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News & Insight

Instant Dreams | New Documentary Explores The Timeline Of A Reborn Classic

By Brittany Smith on November 11th 2017

Polaroid is one of the few brands that has been able to appeal to nearly every generation; it’s like the Tom Petty of photography. After a near fated doom, the resurgence of the instant analog film king has been doughty and met with a joyous cadence.

As the fallen titan regains popularity, Dutch filmmaker Willem Baptist has made a beautiful tribute to the brand, in the form of a new documentary, Instant Dreams.


Back in the day Polaroids could be found in the hands of enthusiasts that wanted to document their life in a way similar to the modern day Instagram. Professionals and students alike depended on the $3 Polaroids for its nearly instant feedback required to double check exposure settings and composition prior to inserting the E-6 film for the final capture. 

In a world where immediacy now reigns supreme, the pop culture classic acts like a throwback to simpler times and waiting for the Polaroid to develop is met with giddy anticipation. For many, the memories and feelings associated with the history of the brand are viewed through rose colored glasses and the reality of its fate were forgotten.

[Rewind:] The Return Of Polaroid | The King Is Back And Already An Instant Classic

The company that immortalized millions of lives and served as a medium of preserving history with tangible physical documents came face to face with its own mortality. During their prime Polaroid cameras were in the hands of millions and the company sold over a billion pictures a year. In 2008, Polaroid announced that it was going to stop production and to make matters worse, Fujifilm ceased production of the beloved peelback film in 2016. The mystical formula that defined and preserved a culture was essentially lost.

“At its peak Polaroid sold more than a billion photographs a year. It was just everywhere […] There’s tens of millions of Polaroid cameras out there waiting to be used again.”

Willem Baptist’s Instant Dreams appears to be a visual masterpiece that celebrates the history and future of the magic that is Polaroid. Baptist states that the film is his “cinematic ode to that longing for magic, mystery and a celebration of the dreams of the future that are interwoven with this medium.”

The World Premiere of Instant Dreams is scheduled for November 18th and you can check out the beautiful trailer below. You can also stay up to date with the film via Instagram and Facebook.

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Brittany is a fashion and beauty photographer who works between NYC, Montana and LA. She photographs the way she has always wanted to feel and believes in the power of raw simplicity. When not behind a camera she can usually be found at a local coffeeshop, teaching fitness classes at the YMCA, or baking something fabulous in the kitchen.
Instagram: @brittanysmithphoto

Q&A Discussions

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  1. Dave Barnard

    Thanks for your article Polaroid needs to come back; people , I believe want it.  Some parts of the Polaroid line have been revived.  Please bring more Montana to Los Angeles and New York they could use it.  In Los Angeles there is Michael Kirchoff who has taken medium format instant film to a new level ..

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    • Brittany Smith

      I agree with you, Dave. I have been watching Polaroid and Instax gain huge traction with many demographics and interest level in photography. I am a huge fan and hoping to bring it into my current work. 

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