The analog resurgence continues as Kodak has finally announced its revived Ektachrome 35mm film is ready for shipping worldwide. Additional 16mm and Super 8 film stock is set to follow with the company successfully tapping in to the renewed interest in classic film over omnipresent digital.
It's fair to say the new millennium hasn't been boding too well for Kodak. After dominating the photographic market for much of the 20th century the company struggled to adapt to the shift to digital, ultimately reaching a nadir in 2012, filing for bankruptcy and ceasing production of much of its film stock.
The tide has somewhat turned in recent years though, with a nostalgic wave for older technology rekindling interest in everything from vinyl records to cassettes and Walkmans. Despite digital photography continually evolving and improving, a strong community of film purists has kept the candle burning, particularly in motion picture circles with filmmakers such as Christopher Nolan frequently espousing the merits of film over digital.
Back in 2017 Kodak decided to jump back into the film game, announcing it would move back into manufacturing its classic line of Ektachrome film. Restarting production wasn't a simple process though, with many of the chemicals needed to make the film not around anymore. Kodak reportedly spent almost two years reformulating its production process.
Kodak has announced it is now ready to ship the new 35mm Ektachrome rolls, with Super 8 and 16mm variants soon to follow. The company seems to be playing a long game, also pushing to reintegrate film stock into television and cinema markets.
"The distinct and unparalleled look of films like Tony Scott's "Domino" and Spike Lee's "Inside Man" could not have been achieved without Ektachrome," says Steve Bellamy, President of Eastman Kodak Company's Motion Picture and Entertainment Division. "We are extremely excited to reintroduce this film to those who know and love it, and to a new generation of motion picture artists."
It's hard to predict whether this resurgence of interest in film stock is a flash in the pan or something more permanent, but for photographers and filmmakers with an old-school interest in working with celluloid this is certainly a good day indeed.
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