At CES 2016, Kodak is kicking off its Super 8 Revival Initiative, which looks to place more Super 8 cameras into the hands of the new generation of filmmakers with the celebration of 50 years of the manufacturing of Super 8 film.
At the heart of the initiative and on display at the annual tech event is an early prototype of a new Super 8 camera which combines Super 8 classic features with digital capabilities such as a digital viewfinder.
The company is working with Yves Behar, Fuseproject founder and design entrepreneur, to develop the new eight-millimeter film camera. A limited edition version of the new Super 8 camera is expected to launch in the fall of this year, and it will be carrying a price tag of somewhere between $400 and $750. Processing of the film will be charged an amount of between $50 and $75 per cartridge.
According to Kodak CEO Jeff Clarke, a version that will have a lower price tag that will look to place the camera into the hands of a broader audience is expected to be launched next year.
At the official website of Kodak, the company explained that it was inspired to develop a new generation of film cameras as there are some moments that digital methods are just not able to deliver, because digital recordings do not have the same beauty and depth that film recordings feature.
For the product, the company brought together the world's top mechanical fabricators, including the aforementioned Behar, and collaborated with leading Hollywood film directors for the design of the new Super 8 camera.
Kodak, however, adds that its efforts will not solely be focused on the development of the new Super 8 camera, as the device will merely be a part of new platforms for creativity that will merge analog film with digital convenience.
The company has created a roadmap that features a line of cameras, services for developing film, tools for post production, and many more.
Under the initiative, customers that purchase film for the new Super 8 camera will not only be buying the film itself, but rather also the film's processing and transfer to digital. The lab will be sending back to the customer the developed film, along with a password to allow the customer to download the digital copies from the cloud to allow them to edit and share the footage.
Clarke said in a statement that the company is developing an ecosystem for film, and is looking to provide directors and everyday consumers alike with new opportunities for the appreciation of film as a medium.
The Kodak Super 8 Revival Initiative is supported by top directors in the industry, as many of them started out with projects captured in Super 8 film.
Christopher Nolan, award-winning director and producer known for "The Dark Knight" trilogy, "Inception" and "Interstellar", started to make short movies with the Super 8 camera of his father.
"The news that Kodak is enabling the next generation of filmmakers with access to an upgraded and enhanced version of the same analog technology that first made me fall in love with cinematic storytelling is unbelievably exciting," Nolan said.
As for Academy Award recipient Steven Spielberg, eight-millimeter film was the beginning of everything, and for "Star Wars: The Force Awakens" director and writer J.J. Abrams, while new technology that further enhances visual storytelling should be accepted, film is unbeatable.
Abrams said that Kodak's decision to develop new Super 8 cameras is similar to a dream coming true, as the devices, with new designs, interchangeable lenses and footage development and delivery represent a perfect bridge between the quality and warmth of analog recordings with the efficiency of digital methods.
At last year's CES, Kodak announced its first smartphone, the Kodak IM5. The smartphone features a partnership with the Bullitt Group to take the photographing heritage and experience of Kodak and combine it with a high-quality device for a specific target consumer.