For Movies, Film Option Survives Digital Advance
(p. B1) Faced with the possible extinction of the material that made Hollywood famous, a coalition of studios is close to a deal to keep Eastman Kodak Co. in the business of producing movie film.
The negotiations--secret until now--are expected to result in an arrangement where studios promise to buy a set quantity of film for the next several years, even though most movies and television shows these days are shot on digital video.
Kodak's new chief executive, Jeff Clarke, said the pact will allow his company to forestall the closure of its Rochester, N.Y., film manufacturing plant, a move that had been under serious consideration. Kodak's motion-picture film sales have plummeted 96% since 2006, from 12.4 billion linear feet to an estimated 449 million this year. With the exit of competitor Fujifilm Corp. last year, Kodak is the only major company left producing motion-picture film.
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Film and digital video both "are valid choices, but it would be a tragedy if suddenly directors didn't have the opportunity to shoot on film," said Mr. Apatow. director of comedies including "Knocked Up" and "The 40 Year-Old Virgin," speaking from the New York set of his coming movie "Trainwreck," which he is shooting on film. "There's a magic to the grain and the color quality that you get with film."
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(Note: the online version of the article was dated July 29, 2014.)