[Frameworks] Quo Vadis Celluloid?

From: David Tetzlaff <djtet53_at_gmail.com>
Date: Fri, 19 Aug 2011 16:31:12 -0400

Kodak has begun trying to sell off it's digital technology patents in an attempt to recoup some value for shareholders. Things have not been looking good in Rochester, and a number of financial analysts are predicting this sell-off won't work. Among other problems, Kodak is facing a $1.2 billion pension shortfall.


> “It’s kind of a dead-man-walking stock. There’s not a good prognosis for it.”
> Derivatives traders are betting there is a more than 90 percent chance that Kodak is headed toward default...
> Kodak’s “viability on a go-forward basis may be not only challenged but hard to defend. They do have values embedded in patents and other technologies. Someone is going to buy the company and tear it apart.”
> Buyers may include Microsoft, the world’s largest software maker, Samsung, the Suwon, South Korea-based maker of Galaxy phones and tablet computers, and Google.

Now, nowhere in the current business reports does it say what would happen to the Kodak's photochemical film business under any of the possible scenarios. I would guess if they can get enough revenue from the patent sale to stay afloat they'll keep on keeping on for awhile. But if they default, or get bought by Microsoft or Google, who knows? There's no guarantee at all that the film business will continue. What does Microsoft or Google care? They could just shutter the film business altogether. No more camera stocks, print stocks, chemistry, anything. The biggest scream would probably come from commercial movie theaters, most of which still rely on prints for projection. The bigger chains would have a forced conversion to digital, while the smaller exhibitors would just quit, drastically reducing the number of screens and causing some short term pain for the studios. Again, one wonders whether Microsoft or Google would care, whether it would even show up on their radar, or whether, if it did, they'd even be
 happy to have it happen, quickening the onset of an all-digital future and increasing the value of all the high-end digital image patents.

Now, I'm totally speculating here, and if anyone actually knows something real about where the Film Division could be headed in Kodak's possible futures, please do post it.

But I'm just wondering what we would all do if Kodak just quit. It seems somehow impossible to imagine a world without celluloid film, or what would be left of cellulloid practice with Kodak gone. But it's possible, and maybe even soon. WTF then?
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Received on Fri Aug 19 2011 - 13:31:21 CDT