The Wall Street Journal reports that Kodak is currently negotiating with several major studios in an attempt to save the last Kodak factory that still manufactures film stock. With the industry transition to digital capture, the company has seen film sales drop by 96% since 2006.
It seems several leading directors, including JJ Abrams, Christopher Nolan, Judd Apatow, and Quentin Tarantino, have been lobbying these studios to commit to placing long-term orders for film stock. As previously reported, J.J. Abrams is currently shooting “Star Wars Episode VII” on film. The formerly secret negotiations are expected to result in an arrangement where studios commit to buying a certain quantity of film for the next several years, even though most movies and television shows are now captured digitally.
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. Although Kodak emerged from Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection last September, pledging that “… The motion picture film business will continue to be part of the company’s future.” this closure had reportedly been under serious consideration. Fujifilm ceased manufacturing film last year, leaving this Kodak facility as the last remaining supplier of film in the world.