SILVER-GELATIN (LIGHT SENSITIVE) EMULSION MAKING
Lecturer: Esther Urlus
The process of making your own silver-gelatin film emulsion is one that offers the filmmaker an unprecedented degree of creative intervention and expressiveness that simply cannot be accomplished with commercial film stocks. Although not a replacement for commercially produced film stocks, hand crafting and coating silver gelatine emulsions can lead to new and creative ways of forming cinematic images.
The starting point is home brewing a photosensitive emulsion that covers the 16mm film strips. A black-and-white emulsion is easily made with some silver nitrate, potassium bromide, gelatin and water. It's actually similar to making mayonnaise. The biggest challenge is to evenly coat the emulsion on the thin strip of clear 16mm film and make it in a way that is possible to run it through a printer or a film camera.
“My focus on making my own emulsions started from the desire to create colour film, not in the way as we know it, I prefered to boldly go beyond the realistic nature of contemporary materials and achieve results that are completely different and unique. My interest is in re-inventing the early and abandoned inventions of creating colour from black-and-white images. Following the footsteps of the pioneers of the photochemical film medium”. Esther Urlus - Re:Inventing the Pioneers: Film Experiments on Handmade Silver Gelatin Emulsion and Color Methods (2013)
Esther Urlus (the Netherlands) makes films, performances and installations on 16mm, 35mm and Super-8. The DIY method is always present in her work. Urlus is co-founder and chairman of the artist-run Filmwerkplaats lab in Rotterdam. Her films have been screened at festivals worldwide, including 25FPS Festival Zagreb, Ann Arbor Film Festival, Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, Sonic Acts and International Film Festival Rotterdam.
26 June 2021
Alternative image-making processes
Lecturer: Hannah Fletcher
Videos of all lectures can be viewed below.
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Check out the Filmwerkplaats page on Vimeo (click here).
17 July 2021
Silver-gelatin (light sensitive) emulsion making
Lecturer: Esther Urlus
28 August 2021
Developing with plants
Lecturer: Ricardo Leite
18 September 2021
Tinting & toning with plants
Lecturer: Joanna Mayes
16 October 2021
Pioneering to capture an image with light
Lecturer: Mark Osterman
13 November 2021
regenerating outdated film materials
Lecturer: Adrian Cousins