When you give your scheme a name like “The Impossible Project” you’re obviously setting yourself up for some seriously hard work, but then again aiming to not only reverse-engineer Polaroid’s iconic instant Integral film, but improve upon it and then market it as a commercial enterprise does sound like a tall order. That’s just what some Integral-obsessed Polaroid addicts are doing, however; they’ve taken out a ten year lease on a closed Polaroid factory in the Netherlands and are gathering up film experts to help them develop a new instant photography product.
Even though the 7420 square foot factory is still in fine fettle, and in fact was churning out Integral film until the middle of 2008, there are still some serious problems to overcome. Not least is the technology used in each pack of film, around twenty components in all, and some of which have ceased production. That means the team have around twelve months to figure out the best way to replace them and chemically re-engineer Integral film to not only be backward-compatible with existing cameras but viable for new business going forward.
The Impossible Project plans to restart production of Integral film for vintage Polaroid cameras in 2010, and they’re hoping that anyone with a passion for the technology – or, even better, cash or working knowledge of the systems used – will help out. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that the name doesn’t turn out to be depressingly prophetic.