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Kodak closing in Rome


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#1 Francesco Bonomo

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 04:43 AM

Overheard this rumor yesterday on set, and a lot of people are talking about it as a fact: it looks like Kodak will close its office in Rome and only keep the one in Milan open. Very weird, considering most tv series and feature films in Italy are still being shot on film (Super16 for tv, 35mm for features). Good news for Fujifilm, I guess, but this move could also "help" the switch from celluloid to digital in the tv series market earlier and faster than predicted by many in this country.
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#2 John Holland

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 04:55 AM

Why Milan is there a lot production up there ?
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#3 Francesco Bonomo

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 05:15 AM

That's even more strange, John. Kodak has always had 2 offices here in Italy, though as far as I know most productions are here in Rome. I know a lot of Milan crews work almost exclusively on commercials (and that's why the biggest rental house has an office there too), but those are shot all over the country, while feature film and tv series productions happen mostly in Rome.
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#4 John Holland

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 05:39 AM

Francesco is Kodak the market leader in Italy ?
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#5 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 05:39 AM

Your rumor reminds me of how Kodak chose to regionalize Kodachrome processing back in the early 90's. The overnight service dried up, and Kodak lost many industry professionals along with zealous amateur photographers who were used to 24 hour turnaround or faster.

This also opened up a huge opportunity for Fuji as well. If true, this is probably one of those moves a Kodak bean counter makes to try and show savings even though it actually begins the process of more loss than profit. The sad part is some executive will probably get a huge bonus for coming up with this idea that will actually work out to a significant percentage of the alleged money that will be "saved".

In late 2010, Barack Obama cut the Mississippi River dredging funding in half yet proclaimed in his 2011 state of the union address stated his goal of doubling economic exports. Sustained dredging allows for more water to pass down the river and could result in significantly less flooding, saving thousands of flooding victims the extreme financial loss.

Cutting the federal dredging budget in half probably caused damage well above and beyond what was "saved", but the bean counter still gets credit with cutting the dredging budget and saving the government money, even if it is at the expense of the greatest economic hubway in the U.S.
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#6 Francesco Bonomo

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 06:48 AM

John, I don't know the numbers, but it surely looks like Kodak is the lundisputed eader here, though I've seen more Fujifilm around lately.
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#7 John Holland

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 06:54 AM

Thanks for that Francesco .
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#8 Richard Boddington

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 10:19 AM

Kodak used to employ hundreds in Toronto, now they have three people in an office. Of course that is because they shut down the factory here.

It also might be because companies are getting out of Europe ahead of a potentially worsening fiscal outlook perhaps?

R,
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#9 John Holland

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 11:12 AM

I think its maybe Kodak are run by 20 year old accountants and have lost the plot .Its what they deserve long live Fuji .
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#10 Vincenzo Condorelli AIC

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 11:25 AM

kodak has traditionally been the undisputed leader in italy since the end of domestic-made film stock, the glorious pirania. nowadays, fuji is carrying out a very effective marketing policy to eatablish its new stocks, like the 160 asa at very competitive price. there always had been some sort of prejudice in the industry towards fuji but the extreme quality of the new products is changing this.

on a broader level, i know that major cine rental houses have made massive investments on the arri alexa (panalight just bought something like 20): thats their bet for the future, a radical switch from film to the alexa for the tv and cinema production that is still mostly based in rome.

as for milan and kodak, i guess their choice (if rumors will prove to be right) could depend on the fact that commercial production - unlike cinema and tv - is based in milan and commercial will keep shooting on film for now.

however, another warning sign in this sense could be the fact that technicolor in rome recently fired 75 workers (out of 400).

ps italy's tv production is so appallingly bad that no matter how it's being shot...an iphone would be more than enough :)
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#11 John Holland

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 11:44 AM

Vincenzo thanks very much for your input on this very interesting for me . John Holland
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#12 Vincenzo Condorelli AIC

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 12:07 PM

my pleasure...i'd just add tht things are seriously getting crazy in this country...there are two major tv series being shot at the moment on canon 5d/7d...for people (like me) who are just entering the industry as dp it's really tough and scary...will a dop be needed on a set in a few years? will they pay us right? a director once said to me: thanks to the hd we are not your slaves anymore...i fear that's a well widespread attitude in the industry!
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#13 John Holland

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 12:29 PM

Yes producers {most] dont really know what they are doing its all to do with making something as cheap as possible . I have a Canon 550d which is great for my personal use , but no way would i ever want to use that on a tv or feature . As you say it is happening . Its scary .
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#14 Phil Rhodes

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 04:29 PM

italy's tv production is so appallingly bad




A TV critic here in the UK (the estimable Charlie Brooker) once said something to the effect that "British TV now looks like someone watched Italian TV, proposed to do the same thing, and instead of being burned at the stake had all their ideas implemented."


From this we learn two things:


1: Italian TV is appallingly bad, and
2: British TV is right behind it.


P
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#15 Francesco Bonomo

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Posted 23 June 2011 - 06:03 PM

nowadays, fuji is carrying out a very effective marketing policy to eatablish its new stocks, like the 160 asa at very competitive price. there always had been some sort of prejudice in the industry towards fuji but the extreme quality of the new products is changing this.


That's what I've seen around. This year I've been on 5 different tv series sets, and one chose Fuji mostly because of the price. But the DP was quite happy with the results. If Kodak stock becomes more difficult (or slower) to get here in Rome, there's a good chance Fuji will become even more popular.

on a broader level, i know that major cine rental houses have made massive investments on the arri alexa (panalight just bought something like 20): thats their bet for the future, a radical switch from film to the alexa for the tv and cinema production that is still mostly based in rome.


Well, rental houses must go where the market asks them to go: Panalight has just received their Epics (M), and Technovision Rome established D-Vision 4 years ago because of the increase in the request of digital media, but they're not throwing away their film equipment yet.
I must say, though, that I haven't seen a radical switch to digital, yet.

as for milan and kodak, i guess their choice (if rumors will prove to be right) could depend on the fact that commercial production - unlike cinema and tv - is based in milan and commercial will keep shooting on film for now.


Hi-end commercials, yes. But from what I've seen, most low and medium budget commercials are being shot digitally now.

ps italy's tv production is so appallingly bad that no matter how it's being shot...an iphone would be more than enough :)


I may biased (after all, I'm working on an Italian tv series), but isn't it the same everywhere? You get a lot of bad productions, and every once in a while a very good one. I don't think the Italian "ratio" is that worse compared to other countries (now, if we talk about tv shows and news, I strongly agree with your statement) :-)

i'd just add tht things are seriously getting crazy in this country...there are two major tv series being shot at the moment on canon 5d/7d


Vincenzo, may I ask you which series are you referring to? I'm not aware of those…

will a dop be needed on a set in a few years?


Most definitely, yes.

will they pay us right?


It depends on what you consider "right"? But I kind of doubt it, anyway

a director once said to me: thanks to the hd we are not your slaves anymore...i fear that's a well widespread attitude in the industry!


I've been in the Italian industry for a while, and maybe I'm just lucky, but I've never met anyone who would even think about thinking that. All the directors and producers I've met are fully aware of the importance of good cinematography and cinematographers.
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#16 Vincenzo Condorelli AIC

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 06:55 AM

"nero wolfe" is being shot on canon 5d, that's what ive heard correct me if i'm wrong. the cinematographer though is one of the best in italy, on the forefront of digital shooting and im sure he'll do an amazing job.

the director i quoted is an italian one living in london where i had stayed for several years.

in any case i believe that the alexa is a great camera and personally i prefer that to the red line.

as for the overall quality of the italian tv series im not referring to the cinematoraphy, that is generally the best thing of such productions, talking about the content. apart from what is produced by sky, it not seems that our domestic products can compete withthe foreign production, especially that coming from the states. infact they've got no market abroad.

then, of course there are a few exceptions, very few indeed' like "romanzo criminale" that has been bought by hbo (stunning cinematography by carnera indeed). anyway, inthe end it is a matter of taste.
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#17 Stephen Williams

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 07:41 AM

In Switzerland Kodak has an office in Lausanne & Fuji in Zurich. Both use the post to deliver stock so it does not make any real difference.
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#18 Francesco Bonomo

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Posted 24 June 2011 - 01:15 PM

"nero wolfe" is being shot on canon 5d, that's what ive heard correct me if i'm wrong. the cinematographer though is one of the best in italy, on the forefront of digital shooting and im sure he'll do an amazing job.


I know some people working on it, I'll try to confirm it as soon as i can.

as for the overall quality of the italian tv series im not referring to the cinematoraphy, that is generally the best thing of such productions, talking about the content. apart from what is produced by sky, it not seems that our domestic products can compete withthe foreign production, especially that coming from the states. infact they've got no market abroad.


I do agree, Vincenzo, it'd be hard to think otherwise. Still, I stand by my previous statement. I don't believe the italian ratio is incredibly worse than other countries (with bigger budgets and markets).

then, of course there are a few exceptions, very few indeed' like "romanzo criminale" that has been bought by hbo (stunning cinematography by carnera indeed). anyway, inthe end it is a matter of taste.


Romanzo Criminale (shot on S16mm, btw) and other series produced by Sky are indeed superior than the average, but personally I thought "Il capo dei capi" or the first seasons of "Montalbano" weren't that bad at all. In the end, as you rightly wrote, it's a matter of taste. Mediaset has just announced a partnership with HBO to produce tv series and "tv movies" here in Italy, in English, for a broader market and not just the domestic one, kind of like what they did for "Rome". We'll see how that goes…

In Switzerland Kodak has an office in Lausanne & Fuji in Zurich. Both use the post to deliver stock so it does not make any real difference.


I'm sure there will be no problem in getting Kodak film stock. In the end, even today when the production I'm on orders film, it usually takes a day to get it, and it's shipped from Milan. It'd just be weird not to have a Kodak office here in Rome (if the rumor is true, that is), like an "official" presence.
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#19 Matt Pacini

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Posted 28 June 2011 - 05:27 PM

I hope it's just a rumor.

Any stories like these, about film going away, even in small doses like this, saddens me greatly.
Having said that though, I'm not that pessimistic - we've been hearing "film is dead" for what, 50+ years now?


Matt Pacini
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