very much do understand that asking for your support once again is not fair and respectful without giving you very detailed and honest information of how impossible our adventure really is and will be.
Please accept this blog as my true attempt to summarize the current situation and our realistic chances to succeed as precise as possible (all long term supporters please forgive me for maybe repeating myself, but I think it makes sense to go back to the start so everybody really gets the full picture of where we are standing today)
After the clear NO from Fuji in 2016, all hope that we can rescue at least one of these highly sophisticated packfilm assembly machines urgently needed to produce this magic format, shrunk to Bonsai size.
Never the less we continued to search the globe, hoping that somewhere one of these machines might have survived in a secret warehouse. Talking to ex-employees of former packfilm factories in Mexico, Japan, Scotland and the USA didn't lead to any results.
In this depressing times, Bob Crowley and his New55 team were the ones who recharged our hope with basically building many essential machines needed to restart the production of 4x5 inch instant films, out of plywood, hairdryers and parts you can get in every supermarket. Even if Bob already has been featured in this blog several times, and even if his New55 adventure is on hold at the moment, I never the less have to right away include this fantastic gentleman in our newly formed LEAGUE OF LEGENDARY SUPERHEROES.
Because Bob did not only show me what can be possible when thinking out of the box, but also has been the first true expert who finally opened my eyes to the real impossible challenges packfilm has to offer when tinkering with new possible ways of production:
Everything looks pretty easy at first sight - compared to the integral format we could finally save in 2010 - because the development process is not driven by a battery powered mechanism with a very special battery included in each pack. Maybe it just needs a nice darkroom facility and some night vision googles to carefully fold these films into the cartridge?
When analyzing a pack with Bob in all details it became clear to me that each and every pack of this film is an incredibly complex and outrageously over-complicated origami-style paper folding miracle. Many parts are glued to each other and connected in a brain-cracking way, changing their position within the pack after exposure, bringing the next negative in position.
Not even Bob could think about the professional development of possible solutions without huge upfront costs, detailed scientific feasibility studies including several experts, in the very best case leading to a masterplan for the construction of a new machine, triggering costs of several million Euros. Absolutely no chance to build any of these out of plywood unfortunately.
So by the end of 2017 this left us in a very complicated situation, basically the exact opposite of the situation we started the Impossible Project 9 years before. This time we intensively researched globally for possible new essential packfilm components (positive, negative, developer paste, paper, ...) which has been very promising (more details and updates about this important aspect in the coming weeks), but regarding the search for machines needed to assemble these components I had to question myself if we maybe had finally reached a dead end street.
Never before something that IMPOSSIBLE has been in front of my dreams. This was the point when I stopped writing this blog...
But super fortunately this was also the time when I met my next SUPERHERO, with amazing SUPERPOWERS that zoomed this adventure back into POSSIBILITY and whom I am very much looking forward to introduce to you shortly in my next blog......