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Kodachrome Inventory, A request of Kodak...


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#1 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 08:30 PM

This is the FIRST TIME EVER that we will actually lose a Super-8 film stock (Kodachrome 40) without a replacement or fall back of the same type of stock.

For instance, when 4X BW Super-8 was discontinued, one could still get TRI-X BW and Plus X Super-8. When Ektachrome 160 was discontinued, Ektachrome 125 replaced it.

When Kodachrome sound film was replaced, at least one could still get Kodachrome silent.

So it's important that upon announcing the discontinuation of Kodachrome 40 that Kodak not have waited until their current Kodachrome inventory was almost depleted to tell us.

In my opinion the righteous and proper business avenue for Kodak to take would be to GUARANTEE the filling of all Kodachrome orders for at least 6 months from the date of the cancellation announcement, and then an additional year 2 years from that date to process Kodachrome film, or less time if the demand for processing drops.

I'm not too happy that I may have to buy a huge amount of Kodachrome stock right now so that just in case one of my three projects that I have wanted to shoot on Kodachrome 40 actually comes to fruition.

I'd like to have a window of time to decide how much Kodachrome 40 I would like to purchase. If Mr. Pytlak could at least put on the table to Kodak reps that they promise to fill any Kodachrome 40 order until a certain date later this year, (perhaps six months from now?) it would be appreciated.
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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 08:56 PM

It doesn't work that way. When Kodak obsoleted 5386 print stock back in 1999, a lot of BIG studio features were caught short because they had tested everything for printing on 5386 when production began, only to be unable to print on it a year later because the stock was used up faster than Kodak anticipated (they wanted about a year of overlap with the new print stock, but print orders jumped and they only ended up with a six month overlap). But that didn't mean Kodak cranked up the closed-down manufacturing line to make more 5386 to fill orders.

So if Kodak wouldn't do that for major Hollywood studios, what makes you think they will agree to make more K40 stock after they've closed down a manufacturing line? They will set a last day of production and a final amount to manufacture, and that's that probably. How fast that gets used up depends on how much people buy. If you and others are going to stockpile it, then the inventory will be gone faster probably.

There may be some leeway if they are still making K40 for the 35mm still market, in which case they may accept a special order for S8 K40, but those specia orders tend to be expensive and you have to order a very large amount.

As for K14 processing, isn't that now done independently of Kodak? I would think it would be up to those companies with the processing machinery how long they want to keep offering the services, but I'm sure they will estimate that they will still have business up to a year after the end of manufacturing, but who knows.

After that, in an extreme emergency, there are specialty companies like Rocky Mountain Film Labs that process "obsolete" film -- at a price, of course. I assume they would do some Kodachrome work, but I don't know that for sure. They may add that capability.

Besides, Kodak probably considers the intro of 64T Ektachrome as their "replacement" for Super-8 K40, so the argument that they aren't providing a replacement isn't going to fly with them. When they obsoleted 4X, they didn't provide an alternative of the same speed, did they?
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#3 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 10:44 PM

the "sort of" replacement for 4x was using tri-x and pushing it one stop.

There are only two kodachrome labs in the world. Dwaynes in Parson Kansas and the Kodak lab in Switzerland.

I'm surprised that Kodak left the big boys in limbo on the film printing story you recounted. I wonder if a bean counter lost their job over that snafu.

It would be a nice gesture on Kodak's part to do one more Kodachrome run and take pre-paid orders, and hopefully the final run doesn't lose them money.

The silly aspect to all of this is I never expected to get free Kodachrome processing with my film stock purchase. I believe there is no such thing as a free lunch and I would have preferred a Kodachrome lab in Hollywood with no free processing, but paid processing.

Instead, Kodak was able to show a loss on the books by giving free processing and thusly making it reasonable to kill the stock.
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#4 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 14 May 2005 - 11:45 PM

It's hard to blame Kodak too much for the 5386 changeover. They can only GUESS as to what the print orders of the upcoming year will be like, and as these orders keep going up & up, it's hard to be accurate -- and there is only so much stock you can make in advance and stockpile.

There may have been other issues in the fast switchover having to do with changes in processing, I don't know.

While I'm sure that Kodak took this lesson to heart, they don't change print stocks very often so who knows what will happen next time. I doubt anyone lost their job over this issue.

By the way, Fuji switched just as fast from their old to new print stocks last year. The real problem is the HUGE orders for release prints that keep coming in, making inventories short-lived (plus the labs don't want to stockpile too much and neither does Kodak.)

Whenever a stock is obsoleted, someone is unhappy no matter what.
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#5 John Pytlak RIP

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Posted 15 May 2005 - 06:29 AM

the "sort of" replacement for 4x was using tri-x and pushing it one stop.

There are only two kodachrome labs in the world.  Dwaynes in Parson Kansas and the Kodak lab in Switzerland. 

I'm surprised that Kodak left the big boys in limbo on the film printing story you recounted.  I wonder if a bean counter lost their job over that snafu.

It would be a nice gesture on Kodak's part to do one more Kodachrome run and take pre-paid orders, and hopefully the final run doesn't lose them money.

The silly aspect to all of this is I never expected to get free Kodachrome processing with my film stock purchase. I believe there is no such thing as a free lunch and I would have preferred a Kodachrome lab in Hollywood with no free processing, but paid processing.

Instead, Kodak was able to show a loss on the books by giving free processing and thusly making it reasonable to kill the stock.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


These "what if's" and unfounded speculation about business motives are not helpful to advocates of additional Super-8 films. :(

Any decision to offer additional films must be based on GROWING the Super-8 market. Any additional film that just cannibalizes sales from the existing ones requires additional inventory by Kodak and dealers. Film is a perishable item, and unsold inventory gets discarded, adding to cost. So offering additional films is not a "gimme".
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#6 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 15 May 2005 - 01:49 PM

These "what if's" and unfounded speculation about business motives are not helpful to advocates of additional Super-8 films.  :(

Any decision to offer additional films must be based on GROWING the Super-8 market.  Any additional film that just cannibalizes sales from the existing ones requires additional inventory by Kodak and dealers.  Film is a perishable item, and unsold inventory gets discarded, adding to cost.  So offering additional films is not a "gimme".

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


There are no what if's and unfounded speculation in the comment you quoted.

I also don't think we are talking about the same thing here. I think it's a valid premise to state that this is a first time situation for Kodak and Super-8. Ektachrome 64 is more of a replacement for Ektachrome 125 than for Kodachrome 40.

My premise is that this is the first time a certain kind of stock was completely eliminated from the Super-8 market. I was hoping that Kodak would have a decent amount of inventory available rather than wait until Kodachrome 40 was almost gone to make the announcement that no more will be offered. Surely you would agree with that premise?

Kodachrome 40 was bundled with free processing. If Kodak was losing money on Kodachrome, then of course they should stop making it, but if Kodak lost money because they weren't charging for processing and didn't offset the drop in American currency versus the Euro-dollar as well, then Kodak still has an avenue to take to see if Kodachrome is a profitable format. Raise the price of Kodachrome and eliminate free processing and see if the demand stays level.

The Euro to American dollar has changed dramatically in the last few years. The Euro used to be 85-90 cents to the American Dollar, now it is in the 1.33 range.

As presently structured, with the free processing, it's quite possible that the more Kodachrome Kodak sold, the more money Kodak would lose on the processing. It would interesting to add in 9 bucks a cartridge for all the processing being done in Switzerland and see if that would put the kodachrome division in the black.

I at least hope someone crunched numbers wherein processing was fee based to see if the additional result put Kodachrome in the black. Surely you would agree that would be a fair and business ethical way to decided kodachrome's fate.

If your point is that Kodachrome is holding up the introduction of additional super-8 negative stocks, then that would be an issue to put on the table, but so far, it has not been intimated by anyone, anywhere.

Overall, considering the premise and the idea I have represented in this topic, I find it shocking that you would take a position of such negativity.
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#7 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 15 May 2005 - 04:50 PM

It's hard to blame Kodak too much for the 5386 changeover. They can only GUESS as to what the print orders of the upcoming year will be like, and as these orders keep going up & up, it's hard to be accurate -- and there is only so much stock you can make in advance and stockpile.


And it's not like there are productions in the making on Super 8 Kodachrome, or any Kodachrome for it to be an issue. I think a year to process home movies on one particular stock is very reasonable, Dwayne's will be processing it even longer for $9 plus free prep. right now, the die hard K-40 folks have the opportunity to stock pile all they want, with probably a few good years of processing by Dwayne's. in that time, we may see more new E-6 films added if we support it like John said. it's all quite simple.

Edited by Skratch, 15 May 2005 - 04:51 PM.

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#8 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 15 May 2005 - 04:53 PM

I find it shocking that you would take a position of such negativity.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I find it ironic that you would accuse others of being negative... after all the unpleasant things you've accused Kodak of, I'm amazed John has kept his cool as well as he has.

My advice is to start making friends with whatever company seems to be supporting Super-8 in ANY way -- Pro-8mm, Kodak, whatever else comes along -- rather than treating them with hostility. It's the only way the Super-8 format is going to last into the next decade.
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#9 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 16 May 2005 - 03:15 PM

I find it ironic that you would accuse others of being negative...  after all the unpleasant things you've accused Kodak of, I'm amazed John has kept his cool as well as he has.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


You might not have noticed David, but my analysis always comes with suggestions on how to make the best of a bad situation.
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#10 Matt Pacini

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Posted 16 May 2005 - 03:37 PM

64T is a hell of a lot closer replacement for K40, than silent film is for sound film that was discontinued, as you stated above.

Look, I'm as much of a Kodachrome nut as anyone is, but like I've said a hundred times before, if Kodak is going to kill it they're going to kill it, and whining isn't going to change that.
Huge companies don't make bad business decisions because .00001% of their customers like a particular product that is losing them money.

MP
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#11 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 16 May 2005 - 06:16 PM

64T is a hell of a lot closer replacement for K40, than silent film is for sound film that was discontinued, as you stated above.


What I was saying was even though sound kodachrome went away, at least you still get kodachrome silent, whereas now this is the first time there just won't be a kodachrome stock at ll.

Look, I'm as much of a Kodachrome nut as anyone is, but like I've said a hundred times before, if Kodak is going to kill it they're going to kill it, and whining isn't going to change that.
Huge companies don't make bad business decisions because .00001% of their customers like a particular product that is losing them money.

MP

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



I don't want Kodak to lose money either.

What would have been nice is some kind of reaching out by Kodak to explain the situation a year ago rather than just come up with a verdict after the decision has already been decided. Kodak no longer processes slide film at the Switzerland plant, so the facility is now way too big to only process Super-8, AND Kodak isn't really charging for Super-8 processing, or it's charging a very meager amount, so it is completely logical to just try drop the plant from the books....but

Why not see if some other entity might be willing to take over the facility instead of just make the announcement that it's already been decided that Kodachrome will cease and leave the Super-8 community completely out of the decision?

If I wanted to offer low cost, high quality film origination with high quality processing, and suddenly my facility had more room because slide processing was no longer available, I'd encircle the processing facility with film friendly industry such as a shooting stage for in house filming, a transfer facility, film camera repair, etc...
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#12 Matt Wells

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 03:43 AM

Alessandro you have a very big problem, and that is that you base your entire observations on opinion - what you believe the market is for this format, what you believe can be achieved.

I am just about to seek equity finance for my business here in the UK. Unless we can demonstrate that we know our market place completely and utterly AND back this up with research and hard figures, we will just be laughed out of the meetings. You just can't go around saying this is what I believe to be the case without evidence.

To back up your assertions you need to provide information and knowledge such as:

- Details on the make up of super8 users, not based on your casual observations, but NEW detailed research

- Details on the average budget of productions on the format

- percentage of home movie users

- age of users

- condition of equipment


This list is not exhaustive, but if you can demonstrate accurate knowledge in these kind of areas then you will be in a position to dictate what path should be taken.

Matt
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#13 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 17 May 2005 - 04:48 AM

Alessandro you have a very big problem, and that is that you base your entire observations on opinion - what you believe the market is for this format, what you believe can be achieved.

Matt

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


So now it's a problem to have ideas and share them?

Opinion based on observation.

The method I described in which the Switzerland Kodachrome 40 lab could be kept running is no different than what Pro-8mm did in Burbank, no different than what Yale Labs has also done, no different than the several locations around Los Angeles where small "production hubs" are created in which small offices are made available around a studio lot.

Pro-8mm has the processing, film slitting, Beaulieu camera repair, and transfer services available, but they don't have a studio, Yale has the Processing, camera rental, processing, and a small studio, but they don't do negative film slitting like Pro-8mm does, in both cases, both companies have remained successful by having a hub of services they offer.

As you can see, the production hub Idea that I have suggested has already been tried. Neither Yale nor Pro-8mm has the high volume of cartridges coming in that the Kodachrome 40 market has, yet they seem to be staying in business. This would bode well for a Kodachrome 40 platform from which to create additional services.

In the case of Swtizerland, we all know there is a built in amount of kodachrome super-8 processing going on on a yearly basis. We also know that the "potentially" nicest looking Super-8 film, Kodachrome 40, would be an obvious format to use for lower cost film production, acquistion and subsequent transfer to video.

I believe that if Pro-8mm had the spare income they could make the Switzerland idea work. If Pro-8mm could make it work, why not anyone else?

Since we know that Kodak is planning on axing Kodachrome, rallying around the format to save it will be easier to do.
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#14 Matt Pacini

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 01:13 PM

"...t Kodachrome will cease and leave the Super-8 community completely out of the decision?  ..."

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


The Super 8 community was in fact at the heart of the decision; BASED ENTIRELY ON HOW MUCH KODACHROME WAS BEING PURCHASED!

You just don't seem to get it - we weren't buying enough of the stuff!
This isn't about anything else, in any way, get it?!

MP
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#15 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 18 May 2005 - 05:43 PM

The Super 8 community was in fact at the heart of the decision;  BASED ENTIRELY ON HOW MUCH KODACHROME WAS BEING PURCHASED!

You just don't seem to get it - we weren't buying enough of the stuff!
This isn't about anything else, in any way, get it?!

MP

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



Meaning that every other Super-8 film stock was selling more than kodachrome. :blink:

Sure Matt, now that's a great premise to hang one hats on.

Kodak had no interest in getting a second lab going for Kodachrome 40 in the U.S, even if they wouldn't have had to invest their own money, which coincidentally, would have also increased sales of the format.

Kodachrome processing was the albatross, not the stock. get real.
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#16 Nate Downes

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 08:34 AM

Actually, K40 sales in Super8 have been slipping I heard, more and more people were switching to B&W or Negative due to K40's difficulties in processing. I know that I had to eventually stop shooting most of my work in K40 due to the slow processing turnaround. Now, with the new EPY stock I can get same-day processing, something I've never experienced before with Super8, a whole new realm of filming options opens up before me.
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#17 Anthony Schilling

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Posted 19 May 2005 - 06:23 PM

Actually, K40 sales in Super8 have been slipping I heard, more and more people were switching to B&W or Negative due to K40's difficulties in processing.  I know that I had to eventually stop shooting most of my work in K40 due to the slow processing turnaround.  Now, with the new EPY stock I can get same-day processing, something I've never experienced before with Super8, a whole new realm of filming options opens up before me.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


Most K-40 usage is no more than 5 carts by the average K-40 user.. more serious projects that use the V2 stocks will consume dozens of carts.
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#18 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 01:00 AM

Actually, K40 sales in Super8 have been slipping I heard, more and more people were switching to B&W or Negative due to K40's difficulties in processing.  I know that I had to eventually stop shooting most of my work in K40 due to the slow processing turnaround.  Now, with the new EPY stock I can get same-day processing, something I've never experienced before with Super8, a whole new realm of filming options opens up before me.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


I don't refute that at all.

But it appears Kodak sort of threw in the towel when it came to in one way or another helping other labs offer Kodachrome 40. What do I mean by help? I'm not exactly sure, but it seems as if Kodak had already projected the demise of kodachrome yet Super-8 labs keep sprouting up. If super-8 labs keep sprouting up, then certainly the potentially nicest looking Super-8 film stock, Kodachrome 40, could have also experienced a regrowth.

BW and color negative super-8 are cool stocks to use, but when you contrast those looks with an incredibly minimal color grain stock such as kodachrome 40, it makes the overall super-8 pallette more appealing. Yale, Rocky Mountain, and perhaps even Spectra might have lept at the chance to offer Kodachrome 40 and Kodak's intellectual knowlege in that area might have helped spur them on to offer the service.

Does anyone know what happened to the Kodachrome processing machine that used to be located in Hollywood?
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#19 Matt Wells

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Posted 20 May 2005 - 06:00 AM

There are no what if's and unfounded speculation in the comment you quoted.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


So what is you evidence?


Meaning that every other Super-8 film stock was selling more than kodachrome. :blink:

Sure Matt, now that's a great premise to hang one hats on.

Kodak had no interest in getting a second lab going for Kodachrome 40 in the U.S, even if they wouldn't have had to invest their own money, which coincidentally, would have also increased sales of the format.

Kodachrome processing was the albatross, not the stock.  get real.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>


How much K40 is being sold, what are the fixed and variable costs for the lab, what is the cost of manufacture of the stock and loading it into cartridges; what are the distribution costs. If you dont have these figures then you can only present your comments as observations not hard fact.

Matt
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#20 Alessandro Machi

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Posted 21 May 2005 - 02:53 PM

So what is you evidence?
How much K40 is being sold, what are the fixed and variable costs for the lab, what is the cost of manufacture of the stock and loading it into cartridges; what are the distribution costs. If you dont have these figures then you can only present your comments as observations not hard fact.

Matt

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>



My anchor point is based on how inexpensive Kodachrome 40 is at the moment. $10.83 for a cartridge? That is really inexpensive for such an incredible film stock. I wouldn't flinch if the price were $15.00 or 20.00 bucks a cart. If the pricing were 20 bucks a cart, and the processing were 10 bucks a cart. The price would still be less expensive than shooting other Super-8 film stocks.

However, if it were priced like that, the service would have to be better. So the new question is, if Kodak could make money on Kodachrome 40 at 15 or 20 bucks a cartridge, why not just GIVE the processing equipment to anyone who wants to take over the processing? Why actually destroy extremely high quality and very rare Kodachrome processing equipment without even offering it to anyone else? Obviously there is still a huge loyalty to the Kodachrome format.

The Kodachrome situation can be handled in such a way as to not affect the Ektachrome 64 situation. I am thrilled Kodak is coming out with Ektachrome 64 stock. I'm hopeful it will be a suitable alternative to Kodachrome 40.

I don't think Kodak needed to link Ektachrome 64 to the cancellation of Kodachrome. The decision on both stocks should have been made independently of each other. If Kodak could simply explore the possibility of subbing ot the processing and sticking to the manufacturing only, there need not be any hard feelings anywhere.
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