The Wabi-Sabi in Super 8

• Workshop January 23 and 24, 2009 Dresden Schmalfilmtage / Small Film Days


„The Lucky 7 film ORWO 8“
Experimental Film Processing Workshop
10. dresdner schmalfilmtage
riesa efau - Kultur Forum Dresden


When about 20 years ago the GDR vanished the production of ORWO super 8 films logically ceased, too. But there was a kind of transition period: the processing lab in Berlin-Adlershof processed them another two years. Until they vanished, too.

It was a sad moment, I remember clearly. I went there to pick up my last processed rolls and the photo-employees emptied their offices and threw folders on rubbish piles. One of them gave me an ORWO Book Of Recipes – a treasure for me!

Of course there still are some ORWO films left in this world. Some hoard them like precious gems. The only way to have them developed is processing them yourself.

Have you ever seen a self-processed ORWO film? You will probably have realized the worm-like structure on the surface: the gelatine layer breaks because of sudden change of temperature while processing (that’s what we self-processers think!). More or less intense, depending on where and how cold they were kept and how they react on the chemicals. Those films are at least 20 years old! You’ll fall in love.

Filming with ORWO makes you feel alchemistic. And a little out of time. The best condition for a workshop!

The Lucky 7 film ORWO 8:

7 participants receive one ORWO super 8 film roll (3 minutes) each. And a camera (you can also bring yours). You have 2 days time – one afternoon and one morning and then we process the films together in the dark room and in the evening they will be presented on the festival! (later there’s the chance to telecine (digitize) them, edit them, make a DVD compilation …)

We filmed mainly with old wind-up Double-Super-8 cameras outside in daylight and the results were marvellous. I will present them here in a little while. We got beautiful ORWO worms, partly huge outlined yellow, partly tiny masses …

Here on the right (click it!!) you can see a part of the film that we shot together outside and then processed. ORWO-worms that huge are rarely to be seen!
Beautiful broken gelatine layer!
My wind-up Russian Double-Super-8 camera!