In another blow to the infrastructure necessary to shoot on celluloid, Deluxe Laboratories announced today that that they are closing their Hollywood film laboratory effective May 9th. Although Film acquisition made a good showing at the Academy Awards this year with the Best Picture, “12 Years a Slave” and about half of the movies nominated for Best Picture and Best Cinematography shot on film, this is sadly another nail in film’s coffin.
Technicolor recently closed their film lab in Glendale which had already been downsized from a facility at Universal Studios in 2011. This leaves DCS Supporter, Fotokem as the sole provider of these services in the area. The Deluxe news also comes on the heals of Paramount’s announcement that they are ending all theatrical domestic releases on film, and Fujifilm’s withdrawal from film manufacturing.
Without the infrastructure in place to support large scale theatrical distribution on 35mm film, it will become increasingly difficult, (read expensive), to shoot motion pictures on celluloid as manufacturing and processing of the stock become ever more a boutique business.
According to an article in the Hollywood Report, Warren L. Stein, Deluxe’s COO for North America, was quoted as saying that: “The capture and exhibition of motion pictures has transitioned from film to digital in recent years. Our processing volumes have declined sharply, and as a result, the laboratory has incurred significant financial losses. This has forced us to make this very difficult decision.”