Aschman outlines Kodak’s biz picture

Richard Aschman, who earlier this month was named president of Eastman Kodak’s Professional Motion Imaging business unit, outlined his plans Thursday for the photographic giant’s growth in the entertainment indus-try.

The company is expanding its physical plant by acquiring property adjacent to its Hollywood headquarters and re-modeling two existing buildings. During remodeling, the PMI unit will temporarily be housed in Culver City, site of a training center for Kodak’s digital motion imaging product customers.

Beyond physical expansion, however, Aschman said a number technological and marketing developments will figure into the company’s plans for the coming year.

“I expect we’ll announce a new product about every three months this year,” he said. “That includes new film negative products, print products and software.”

Aschman emphasized the importance Kodak has placed on developing partnerships with other companies and individuals in the entertainment and high-tech fields.

He announced plans for a West Coast version of Kodak’s First Look screening series, a venue for indie filmmakers to strut their stuff to distributors and other industry execs. The first L.A. screenings are slated to begin in April at Creative Artists Agency.

Aschman also discussed ongoing work at Kodak subsid FPC, which recently began marketing digital media products for archiving audio masters for the film and recording industries.

Though he didn’t give specifics on directions in which the PMI unit is moving, Aschman said he plans to approach the feature film business as “an entire system. We have to look at ways of applying our technologies all along the way. There’s a sequence of events in making a film that includes writing a script, doing pre-visualizations, dealing with the post houses, going to exhibition and a whole series of other steps.

“We can take our capabilities and focus on certain elements of that process,” Aschman continued. “Our job is to understand the people and activities that result in the end product. That’s the only way we can work closely with our customers, and apply competencies we have that we’re not using today.”

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