiboy
09-11-2012, 10:21 AM
Maybe by discontinuing some of their cine films range that the demand is dropping for now that so many feature films are shot digitally, and film theatres are going digital,it's a commercial decision that may keep the company more financially viable, so it can carry on making still films .

MDR
09-11-2012, 12:32 PM
Benji you can be sure that Fuji makes more money with MP Film than with still films.
The Indian Market used quiet a lot of Fuji Film, many EU Films have started using Fujifilm instead of Kodak. A vast number of Movies are still shot and released on film, sure less than in the past but still a pretty high number. Maybe the Fuji stockholders pushed the company to make this rash decision, shooting with Redor other digicams is not necessaraly cheaper than shooting with Film, the release is cheaper unfortunately. I am still hoping for some hackers that will crack the digital movie thingy and show the world how vulnerable the digital distribution chain really is. Stupid Beancounters. End of rant

Dominik

nickrapak
09-11-2012, 12:46 PM
Having thought about this for a little longer, I've realized that this probably doesn't mean the imminent end of still films from them. The vast majority of the 35mm C-41 in stores now is either Fuji-branded or Fuji-made, so this is still enough (for now) to keep the coating machines running. My guess is that Fuji does not have one large coating machine (a la Kodak), but rather 2-3 moderate-sized ones. They've done the math, and have decided to shut down at least one machine, but to keep the other(s) running. My guess is that it didn't pay for them to put the significant amount of R&D in to remaster the chemical mixtures for the other machines, so they discontinued the stocks permanently.

What this does show, however, is that Fuji is a business just like Kodak (albeit a better run one), and they are no better than Kodak when it comes to keeping film around.

P.S. Harman, Foma, Fotoimpex, Orwo, etc. are all for-profit corporations as well. When they start losing money, you can bet that production lines will be cut.

kuparikettu
09-11-2012, 01:46 PM
Todd Anderson on Cinematography wrote this some time ago:
"I just saw the above few posts after my last post.. and then I put in a call to Fuji. It is now my understanding that they plan to stop selling negative stock in March. They obviously have plenty of negative stock in inventory at the moment, but it is seemed that they would hand over any remaining inventory after March to someone else (likely a broker?). I asked if they still planned to continue producing still film stock, and the customer service persons reply was, "Oh, yes. We are still committed to that market. There are a lot of artist still using film in that market". I guess she didn't see that she was pointing out that filmmakers aren't considered artist, as well. That they don't require such tools. This is all pretty sad."

So from this it would seem that they are committed to still photography even after ceasing MP stocks...

batwister
09-11-2012, 02:11 PM
With two big 70mm pictures about to come out (Samsara and The Master) I was thinking we might have the beginnings of a movement. Not to mention Christopher Nolan and Tarantino being champions of film. Terrence Malick is partial too - apart from those dinosaur sequences. Also, Malick was once upon a time given free rein as an 'artist', also receiving financial backing from the studio to do whatever he liked. If only the big studios could manufacture film on demand for filmmakers who have the artistic license.

SkipA
09-11-2012, 02:57 PM
Having thought about this for a little longer, I've realized that this probably doesn't mean the imminent end of still films from them. The vast majority of the 35mm C-41 in stores now is either Fuji-branded or Fuji-made, so this is still enough (for now) to keep the coating machines running. My guess is that Fuji does not have one large coating machine (a la Kodak), but rather 2-3 moderate-sized ones. They've done the math, and have decided to shut down at least one machine, but to keep the other(s) running. My guess is that it didn't pay for them to put the significant amount of R&D in to remaster the chemical mixtures for the other machines, so they discontinued the stocks permanently.

What this does show, however, is that Fuji is a business just like Kodak (albeit a better run one), and they are no better than Kodak when it comes to keeping film around.

You are stating this as though it is fact. How long did it take you to convince yourself of the truth of all of your unfounded musings? Or do you actually have some evidence to back up your realizations?



P.S. Harman, Foma, Fotoimpex, Orwo, etc. are all for-profit corporations as well. When they start losing money, you can bet that production lines will be cut.

This I agree with.

nickrapak
09-11-2012, 05:33 PM
You are stating this as though it is fact. How long did it take you to convince yourself of the truth of all of your unfounded musings? Or do you actually have some evidence to back up your realizations?

Skip,

Note the words "probably" and "my guess". The coating theories are my assumption; the only thing I am stating as fact is that Fuji leads the market in 35mm consumer still film sales. This assumption is mostly driven by the fact that most retailers have 3 brands of film: Kodak, Fuji, and a store brand. Since all other color manufacturers have closed up shop, all of the "Made in Japan" store brand film is coated by Fuji. Add to that the fact that the largest retailer in the country (Walmart) only stocks Fuji film, and one could easily see where they are the market leader. The other musings are mostly driven by the fact that I can't see Fuji dropping their consumer C-41 film, especially due to the lucrative contracts that they have with the aforementioned retailers. Of course, if film and disposables really dropped off that much in the past year, I can see Fuji dropping everything.

coriana6jp
09-12-2012, 04:25 AM
Actually NHK reported tonight that Fuji is pulling the plug on all their movie films, both for capture and projection. Fuji did say are going to keep the still film production going, though on a much smaller basis. Batch runs and the like. Production on all movie films will cease in March of 2013, but again still film production will continue.


Gary

GeorgK
09-12-2012, 07:22 AM
They could not compete with Kodak's latest "Vision3"-line in an already small market. Over the last years, Fuji was mainly used by filmmakers on a budget (e.g. "The King's Speech"), because they were simply cheaper, but anyone who wants to shoot cheap these days, uses on of the lousy Red Ones.

There are still major productions made on film (Dark Knight, Expendables, Cloud Atlas, The Master...), but this will become 100% Kodak territory.

This might be a good thing for Kodak (or follow-ups), as Hollywood has some interest in keeping film alive as a medium.

Georg

jun
09-13-2012, 06:04 AM
Here it is officially in Japanese.

http://fujifilm.jp/information/articlead_0174.html

They claim that they will still manufacture "archive" motion picture film (i.e. ETERNA-RDS).

But that is about it for motion picture related AgX film products and finish selling all other AgX motion picture film products (including chemicals for processing cine films for domestic customers) somewhere around March 2013.

They comment that they continue manufacturing film for still photography.

jun

perkeleellinen
09-13-2012, 11:39 AM
Translated: http://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&js=n&prev=_t&hl=en&ie=UTF-8&layout=2&eotf=1&u=http%3A%2F%2Ffujifilm.jp%2Finformation%2Farticle ad_0174.html&act=url

This is the key line: "In addition, with regard to photographic film, we will continue to produce and sell in the future."

Ken Nadvornick
09-13-2012, 02:34 PM
I hate to point it out, but this does then call into question the current working assumption that the only thing holding still film's head above water is motion picture film. That without the latter's economies of scale, the former absolutely cannot exist on its own.

Presuming that they are not intentionally lying in their notification release, what then is different about Fujifilm?

Ken

SkipA
09-13-2012, 02:53 PM
I noticed that too, Ken. The cynic would say they are lying. Others might surmise that the death of MP film is not necessarily the death of all film.

Then again, it is color film that people mostly seem to link to MP. B&W seems to be able to exist on a much smaller scale, without the need for MP to support it.

Ken Nadvornick
09-13-2012, 03:17 PM
Then again, it is color film that people mostly seem to link to MP. B&W seems to be able to exist on a much smaller scale, without the need for MP to support it.

That's true. But Fujifilm's notification announcement seems to be saying they will continue producing all of their still films, including color.

Maybe they have multiple coating lines with one or more being dedicated solely to motion picture-related film types? And different one(s) dedicated to still film types? And the still film lines are capable of producing reliably in smaller runs?

If that's the case, then shutting down larger MP lines might indeed have less effect on any remaining smaller still lines.

Something in Fujifilm's model does seem to be different.

(Just speculating out loud on my lunch break...)

:)

Ken

Henning Serger
09-13-2012, 03:46 PM
Hello,

here is the official statement in English, that photo film production is continued:

http://www.fujifilm.com/news/n120913.html

And here the news that a new Instax instant film camera is introduced, due to increasing demand from China and other Asian countries:

http://www.fujifilm.com/news/n120912.html


I hate to point it out, but this does then call into question the current working assumption that the only thing holding still film's head above water is motion picture film. That without the latter's economies of scale, the former absolutely cannot exist on its own.

I've always had my doubts about this 'working assumption' (especially concerning Fuji), simply because motion picture film is not the analogue photo product with the highest production volume (based on mē).
The analogue photo product with the highest production volume is RA-4 photo paper, a market with 800 - 900 million mē production p.a.. And a much more stable market than motion picture film (data based on market research by Schoeller, one of the biggest manufacturers of paper base for photographic papers; and based on numbers of CeWe, Europe's biggest photo finisher, running lots of mass labs in several European countries).

Fuji is by far the world leading manufacturer of RA-4, with the biggest market share. And has increased it's market share during the last years (at the expense of Kodak, DNP, Mitsubishi).
From a technical point of view, it is possible to coat both film and paper on the the same coating machines. Ilford, Foma, InovisCoat, Agfa-Gevaert, Fotokemika are all doing exactly that (or have done that). It is state of the art. Ilford is furthermore coating their inkjet papers also on the same line as far as I remember right from Simon's statements.
At least not impossible or unlikely that Fuji is coating film and paper on the same machines.
If that is the case, then the production stop of mp film would indeed have little or no impact on their still film production.

Kodak is coating film and RA-4 paper on different lines, film in Rochester, RA-4 in Denver.
Their long term stabilising / survival option therefore could be to transfer RA-4 paper manufacturing from Denver to Rochester.



Presuming that they are not intentionally lying in their notification release, what then is different about Fujifilm?

Ken

See above.

Best regards,
Henning