In 1948, Polaroid introduced instant film cameras. It changed a generation of family photos, and revolutionized an industry. But by 2008. Polaroid was seen as an outmoded technology company, and it announced that it would withdraw from analog instant film production. Consumers were devastated.
But in June of that year, Dr. Florian Kaps and André Bosman met at the closing event of the Polaroid factory in Enschede, The Netherlands, and decided then and there not to accept the extinction of analog instant photography, and to start The Impossible Project. The Impossible Project saved the last Polaroid production plant for integral instant film and started to invent and produce totally new instant film materials for traditional Polaroid cameras.
They started with a small team of the very best 10 former Polaroid employees who shared our passion as well as the belief in an Impossible dream. They say that without their work and support the Impossible Project would not have had the slightest chance to make the Impossible possible. The Impossible Project currently employs 25 people in the factory in Enschede.
For Dr. Florian Kaps, the love-affair with instant film started in 2004 when he developed his very first Polaroid picture. “From this moment on, I was deeply in love with this simply magic material and simply had to decide to globally promote this unique product,” he says. “Of course I never dreamed of becoming such a big company, such an IMPOSSIBLE project and the world`s last and exclusive producer of the iconic analog instant film invented in 1946. But luckily my passion for wonderful analog products are shared by more and more people all over the world today.”
Dr. Kaps was warned against trying to resurrect the production of analog instant film. They told him it was “impossible.” “Yes, of course all the experts warned me and even Polaroid themselves spent a long time trying to explain me in detail that it is really IMPOSSIBLE to re-start the production of analog instant film.” Remembers Dr. Kaps, “But even if I called the whole project THE IMPOSSIBLE PROJECT, I honestly only had a very vague idea of how big the challenges really would be.”
“Analog instant photography and the process that produces instant pictures within a tiny little white frame is so incredibly complex and so totally absurd to control that it still takes my breath away when I listen to our technical teams who are working day and night at the lab and our factories to produce and further develop our IMPOSSIBLE products.”
Dr. Kaps says that he is endlessly proud that he could contribute to keep one of the most amazing inventions ever alive. “That I could help to save analog instant photography makes me very happy each and every day, especially when I look at all these hundreds of amazing images that people produce on our materials.”
Creativity and the belief in Impossible projects, is at the core of the company. That, mixed with what Dr. Kaps says is a deep respect for handcraft, chemistry and lifetime experiences garnished with true and honest analog love. “This is our DNA and the source of our teams energy to learn and become better each and every day.”
The Impossible Project is just the beginning of many more products and projects in what the company calls the “pulsating analog pipeline.” As Dr. Kaps says, “…please fasten your seatbelt and take a deep breath, because we’re gonna rock the planet starting already this summer with the proud launch of our new long awaited Impossible hardware that we will introduce with a worldwide Impossible tour in the coolest cities of this analog planet.”
...Impossible as it may sound.
Dr. Florian Kaps by Lia Saile
Impossible Project Factory by Jennifer Rumbach
Impossible Project factory by Christian Reichhold