In April 2016 the world had to accept the shocking decision of Fujifilm to terminate the production of the last existing analog peel apart instant film. More than 20.000 people signed a petition and SUPERSENSE founder Florian Kaps aka doc even travelled to Japan to convince the Fujifilm management about the importance of keeping this unique and iconic film material alive. The mission was not successful and hope started to fade.
But then doc re-discovered his old friends from New55 Film in their amazing manufactory in Ashland, MA.
They have been experimenting with completely new peel apart film materials for years and he honestly adored their daring vision to even re-invent Polaroid 55 Film from scratch. But did they really had a chance?? After all of doc's own learnings how IMPOSSIBLE the re-production of analog instant film really is??
Honestly not. And doc's visit to their small magic universe in Ashland and his first test shots with their proudly hand manufactured New55 4x5 inch black and white instant film really changed our world and recharged hope. THEY REALLY MADE IT!! and more than excited we love to introduce this wonderful new film manufactory as the new promising home and innovation center for next generation peel apart instant films.
Let's begin with the introduction of the New 55 core team members:
It all started with a crazy vision of Mr. Bob Crowley. Professional weirdo and inventor in 2008. Famous for several high profile inventions in the fields of medical equipment and microphones, he took on the challenge to re-invent and re-produce one of the most valuable instant film products ever created. The outstanding Polaroid Type 55 was famous for not just creating amazing instant pictures but also wonderful negatives. Several times, Supersense creator Florian Kaps aka doc had the pleasure to meet Bob on his long and winding adventure to make his vision come true. Since that day doc saw Bob's wonderful professional coating machine built out of plywood, and listened to Bob's research lab listening to his newest inventions and inhaling this incredibly spirit of innovation – Since exactly this moment doc knew that there was a new future and a completely new path for instant photography projects of absolutely no other kind. HE IS THE MAN!
Sam Hiser is a more than crucial part of the New55 adventure. Basically knocking on Bob's laboratory doors, he offered his support as a true believer, passionate photographer and creative mind, who simply was not willing to accept the downfall of the magic materials that defined the face of analog photography for decades. He left his former life as a Wall Street broker behind in order to use his outstanding experience to connect the newborn New55 products to the heart of the photographic community. Teaching, connecting, inspiring, exploring, experimenting.
Charles, "the lucky break", found the New55 project because of "the most bizarre and little off beat" job advertising he has ever seen on craigslist. He quickly became one of the most important members of the team with an incredible experience and passion for not just electrical engineering, manufacturing, impossible challenges, start up adventures but also photography in all kind of formats.
Last but not least we want to mention the legendary 20x24Studio Team around John Reuter and Ted McLelland who also have joined this adventure and recently moved into the New55 building to join forces on this urgent matter. This is crucial, as this team did not only rescue some essential pieces of instant film production equipment and chemicals from the Polaroid factory in 2008, but also add an incredible amount of experience.
Together these outstanding people created a completely new chemical system that creates images of no other kind. A new, creative canvas as a more than promising magic starting point to re-define the future of analog instant photography in a very artistic and truly radical way. Developing new approaches of how to capture moments and convert them into truly original light paintings – in this post digital area we are just about to enter.