Mon, 10 Nov 2014 20:09:36 +0100 (CET)
last week Dianna and I went to Kodak at Rochester was given a tour around
the finishing facility by Diane Carrol-Yacoby, Product Manager of
entertainment imaging. We learnt a few things of interest.
Firstly, there are no subsidised products in the motion picture catalogue
any more. To be in the catalogue it has to be turning a profit.
Super 8 products are declining far slower than all other products. The
net effect is that she said Super 8 will probably continue to be sold by
Kodak as long as they sell any motion picture product.
Also, it is likely that as long as they sell any colour negative stocks,
they will sell all 4 - ie 50d, 250d, 200t and 500t.
She also said that if a product isn't selling in a particular format, they
have to stop making it in that format, unless they get a big order. For
example, they have just discontinued black and white interpos and interneg
and Hi-Con and 3374 optical sound film in 16mm, even though they still
sell and are prepared to make more of all of these in 35mm. Why can't
they make just a few in 16mm? Well, its because the 16mm slitting machine
slits the master roll width into 84 rolls of 16mm. They are able to load
a master roll and just slit the minimum length. For example, if the
standard product length is 2000', then they are prepared to mount a master
roll and just slit 2000' into 16mm and then put the master roll away. But
that means making 84 x 2000'. They can't make less. Further, take a
stock like HI-Con. In 16mm, they sold this in 400' lengths. They can
still put a master roll of this stock onto their 16mm slitter and slit it
into 16mm, but they can't just do one 400' length (84 x 400' rolls). This
is because this would mean the master roll is now 400' short and if they
are still selling the product in 35mm, the roll needs to remain a multiple
of the 35mm product roll length - which in that instance is 2000'. So, to
cut more hi-con in 16mm they would have to mount the master roll and then
cut 2000' worth x 84. This would mean 5 x 400' rolls x 84. That's 420
rolls of 400'. If we want to buy Hi-con, we still can, but we have to
place an order for 420 rolls at 400'. Similarly, if we want Interpositive
or Internegative or 3374 sound neg, we have to buy 84 rolls times the 35mm
roll length - so 84 x 2000' or whatever. We might be able to do this.
If only they had a slitter for slitting unperforated 35mm into 2 x 16mm.
Regarding such big orders, it is essential that the order be placed by one
person and that it be paid for by one person and have one delivery
address. They can't handle lots of payments and lots of addresses. So it
is a matter of being organised ourselves if we want to do it.
More news on that front. 10% increase in January. Also, Double X is
likely to go in 16mm very soon, but stay in 35mm.
On another front, colour print stock. She said the biggest seller
currently in terms of volume is 70mm. Crazy! She also said that they
aren't currently making colour print stock (!). This is a new thing for
them. They have always been always making colour print. Anyway, they
still have a lot. And it is scheduled to be made again in 2015 some time.
And she is pretty confident they will make it.
So, upshot is, she is optimistic about movie film products. But they need
to sell and can't sit on the shelf and go off and be thrown out. She is
keen for there to be bulk orders placed, but can't actually facilitate
them happening - we, the customers, have to organise ourselves. Super 8
is in for the duration (according to her). She said she would also like to
find ways to meet customers needs, but only within their limited technical
resources. They can't make new machines to suit our needs.
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