WE WILL MAKE PACKFILM!
14 September, 2018, Boston MA:
Back in March 2016, following Fuji’s announcement to end production of Packfilm, we set out on an ambitious mission to try and make Packfilm ourselves. Today we can disclose various details, which we had to keep under wraps until now.
This project had already been on the back burner for us for quite some time, as we had been discussing the possibility of making Packfilm as early as 2014. Fuji's discontinuation announcement made us put the pedal to the metal. We immediately scrambled to get things going. We had begun a globe-trotting effort to secure things for the future, and met (sometimes secretly) with top executives from companies all around the world, (Japan, Germany, France, China and the US). We visited factories, warehouses and dungeons, walked knee deep in dust and detritus to try and uncover some long lost or forgotten piece of technology we hoped would aid us in this quest. We met with suppliers, designers, chemists and engineers and secured what would potentially be the base upon which a new production line would be built.
Throughout this process, we had spent a huge amount of resources (out of our own capital) as part of this mission. It was our investment in the mission to find out if this would even be possible.
Alas, despite having spent the better part of two years working on this, and what we feel was our very best effort to take on this crazy challenge, we have decided to move away from this project and focus our efforts on other projects, where we feel our resources are better utilized.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has supported us along the way. We got thousands of emails and phone calls, and while were not able to respond to all of them, know that we took each and every one of them to heart - it has meant the world to us to know there is a strong and active analog community out there.
The main reason Fuji ended the production of Packfilm is that customers were not buying enough of it. The economics of scale meant that it was no longer profitable for them, at any price point. Those who have been lamenting the demise of Packfilm (FP100c) and those just jumping onboard now, should know that Packfilm was and still is readily available around the world (and probably will still be available for the next few years).
Everyone should go out and buy some now, buy lots of it and go shoot. Its the only way to keep the industry going. By doing so, you might even be supporting a new effort to make Packfilm that is taking shape right now. we would encourage anyone who is interested in Packfilm to consider supporting this upcoming effort and Kickstarter campaign.
As always - BUY MORE FILM. SUPPORT THE INDUSTRY.
29 March, 2018, Boston, MA:
Probably the best kept secret in the instant film industry is hidden behind these doors:
Best kept secret.
24 June, 2016, Boston, MA:
We are very happy to introduce our newest CatLABS team members: Matt M. a
talented engineer who has a long and illustrious background in analog
photography will be joining Maeghan F. our very own marketing and
management integration specialist.
We have been inundated with messages and emails and are so grateful for
the amazing support we have received in the analog photography community.
Due to the sheer volume of messages we are unable to answer all of them, but we
do read each and every one and take the words of encouragement to
As the project evolves we have identified financing as the primary
factor in moving ahead. As we are crunching the numbers, we can't help
but go back to something we have been talking about ever since we
started getting involved with packfilm - the price.
Like with every other aspect of business and marketing, there is ample
research for measuring the effects of price changes on levels of
consumption. In a very over simplified way of looking at things, these
studies demonstrate that in mass markets, as prices go up, sales slow
down. Companies use elaborate analysis charts and graphs to find out
what the end result to their bottom might be.
In the case of packfilm, at first look, there is an anomaly. Fuji packfilm prices have remained stagnant (up until recent the discontinuation announcement) for more then a decade, and even in the preceding decade, there was only a very minor change in price making the price essentially the same for the past 15-20 years. This is in spite of soaring petroleum and other raw material prices, changes in cost of living as well as new regulations and laws which have drastically affected prices of other photo products, even in Fuji's own product range.
FP100c price between 2009 and now.
We know of no other photo related product that has had the same price
stability as a Costco hotdog and soda combo. This incredible fact seems
to be lacking from the discussion about the end of life of packfilm by
Fuji, but is critical to understand before the future of packfilm can be
From Fuji's perspective, the price at which FP100 was selling
represented some kind of equilibrium - they sold enough to make enough,
but as sales dwindled, they looked at their charts, and found that from a
certain point onward, changing the price to increase profitability due
reduced sales, will only further erode the amounts of product sold, up
to a point, which was unrecoverable. There was no need to change the
price over time, because a certain balance was maintained. When that
balance balance was disrupted, it would seem that at no point in time in
the future will the profit generated from this product be greater then
the cost to make it. In no small part, this is due to the fact Fuji
originally designed this product for production on a scale that would
never return. Fuji is too big a company and operation to be able to
scale down production to a size that would produce a sales/price chart
capable of showing profit.
The good news is, Polaroid's machines were designed and built in the
50's and 60's, Fuji's machines in the 80's. Thanks many technological
advances, when tackling this question today, we have many tools at our
disposal that neither Polaroid nor Fuji ever had.
16 May, 2016, Boston, MA: On the CatLABS desk this morning.
07 May, 2016, Boston, MA:
We are working hard on our Packfilm plans, and and so far, things are moving ahead nicely. While we do not yet have any specific news regarding Packfilm at this time, we do have some massive news for users of instant 8X10 users. We want to keep this page dedicated to #wewillmakepackfilm updates but feel this enough closely related to be worthy of posting it here, if only because its a fitting way to celebrate the birthday of Dr. Edwin Land. In the vein of keeping it short - we will post a short update about this exciting instant 8X10 development sometime late next week.
25 April, 2016, Boston, MA:
Our initial post regarding Packfilm has resonated with many people around the world and we are very happy to see an active and vibrant community reaction to this post.
At this point, there are no numbers and no techno babble to bore or delight with, except to reiterate our commitment to this project with a deep understanding of the size of the undertaking and challenge. Wheels are turning, balls are rolling and connections and contacts are forming in all the right places.
One thing we can share, is that we have been actively discussing Packfilm for more then 6 months, as part of our connection with French film and paper maker Bergger, which is already utilizing cutting-edge technologies to make Pancro 400, the worlds newest BW film. Using 21st century technologies and manufacturing techniques enables a viable and sustainable production of photographic film in the digital age, which we envision will be part of the future of Packfilm.
If we can borrow something from 'The Prodigy' circa 1997:
WE DO NOT HAVE NEW PACKFILM
WE WILL HAVE SOME SOON
BUY OTHER THINGS FOR NOW
We are all in this together. For anyone who asks “how can I help now?” we say:
Buy fresh film. Buy more instant film. Support the industry today.
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23 April, 2016, Boston, MA:
CatLABS is positioned to start working on recreating a sustainable and financially viable production of packfilm right now.
Following a final announcement from Fujifilm on April 21, 2016, that they will not be making packfilm, no matter what, we have decided to take this on.
Fuji's announcement instantly made millions of cameras, and camera backs worldwide obsolete. We believe we can change that and not only keep those cameras and backs out of the dumpster, but push forward a new and ongoing generation of instant image makers.
We have the experience, knowledge and history to back this up. We are so committed to packfilm, we had the entire 6th issue of our Papersafe magazine shot on packfilm.
We do not yet have specifics or details for you - stay tuned for more on this.
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