The negotiations—secret until now—are expected to result in an arrangement where studios promise to buy a set quantity of film for the next several years, even though most movies and television shows these days are shot on digital video.
Kodak's new chief executive, Jeff Clarke, said the pact will allow his company to forestall the closure of its Rochester, N.Y., film manufacturing plant, a move that had been under serious consideration. Kodak's motion-picture film sales have plummeted 96% since 2006, from 12.4 billion linear feet to an estimated 449 million this year. With the exit of competitor Fujifilm Corp. last year, Kodak is the only major company left producing motion-picture film.
Mr. Clarke originally had hoped that a group of studios, producers and filmmakers would invest directly in Kodak's film-manufacturing plant, as a joint venture. But that proposal fell flat earlier this summer. A subsequent effort to solicit long-term orders from studios gained traction when several prominent filmmakers joined Kodak's cause, according to people involved in the discussions.
Among the big name directors who lobbied the heads of studios to help find a solution were Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, Judd Apatow, and J.J. Abrams, who is currently shooting "Star Wars Episode VII" on film.
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