Earlier this month, the company formerly called The Impossible Project announced a rebranding as Polaroid Originals. Upon this announcement (which we anxiously awaited a week to hear), there were widely varied reactions to this news; some people thought that Impossible were abandoning the instant film community and were angry about it (Impossible bought the Polaroid name and rebranded, they didn’t disappear….).
Some asked what exactly this meant (As Polaroid Originals, TIP [The Impossible Project] would have now have household name recognition which would enable them to reach a broader audience of consumers, and we as photographers wouldn’t have to constantly explain what Impossible Project was to people on the street).
There was also wide spread disappointment that the announcement said nothing regarding the status of pack film / peel apart, which since F***’s discontinuation of FP-100c last year has left photographers who loved the look of that film in a lurch.
There was some excitement at the release of a new camera, the OneStep 2 (RTF is EXTREMELY excited about this), and also the reduction of price for what has been the best generation of film since Polaroid shut its doors back in 2008.Now that Polaroid Originals is here, here are some reasons we think that it would be awesome for the whole film community (not just the instant film community) to get behind PO and burn through some film:
- It’s Great to have an Iconic Name like Polaroid back – When Polaroid filed for bankruptcy in 2008, there was a collective feeling of heartbreak and pain throughout the film community. Rabid Polaroid photographers rushed to horde as much remaining film as possible, before the inevitable price increases by those who took advantage of the situation to make money. It felt like another notch in the belt of the crowd who for years had kept reminding us that “Film is Dead” at any opportunity they could . It also affected the nation outside of the film community, as just about everyone in some form or fashion has been touched by Polaroid, whether it was the memories of a parent taking photos at a birthday party, or the family together during the holidays. Maybe it was seeing some model of Polaroid camera in a movie or television show. Maybe you had your photo taken at work during a party or for an employee of the month award, and more than likely they snapped a Polaroid shot of you. Polaroid as a brand has been a part of our culture for generations
- Don’t Let The Impossible Project’s undertaking be for naught – They were dreamers, determined not to let millions of Polaroid cameras languish away in closets and attics unused (especially the work of art known as the SX-70). They set out to accomplish the impossible, basically re-creating this film from scratch, listening to our community and working even harder to improve their products with every new generation. This rebranding is the culmination of what they set out to do back when those first packs of film rolled out of the factory back in 2010.
- The Cost is now lower than ever – Unfortunately one of the complaints about The Impossible Project that never went away (other than the 8 shots a pack thing…) was the price, $24 was just a deal breaker for many people, even though in many cases, buying the film was the only costs to get going. Polaroid during it’s heyday sold millions of cameras, so the odds were that someone in your family had a usable camera. If not, thrift stores were selling Polaroid cameras for practically nothing, so the only real expense you had to consider was buying a couple of film packs. Now with the rebranding, the film is cheaper than it ever has been, and stores closing out and clearancing old TIP stock to make room for new product, and although Return to Film’s motto is Buy Fresh, this is one instance we’re really encouraging buying expired film!
- It’s an exciting and unique medium – There is nothing like the colors of a Polaroid photograph, there is no camera as unique as the SX-70, there’s no experience like shooting with a Polaroid camera. The click of the shutter, the slap of the mirror. The motors and gears pushing the print through the rollers. Those rollers activating the chemical process of developing the image, to bring the moment in time you just captured to life in a matter of minutes. Holding that print in your hands, maybe sharing it with someone else. We for the most part might be a digital world, but there’s no reason on Earth that the experience we just described should be related as obsolete.
- Your Support of Polaroid Originals now could lead to new products – Now Polaroid Originals’ stance at this moment in time is that they are not going to work with pack film. Because we’re optimistic (and maybe a little bit stubborn), we still hold the belief and opinion that in today’s world, analog film products are driven by the end users (ie, the photographers, us!!) The more we buy, the more incentive there is for companies to produce products that we want and ask for. That’s the reverse of the way that’s it’s formerly worked, and why I think photographers get irritated when they say that they want a certain product (like pack / peel apart film) and companies like F*** say no. Or how in the past companies would just release a product and then adjust to how the market responded. That’s the reason why Disc film and APS ever existed. Our support makes things happen, do you think that Kodak would test bringing back Ektachrome, a film they discontinued back in 2012, if people weren’t shooting and buying Ektar, Tri-x, Tmax, and Portra by the bucketload? This situation isn’t any different. I couldn’t imagine Polaroid Originals selling thousands of OneStep 2s and millions of boxes of vintage Polaroid (sx-70, 600 and Spectra) film and I-type, all the while hearing feedback from thousands of it’s core users (again serious photographers) and not re-consider looking into what it would take financially and logistically to produce pack film. We at RTF absolutely refuse to believe otherwise.
There you have it, just a few reasons why Return to Film believes that we should all partake in the instant goodness that Polaroid Originals has worked hard over the past 7 years to bestow upon us. Grab a pack, find a camera and make some images!