New55 COLOR 4x5 Peelapart Film
Help New55 FILM build a factory to produce 4x5 peelapart instant color print film. Together, we can save peelapart instant color films.
The news that there will be no more color peelapart products shocked the analog film world and accelerated New55 Holdings, LLC's Color Instant Film research. Like you, we at New55 enjoyed instant color print film and want it to return to the marketplace.
We are now beginning an ambitious job to create the capability to manufacture both color and black and white peelapart film for all of us who rely on this type of instant film. This campaign will help pay for important machines and tools to make it possible. Hand assembly -- like currently use in our first New55 FILM manufacturing effort -- isn't going to lead to production quantities or cost control.
We don't have much time to get our first color 4x5 peelapart product up and running before the opportunity is lost forever. With your help, together, we can reinvent a new instant color film and keep an important artistic medium alive.
Laying the Foundation with 4x5 Sheet Film
This Kickstarter is focused on manufacturing 4x5 sheet film that works in the famous Polaroid 545 series of holders (including the 545, 545i and 545 Pro, no others). This film we call "New55 COLOR." If we are successful, New55 COLOR will deliver a big, color, peelapart print that you can display or scan. Its design follows the single-sheet packet design from New55 FILM's in-production black and white positive-negative instant film, New55 PN. Check our website (http://new55.net) for more information.
This project will produce crucial materials and manufacturing capabilities that make new formats possible at a later time. For example, the sheet or "roll goods" can be used in other formats, such as pack films, in the future.
Your active participation at this beginning stage is very important, and will help lay the groundwork for various peelapart products. We have the experience to pull off this ambitious effort from bringing to life our existing instant and non-instant New55 FILM products. Saving sheet and pack film is a mission in which we passionately believe.
New55 FILM Team
We are all dedicated members of the photographic community who believe in the true magic and artistic value of analog instant photography. We are not an anonymous corporate entity but rather an entrepreneurial team and small company dedicated to the production of peelapart instant film. The success of this effort will keep this medium alive and thriving for photographers the world over.
Goals of this Project
1. First and foremost, the goal is to create a new Color 4x5 instant film that produces a big, beautiful, peelapart print! This is the object of most of the rewards for supporting the project. If this is successful, the film will produce a vivid, high-resolution color photograph using the easily-obtained Polaroid 545 backs. These fit on millions of cameras.
2. We want to advance development of Pack Films as soon as possible. Even though pack type films are not rewards here, your support will help develop the roll goods needed for that important next step. And we will begin the exploration of a new packfilm capability right away, as soon as this Kickstarter is successful. We will report on it regularly as you might expect, and ask for your advice and input as we try different things.
3. This is most exciting: It may be possible to produce a true Color positive-negative material. Never before has this been done except by a few who reclaimed "Fujinegs". An instant color negative is a new idea and something never before offered in the history of analog photography. In addition to being used for instant camera formats, this material could potentially be made into 120 rollfilms, 35mm and used in both instant AND non-instant cameras! This could be an important outcome from your support of this campaign, though it is not a reward here.
Rewarding Your Support
We invite you to join our mission in support of analog instant photography. As a contributor to this Kickstarter project you can choose from a wide selection of compelling rewards. At the higher reward levels, rewards are boxes of New55 COLOR -- our instant 4x5 peelapart color print film -- containing 5 sheets per box. Other rewards include signed photographs made from New55 PN's glorious 4x5 negative, signed books, 4x5 cameras and more.
Here are a few examples of planned rewards.
Shipping costs are added and backers outside the United States are responsible for VAT in countries where it is applied and collected.
Why the Roll Goods are Important
Photographic film is complex to begin with, and instant photographic materials are even more complex. We cannot just go out and buy many needed materials. These have to be custom-made in large amounts, which is costly. Once that is done, however, there will be a supply of film base and other "roll goods" that can be further processed by machines, first into 4x5 sheets of color instant film. The same materials are crucial to further development of pack films, which could come later.
Just like our successful previous black and white Kickstarter campaign that many of you helped fund, this is not a pre-sales initiative. This campaign is a funding of the product development, manufacturing capacity and supply chain development (the industrial capacity) for an instant color print film that does not exist in the world today. A big emphasis is going to be put on automation of the pod, the sleeve and other assemblies which are expensive and need to be designed and built. The fulfillment of boxes of that material at the end of the project can be thought of as the icing on the cake.
We can do this, but it takes grit, guts and cash flow to keep the project alive.
Where Your Money Will Go
Proceeds of this Kickstarter project will go toward the factory, and will help fund the first manufacturing run of the color instant film and some but not all the costs leading up to that point.
New55 Holdings, LLC, estimates that about $180,000 would be used for deferred salaries of workers who brought New55 PN to original Kickstarter supporters; and, to help ensure these valuable workers continue with this next critical effort, Soundwave will continue to supply labor, space and facilities at a discounted rate for the research and manufacture of the production equipment and general operations. A large remaining portion would go to The Impossible Project to develop and purchase coated sheet materials such as negative film and receiver sheet. The rest would cover engineering and manufacturing overhead, the purchase and installation of a new pod machine, completion and qualification of the new reactor, the purchase of component inventories and, if production succeeds, the shipping and handling fees to send the color film Kickstarter rewards.
New55 FILM will continue to sell film through its shop, too, which will be necessary to add to the available funds. We are setting a $400,000 goal for the Kickstarter, but we will try to exceed that amount. If we have a successful Kickstarter, we will immediately begin steps toward automating the production of instant film, but we know that further investments will also be required to fulfill the goal of a modern, mass produced product. The $400,000 is to be considered a step toward that goal and to begin the flow of New55 COLOR 4x5 film as our first introductory color product.
The development of this new color instant film will be even more of a collaboration than in the past; and this makes it a risky project. New55 FILM will likely be purchasing unique materials and services from 20X24 Studio, from The Impossible Project, and from Soundwave Research Labs (where New55 FILM is presently housed). All three parties are already suppliers to the project. The color endeavor would expand these relationships to new areas, and is a significant step that could have many benefits and lead to other new products beyond the instant 4x5 peelapart color print film. This convergence of talent and resource gives an indication of our supporters' continued enthusiasm for the cause of instant film photography.
We will report expenditures and sales and update Kickstarter supporters on a regular basis, which we have done throughout the previous Kickstarter campaign and reward fulfillment period.
Challenges We Must Overcome
This is a very risky and complex project. We finished up the original New55 FILM kickstarter project late and over budget due to supplier failures. But we overcame some of these problems by inventing our own production machinery and through plain, simple hard work.
We did indeed have many other unforeseen problems that cost a large amount of the available funds and time, and there's still more to do. We ran out of money and had to borrow from our suppliers and Soundwave Research, and also accelerate sales.
It was quite a difficult project! The challenges for achieving a working 4x5 instant color print film are the same ones as before; they include component-design and sourcing uncertainties, potential delays and cost overruns, and technical problems that crop up in any complex product design and manufacturing project. For instance, the project could deliver late, quality could be below or well-below expectations, or the project could run out of money and fail to deliver at all.
Our plan is good, but there are real risks. Here are some areas that are risky.
The Color Negative
We need to source the right color negative and it has to be converted into the size and shape needed for the 4x5 format. We think we know how to deal with this and will work closely with The Impossible Project who have pledged their assistance as we become their customer for bulk materials. The timing of the supply of this crucial material is not pinned down and could lead to a costly delay, and the cost per unit area could be greater than we expect, leading to a cash shortfall.
The Receiver Sheet
Another critical part that will have to be made is the color receiver sheet. Like its black and white counterpart, color receivers have multiple layers and are not something made that you can purchase off the shelf today. A large part of the effort will go toward making it, and there could be a months-long effort that does not yield what we need, and could require a start-from-scratch retry that could be quite expensive. The Impossible Project has made a small supply of working receiver sheet and the expectation is that we can buy more of it at a reasonable price.
Practice Materials were used to help development of the protoypes
Some starter materials left over from the Polaroid days provided an on-ramp to get the ball rolling earlier than we otherwise might have done. We thank 20X24 Studio for their essential contribution to that effort. Because the supply was small and used for practice, and a few very small runs, these materials likely will not fulfill rewards.
Developing the New Reagent
The reagent or "paste" for developing color film is entirely different than that of black and white, and the color peelapart reagent is different because it must allow the colors to form and take hold in the receiver sheet before separation. We have a preliminary formula that was used in some of the test photos we show above, but this formula is not presently qualified. We'll have to produce bulk amounts of this new formula, and also outfit the "reactor" in which it can be properly mixed. Bob Crowley has already started working on this necessary machine.
Making the Pods
Once this reagent is made, it has to be put into pods. 20X24 Studio has provided filled pods at a transfer price so far, which is greatly appreciated and has been crucial. It is now time we have a dedicated machine to control both costs and spread-consistency, and a portion of the funds will go toward this. A new pod machine is likely to cost $30,000 to build, but it could cost more. We currently purchase the special pod paper from The Impossible Project, and we intend to maintain that supply, as there is no other source in the world of which we are aware.
Film Packet Design & Assembly
Thankfully, in some areas, the work is mostly done. We will use versions of the existing envelope, sleeve, tongue, clip and packaging methods already in place in the current New55 FILM products. Reusing these systems, the assembly stations and suppliers, all handled by the excellent assembly staff, is a source of confidence and something we do not have to develop again. But we will be introducing automation to the process, which means that all components will probably have to be redesigned for automated assembly. The cost of doing so and the time to put it into production is a risk. It is important to know that the same changes will have to be made to the existing black and white product, which in theory will improve its performance.
Our Experience as Problem Solvers
There are a number of things that could go wrong and in all likelihood problems will arise and redesigns will be needed. For better or worse (better, we believe) we've become accustomed to these risks as part of the mission of rebuilding the industrial capacity for instant film. We won't be surprised or unduly daunted when problems do occur, although there are no guarantees that we can solve them all. As the only maker of peelapart instant film left in the world, we find ourselves having to invent new ways of doing things. There is no guarantee we can invent solutions to all problems encountered along the way.
Mitigating these risks are New55 FILM's successful experience having re-invented a black and white 4x5 positive-negative instant film system. In particular, Bob Crowley's long experience as a materials research scientist and inventor involves a track record of patents and commercializations of intricate and difficult new products in the medical device, sound reinforcement, wireless communications, and analog photography fields. Bob has brought together a skilled engineering, manufacturing and business team for New55 PN which remains together to smooth some of the ups and downs likely to attend the creation of this color material. He has also financed large portions of the project himself, and he and New55 FILM co-founder, Sam Hiser, have worked as unpaid volunteers, putting in years of uncompensated time. Florian "Doc" Kaps, founder of The Impossible Project, also brings his experience, ingenuity and wisdom as a true pioneer in instant film revival. Doc will help guide the Kickstarter promotions and the advertising, public outreach and marketing of the new instant photo materials that are created.
New55 FILM has had the benefit of advice all throughout its product development from wise heads in the instant film industry and we particularly appreciate the valuable ongoing support we receive from the folks at The Impossible Project, 20x24 Studio, Soundwave Research Lab and from a growing group of accomplished photographers who, like you, are extremely eager to have a fine instant 4x5 color print film in steady supply. As practitioners of the art, they know that instant film is a complex product with many stringent requirements.
This Kickstarter project is not a pre-order initiative. It is an attempt to fund the manufacturing capacity for a new photographic film. Like you already saw from our previous Kickstarter, we're serious about this and put our whole efforts into it. That, however, cannot eliminate all the risk. As a supporter you will be helping to build the factory needed for peelapart instant films, and set the stage for a further packfilm effort. We are mentioning packfilms because there are some components such as sheet film and papers that are used in both packfilms and in New55 COLOR, but this is about the 4x5 product and equipping the factory to make it work very well.
If you've followed the previous New55 PN project, you know how difficult that was and, of course, there is more to do. So you might wonder why we would attempt this even more challenging project. The answer is that the opportunity is clearly in front of us. We have the momentum and the desire, and your calls for us to keep going have been a source of inspiration.
Thank you for your support!
Marquee photo credit: Olimpia Rende on Instagram @olimpia_rende. Special thanks to Ars Imago (Roma) and SUPERSENSE (Vienna).
Risks and challenges
The timely sourcing and production of the receiver sheet or negative are risks.
The project may be under-funded and require additional capital to proceed.
Important supplier arrangements for film stock could have a higher than expected cost.
The supply of pods and reagent may be interrupted as we transition over to new pod making equipment, creating a delay.
The performance of the product could be lower than we expect.
Access to facilities and tools could be interrupted unexpectedly.
The project could fail to deliver at all if enough things go wrong.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (29 days)