Two of my 16mm films on Vimeo

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Two of my 16mm films on Vimeo

Post by woods01 » Wed Feb 26, 2014 5:10 am

I recently publicly posted two new(ish) short films of mine on Vimeo that did the festival racket last year. Both are short experimental docs, using either hand processing or expired 16mm stock. Fans of B&W, dust and scratches will enjoy, others beware!

7246 120' WE:

Shot on 10-15 year old Kodak and Agfa 16mm. Probably the best and most popular thing I've ever done.


All hand processed and optically printed on 7363 and 7302. Started as a workshop project and not finished for several years. I think I re-printed it completely at least 3 times as I went along the learning curve.


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Re: Two of my 16mm films on Vimeo

Post by richard p. t. » Wed Feb 26, 2014 11:33 am

Hi John,
this is good work.
I was at Alternative Measure in Colorado. Did we meet there?
to ask a mundane question, were these films bucket processed or lomo processed? Which developer did you use?
Of all the cine film processes (e6, ecn, ecp, bw reversal, bw neg) bw neg is the hardest by a long margin. Funny that. It is also theoretically the simplest. But getting even development from frame to frame and within the frame is almost impossible with Lomo tanks (and jobo tanks and rewind tanks). Tell me how you go about processing bw neg?
all the best,
I run Nano Lab - Australia's super8 ektachrome processing service
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Re: Two of my 16mm films on Vimeo

Post by chrisgavin » Wed Feb 26, 2014 1:57 pm

Hi there,

I just watched both films and really enjoyed them. There's something really powerful in these BW hand-processed images, it really feels like viewing somebody else's memories or thoughts. I really like layered sound collages too, very evocative. Nice work indeed.
Films made for you...

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Re: Two of my 16mm films on Vimeo

Post by slashmaster » Thu Feb 27, 2014 8:26 am

I also just watched both films... You need to take a q tip to your camera gate but other than that it's great!...

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Re: Two of my 16mm films on Vimeo

Post by James E » Fri Feb 28, 2014 5:47 am

James E. Stubbs
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Re: Two of my 16mm films on Vimeo

Post by woods01 » Fri Feb 28, 2014 6:43 am

Thx all for the comments!

Chris - You really nailed it, memory (or what we think we remember) is a part of what these films are about. To me small gauge film is like memory itself. Sometimes damaged and grainy but beautiful and sharp (when we want it that way). Limited in scope and length, yet we always wish we had a little more running time.

Slashmaster - Yeah quite a filthy gate! With "Legacies", the original camera film was Tri-X that looked quite good. But some damage occurred projecting it, steenbeck editing, negative conforming in my living room and also through repeated trips through the optical printer. Since it was a workshop film I didn't give much care to the film, I just wanted to finish it. Part of the film was printed on an old Oxberry printer and other parts on a JK printer. I've since given the camera gate a good cleaning!

Richard - Yes we did meet at TIE, I was the tall lanky fellow with the Vancouver group. I usually use lomo tanks, I've got a 50' and 100' version. But I think much of "Legacies" was processed in buckets because I would print a single shot and process it right away. Never a full 100' roll. Near the end I got my 100' Lomo, so some shots were done with that but only 10-15' lengths with plenty of chemistry. I used D-76 to combat the contrast the 7363 was creating.

But the other film "7246 120' WE" was done differently with a lab and would be why you think the results look good. That was shot on ancient colour negative, 7246 (of course) and some Agfa XT, that was processed by Niagara Custom Lab (all 2 stops overexposed, 1 stop push process). It was really just a test to see if it would give an image so I goofed around and shot various stuff I often go by on my weekend bike rides. I got the film back from the lab with a workprint and was pleased with the results, the film looked very worn (as you can see) with poor contrast and colour. Around the same time I found out there was a photo contest on neighbourhood photos with a small video contest with a deadline the next week. I digitized the film with the JK and a DSLR, desaturated and cranked the contrast and submitted the film the next week. As yet another test I got NCL to do its digital file to 16mm film and got a nice print from them. Its got a bit more contrasty than the digital version but is quite sharp and impressive.

Glad to hear you folks enjoyed them! Its not everyone's cup of tea.


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Re: Two of my 16mm films on Vimeo

Post by carllooper » Fri Feb 28, 2014 11:03 am

Great work. I really enjoyed the way the camera moved in certain shots, from a kind of rough hand held motion to a really smooth and constrained focused motion. Meandering along a street and then into frame comes a can of film and the frame takes on this well framed and fluid focus. There was a transformation that occurred, between the image as an arbitrary image (or graphic), to the image as window into a world. And back again. The whole work had this sense of moving back and forth between a world and an image of a world. The music/sound provided great punctuation, and the entire atmosphere was of a giddy lyrical freedom.

Carl Looper

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