Why do people write about things they don’t know? Here a photographer says, in a blogpost lamenting Kodak’s demise (and more on that “demise” in a moment), that “film is definitely dead.” Well, he says “based on his own experience” but he doesn’t say what experience led him to that belief; instead he goes on and on about nostalgia and the darkroom and nostalgia and memory and froth like that. Actually the article is really very boilerplate, with all sorts of sleep-inducing sentences like “Photographers have a natural understanding of composition, light and framing, and are able to produce photographs that still amaze others” and “With the passing of Kodak, a little piece of every photographer has died” but I’m not here to criticize dull writing — this time — but to say that Kodak ain’t dead, not at all, even if maybe it should be taken out back and shot.
But you see, a lot of scary headlines like “Kodak goes bankrupt!” and “Kodak files Chapter 11!” appeared and suddenly everyone is like “aw, no more Kodak!” Because, as the past twenty years have proved, most Americans know less about matters financial than my cat. Say after me now, children: Chapter 11 is not the bankruptcy move that means “we’re going belly up, sell everything, run to Brazil.” It means “give us legal protection so we don’t have to pay for a bunch of debts so we can get our act together and stay in business.” It’s been a real long time since I worked for the mortgage company and I was only a lowly office flunky but this is one of the things I remember. (By the way, the bankruptcy most people think about — the one where the company can be said to be officially belly-up, is Chapter 7. And actually that’s a bit of an exaggeration — Chapter 7 just liquidates all the non-exempt assets. Anyway, for some actual real knowledge of the three types of bankruptcy — 7, 11, and 13 — our own government has provided this handy page.)
Anyway, Kodak’s still going to be around, like a bad smell or an old friend, however you want to think of them. And apparently their film division is one area where they are still actually making a profit. And it looks like they have finally realized it. Film isn’t going anywhere any more than paints, brushes, and canvases vanished when film was invented. Digital photography is great for the following non-military/scientific usages: 1) business photographers, who do stock photography, weddings, etc. (i.e., they do it mainly for pay, not the craft), and 2) ordinary people who want pictures of their kids and vacations and stuff. But artists and hobbyists — you know, weirdos — will still use film.