Revolog Films: A mini interview
I was first made aware of Revolog film a while ago by the guys at believeinfilm and they interested me a great deal. I love the fact that some people are prepared to take their passion to new lengths.
Revolog produces special effect films for analog photographic cameras. Every film is handmade. Currently revolog sells ten different effect films, but is planning to ongoingly enlarge their stock. The films are sold through the webshop and can be exposed and developed as usual. I wanted to speak to the people behind Revlog Michael Krebs and and Hanna Pribitzer to find out a little bit more about this really interesting little operation.
So, how did you guys get into making your own films? There must be an interesting story behind that one.
Actually it was Michaels idea back in photography school. Basically his first idea was to come up with a way to let films age more quickly. Classic stuff like heating them up, etc. He wanted to work on it as part of his diploma project and when he was looking for a partner, I joined the team. We quickly realized that we wanted to achieve some stronger effects and started experimenting. After the first results a lot of people at school came up to us and wanted to try out our „destroyed“ films so we decided to found a company and sell them.
I am sure that you have some trade secrets, but can you tell us something about how you develop a new film?
It all starts with the idea of how we want a picture to look like. And then we try to figure out a way to reproduce that effect in the darkroom. Some effects worked out the first time we tried them, others, like the Texture effect, changed a lot during the testing phase. Sometimes the first test gets you great results, but other films that follow don’t work at all. We have to ensure that every film has more or less the same quality (since the effects are all applied by hand they do vary a little) and that every film can be developed in any lab that offer C-41 development anywhere in the world. For that reason we don’t work with chemicals or the classic „film soup“, where you put your exposed film in the dishwasher, etc. We don’t want a lab to go berserk on us for destroying their developing chemicals.
Do you have a favourite of your own films that you like to shoot?
Hanna: That varies for me, I really like the 600nm and Kolor film, but also think the Lazer and Volvox films can be really exciting. But actually a quite like every film of ours, I would probably be our best customer if I weren’t sitting on a pile of it.
Michael: I like the Kolor and Streak most but actually it depends what you want to photograph. Every Film works different with different motives.
What are your plans for films in the future? Any secret plans that you would care to share with us?
Well, they wouldn’t be secret then anymore, would they? But we’ll let you know as soon as there is something new coming out. Best would be to join our newsletter.
How have you seen the market for specialist films growing recently? I know I am getting a lot more requests for unusual films.
Our wild guess is, that it’s going to be a specialist market, but a growing one. In professional photography digital photography will stay the main tool to work with as it is a lot quicker and you have more possibilities in post-production. Clients usually don’t want to pay for analog and the pressure to deliver the pictures as soon as possible is very high.
Nevertheless for certain parts of professional photography like fashion or potrait, analog will stay interesting too. Of course photography artists also often like to work analog for many reasons.
Also, many leisure photographers start to work analog again and even young people who just find their way into photography like to work analog. The reasons for that might be, that analog helps you to understand photography a lot better. You are forced to work on the composition and how the image shall look like a lot more than with digital, where cropping and photoshopping is always an option and you basically only have a limited number of shots you can take so you have to be more careful about what you shoot.
If there was one emulsion that you could revive what would it be?
For me (Hanna) it’s the Ektachrome E100VS.
(Michael) I’d like to revive Kodachrome.
What would be your dream film to make? What properties would it have?
We would love the idea of a film that completely surprises you, that combines more than one effect on a film but you never know where which effect will turn up.
Where would you like to see Revlog be in the future?
Our dream is to be part of a stable film market and maybe even live off of revolog (which isn’t even remotely possible at the moment).
And finally, any words of inspiration for the readers?
If there is one thing that revolog has taught us it is to try to work on even the silliest idea and keep true to it even if some people might laugh at you or won’t take you seriously. When we first started out back in school we would have never thought to be giving interviews to foreign photography blogs. It still feels kind of weird to see our little companies name appear in newspaper articles. But here we are and who knows what might follow!
Thanks to Michael and Hanna for not only being part of JCH but for doing something like this for the film user community. It is a fantastic idea and I am definitely going to have to try some of the films out. Make sure you check out the site and go and get some of this truly unique films.