Analog confusion: Kodak planning to sell film business
Alex Zuckerman, Staff Writer
September 20, 2012 • 240 views
Filed under Features
Rumors have been flying around the web during the last month about Kodak and the future of its photographic films, leaving many photographers confused about the future of the grandfather of photography.
Kodak announced in August 2012 that they are planning to sell their film business due to bankruptcy, leaving many photographers worried about the future of traditional analog photography, aka, using film.
Kodak has proposed to sell its “Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging” businesses that encompass its film, commercial scanning, and photo kiosks that are found at drug stores and amusement parks.
“The initiation of a process to sell the Personalized Imaging and Document Imaging businesses is an important step in our company’s reorganization to focus our business on the commercial markets and enable Kodak to accelerate its momentum toward emergence,” said Antonio M. Perez, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer in a press release.
Kodak films are being included in this proposed sale but Kodak will continue to manufacture its current professional and consumer films. The company that purchases the business that sells the Kodak films will have a supply agreement with Kodak according to Colleen Krenzer, a representative from Kodak’s Film, Paper, and Output Systems.
“Kodak is not discontinuing film. Rather, Kodak is including the film business within an overall proposed sale” said Krenzer, “This distinction is critical because Kodak is continuing to manufacture film and the intention is that after the sale, Kodak will continue to manufacture the films.”
This is the company’s last hurrah to dig themselves out of their deep financial hole; Kodak filed for bankruptcy in January of 2012 and since then have stopped production of their digital camera line and other digital consumer products. The company plans to move forward by focusing on corporate digital imaging, mainly commercial printing. By moving away from consumer products, the company hopes to rebuild their photographic empire.
Jake Shore, a Senior at Staples and President of the darkroom club, isn’t worried about the lifespan of Kodak film.
“I don’t care who owns the business as long as I can get my hands on film,” said Jake, “I will keep shooting it forever, until it has stopped being made.”
In recent years there have been major developments in the revival of analog photography. Companies like Lomography and The Impossible Project are pushing the use of film and have gathered a cult following of photographers and modern day hipsters.
Both companies are on the frontline of the revival of film each filling their own niche of the market. Lomography specializes in lo-fi and innovative cameras, some which take 360o photos and others with nine individual lenses. The Impossible Project is the company spearheading Polaroid revival, producing their own instant integral films and refurbishing old Polaroid cameras.
Those who were taught photography through film can agree there is a quality to using the traditional process that cannot be replicated with the digital workflow. Working with film and a darkroom is a methodical and rewarding way of creating images; you as the photographer are responsible for making the final image, not a digital sensor or computer.
Though film may seem like it’s on its way out, there are plenty on photographers who are willing keep the foundations of photography alive.