By Patricia Daukantas
It’s no secret that Polaroid stopped making its instant-film products last year. Now the New York Times is reporting that a group of analog-photography fans are planning to resurrect at least some types of the Polaroid film – even if they have to reverse-engineer everything themselves.
According to the Times, the leaders of the so-called “Impossible Project” have set up shop in Polaroid’s former factory in the Netherlands, bought the factory equipment and hired several technicians who had worked in instant film. The group’s Web site claims that recent experiments have shown that currently available chemicals and materials can be substituted for those no longer being made – resulting in an all-new recipe for the 21st century.
It’s an uphill battle, and the instant-film team has set its sights on 2010 as the market date for the new product. In fact, the Web site even has a “countdown clock” showing the time remaining until next year (remember, there are 3.16 × 107 seconds in a year). No one knows how much the new instant film will cost, or whether it will appeal to an audience beyond a handful of hardcore devotees.
One of the project leaders used to be a manager at the Lomographic Society, which, as far as I can tell, is a Web-based community for people who revel in old photographic technologies. The society gets its name from a brand of film camera that originated in the Soviet Union.
In other instant-photography news, the Norwich Bulletin in Connecticut (U.S.A.) is inviting readers to send in their Polaroid snapshots and their tales of Polaroid founder Edwin Land, who graduated from a local independent school called the Norwich Free Academy. This year will mark the centennial of Land’s birth.