While the film industry was hit hard by the digital revolution, film is no more “dead” than oil paints or vinyl records. FILM Ferrania aims to put the “film is dead” myth to rest, once and for all. The articles below point to two clear factors that support this claim.
Across various professional industries, film remains viable and desirable.
A long list of professionals and institutions across both the motion picture and still photographic worlds continue to use film for clear reasons that have nothing to do with nostalgia. Film remains a superior form of capture in terms of latitude and malleability in a digital workflow for both filmmakers and photographers. Film remains the most stable, least expensive, and most environmentally sustainable form of archival storage. Film remains a popular medium for photographic education from community darkrooms to university curricula.
A younger generation of active and connected enthusiasts embraces film every day.
These new film fans “grew up digital,” but many find that film allows for ways to express themselves that digital capture does not. Evidence of this new audience is visible at Lomography, or any Urban Outfitters store in the US. This new generation buys film in many ways that do not “register” on the sales data collected by the traditional photographic trade organizations, but a search of film photographs on Instagram or Flickr will quickly yield tens of millions of results.
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Perhaps the best individual article to read is one of the oldest, but direct from Kodak:
“The irony is that a small film company would have the opposite problem [of Kodak]. Someone who decided to get into film, and can make it as well as Kodak, would be growing and would be able to justify all sorts of investment.”
- Scott DiSabato, Kodak Marketing Manager
Photo District News - 03 May 2012
“The film market peaked in 2003 with 960 million rolls of film, today it represents roughly 2% of that.”
- Manny Almeida, President, Fujifilm Imaging North America
Time Magazine - 26 Jan 2017
“We’re seeing film growth of 5% year-on-year globally.”
- Giles Branthwaite, Sales & Marketing Director, Harman Technology
Time Magazine - 26 Jan 2017
“Good signs for film’s future: About a third of new film shooters are younger than 35, and roughly 60% of film users say they started shooting film in the last five years.”
- Josh Taylor, correspondent
B&H Explora - Mar 2017
“As the film photography industry bounces back, many say the comeback has been fueled by young photographers who grew up in the digital era but long to experiment with the roots of the craft.”
- Luis Ferré-Sadurní, correspondent
New York Times - 19 Nov 2017
“It is similar to what happened in music, with the resurgence of vinyl. Digital photography is sharper and cleaner; it captures a lot of information but it’s cold. Film gives you less information but it’s emotional information. And what do we care about, information or emotion? We care for the emotion.”
- Olivier Zahm, Editor, Purple Magazine
The Business of Fashion - 25 May 2016
“There is an economy that is required when shooting in film that forces the student to make a choice. The more I am involved with teaching the more I understand that limiting choices is the best way for your individual voice to come out.”
- Alex Rockwell, NYU Professor and Director of Four Rooms
IndieWire - 2 Aug 2016
“The way people shoot has changed. Film has become a more considered approach; something people invest time in creating.”
- Professor Steve Macleod, Director of Metro Imaging
Petapixel - 19 Aug 2016
“35mm is ... still the stock of choice for really huge productions that want to look good”
- Vadim Rizov, correspondent
Filmmaker Magazine - 15 Jan 2015
“Preserving one minute of digital image costs 11 times more than preserving one minute of film.”
- Paolo Cherchi Usai, Senior Curator for Motion Pictures, The George Eastman House
“Film works for the story. It has a texture to it and softness that resembles how we see things. We don't see things as sharply as digital."
- Michael Satrazemis, Director of Photography, AMC series The Walking Dead
Democrat and Chronicle - 3 Mar 2015
“Pro Photographers typically select one or more of those films to achieve a particular look and feel in order to distinguish themselves from other shooters.” - Audrey Jonckheer, Worldwide Communications Director, Kodak
The Phoblographer - 04/23/15
“...this love for film does not make such artists Luddites or the moviemaking equivalent of anti-vaxxers in a Big Pharma world. It simply means that they prefer one medium to another, the way a painter might choose oil paints over acrylics, or paper over canvas.”
“...there is no digital archival master format or process with longevity characteristics equivalent to that of film..." - Scott Foundas, Chief Film Critic, Variety
Variety - 02/11/15
“...we have confirmed what we thought, which is that the recent growth in film sales can be attributed to the new users coming through.” - Steven Brierley, Director of Sales & Marketing, Harman Technology/Ilford Photo
Imaging Resource - 02/02/15
"Everybody has a phone which will do pretty good images, so there is a bit more satisfaction to be able to say that this is a 'real photo' that I actually shot on film myself.” - Edgar England, Manager, West End Cameras, London
BBC News - 04/18/15
“2014 has seen a growth in the volumes of film and paper sold around the world, which has been very encouraging.” (original link defunct)
“Film has tremendous balls. That’s just all there is to it. It’s like you say film is oak, digital is plywood” - Christopher Nolan, Director
from "Film Fighters, All in One Frame: J.J. Abrams, Judd Apatow, Bennett Miller, Christopher Nolan and Edgar Wright"
The Hollywood Reporter - 12/17/14
“I do think film itself sets the standard for quality. You can talk about range, light-sensitive, resolution—there’s something about film that is undeniably beautiful, undeniably organic and natural and real.” - J. J. Abrams, Director
The Movies - 08/05/14
“[Fuji] expects digital camera sales to fall 57% to 2 million units. In comparison, the company plans to boost instant camera sales 30% to 3 million units.” - Shunsuke Inaba, Nikkei Staff Writer
Nikkei Asian Review - 07/17/14
Kodak’s recent study of over 3,000 professional photographers revealed:
55% prefer the results that film provides over digital
19% use film cameras for over 60% of their work
45% prefer to use film
from "FILM VS DIGITAL"
Images and Cameras - 02/03/14
“Both Lomography and Kodak Alaris have pledged an unwavering commitment to keep production of a large variety of photographic film emulsions alive and kicking in the 21st century.”
from "LOMOGRAPHY AND KODAK MAKE PLEDGE TO FILM"
Photography Monthly - 11/13/14
“I think too there’s a certain reaction against digital technology and culture and there’s a whole DIY thing going on especially in North America and Europe.” - Stephen Kerr, Toronto Photographer
The Globe and Mail - 09/01/14
“China’s appetite for film has a lot to do with a landmark reform in 2009, which pledged to provide universal health care." - Robert Salmon, Carestream
Quartz - 12/13/13
“...Ilford's ... smaller plant enables them to exist in a world of a smaller analogue market, whereas Kodak's plants are now massively overkill...”
from "A Silver Lining - Ilford Factory Tour 2013"
Dave Parry Photography - 11/17/13
“... an increasing number of very young photographers, who have grown up solely with digital photo technique, are now discovering film as a photographic medium. Digital is everyday life for them, nothing special, and therefore also a bit boring. They are looking for new, exciting experiences in photography, and finding that in film.”
from "Photokina 2012 Recap"
APUG - 10/10/12
"Film sales are growing month on month, film for us is our biggest selling category by quantity, in every country. Lomography worldwide sales across all departments grew 15% in the last year.” - Heidi Mace, Online Manager for Lomography UK
Techradar - 01/24/12
"It’s fair to say that in recent months and years, there has been a serious resurgence in the popularity of analogue film. Along with the recent rise in popularity among amateurs, film still has a healthy market with various groups of people, including photography students and some professional photographers.” - Gabriel DeCosta, Product Manager for Fuji's film division
Techradar - 01/23/12