A Conversation with Kodak Alaris

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AgX

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To me the most important statement is:

That’'s [create demand] what we have to try to do.

Though in the whole interview there is no further detail on this. Rather: Business as usual.
 

thegman

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Interesting read, the important thing is that their business is film, not 'strategic interests in digital workflows' or other BS. All film users need is a company that wants to make film, without any of the extraneous rubbish that caused Kodak to fail in the first place.
 

AgX

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I mean, why would you by factories and and a market share for a declining, without new ideas for it? Well, if it was cheap, then one still could earn profits during the resting time.
But KPP payed a fortune for those assets.
It rather seems they took what they still could get before getting nothing.
 

AgX

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Interesting read, the important thing is that their business is film, not 'strategic interests in digital workflows' or other BS. All film users need is a company that wants to make film, without any of the extraneous rubbish that caused Kodak to fail in the first place.

KPP bought three components from Kodak: digital documentation, photochemical plants (manufacturing RA-4 paper at the moment) and the product range of still-films. (Alaris does not even own any intellecectual property other than brand names for the latter share.)

With that RA-4 business they are completely dependent on "strategic interests in digital workflow".
 
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I mean, why would you by factories and and a market share for a declining, without new ideas for it? Well, if it was cheap, then one still could earn profits during the resting time.
But KPP payed a fortune for those assets.
It rather seems they took what they still could get before getting nothing.

Right. Buy Kodak's film business or get nothing. That's the answer to your question.
 

j.c.denton

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Lars Fiedler: You know that very famous picture by Steve McCurry, the Afghan Girl on Kodachrome and then he shot her however many years later and he shot her on E100G. And he loved it, probably more than Kodachrome.

Yeah, thanks for killing E100G as well. Would he loved it even more if it was re-shot on Portra?

But I will not complain. Its good to hear C-41 is alive and kicking. I like Portra alot, its really nice. For an C-41, that is.

Christian
 

ntenny

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I mean, why would you by factories and and a market share for a declining, without new ideas for it? Well, if it was cheap, then one still could earn profits during the resting time.

I thought Fiedler's third answer addressed that: They're "starting almost from scratch", without the burden of Kodak's debts or additional business lines, and hopefully with a bit more flexibility to scale production (but I'm speculating about that last bit). As everyone has pointed out for years, Kodak's film business, taken in isolation, was profitable on paper---it seems plausible that KA's first big "new" idea is to run the existing business in a setting where it can turn its profit without all those extra qualifiers.

It rather seems they took what they still could get before getting nothing.

I expect that's true as well.

-NT
 

EdSawyer

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he just sounds like a typical marketeering asshat flunky. (lomo? wtf... obviously not a serious film user himself) No new info here. Clearly he has no technical insight. The whole "keep the remaining portfolio" party line is lame. The real reason that is the case is they have neither the talent nor resources to do anything else. They (alaris) couldn't develop a new emulsion if they wanted to. Hopefully EK will continue to do some R&D on film, if even only for their motion picture stuff, as the benefits may flow into the still-photography film products. That's the only hope since alaris is clearly only a bunch of sales hacks. But, at least the film is still available, fortunately. If they (alaris) actually wanted to do something other than pay lip service to their marketeering nonsense, they would start packaging Endura in cut sheets again. They actually have a chance of making that happen as they own the RA-4 plant.
 
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Both fascinating and poignant that in the end the interview devolves back to the same question for Kodak that always ends up getting asked,

"Can we have our Kodachrome back?"

It's not that the answer is ever going to change. No, it's just fascinating that the question continues to be asked. And poignant because I don't think EK ever really, really understood in depth what it had created in Kodachrome. Sure, they knew it was a highly profitable (at the time) product line. A technological and engineering (at the time) tour de force. An ongoing (at the time) cash cow. But still and all...

I don't think they ever really fully grasped the culturally iconic nature of the stuff. The collective emotions behind all of those family portraits. And town portraits. And factory portraits. And WWII portraits. And all of the other billions of portaits that over the generations, collectively, became a powerful de facto national portrait of America.

It's the vestigial remnants of that iconic nature that result in the question continuing to be asked. Even at this late, late date. And interesting to note is that he still beat around the bush and couldn't bring himself to give the necessary straight answer.

Which is simply "No."

Ken
 

donkee

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Kodak, not much use to me until they bring back at least Ektachrome and Plus-X. I would be very happy if Tech Pan came back too.
 

AgX

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The whole "keep the remaining portfolio" party line is lame. The real reason that is the case is they have neither the talent nor resources to do anything else. They (alaris) couldn't develop a new emulsion if they wanted to.

How do you know?
 

TheFlyingCamera

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We're very fortunate that Fuji still makes transparency film at all. Face it, the market for the stuff is for all intents and purposes dead. What used to sustain it was the commercial studios that shot chromes for reproduction purposes in catalogs, magazines, and other print media. Right now, print media are facing a crisis of their own and are lucky to survive, and digital capture is the means of preference for any and all publications be they in print or online due to the speed of production and transmission. That market is never coming back. Color negative film availability for us consumers (and that's what we are, just consumers, not volume shooters) is sustained at a semi-affordable price only by virtue of the volume of motion picture film stock being produced and consumed by the motion picture industry. Should that decline precipitously, you can kiss C41 goodbye, even if every single APUG member were to go out and buy a thousand rolls of Portra 160 a year.
 

ambaker

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I really don't see anything bad in that interview...

Seems pretty rational to me to continue with what is working, and then see where you can go next.

Yes it would be something to see a huge announcement, and a world wide mega buck campaign brining back everything there ever was. And six months later when the whole thing imploded, how much fun then?

I'm thankful that there is any kind of film future. With time they may sort out a way to make it amazing. And if they do not, well at least somebody tried...

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD
 

bobwysiwyg

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I really don't see anything bad in that interview...

Seems pretty rational to me to continue with what is working, and then see where you can go next.

Yes it would be something to see a huge announcement, and a world wide mega buck campaign brining back everything there ever was. And six months later when the whole thing imploded, how much fun then?

I'm thankful that there is any kind of film future. With time they may sort out a way to make it amazing. And if they do not, well at least somebody tried...

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

+1, still a Kodak user and probably will remain so until the last yellow box. :wink:
 

StoneNYC

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What makes you think people can't do "serious" work with lomo?

Whenever I hear LOMO, I just cringe, however when I truly think about it isn't using something like a Petzval lens on purpose to get a weird unfocused area with an interesting look kind of the same thing as what the Lomo guys do?
 
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Whenever I hear LOMO, I just cringe...

Whenever I hear LOMO, I think film sales.

If tanking film sales is the enemy, then the enemy of my enemy is my friend...

Ken
 
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MattKing

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Jeez.....so much hate towards Kodak. Sorry I posted that link guys. I won't do so again.

Please don't hesitate to post links like this in the future - there are also lots of people here who are cheering for Kodak. It is certainly true that Kodak's circumstances evoke passion.

On the editing issue, my take on the representative from Alaris is that his first language is not English. I think some of the "choppyness" of what he says comes from that.

One thing I liked from the conversation is that it is the first explicit reference I have seen to the effect that Alaris has the marketing responsibilities for Kodak chemistry.
 

AgX

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Jeez.....so much hate towards Kodak. Sorry I posted that link guys. I won't do so again.


I very much appreciate you hinting at that interview. And aside confirming their conservative stand towards their portfolio there is is that important remark on marketing.
 

Truzi

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On the editing issue, my take on the representative from Alaris is that his first language is not English. I think some of the "choppyness" of what he says comes from that.

There was some incorrect punctuation (and spacing) which is likely the fault of the writer. A few sentences make more sense if you imagine a few commas in opportune places.
 
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