To document developing color film for the first time, I decided to do a video diary of the day. I posted these to my Instagram and Facebook, but I wanted to put them all here in one master post to kind of document how it all went.
NOTE: I am not good at video. I am not so great at doing two things at once, and I am certainly not well versed in doing things one handed. SO, if at any time you're looking at this thinking "oh man I could do these so much better" I'm probably going to agree with you.
However, the end result was worth it, and I'm glad I shared my experience with everyone.
First up I made a quick post on Instagram about what my day was going to look like and what I was getting myself into.
I posted the longer videos to my Facebook, because Instagram limited me to 60 seconds. And then I started rambling about mixing chemistry and cost and how gosh darn expensive this is going to be, like wow. For the three rolls I shot at Wondercon I spent roughly $50 on chemistry. I have so much more to do, this is insane. I am going to spend so much money on chemistry. But hey, I'm doing it myself and I love that.
Here: listen to me ramble.
I also did a bit about mixing the actual chemistry. I'd like to remind you that my video skills are nonexistent. I am not good at this.
So don't feel bad if you watch it and are like "wow that's bad" okay? we agree. Just a reminder.
Once mixed I put the bottles in the water bath and discovered that I had uneven water displacement and my set up wouldn't work. I did the next best thing and stuck the chemistry for the development in the sink in the kitchen and filled the sink with really hot water.
Then I made another video.
Okay, yes, I said load my chemistry. I meant film, obviously. But remember, I told you, I am not so good with the video.
I know what you're thinking, chemistry is the easy part, how the heck are you going to get that wide ass film onto a Paterson reel? How are you going to get it into a tank? What the heck are you thinking Deb, this is crazy talk?
I can hear you you know. But thanks to the internet, and those who have come before, I found an awesome solution to home developing 70mm film, color or black and white.
Now, important note, my film does not have sprockets, some 70mm does; this method will work for both.
Okay so, reel issue solved. Also, I downloaded a video editing app for my phone. So now I didn't have to do the whole thing in one take. I would like to say that this would increase the quality of my video diary/journal. But it does not.
Here, I'm going to ramble about changing bags and Paterson tanks and daylight film development . . .
Film loaded, chemistry heated, I was finally able to develop film. Which I made only one video of because color development requires constant agitation and my hands were busy.
And let's be honest, my video was entirely based around the color of the wash water . . . which is Leprechaun colored.
I would also like you all to know that I am not allowed to say that it looks like I killed a Leprechaun because my daughter (who is 6) says that I will upset the Leprechauns and they won't be nice to me anymore. I told her I think the Leprechauns can tell I'm joking, she said they wouldn't and who am I to argue with a 6 year old. Anyway, I did make a final video of the results when I hung the film to dry, after I finished crying.
I'm not kidding about that crying bit. I was so relieved to have images that I broke down sobbing. I still gasp and get a little weepy when I pull film out now, on the final roll. It's just so magical and I am so happy to have done this and to have been supported by so many of my friends.
And I can't wait to do it again.