It’s not just an XTC song…

All right.  I want to use some of my experimental film for this project.  A quick check of my archives revealed I had four packs of Revolog boutique film – Revolog is an Austrian company who makes small batches of distressed 35mm film, that when processed provides striking colors or scratches or stripes or what have you.  In fact, I used Revolog film to create my triple blue winner, Jesus Saves.

Jesus Saves. Nikon F100 camera, Nikkor 300mm f/5.6 lens, Revolog Tesla 2 film. Photo by Chuck Miller.

I had two packs of Revolog Tesla 2 film – the ones that have the lightning strikes on the film – as well a a pack of Revolog Kolor (it has banded stripes of color throughout the film) and a pack of Revolog Volvox (the film has little green snow blotches on it).

To the darkroom.

Lights out.

I rolled the two packs of Revolog Tesla 2 film – which only comes in twelve-exposure batches if I was to use the film in a 35mm camera – onto one spool of 616 backing paper.  I then rolled the Kolor and Volvox film onto a separate 616 roll – those two films are 36-picture exposures, and the film actually ran LONGER than the backing paper.

Okay, film’s prepared.

Now I need a location.

There’s a building in downtown Albany that was once a used bookstore.  And by “used,” I mean that the building had zillions of dog-eared paperbacks and old musty books stacked as high as the eye can see.  The bookstore later closed, and is now undergoing renovations as a future apartment complex or work space or office building or something.  But when they removed the BOOKS sign from the building facade, an old advertisement for General Motors radios and Philco products was revealed beneath.

It still looks kinda industrial and funky … there’s my shooting location.  Since the building’s under construction, I have to do this when the construction crew isn’t around – and I’m thinking a quick Saturday morning shoot will work for me.

Now I need some models.

For this, I contacted a couple of my friends – Jay, who is the lead vocalist in the local band Skull Bandit, and Shannon, who does club mixes as DJ Jezebel in Hell.  I’m thinking I can create a 1970’s punk / new wave vibe with this picture and the subjects.

And just so you know … I pay my models and they sign model releases.  I know that I often shoot nature and buildings and objects that aren’t human – but when I need humans, I make sure that they are taken care of and compensated for their time.  Besides, I wouldn’t be expected to work for “exposure,” so why should I make my models do the same?

Saturday morning. Here we go.

Saturday morning – early in the day. This is the building – 402 Broadway, at the corner of Broadway and Hudson.  This was once a secondhand bookstore, then the owner died and the building was cleaned out.  It’s currently under renovation as a luxury apartment building, as soon as they can shore up the frame and remove all the asbestos and mildew.

It’s Saturday morning.  I figured that if I got to the shooting location early in the day, I wouldn’t see any construction workers at the building.

I pulled up to the Broadway and Hudson locale – just in time to see three burly construction workers walk into the building.  On a Saturday.  In the morning.  Damn it.

However, after chatting with the construction workers, we came to a simple agreement.  I was not to move any barriers or protective gates, and my models had to stand away from the main entrance of the building.  I follow those rules, and I can shoot my picture.

Right on time, Jay and Shannon showed up.  This is what I like.  Punctual models.

We took a few test shots for the project.

BlackBerry KEYone camera phone. (c) 2019 Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

I think we’re ready.  I made sure that both models were standing so that they could be comfortable during the two rolls I needed to shoot – and that they stayed in an area where there would be sunlight upon their faces.

With my AGFA Clipper Special F/6.3 camera at the ready, I used my light meter to check my exposures.  The film inside was 200 ASA, so at f/16 each shot should be 1:50 of a second.

First in the camera was the two rolls of Revolog Tesla 2.

I had one of the rolls of Revolog flipped, creating a “redscale” version of the film in which the blue layers on the film were exposed first, revealing an image coated in reds and yellows.

Next up, the rolls of Volvox and Kolor.  Here’s a shot of Shannon and Jay in the Kolor film.

And look, here’s the sweet Volvox green blobby film.

On Thursday night, I received my developed film.  I scanned eighteen images from four different types of Revolog film.

Now to pick the best images and stitch everything together.

A little here … a little there …

And finally …

I have my image.

Senses Working Overtime. AGFA Clipper Special f/6.3 camera, Revolog Tesla 2 film (two rolls, one flipped in redscale), Revolog Kolor film, Revolog Volvox film. Photo (c) 2019 Chuck Miller, all rights reserved.

There it is.  I could have named it something goofy like Jay and Silent Shannon Strike Back, but Kevin Smith might send me a cease and desist letter.  I thought about The Revologs on Tour, but that only works if I’m releasing a new 7″ on Stiff Records.

But if you stare at this picture long enough, all your senses will get a stimulation.

Thus … the XTC song title.

Besides, we don’t get enough XTC on the radio these days.

So here we have it.  Senses Working Overtime.  And I need to get all my services working overtime to turn this picture into a physical construct in time for Competition Season 2019.