The Company Says the New Archival Film, Optimized for Digital Recorders to Preserve Images from Color Digital Masters, Will 'Last Centuries.'
Don't count Kodak out just yet.
The beleaguered film manufacturing company, which filed for Chapter 11 last January, realigned its top management team this summer and continues to roll out 35mm, 16mm and Super 8 color negative, print and digital intermediate film aimed at filmmakers shooting a variety of commercial, music video, television, independent and studio feature work. But Kodak is also focusing heavily on archiving and preservation, recently introducing KODAK Color Asset Protection Film 2332 and calling it an affordable archival color film option for those shooting "television programs, independent features and documentaries." Today, the company added another product to its collection of "asset protection" films, KODAK VISION3 Digital Separation Film 2237.
According to Kodak, the new black-and-white recorder film is intended for making archival separations from color digital masters to preserve images right down to the "fine detail, tight grain, optimal resolution, and excellent flare characteristics" of the original. The archival film is also optimized for the "spectral sensitivity" of the laser, CRT and LED light sources inside the digital recorders pulling those separation images from the color masters.
KODAK VISION3 is built on Kodak's trade-marked polyester ESTAR base, not traditional cellulose acetate, which the company says will give it long-term stability that should "last centuries" under optimal archival conditions. Said Entertainment Imaging Division product manager Diane Carroll-Yacoby in a release, “This film is designed to create archival elements from digital image files that maintain the integrity of the original content with extraordinary precision. The improvements we have introduced into this stock are based on our deep knowledge of image science, film design, digital recorders, and production workflow from our research and development over the past few decades."
Despite its official Chapter 11 status, Kodak continues to quietly prepare for its future by emphasizing a public commitment to R&D, an awareness of evolving post workflows and its uninterrupted, embedded relationship with the television and motion picture industry. Said Carroll-Yacoby, "Kodak scientists continue to push the boundaries of film technology, and uncover ways to optimize the extraordinary characteristics of film for today’s digital post-production workflows.” A Rochester newspaper reported this summer that the company had released an internal memo to employees in July explaining how continued reshuffling of its top brass was an effort to reemerge from bankruptcy by 2013.
Some of the company's new technology development, however, appears to be on hold until a new buyer is found or a final reorganization plan is put into practice. Prior to its bankruptcy filing in January, Kodak had been investing heavily in laser projection technology before licensing about 50 "patent families" to IMAX around this same time last fall. As indicated by the company's laser projection technology division home page, more products are on the way, though exactly what will be released and when is still undefined.