Hold on to your hats, Polaroid fans. The countdown is on. After an unexpected snafu (they didn’t call it impossible for nothing), the folks from The Impossible Project, a hardy group of die-hard Polaroid aficionados and seasoned Integral Film experts, will soon unveil the new/old Polaroid film you’ve been waiting for.
As noted in a previous blog post, The Impossible Project has been working to keep analog Instant Photography alive by reinventing and reproducing analog integral film for vintage Polaroid cameras. The group kicked off the project in 2008 and set up shop in a former Polaroid plant in Enschede (NL).
The big launch is set for March 22, 2010 in New York, but Blurb was lucky enough to talk to Marlene Kelreitner from the Impossible Project and get a little sneak peek info.
Blurb: We know you can’t tell all, but can you fill us in on the new “integral film materials” that your website promises?
Marlene: Okay, in a nutshell, the new materials will definitely work with SX-70 and 600 camera models. Other than that, you’ll have to tune in with us on March 22nd – which, by the way, is about 63 years after Edwin Land, the inventor of instant photography, revealed the first instant photo ever at the Annual Meeting of the Optical Society of America.
Blurb: Can’t blame us for trying. Okay, next question: Was it a struggle to keep the film affordable, and what kind of hoops did you have to jump through to get it made?
Marlene: The problem wasn’t so much about keeping it affordable. The big struggle was to reinvent the film such that it could be reproduced. We couldn’t use the original recipe that Polaroid used for decades. Several of the previous components are no longer available or can’t be used for environmental or health reasons. Our challenge was to find the right substitutes that would produce the right chemical reaction and produce fantastic images. We did it but we wouldn’t have succeeded without our team of former Polaroid employees and their vast knowledge.
Blurb: You had the goal of being able to produce 1 million films by launch? Score?
Marlene: Yes, that’s still the plan and we’re on track.
Blurb: How will people be able to buy the film? On your website? Through dealers?
Marlene: You’ll be able to find the film online at our website and at selected retail partners worldwide. All will be revealed on the 22nd!
Blurb: Any info on the new/old Polaroid OneStep cameras?
Marlene: You’ll have to check in with Lady Gaga on that one. Word is that it will be available this summer.
Blurb: Right, Lady Gaga, the new creative director of Polaroid Imaging Projects. Okay. Lady Gaga, call us. Blurbarians want to know.
Thanks, Marlene. We’ll be watching on March 22. By the way, for all you Blurbarians who are mad Polaroid fans, here’s a great article on the challenges The Impossible Project faced in resurrecting our beloved Polaroid film.