Posted on January 23 2012
-A personal statement from Phil Vigeant, President of Pro8mm
When I first worked at Super 8 Sound in the early 1980‘s the problems were the same for Super 8 film as problems Kodak faces with 35mm film today. The market for super 8 film in the early 80’s had dropped so dramatically due to the overwhelming success of VHS that everything crashed. We are not talking about a little dip in sales. We are talking about a crash in sales that resulted in a 90% drop in business. http://www.dtvgroup.com/Super8Sound/
At that time all companies involved in the super 8 industry either went out of business, filed for bankruptcy or where part of a larger company that could absorb their losses. In this predicament you have to make a decision: Do you believe in the future of your product or it is just time to call it quits?
I believed that there was a future for Super 8 film and so I went through the pain of taking the company through bankruptcy so that I could re-start the business. If there was no Chapter 11 then Super 8 Sound ™ could not have been reorganized. There would be no Pro8mm, and at the risk of sounding boastful, there probably would be no Super 8 film today. This is the point of bankruptcy. It gives you a chance at life; a new beginning for those that believe in their product for future generations. For us, it gave us the opportunity to invent super 8 negative film, Max 8, and complete workflows so that Super 8 film could be used as a professional production medium.
There are risk to all this and there will not doubt be lots of changes at Kodak. Sometimes the people that take over are not interested in the future of the company and are only interested in disposing of the valuable parts of a business If you have watched the movie Wall Street (the original) you know what I mean.
We are already feeling some of these changes, which we must intern, adjust to.
As for Super 8 film, Pro8mm has its own Super 8 film manufacturing process, and we have been making Super 8 film since 1992. Although Kodak is our premier supplier and we work very close together we have other vendors. We have successfully been making super 8 films from Fuji film stocks as well as Kodak film stocks for 20 years now.
Since the big crash in the use of Super 8 film in the early 1980’s as a format for home movies and intro film classes. it has enjoyed a steady growth in other applications. Super 8 is not part of the crash of current 35mm film sales. It is in fact “It’s own thing”. We hope the leadership at Kodak has the right intentions for the future and will re-start the business, as we did at Pro8mm so generations in the future can enjoy their products.
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