In our 10/10/12 article Fall 2012 Film and Digital Trends, Masa Yasumoto of Sanwa Cine Equipment said, “In Japan we are still busy with film cameras presently, accounting for a 50/50 split between film and digital productions. Fujifilm made an announcement that they will stop selling negative film (sometime next year), so I think that will accelerate the transition from film cameras to digital cameras. That is our worry.”
Tarun Kumar of Anand Cine Service said, “The Indian market is moving to digital like the rest of the world and, as of now, we have a 50/50 split between digital and film. We usually do a lot of shooting on film…There is support from the industry as such and we believe that film will be the norm for shooting and for projection for a few years more. So film is not yet dead.”
Alan Fraser, VP Fujifilm North America Motion Picture Division, clarified the situation. “Masa’s mention of Fujifilm no longer manufacturing negative motion picture products in 2013 is true. Fujifilm expects to stop manufacturing all motion picture film products (except black and white color separation film for archival) by the end of Fujifilm’s fiscal year — in March 2013. Negative film products will continue to be sold into 2013 until global inventory is exhausted. It should be mentioned current stocks are still manufactured with stringent care and the highest quality control so performance will not be compromised in any way. Current inventory levels are excellent so demand can be met without difficulty for the next several months.
“In the case of Tarun’s comment, though Fujifilm is ceasing the manufacture and supply of negative film products in 2013, Fujifilm believes negative will be made available through our competitor who has indicated their intention to do so in recent press releases. Fujifilm is still a strong endorser of the idea that negative film is an excellent medium for capture.”
Alan continues, “It is important to mention that although Fujifilm will be exiting the manufacturing and supply of traditional motion picture film products, it is Fujifilm’s intention to continue to provide products and services to the entertainment production industry. Fujifilm is active in color science research and development as it applies to new digital technology. Our relationship with AMPAS and our involvement in the AMPAS development of the ACES digital workflow are reflections of this commitment. Fujifilm’s CCBox is one component in our evolving color management system that easily automates calibration of monitors and cameras on set and on location. CCBox incorporates precise image analyzing functions and a color-grading interface that runs on laptops, tablets and iPads.
“Fujinon’s (a Fujifilm company) latest lenses with PL mount capability are being widely used for long form picture capture. Fujifilm will continue to manufacture color separation 35 mm film stock and has introduced archival data management “cloud” services reflecting Fujifilm’s ongoing dedication to the preservation of images. With LTO being a staple format offering production daily asset mass storage of content and effects, Fujifilm’s advancements in Barium Ferrite coating technology for LTO data cartridges will allow storage capabilities far exceeding current LTO capacity.
“The announcement for the departure of manufacturing motion picture legacy film products is a sad day for Fujifilm. The company established its identity as a black and white print manufacturer back in the 1930s. This decision was not easily made and was based on many factors. That said, Fujifilm is a company believing in the preservation of images and memories. Aligning itself with new technology and using its past science with future accomplishments will continue to allow that to happen.”