Film and the Future of Kodak

Get out the slide projectors! Kodak is bringing Ektachrome back.


Kodak Alaris announced in 2017 that they were bringing back Ektachrome slide film, which was discontinued in 2012.  While I can debate the wisdom of their decision, I cannot make light of the effort that is required. Popular Science got a look Inside the facility where Kodak brings film back to life,

The process required to make color film is incredibly complicated. Ektachrome film must be produced in total darkness. The film has 15 layers containing 106 components. There are endless possibilities for mistakes. In addition, each batch of Ektachrome yields 3 million feet or 600,000 rolls. If anything does go wrong, it’s a real problem.

The problem with Kodak’s decision to bring back Ektachrome film is that I haven’t used film for the last decade and neither have most other people. In addition, slide film was never very popular.

Digital is simply too convenient. Film is not coming back, and Kodak needs to relearn this lesson. Kodak has forgotten what it learned in 2012.

My prediction is that Kodak will file for its second bankruptcy in 2020, and yes, companies can go bankrupt twice. I know because I worked for Creative Memories, which filed for bankruptcy in 2008 and again in 2013.


About Mark Mizen

I have over twenty years professional experience in all aspects of photography and digital imaging. I am Chair of the ISO WG5 TG2 committee responsible for physical properties and durability of imaging material and am currently with HID Global working on systems for security printing for IDs, licenses, and credit cards. Previously, I was Director of Digital Development at Creative Memories from 2009 to 2012 and was responsible for the Creative Memories digital products and services. I also established and directed the Creative Memories Technology Center, which evaluated new products prior to product introduction, assisted with production difficulties, and provided technical information to support product sales.
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