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Category:    Home > Essays > Film > Filmmaking > Production > Celluloid > Industry. > Photochemical Comeback

Photochemical Comeback

Michael Bloomberg recently said that like coal, film was not coming back, to make the point both have long reached their market peak. Part of the analogy was also to make a political point and both still are out there being produced and purchased, yet despite all the cheap, common and omnipresent digital and HD video, it looks like film is set for an interesting sort of rebound.

Of course, it never went away. Fuji still makes it, Kodak continued to do so through the bankruptcy they just survived, Ferrania in Italy (once owned by 3M and also issued under names like Scotch Chrome and Imation film) just relaunched after a decade with a classic black & white film (with color to follow), Ilford, ORWO, Adox, legendary camera manufacturer Rollei (from Agfa-Gevaert's Belgian factory) and Foma continue to make black & white film as they have for decades. Fuji's instant camera/camera film Instax system has been a steady hit, while the company called The Impossible Project did so well in supporting and reviving Polaroid instant film, they just bought Polaroid!

So why the strong embracing of film? Simple. The thrill of waiting for hard copy photo results or instant ones are like nothing else. Plus, film has a look HD will never have because they are and will always be aesthetically different, which is a great thing. Why not have both? It only increases the possibilities for the arts and for commerce, but too many in Hollywood missed that point, helping to explain why box office is so bad lately and new competitors are challenging them like nothing in a very long time.

Yet, many independent feature films and big Hollywood films like Dunkirk, the Murder On The Orient Express remake and Wonder Woman are being shot on film. 70mm (65mm negative, including real IMAX), 35mm and 16mm movie film is still available all over, along with Super 8 film, which Kodak is relaunching further with new cameras for the digital age and a revival of Ektachrome film for 2018. Movies and visual media need all the help they can get, so know we'll keep you posted on further developments from this front as they happen.

This was originally our homepage letter for Fall/Winter 2017.


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