RIT Experts Discuss Kodak’s Bankruptcy Filing
Andrew Davidhazy, professor of imaging and photographic technology at RIT’s School of Photographic Arts and Sciences in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences:
• Let’s not forget that Kodak is not alone in this quandary. Film giants like Agfa and Ilford and these days also Fuji are feeling the effects of the digital “revolution.”
• Kodak led the industry in helping set photographic standards. Their research and development division was, in my opinion, second to none in terms of advancing the industry and setting the highest standards that others benefited from.
• Kodak helped RIT in general, and the School of Photographic Arts and Sciences in particular, with significant support through the years—more so than any other corporation. It contributed, to some extent, to establishing a symbiotic relationship. Many RIT grads went on to contribute to Kodak particularly in the areas of chemical engineering, mathematics, electrical engineering, business, etc.
• While some assume that Kodak was in the business of camera making, they were not. They are a chemistry based, film production corporation. They essentially provided the expendable material (film) to the masses much like Mobil, Chevron and others provide gasoline. Once the demand for gasoline dwindles, what will these companies engage in to stay afloat? Build cars? Sell electricity? I don’t think so. One item that others also consider a poor move was to sell off Eastman Chemical.
Malcolm Spaull, chair of RIT’s School of Film and Animation in the College of Imaging Arts and Sciences:
• I’m somewhat surprised that it has come to this because the sale of motion picture film stock and processing chemicals, while declining slowly, is still very profitable.
• Kodak has continued research and development in this motion picture film and there is sustained demand. It will eventually suffer the same fate as still camera film but not for another decade.