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Old February 20th, 2006, 12:41 PM   #1
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Kodak on the offensive, looking towards DV people?

During the Gothenburg Film Festival a month ago Kodak ran a couple of seminars under the name Stop by, shoot film. I think they've done this all over the place. It was an afternoon workshop where you after half an hour of introduction got a DOP, an Arri camera and some film to play around with.

I guess their intention was to get guerilla people like myself to realize that shooting film isn't that far away from what we´re doing. The cost of film stock, developing, scanning and so on were not discussed.

My immediate response after the seminar (apart from the fact that it was really nice) was that when HD/HDV gear become more and more affordable and a HD workflow isn't entirely impossible, Kodak has to be seen and defuse the mythology surrounding FILM.

The problem for any short film maker in Sweden, perhaps this goes for other countries as well, is the complete lack of forums for short films. Other than the occasional film festival there's really no screenings. National television here is not impossible, but still very hard to get in to. A few filmmakers get funding from the Swedish Film Institute for short and semi-feature length films, but even with a $200,000 budget the film itself dies in solitude. And they still often end up shooting IMX or Digibeta in order to pay people, not buy film stock.

My point is that to be able to shoot on film, you need money. Well, even if I had money AND shot on film, it wouldn't find an audience. Unless it's feature, but that's something different. So, why is Kodak even bothering with these things? Hope I don't sound bitter, I'm just curious! :)

What's your take on this?

Finn Hensner is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 20th, 2006, 01:42 PM   #2
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It's an honest question, and as someone who PREFERS film, but can't always afford to shoot it. Especially in a documentary setting, I can only guess as to the motivation behind KODAK's outreach.

Basically, they want to sell more film.

In order to sell film, they have to convince people to try the product.

Those are the principles behind most marketing techniques. Now, if you are asking about the FUTURE of film vs Digital... well, the future is ultimately going to be all digital... but just how soon is a good question.

The outreach, in my opinion is too little too late. And please, understand that I PREFER FILM.

I think KODAK should have been GIVING AWAY super 8 film about six years ago. It's possible to pick up Super 8 camera for less than a hundred US dollars that shoot great footage. (I know, I own several and still shoot with them). Giving away Super 8 film, would be 'seeding the ground' for filmmakers. You still follow the same workflow with super 8 that you would with 35mm. Shoot a negative, transfer to video for editing, seperate sound recording.... it's pretty nearly the same workflow. And the look is GORGEOUS. Like any expensive drug though, in order to get someone hooked, the first few hits should be 'free'. (My apologies for the metaphor)

I think the effort will convince a few people to get over their fear of film, and perhaps even think in terms of film when budgeting. But I feat that the tide is turning. I'm fifty years old... and most DP's my age who cut their teeth on film are learning HD workflows, and employing them. But many young DP's aren't too keen on mastering the film techinques, as they see it as a 'dead' end.

How soon? Many threads on this topic. But my guess... when the technology reaches maturity, and guys my age are retired. Fifteen years???
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Old February 20th, 2006, 02:10 PM   #3
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Yep, they wanna sell film allright. I totally agree though that it's a little late for them to show up at this stage. And giving away 8mm - that had indeed paid off. It does feel like this is coming from the top - show up, be nice and do a little branding. They're after all no samaritans.

Future of film vs digital, well... that's a tough one. I guess what it boils down to is whether today's young directors will abandon digital in 10 years when they got the money it takes to shoot on film. If they remember that nice Kodak workshop and always dreamt of going 35mm, maybe they will. :) On the other hand, what kind of images will you get with top of the line digital cameras in 10 years?
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Old February 20th, 2006, 04:53 PM   #4
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Originally Posted by Richard Alvarez
But many young DP's aren't too keen on mastering the film techinques, as they see it as a 'dead' end.
As a younger DP, I feel that way - I prefer film but it's a matter of economics. More and more material is going HD and it's foolish for me not to develop skills in the HD realm. I just watched Season 2.0 of Battlestar Gallactica on DVD which is shot in HD. And from what I've gathered it seems that most basic cable dramas are shooting HD now.

I have some money set aside to shoot some footage for my reel. Initially, I was thinking I'd spend it on an SR3 rental and the S16 proc/transfer. But now I'm leaning towards taking that money and spending it on a Varicam or a CineAlta.
Chien Huey is offline   Reply

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