Film Never Die



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We had the pleasure of meeting Gary, the owner of Film Never Die at their beautiful studio, which is in Gary's own garage. This small place has a lot of character and after paying them a visit, one could not help but to feel inspired by their work.

Here Gary tells us about his passion for polaroid films and how he started his business.

Tell us a little bit about your background:
I started Film Never Die about four years ago. I actually studied bachelor of science and also did a business degree in commercial advertising and technology. I guess bringing new technology to the market is what I'm passionate about and one day I will definitely start a biotech company. Right now God has placed me in the Polaroid business.

One day my wife wanted a polaroid camera for christmas, and I got her a camera but could not get her any films as polaroid had shut its last factory. A new company called “Impossible project” bought the factory, but the films were really experimental and at times the pictures were either too pinkish or too bluish and sometimes you would get no images at all.

As a result the best way to get the films was to buy them in bulk and import them to Australia. I ordered 60 packs at first, kept 10 for my wife and sold the rest on Ebay. They were all sold quickly. So I did it a few more times and relised that there is a market for it. I decided to give it try. Then we started selling cameras as well. People wanted to have a look at the the cameras in person, so I started using our garage as our office/shop. On the first day of our opening we sold two cameras which was great.

Not many places know how to make the most out of films and polaroids anymore, that is why we decided to become specialists in this field. Right now we organise events such as Poloroid Walk and workshops to generate awareness. We are actually going to have our first Polaroid exhibition in April. We are doing this exhibition in conjunction with Ex-polaroid, which is a worldwide polaroid festival and we will be one of the cities amongst the 40 cities in the world to do workshop conferences and exhibitions in this field.
We currently have over five thousand customers and would like to provide them with a venue where they can exhibit their work. We do not want to be only a place where they purchase from but to be with them through their journey.

How do you make your own cameras?
Some of our camera are actually old ones and we fix them up and sell them with six month warranty. There are some customised ones with fish eye lens, which we make ourselves. We also work with technicians to help us with the cameras.

What makes Polaroids and films distinctive to you?
I initially started with digital photography and went crazy with my Sony Alpha 200. I had thousands and thousands of photos on my computer waiting for me to be edited, but I did not have the time. Then one day my hard disk died and I lost all my photos. So I started liking films as I could not take as many shots and developed a passion for vintage cameras.

Then, I wanted to buy another Digital camera and I relised if I get a new camera, it will have no value in three years. So I started collecting vintage cameras. Additionally, shooting with film makes you think about each shot and makes you want to take good photos. Due to cost of film for polaroids, one needs to make sure they take a good photo.

As someone who started his own business do you have any advice for graduates or people who are looking for employment opportunities?
I would say if you want to pursue your passion, you may receive negative comments from others, saying things like “You can't make a business out of a hobby'. I would say spend a lot of time on what you really like (your art) and be consumed by it. Get a mentor from whom you can ask questions and do a great deal of research. Keep doing it and if you are passionate about it, it will work.

To learn more about Film Never Die, visit their website:  filmneverdie.com.au