Friday, August 21, 2009

The Impossible (Polaroid) Dream

Photo: Cathleen Naundorf

When production of analogue instant film stopped at Polaroid's plants in Mexico and The Netherlands last June, photographers all around the world let out a collective "No!" The film has been widely loved as a creative medium and as a pre-shoot option when the main event, usually large format film was too expensive to waste on lighting set-ups and make-up finals. When local photographer (and instant film format lover) Stephen Tilly exhibited his excellent Polaroid Is Dead show here in Auckland as recently as May 2009, he obviously didn't know about The Impossible Project.

Impossible Project is a collective culled largely from former Polaroid factory workers who refuse to let the Polaroid company's transformation from an instant film company to a global consumer electronics and digital imaging company affect their desire to see the format continue. They have signed a 10 year lease on the old Netherlands Polaroid factory, engaged a team of the world's leading analogue film experts and plan to release their first instant film, a film that works in vintage Polaroid cameras, in 2010. They stress that this is "NOT Polaroid" and the film will have it's own characteristics "consisting of new optimised components, produced with a streamlined modern setup. An innovative and fresh analogue material, sold under a new brand name that perfectly will match the global re-positioning of Integral Films."

We can hear a collective "yes!" emanating from our photographer friends around the world.

The Impossible Project will be supplying Black Magazine with some of the new product for a shoot here in New Zealand that will appear in Issue 12.