Deadline first reported the demise of Fuji’s film products exclusively last November, when the company revealed its plans and blamed the shutdown on the proliferation of digital filmmaking and decreased demand for film. This week Fujifilm officially discontinued the production of their Color Positive Film, Color Negative Film, B&W Positive/Negative Film, Intermediate Film, Sound Recording Film, and High Contrast Panchromatic Film. Certain chemical products in Japan have been phased out, Fujifilm added in a statement. Their motion picture division will stay open providing products and services used in digital workflow like Recording Film for Digital Separation [ETERNA-RDS] for long-term archiving. Their IS-100 Imaging processing system and Fujinon lens production for digital film cameras and projectors will continue in production. Fuji had provided a reported 20% of film for studio projects with 80% coming from rival manufacturer Kodak.
EXCLUSIVE: Fuji has given us some detailed information about its plans following our exclusive report Friday that it will stop manufacturing motion picture film. The company, which handles about 20% of studio business, says that “due to the significant demand decrease resulting from digitalization in the industry,” Fujifilm plans to discontinue “some items” in its motion picture film products. Fuji says the discontinuation date has not been determined. Products to be eliminated include Color Positive Film, Color Negative Film, B&W Positive/Negative Film, Intermediate Film, Sound Recording Film, and High Contrast Panchromatic Film. But the company says it isn’t closing the entire motion picture department. It will continue to provide archive film stock (ETERNA-RDS, which won the Academy Scientific Engineering Award in 2012), lenses for shooting cameras and screening devices, media for data storage, digital data archive services and its on-set color management system (Image Processing System IS-100). Film “is considered the best solution for archival preservation,” which is why it will continue to make the ETERNA-RDS stock, Fuji says.
EXCLUSIVE: Fujifilm won a Sci-Tech Oscar this year for its contribution to motion pictures, but Deadline hears the division of the company that produces motion picture film is set to close by December 31. A Fuji spokesperson said they were unauthorized to answer any questions. However, industry sources say they are aware of the plans. “They clearly are going around telling people,” one says. Fuji film is used for about 20% of studio business with Kodak repping the other 80%, I’m told. While there remain stalwarts, fewer movies are shot on film today and eventually, a source opines, no one will be manufacturing it. However, film is still considered the best medium for archival preservation given the unknowns surrrounding the future of digital archives. In that regard, there’s a bigger general question facing the industry as it tries to work out what will be the best long-term solution.