The Film Project
Things you can touch and that touch you! The fight to save the last Polaroid factory.
The revolution is over. We live in the digital age. Everything is digital.
Except us. Humans are still analog. We are the opposite of digital: Unpredictable, individual,
irrational, chemical, radical. Authentic, humane, unique, artistic, beautiful. Should that not tell us something?
My film is about being analog in a digital age. As that relates to our relationship with technology, but also as it relates to the choices we make in our lives. It's about values. The value in slowing down for a second, considering your action. Value embodied in real things: Photographs, books, music, art, poetry, vinyl, film, letters, slow food.
At a time when 'digital' is the promise of limitless availability and replication and - ultimately - indifference, does 'analog' stand for the return to consciousness, to responsibility and to meaning? Small steps to regain a modicum of control over our lives? Individuals matter, and their actions, too?
Following two decades of digital revolution, people seem to yearn for something "else": something warm, emotional, unpredictable. My film is about being analog in a digital age. It's about values - values that are embodied in real stuff: Photographs, books, music, art, poetry, vinyl, film, letters, slow food.
Things you can touch and that touch you.
My story is told through the tale of the wonderfully incongruous company that once was a massive worldwide brand - Polaroid - and is now a tiny Berlin start-up: The Impossible Project. And, indeed, their quest is about taking on the impossible, in this case the against-the-odds challenge of reinventing an iconic 1940s technology for the 21st century.
It's a feature documentary, shot over several years, on 35mm. Your support will give it the push it needs to complete.
At the centre stand two driven men - once partners, now competitors: Doc and Oskar. Doc is a biologist from Vienna; Oskar used to be his intern.
Their vision, dreams, their failures, their determination to keep something important alive guide us through this story.
There is a whiff of romance about this idea of not giving in, of fighting the good fight, a kind of 'Sanderism' in an age of cold progress. But actually the yearning for 'real' is very real, and it is catching-on.
'Authenticity' is fast becoming the key word of this generation.
And, strangely, 1940's Polaroid/Impossible now emerges as the perfect new product to embody this trend.
A few shots of the making of
These pictures are screenshots from the actual 35mm film already shot.
Oskar Smolokowski leads the Impossible team as CEO. Originally a musician and engineer, Oskar came to Berlin from New York. He started with creating apps and then got into engineering the all-new Impossible I-1 instant camera, which went on sale early this year. Oskar is young and into developing analog for the digital age, rather than any retro nostalgia.
He is Dr. Florian Kaps, but the world knows him simply as Doc, one of the people at the very centre of keeping analogue alive. Doc hails from Vienna, Austria, started working life as a biologist and got into analog via Lomography and sheer Viennaism (Vienna is the analog capital of the world.). From Lomo he went on to collecting Polaroid film when it became phased out and then, together with … saving the last surviving Polaroid factory in Enschede, Holland before it could be turned into appartments. That's how the Impossible Project began. Doc has since left Impossible and created 'Supersense', an analog emporium in his hometown, Vienna.