Thanks to secret negotiations that included lobbying from top directors such as Quentin Tarantino and J.J. Abrams, Eastman Kodak has decided to keep making celluloid, the traditional film material that captured some of Hollywood’s greatest movies, The Wall Street Journal reports.
The arrangement calls for studios to promise to buy a set amount of film for the next several years, keeping a Kodak film manufacturing plant open in Rochester, N.Y., the story says. Kodak had been considering closing the plant, given that motion-picture film sales have slumped 96% since 2006.
Since Fujifilm stopped making celluloid film last year, Kodak is the only big company left producing it.
Abrams is currently shooting “Star Wars Episode VII” on film, the piece notes.
“It’s a financial commitment, no doubt about it,” Bob Weinstein, co-chairman of The Weinstein Co., told the publication. “But I don’t think we could look some of our filmmakers in the eyes if we didn’t do it.”
Judd Apatow, director of films such as “Knocked Up,” said, “It would be a tragedy if suddenly directors didn’t have the opportunity to shoot on film. There’s a magic to the grain and the color quality that you get with film.”
He’s currently shooting the movie “Trainwreck” on film.
The studios taking part in the negotiations include Time Warner’s Warner Bros., Comcast’s Universal Pictures, Viacom’s Paramount Pictures and Walt Disney’s Walt Disney Studios, as well as Weinstein, the piece adds.