Ah, it was ace!!
So, it seems there actually is demand for an analogue film resource and do you know what? I've been wanting to run a lab for about two and a half years, ever since I got back from my trip around Germany and France staying at DIY film labs (Sector 16, L'Abominable, L'ETNA, Atelier MTK). I feel so so happy that it is finally happening!
Lucy and Naomi borrowed a Super 8 camera and shot a roll of film, then came back to the lab and processed it, and hung it up to dry.
Tom brought some really interesting 16mm films and showed them.
Rosie checked out the space, bought a Super 8 film from the lab fridge and sussed out what type of light meter battery she needs to buy to make her Super 8 camera work.
I demonstrated how to splice Super 8, 16mm and Standard 8 film, and gave people tours of the resource, showed how the LOMO tank works, helped Naomi mix up some chemicals for processing, and just generally explained things and pointed people in the right direction to find things out.
I got a lovely Standard 8 camera (made in former USSR in the 60s, called "Quarz") and loaded it with Fomapan R b/w reversal stock (from the Czech Republic), and am shooting it this weekend and trying out the 6 different lenses that came with it! It's a wind up camera, totally love it!
I know OpenLab being 1 day a month isn't that much, but I'd rather that it grows in frequency rather than starts off too ambitiously and then becomes a chore, you know? This way is just perfect for now, and maybe in the winter I'll do a few extra OpenLabs if I've got more time to spare!
The lab is pretty well stocked now, and everything that needs fixing is being fixed, which takes a lot of time and money, but it's soooo worth it!
I'm really keen to get on with my own filmmaking too, and share films with other people. I shot lots of K40 in Tenerife - went to this amazing volcano! - so when I get that processed I can start the lengthy process of editing. I've got a lot of footage I've shot over the years, and a form has been taking shape for a while now, so all I've got to do now is ... oh, tons and tons of stuff! Shooting and processing is only the beginning! I'm in no rush though.
Already looking forward to the next OpenLab, on 10th September. It feels so good to be doing this!