One Instant wants to put the future of pull-apart film in the hands of photographers through a new DIY kit that promises to reduce labor costs and help the unique format survive.
Even in the niche world of analog photography, peel-apart film is relatively obscure. Also known as packfilm, it is one of the earliest forms of instant film and was beloved for its usability without a darkroom and the fact that it was usable in both 35mm and 120 format cameras. For a time, big names like Polaroid and Fujifilm manufactured peel-apart film, but that ship sailed last decade.
Now, peel-apart film is only produced by a handful of small manufacturers and is relatively expensive to produce. In short, there aren’t enough photographers using peel-apart to warrant larger-scale production and there is a very real risk that it will cease to be made in the future at all.
That’s a future that One Instant is trying to avoid. Parent company Supersense says that the development of the One Instant DIY Film Kit is meant to reduce the price of film and allow enthusiasts to not only learn exactly how peel-apart film works, but the hope is to actually make the format enticing enough to save it from extinction.
“Supersense has launched a new product, the One Instant DIY Film Kit, all with one goal in mind: to find a sustainable future for the peel-apart instant packfilm format,” the company says.
One kit comes with everything needed to make eight shots of “Type 100” packfilm and does not require any special equipment or even a darkroom. Assembly of the film can take place in a normally-lit space thanks to what Supersense calls an “innovative light-seal design.” It takes 10 minutes to build one shot of packfilm with the kit.
The company says that by outsourcing the labor of creating the film to photographers, it is able to lower the price of peel-apart film which keeps it approachable. The added benefit is teaching analog enthusiasts all about the format and what makes it special.
“As a ‘proof of concept’, and to gauge the interest of the community in supporting this new approach, Supersense has launched a pre-sale, with the goal of selling 222 8-shot packs before Christmas 2023,” the company says.
While it has no intention of stopping the production of its pre-assembled One Instant packfilm, Supersense says that it hopes this more affordable alternative helps make the format more accessible and therefore save it from fading away.
“Everything about the One Instant DIY Film Kit was designed with the goal of providing the most affordable and immersive packfilm experience ever. It’s our big hope that by reducing the cost of our film, more people will have access to this incredible medium,” Chris Holmquist, One Instant’s production manager says.
“Moreover, there is the possibility for a kind of ‘crowdsourcing’ side-effect growing from the DIY Film Kit, as enthusiasts across the world are finally enabled to build and understand how the packfilm format works, from the inside out, potentially sparking innovation and inspiring new ways of looking at how to keep this format alive in the future.”
One Instant is offering the DIY film kit in three varieties: color, black and white, and sepia-toned monochromatic (called Choco). The kit contains everything required to make eight shots, including all parts & components, tools, and a fully illustrated instruction manual.