Introduction: Hacking the Walgreens Forever Camera for Near Free Film

The Walgreens forever camera is a disposable camera that you reuse over and over again.  After using up the film they include in the camera, you return the camera and get the film processed.  They load a new roll of film in the camera for free.  The deal is that as long as you bring the camera back to them for processing they'll put a new free roll inside.  The trick is that you can take the film out and put it in a different camera without much trouble.  This allows you to pay $2.15 + tax for film processing and a roll of 27 shot color 400 film.

Step 1: Wind the Film Back in the Cartridge

When you get the camera it will already be loaded with film.  The camera works opposite of how a normal 35mm film camera works.  With a 35mm camera you put the film in the canister holder then take take pictures and pull the film out of the canister to get to the next frame.  When you're done you wind the film back into the canister and take it out.  With the Forever Camera and many other disposable cameras the film in inserted, then wound out of the canister.  when you take pictures you're winding the film back into the canister. 
If you were to open the film door you'd expose the roll.  You need to "take" pictures and just obstruct the lens and make sure no light gets in.  After going through all 27 frames you'll get to the E in the frame counter on top of the camera.  Now the film is wound into the cartridge and ready to be removed.

Step 2: Put Film in Another Camera

After removing the film, put it in your favorite 35mm camera or whatever other photographic creation you have and shoot away.  You should get around 27 shots. 

Step 3: Return the Film

After completing your roll, take it out of the camera and stick it back in the Forever Camera.  There's no need to wind it or anything.  When you drop the camera off they'll open it up, put another roll in, and wind it out.  If they're busy you can try telling the person that you can just wind it, then you don't have to deal with the whole taking pictures into you jeans thing.  Or if the person looks like they usually don't work in the photo department just tell them you'll take care of installing it and they'll just hand you the cartridge.  The cheapest option is to just get negative made for $2.15 + tax.  The also offer printing and digital files of your pictures on a CD.