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Wolfville, Nova Scotia


Hand Processing Workshop

Chris Campbell

Chris and Tony in the darkroom thumbnailA couple of weeks ago I took a great hand-processing 16mm and 8mm film workshop at the New Brunswick Filmmakers' Co-operative. It was two weeks after another coop workshop where I got to load and shoot my own film. The hand processing (and Bolex) workshops were taught by the talented photographer and filmmaker Chris Giles, who uses the Russian tank method of processing film. Using black and white reversal film you can shoot and process your own film. For the workshop we covered all of the information, then loaded up a Bolex and went out to shoot. Then it was into the darkroom and the images magically appeared. After the film dried we watched what was shot. All together it was less than an hour from the time we had shot. Those really are "rushes". It was a great experience and it made me fall in love with film again.
Shooting film is a completely different experience from shooting video. It's amazing how your perception of time changes and smaller increments of time seem to become more precious. Shooting black and white film changes things even more as the level of abstraction of not knowing exactly how the image will appear on the emulsion is compounded by the loss of colour. When you see film that you have shot projected it is magic. It's truly a different way to see the world.