Kodak's Reel Deal Newsletter
Kodak's Reel Deal newsletter is promoting itself as "your source for the latest film news". Already in its 9th issue I would have to agree. Looks like the one time household name that was as recognizable as its little yellow and red logo is doing a very good job at making itself relevant once again to the modern filmmaker.
The main article of the latest issue examines director Kenneth Branagh and DP Haris Zambarloukos, BSC, GSC choice to use KODAK 65mm film (a super stock) instead of the usual modern day use of digital cameras. Apparently they prefer the "real look" of actual film in order to achieve cinema that provides an intimate, emotional aspect to the journey they wish to portray in Murder on the Orient Express. Not only do articles like this promote whatever movie is featured, but it provides Kodak an opportunity to blow its own horn. It's a pretty genius move. Now that film stock is in vogue once again, the number one provider of the product is in a position to be the authority it once was in the industry it helped to shape. Talk about your comebacks.
Other articles in the December issue include such titles as "The Kodakery", a reoccurring column that allows filmmakers an opportunity to directly speak in their own words, and this time its Writer-Director Sean Baker of The Florida Project taking the pen to paper (that should be a good read). Another article focuses on DP Matthew Libatique and his "unsettling" approach of filming Darren Aronofsky's Mother! on Super 16mm - a film stock once relegated to student films. Yet another item talks about Warner Bros. Pictures' Justice League's naturalistic look being aided by the use of KODAK 35mm film stock (the standard stock used in most films before the digital age).
Although they were late to the party, Kodak is finally embracing change and accepting the realities of a world with digital filmmaking, while retaining its position as the go-to vendor for all things raw stock related. I don't think anyone believes that film stock will ever regain its former glory as the preferred method of movie making, but there is still a place for it in an industry built on its emulsion. There are, and always will be projects, and filmmakers that demand to have the look that only actual film stock can provide. And if for only that reason alone, the Reel Deal newsletter is an important read.