So the other morning, while driving home from work, I received an unsolicited LinkedIn message notification on my phone...from the new President of Kodak's Motion Picture Entertainment Division, Steve Bellamy. Needless to say, I initially thought this was some sort of prank. But after checking a few things, I realized this was the real deal. We exchanged another e-mail in which he gave me a number that he wanted me to call him at.
In short, he struck me as a very polite, easy-going person with a lot of knowledge. He said that since he became president, he's been doing a lot of searching on the internet for filmmakers who are passionate about analog film-making and randomly contacting them. He said he appreciated what he called "well-written" pages I've put up on the web and wanted to hear more about my particular passion for film.
I told him how the grain and chemical processes simply make it more of an organic medium, and that the contrast & overall picture still produce a better final product, in my view. More importantly, I mentioned how I am a big film history buff and that many flash-in-pan "film-makers" these days who grab a DSLR, shoot something on digital and post it to Youtube, have little to no sense of film history, much less any sense of pre-visualization. And it shows in the work. To be fair, I did tell him how I am anxious to experiment with some of the more advanced digital technology - namely the Alexa, since I feel it is the best at capturing a film-like image.
He agreed with film being a discipline and that there is still no replacement for it. It was interesting to hear about his passion for the medium but admitted that it’s not cheap. However, we both agreed that in comparing it to a digital project, people tend to spend even more for the post-production processes than they would for a properly budgeted analog project. He said that he is all about choice and has nothing against digital. To paraphrase what he said, “If that’s your preferred medium, more power to you.”
Lastly, he asked me to put together a 3-5 minute interview of myself and talk about why I love film. He said that he’s getting independent film-makers like myself, as well as people like Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg and Quentin Tarantino to do the very same thing. He’s not sure exactly what form it will take just yet (possibly web-based or a documentary format) but it’s something he wants to put together to show just how many people are still passionate about film.
So yeah…that was pretty cool and unexpected.