- Wednesday, May. 18, 2016
- CANNES, France
With multiple premieres at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival shot on Kodak film, including four features in competition, as well as increased investment across the motion picture film production ecosystem, this year marks the moment when film is not only still a viable creative choice, but thriving again.
Speaking at the Festival, Academy Award-winning director László Nemes (Son of Saul, shot on Kodak 35mm motion picture film) said, “The magic of cinema lies in the craftsmanship. Real film prepares the mind in a different way and prepares the audience for the magic as well. You get less with digital video and this is a regressive step. I want to make sure new generations understand what it means to shoot on film.”
Director Jeff Nichols, whose film Loving (shot on Kodak 35mm motion picture film) premiered at Cannes to a seven-minute standing ovation on Monday night, said, “I’m so glad Kodak is here and committed to film. Shooting film is the best way I know to make a movie.”
In addition to Nichols, the Cannes 2016 films in competition include new works shot on Kodak motion picture film from directors Olivier Assayas, Xavier Dolan, Hirokazu Kore-eda and Ken Loach.
“Kodak’s decision over 24 months ago to double down on our support of film as a medium was one of the most prescient choices we’ve made,” says Steven Overman, president of Kodak’s Consumer and Film Division. “The first phase of our strategy was threefold: Securing commitments from major studios, engaging leading creative talent in promoting the unique magic of film and partnering with key industry vendors. It’s worked. We’ve turned the trajectory around. In Europe alone, sales of 35mm motion picture film have doubled in 12 months.”
“Kodak realizes we have a responsibility to the motion picture industry, especially to the artists working in the medium,” says Anne Hubbell, VP, Motion Picture, Kodak. “Our priority is to ensure that shooting film is easy and that options are readily available. That means supporting the entire international infrastructure, from Hollywood to independents to schools and arts organizations.”
Investing in infrastructure
Kodak is making strategic investments to ensure consistent and quality film services in production hubs and major markets. The company will open and operate a motion picture film-processing lab in New York City later this year, which will service 35mm, S16, Super 8 film processing and scanning.
Kodak is also working with partners to sustain film processing capabilities around the world. In London, Kodak is making investments in introducing 65mm film processing in a region that has seen a huge increase in major productions shot on film. Great Britain has seen the production of the Star Wars franchise and Europe is the location for a range of upcoming major releases that are shooting on 65mm, in addition to other film formats.
Kodak is also continuing to invest in upgrades to its film plant in Rochester, N.Y., in 2016, following extensive upgrades made in 2015, in order to meet growing demand for motion picture film. Many other companies, including equipment rental houses and labs around the world, have recently made strategic capital expenditures and infrastructure upgrades in the film space.
Movement gains momentum
These announcements contribute to a global analog renaissance, a resurgence in “retro-tech” media from vinyl records to printed books to film. In 2015, nearly 100 major motion pictures were captured on film including: 45 Years; Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice; The Big Short; Bridge of Spies; Carol; Hail, Caesar!; The Hateful Eight; Joy; Spectre; Star Wars: The Force Awakens; Steve Jobs; Jurassic World; and Trainwreck.
Of late there has also been a tremendous resurgence of micro-budget features shot on film, including the Sundance standout Outlaws and Angels, directed by JT Mollner and starring Luke Wilson and Chad Michael Murray; Too Late by director Dennis Hauck; and Like Lambs, the feature by Ted Marcus. All three films have also been projected on film. Ti West’s In The Valley of Violence, starring John Travolta and Ethan Hawke, was also shot on film and a big hit at South by Southwest.
The television series The Walking Dead, shot on Super 16, was the most popular cable TV and social media draw of 2015. Major recording artists are also migrating to the medium, as Adele’s record-breaking music video for HELLO and much of Beyoncé’s visual album Lemonade were shot on film. Last month, Paul Thomas Anderson directed Radiohead’s new short film Daydreaming and shipped 35mm prints to be projected in theatres all over the world.
The recent partnership between Kodak and Kickstarter elicited over 300 responses in just two weeks from new motion picture artists wanting to shoot their projects on film and this year’s Super 8 Film Festival held in conjunction with Slamdance garnered 550 submissions. On Wednesday, May 18, Straight 8, an international Super 8 competition, will be screened at the Cinema Les Arcades as part of the Cannes Film Festival, with repeat screenings in London in June. The January 2016 announcement of Kodak’s new Super 8 camera struck a chord not only with the industry but with consumers. On day one of the launch at this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, Kodak’s Super 8 camera out-trended the event itself on social media and more than 5,000 people have signed up to pre-order.