The Impossible Project's Short Film Explores The Complex Chemistry Of Polaroid Instant Film

Before we all walked around with a camera constantly in our pocket for instantaneous 24/7 documentation of our lives, there was Polaroid to give us our quick-photo fix. The instant film cameras hit the market back in 1948 and were a popular choice right up until, in February 2008, the company decided to stop making analog film and concentrate on digital instead.

But the analog film dream didn't end there, because a group of former Polaroid employees decided to pick up the mantle and save instant film from going obsolete.

They did this by forming The Impossible Project, a passion project run by a group of enthusiasts who bought the last surviving Polaroid factory, where they took up production and begun manufacturing a variety of different instant films.

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Photo courtesy of Gorilla vs Bear

This was back in 2008 and now they've recently released the short film above which looks at the appeal of, and chemical processes that produce, analog instant film.

The Impossible Project's chemist Stephen Herchen offers his thoughts and insight throughout the film, calling instant film "the world's most chemically complex man-made thing."

And you can tell he's passionately driven by the magic of it. “There’s nothing in the modern age which can do what it can do… it is an entire science and an entire art form unto itself.” he remarks.

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The Impossible Project space in Paris. Photo credit: Eglantine Aubry