Polaroid Lovers Unite: How The Impossible Project Film is Made

Y’all are well aware of my relationship and long-time love affair with Polaroid. Well, back when the film went out of manufacturing, a now-friend of mine Dr. Florian Kaps took on a project that some called impossible–the resurrection of the old-style instant films. He bought up the last Polaroid film factory in the Netherlands and has succeeded in bringing back instant film from a near death.

This video–looks to be a TV short or something…dry at the start but picks up steam–is a cool way of seeing how this rather complicate stuff is made. Geeky cool, that is. I plan on taking a tour of the factory this summer.

Named after his doubters, The Impossible Project, now makes all sorts of color and B&W films, available at your local pro camera store or direct from their site here. I shoot a ton of this stuff. Try em all, but def check out the black-bordered B&W UV+ stuff that I reference in this video. It’s cool shiz – there’s a quickly scanned frame of mine after the jump.

Snagged this shot of the...ahem...photo booth in the lobby of the ACE Hotel NYC.

(via boingboing)

Carmelo says:

if i have just signed up but I really would like to see a specific letter (Lorelei Lee’s) is there some place i can possibly look at it or obtain a copy somehow?

**As witnessed in Apple’s “What’s Hot” area!**

sweetandcoolval says:

Polaroid factory tour. That’s my Mr. Rogers Crayola factory dream come true.

Phil says:

…and now we know why its about $1.00 a shot. :)

eric says:


thanks for posting this video….
i’ve destroyed a few frames in the past when my curiosity got the better of me.

i love using the impossible project Polaroids…
you can create loads of different effects using air and body temperature to change the tones in the prints… great fun

over here in Glasgow we were lucky enough to be chosen as one of the cities to host the start of the Monte Carlo rally which is in its centenary year…
i was given a pass to go along and shoot the start of it, with all those amazing cars, i had to be there…
got to start ramp where all the other photographers where gathered, most of them with £10,000 plus, worth of gear hanging around their neck…
when the race began i nudged my way to the front of the press and quietly got out my Polaroid Image camera (£5 ebay bargain) from inside my puffa jacket…

one clunk and whirr later…

all the press guys suddenly stopped shooting to find out, where the noise came from and what did the Polaroid come out like.. then all the comments of… wow… retro!
there is just something magical… like no other form of photography… that is Polaroid….
and especially with the Impossible Project film….
you can take instant pictures with your phone and dslr… but there is something about the two minutes of apprehension before sharing the joy…. if that makes any sense.

lovin your work!

Aj B says:

Let’s forget the joy of holding a photograph; this becomes one of the joyous parts of photography.

fas says:

That is no way easy to make, lotsa effort there.

Josh says:

This is actually part of a series on the Science Channel called How Stuff’s Made. Topics range from bacon, to cars. I didn’t know they did one for Impossible Film.
Polaroid no longer makes film, just cameras as far as I know. I have 2 more First Flush BW shots in my One Step, and a stash of 9 Color Shade PUSH packs waiting to be used. Sadly I can’t find a place to repair my sx-70. It produces some real crap images right now.

Josh says:

The camera, not the film that is.

Chase says:

@josh. thx for the tip on the show. i didn’t know where it was coming from…

Norbert says:

Will there also be something a Dutchie like myself could sign up for, somewhere around your visit to the factory? Something to enhance my skills involving you in some way :)

Mark says:

Do Polaroid actually made instant film now? I thought they’d stopped and a 3rd party company started producing it?

Chase says:

@Mark: The Impossible Project IS that third party…. Plus, Fuji also continues to make a wide variety of instant films.

Melanie says:

How It’s Made is a fantastic show! http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/How_It%27s_Made It’s produced in Canada, and they’ve covered some really interesting things like wagon wheels, hockey sticks, and bubblegum.

It covers usually 2-3 things per episode – hence the snippet feel of the Polaroid section linked above.

Wonderful for everyone who loves ripping stuff apart just to see how it works (but perhaps can’t always get it back together).

Chase says:

@ryan – the out of date film is really expensive, so the Impossibe Project is a better bet for costs. But I realize and agree that neither are cheap. Reminder fwiw, that there are 8 frames in the IP packs…

Ryan Betts says:

Love it, just wish I could afford it…

Will Foster says:

Love the black frame Polaroid!

Chase says:

The black frame UV+ is def my latest fav…

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