AirTalk for September 14, 2012

End of an era? Fujifilm leaves the film stock biz

A customer inspects Fujifilm digital cam

YOSHIKAZU TSUNO/AFP/Getty Images

A customer inspects Fujifilm digital cameras at a Tokyo camera shop on January 30, 2012. Fujifilm has offered scandal-hit Olympus a capital and business tie-up, as it announced a slump in third-quarter profits. Olympus is reportedly seeking a corporate alliance to shore up its finances after admitting covering up 1.7 billion USD in losses, and several Japanese and foreign firms including Sony have been mentioned as possible partners.

Fujifilm, a photography company founded in 1934, announced it would no longer continue to manufacture analog film to be used in cinema. Fujifilm’s decision to cease production of cinema film is just the latest blow to the analog film industry; Fujifilm rival Kodak also announced it’s so far unable to find a buyer of its patents related to film, which was expected to be a source of much needed revenue to the fledgling film company.

The rise of digital media has impacted the film and video business in numerous ways, but nothing was hit harder than analog film companies like Kodak and Fujifilm, who were unable to adapt quickly to changing standards and expectations .Despite attempts by Fuji and Kodak to monetize and restructure their film businesses, the lower costs and easier distribution of digital films were too high of a barrier for the companies to surpass. But photophiles have bemoaned the lack of analog film, stating that the composition and quality of physical film are unmatched by its digital counterparts.

Guests:

Jason Squire, Associate Professor of the Practice of Cinematic Arts at USC; former studio executive

Tim Cogshell, film critic for KPCC and Box Office Magazine

Henry Sheehan, film critic for KPCC and dearhenrysheehan.com

Charles Solomon, animation critic for KPCC and author for amazon.com


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