Edward Summer wrote:
> Poor John Pytlak and Kodak must feel terribly under the gun as the
of recent discussions about the discontinuation and marginalization of
JP: MOTION-PICTURE FILM PRODUCTION BY KODAK IS VERY MUCH ALIVE AND WELL.
ONLY YOU TALK ABOUT "MARGINALIZATION".
> Lest my questions erroneously appear to be directed at John or Kodak,
like to address them a little differently.
> I've been thinking about all this for days now, and I'm finally going to
take a stab at it.
JP: YOUR QUESTIONS ARE BASED ON ERRONEOUS ASSUMPTIONS AND MISINFORMATION.
> It's "common knowledge" in the archive community, the film distribution
community, and the film exhibition community that "Kodak intends
to permanently stop the manufacture of motion picture film." Whether
is true or not, is what this e-mail is attempting to bring to the fore.
JP: YOU ARE WRONG, AND YOUR SOURCES ARE WRONG.
> Kodak "denies" this, and yet the manufacture of double perf 16mm film is
about to stop. Permanently. Forever.
JP: AS I WROTE BEFORE, KODAK IS CONTINUING MANUFACTURE OF DOUBLE PERF 16MM
FOR MANY FILMS, ESPECIALLY THOSE REQUIRED FOR SPECIAL NEEDS LIKE HIGH
> So the first question is:
To what extent is the above statement actually true?
JP: IT IS NOT TRUE. KODAK'S MOTION PICTURE BUSINESS IS GROWING.
> Can anyone answer definitively ???
JP: I JUST DID!
> The second issue is the PERCEIVED truth of this statement.
> If it is NOT TRUE, why then there is nothing to worry about or even
discuss: archives will be able to go on preserving and circulating
spectacular prints (of the quality of Triage's amazing Arzner prints or --
dare I say -- even better) at a reasonable cost , ad infinitum, now and
forever, world without end.
JP: NOTHING LASTS FOREVER, BUT THE MOTION PICTURE FILM BUSINESS CONTINUES
> If it IS TRUE, how will the public and scholars get to see the last
surviving motion picture prints of films both rare and common?
It follows that those single prints will be SO PRECIOUS that the (forgive
the term) "anal retentive" policies of archives will actually be justified
by something real and not imagined.
> So, assuming for the moment that it's NOT TRUE, that film will be
forever, and that the price of film will remain reasonable, how can
> 1) the prohibitively restrictive policies on print circulation ?
> 2) the exorbitant prices for making prints from existing preservation
elements (real example: one archive charges US$50,000.00 to make a print
from a 3,000 foot, pre-existing preservation element and only on the
condition that they will not guarantee when or if they will ever deliver
this print!) ?
> 3) the "oath of silence" about the issues involved ?
JP: THESE ARE ISSUES BETWEEN YOU AND THE ARCHIVE. THEY ARE NOT DUE TO
UNAVAILABILITY OF FILM STOCK FROM KODAK.
> I'm at a bit of a loss to quote my sources for this information because
the climate of fear in the archival community. I've just perused an
extraordinary interview in "The Moving Image" with Iris Barry in which she
lucidly explains the history of this paranoia amongst archivists
(government intervention, loss of unique material, and so on), so I'm
coming to understand the traditional behavior of what one might call
"old-guard" archivists (no value judgment intended, just historical
perspective). Nonetheless, I must respect the wishes of certain folks to
JP: FILM STOCK IS AVAILABLE. ANONYMOUS SOURCES TEND TO BE UNRELIABLE.
> So there are the questions, including, now, the question of why
and distributors and exhibitors are terrified to speak out against this
"reign of terror."
JP: I DON'T UNDERSTAND YOUR CHOICE OF WORDS. WHO IS CREATING A "REIGN OF
> The only thing at stake here is the entire future of filmed motion
entertainment, preservation, distribution and scholarship. Not much
> What do y'all think about this?
JP: I THINK THE FUTURE REMAINS BRIGHT.
> Edward Summer
JP: TO BE COMPLETE, I AM ATTACHING MY REPLY TO YOUR NOTE OF LAST WEEK,
WHERE I ALREADY RESPONDED TO YOUR CONCERNS:
On August 21, John Pytlak wrote:
There are over 100,000 35mm theatres worldwide, and still a few hundred
capable of 70mm 5-perf. Despite the "digital revolution", modern,
well-equipped, new 35mm film theatres and 70mm IMAX theatres are still
being built throughout Asia:
So even if the university can't provide a good film theatre, there are
likely some in the city who would welcome your students.
> Eastman Kodak at a corporate level has given the impression that they
going to STOP MANUFACTURING 35mm film stock.
Just where did you get that wrong impression? Realigning manufacturing
facilities, tuning product portfolios, and optimizing worldwide plant
loading to make the best possible film at the lowest possible cost are
worthy goals. More 35mm motion-picture film is being used than any time
in history. Kodak just introduced the revolutionary new VISION2 Color
Negative Films, with more to come. Kodak is a leader in BOTH film and
Kodak financial results: "...Highlights for the quarter (2Q-2003) include
a 65% increase in consumer digital camera sales, and an 18% increase in
sales of motion-picture origination and print film."
Even notable "digital revolution" companies are having tough times:
Kodak's R&D shows a clear mix of both film and digital innovations:
> Is this a PR problem on Kodak's part? Where is the truth here?
Youth (well, maybe not youth...) wants to know.
Now you know. :-) Kodak has been a leader in motion-pictures for over a
century, and intends to remain a leader.
John P. Pytlak
Senior Technical Specialist
Customer Technical Services
Research Labs, Building 69, Room 7525A
Eastman Kodak Company
Rochester, New York 14650-1922 USA
Telephone: +1 585 477 5325
Cell: +1 585 781 4036
Fax: +1 585 722 7243
e-mail: [log in to unmask]