Wednesday, May 29, 2013

My Most Exciting 5 Feet Of Film Ever

What could be more thrilling than seeing the daredevil stunt riders of the Ken Fox Wall of Death in action this weekend?

Well, supposing I captured some of the action with my Nizo super 8 camera using some black and white negative film. Then suppose that a mere 2 days later I wait 'til it's dark, sneak into my loft and put about 5 feet of the film loosely into one of my dad's old Paterson developing tanks. Then, maybe I head down to the kitchen and mix up 500ml of Caffenol C-M film developer (instant coffee, washing soda, vitamin C & water), process the film (15 minutes), water stop bath (5 washes), Hypofix (10 minutes), wash (10 minutes) then fast dry the film with a hair dryer.

Then just supposing there were actually some pictures on the film strip... How exciting would that be?

Well tonight, that's exactly what happened...

This is the first time in a very long time that I've processed any film of any kind. It's certainly the first time I've processed any cine film, and most definitely the first time I've processed film using a coffee-based film developer. (Co-op Fair Trade Instant if you're asking).

This first test film was just jumbled up willy-nilly inside the Paterson tank, but it certainly proves the chemistry works. Of course it would be better to use a proper cine processing tank, especially for developing a whole 50 foot (15 metre) cartridge in one session.

Once I had my 5 feet of  hand processed film, I then put it on my light box and took a few close-up stills with my DSLR camera and some macro rings. This is hardly the best way to get a telecine done, but at least this way, I can show some of the results.

DIY 'Caffenol C-M' processed BWneg super 8 film

DIY 'Caffenol C-M' processed BWneg super 8 film, inverted to positive and some levels applied.

It's very late now, but of course I couldn't resist putting a very short movie together out of these first few frames ...

I just couldn't be more encouraged by this first test. I hope I can digitize the whole 5 foot strip to show soon and I'm now very keen to process the rest of this reel with this chemistry. So much more to do with this...

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Spiral 002

Here's what that 8mm film developing spiral might look like.. .should somebody try to CAD model it in Geomagic Design...

I'm currently trialling this software and making some progress with it... The most basic version of this software is called Geomagic Design (Personal Edition), and I'm thinking this is a pretty good tool for this kind of work, and certainly a whole lot better than the Autodesk 123D Design (free) application I've been using so far.

This model is the lower half of the film spiral only. There will need to be a top plate to keep the film held in place, but that part will be of a much simpler design.

I uploaded this as an .stl file to, the estimated price to make this part would be about £80. Just at the moment this seems a little bit too much to spend on this project, so I'm hoping to find a service / 3D printer owner who could help me make this for a little less.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

This Is Me On French TV!

Veuillez installer Flash Player pour lire la vidéo

Well, let's say it's a very select group who have discovered my typographic web series The Futura Gold. Fortunately, amongst the people who have found it, were the team who put together L'Oeil de Links; a rather special TV show about web creativity shown in France on the CANAL+ channel.

A couple of weeks ago I got an email from Jeff Tinard the scheduler for the show, asking if they could broadcast my films and record a Skype interview with me. The resulting programme was broadcast yesterday and I'm pleased there's already an online record of the show on the CANAL+ website. The clip above gives an excellent introduction to the history of the Futura typeface, then follows with Episodes 02 and 03 of The Futura Gold complete with an interview with the director. Hmm, is that really me grinning like a madman through all this?

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Adobe indulges in 'Creative' Pricing $ to £

I've spent the afternoon trying to work out what the Adobe 'Creative Cloud' software subscription service means for my workplace, and it's really not good.... 

First up, there's this... 

Adobe CreativeCloud for Teams $69.99/user/month (for US customers.) 
Adobe CreativeCloud for Teams £65.44/user/month (for UK customers)

Erm, same software, same cloud storage (which we don't actually need), yet at normal exchange rates that's $100.17/user/month for UK users. A price hike of 153% for us Europeans. For a cloud service how can Adobe possibly justify this market segmentation?

Well on Adobe chat today this was how that bit went...

Adobe spokesperson: We understand your concern. We want to make sure that we are giving our Customers the best products and at the right price. Although Adobe Europe and Adobe US are different parts of the same global company, European Marketing strategies and pricing are not directly related to those used for the US. The prices are not simply converted from the dollar pricing used for US products, therefore the pricing used for each country in the EMEA region may vary.

And there's more... oh yes, a lot more ...