Just a quick update on what I've been doing in the lab!
I've been down there loads lately, and time disappears, it's amazing, getting so involved in what I'm doing I don't notice until I nearly miss my last train home! I have been known to sleep there, but no mattress etc so it's a case of sleeping on the floor and putting up with the resident ghost. Seriously.
Anyhow! This is what I've been up to:
1. Properly learnt how to do an okay DIY job of telecine of Super8, and to make DVDs from the footage. Good to know. Useful I guess. Would love a professional telecine unit, maybe in the future!
2. Acquired some new kit, including cameras, polaroid film (Impossible Project), polaroid cameras, gossen light probe for the lunasix light meter (for use with JK optical printer). Old film stocks! Filters for the little Nizos.
3. Started a project with a small number of people making films over an intense period of time. It's ace!
4. Got to grips with the optical printer "Pat". Am using colour print film in the bolex, so I was experimenting with long single frame exposures on the bolex, and about 8 seconds with aperture fully open on lens at end of bellows (3.5) plus a strong orange filter (to give a nice peachy hue) is working well! Pretty laborious doing single frame exposures and counting in my head for 8 seconds each time, but mechanically sort of pleasing to do so! Get into a rhythm. Also tried out some plus-x 16mm negative film I have (dated 1989!) and will develop in D-19 when roll is finished.
5. Processed old Video News ektachrome in C-41 chemistry, and was rubbish. I think the stock is really past it big time. I've also processed it in E6, tweaked to be VNF compatible, but was equally crap! So am thinking of getting rid of it. It's a shame, as I have tons of the stuff! It can still be used for its magnetic sound strip though. I am thinking about using it simply as a sound film, to run alongside a pic, in a double 'projection'.
6. Processed colour print film that has been in the optical printer at 8 second exposures per frame. I used the E6 method taught me by Etienne Caire of MTK in Grenoble, it's ace. 1 minute in first dev, 2 minutes in colour dev, 2 minutes in blix, and 1 or 2 minutes in stabiliser. Really beautiful! I love being able to get a positive so bloomin quickly - 7 or 8 mins! Perfect! Nice rough and ready look too, especially when I'm rough with the film and handle it lots before it's dry.
7. Collected together all the empty Super8 cartridges that I've been saving, and am planning to make a big mural out of them! To be added to each time another is processed. I like seeing the old stocks in there too, adds a bit of verve to the otherwise total kodak monopoly!
8. Ordered some 'cinevia' super8 stock from GK film, process paid! I know that's a very un-lab like thing to do, and have only ever had about 2 films processed (right at the beginning, before I knew how to do it myself), and a little bunch of Kodachrome 40 at the end of last year too, but I'm really curious to see if it lives up to the hype, and also want to remind myself of what an industrially processed film looks like, and compare my efforts!
9. Found a 'Ferrania' Super8 splicer and 2 'CIR' Super8 splicers on ebay and got em! Ace.
10. Learnt more about processing cine film in coffee! Enrico from Kino Lab in Colombia posted on his blog about it. Really amazing. I had seen examples of photo negs done in coffee, but never tried it myself, and the cine film he developed looks brill! Another guy blends up onions to make fixer! I tweeted the blog posts - can't remember the blog addresses off hand, but they're on my twitter thingy. Or just search on internet! The pet name for this coffee developer is "Caffenol". Like it! Gonna try it next week I think!
11. Going to Chapeltown Carnival tomorrow to shoot some footage! Amazing colours there, really nice vibe too. Am glad I'm not at Notting Hill Carnival, where it's expected to totally kick off. It's so huge, you can hardly move anywhere. Chapeltown Carnival in Leeds is the original! And the coolest I reckon!