New55 Ends Operations
On December 31st, 2017, New55 announced that they have ended operations. A single sentence post made to the main page stated:
We would like to thank all supporters and all customers as well as our steady suppliers for their faith and good service.
The news came as a major blow to the film community as New55 was the remaining company, launched by a kickstarter campaign, that provided an instant film solution for large format photography. Studio C-41 sent a tweet to Polaroid Originals in an attempt to see if there was any interest in potentially renewing New55’s efforts.
— Studio C-41 (@studio_c41) January 7, 2018
Polaroid Originals responded with:
Super bummed to hear the news. We stand by the statement we made last year, though: https://t.co/9XPQgfF2KX
— Polaroid Originals (@polaroidorignls) January 8, 2018
In response, Polaroid Originals made it clear they will not venture into pack or peel-apart film. In November 2017, Polaroid Originals CEO, Oskar Smolokowski, issued a statement noting it understands the consumer demand for pack film, however, due to the significant investment to rebuild machinery and raw materials, it would be extremely cost prohibitive to bring pack film back to market.
We are all big fans of pack film at Polaroid Originals and really do wish we could do something to bring it back. Unfortunately, it is a project we cannot tackle in the coming years.
… To tackle pack film, we’d be starting from scratch, investing in the design and invention of new machines and processes in a project that would take years to complete, requiring huge investments and resources we just don’t have.
While interest and eagerness in reviving pack film and peel-apart-film lingers, supply and demand plays a big part in how this particular film market fares. The last of Fujifilm’s FP-100c supply in the retail markets are dwindling and prices are increasing.
Only time will tell how News55’s decision to end operations will determine pack and peel-apart film’s fate.