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Film Soup

Updated: May 2, 2023

with Hanna from HANALOGITAL

Could you please explain a little bit about how film soup works?

 When 35mm film is placed in various liquids and substances, the film strip inside the

film canister is attacked. The aim is to deliberately destroy the film strip in order to

create abstract effects in the form of shapes and colours on the finished photograph.

Actually, that's it. It sounds simple and in the end it is. What makes the whole thing

exciting is the fact that there are a huge number of liquids and substances that are

suitable for a potential film soup. All you have to do is look around your home and

you're sure to find something in the kitchen or bathroom. Not to mention the whole

range of possible ingredients in the drugstore or DIY store. Even nature has a lot of

film soup ingredients to offer. You have been making and selling film soup for a few years, and recently

published your Film Soup Book which is so exciting! We would love to know

more about your shop and book.

The idea of making ready-to-use film soup films was a very spontaneous one. I still

had a few prepared film soup films in stock that I had made with my tried and tested

film soup recipes and actually wanted to expose these films myself. Since I had

already set up the HANALOGITAL Instagram account at the time, I simply posted a

story about these film soup films and offered to sell them. I didn't expect anyone to be

interested at all, but I actually sold the first film very quickly. I then repeated this

procedure a few more times. With the same result: there was interest in my film soup

films. When I was reasonably sure that it would be worth a try to also prepare a larger

quantity of film soup films and offer them for sale, I launched the online shop. This

has now been in existence since the beginning of 2020 and I am so happy that the

HANALOGITAL films have been so well received! In the meantime, the

HANALOGITAL films are also available in other well-known online shops.

As I regularly received questions about making film soup films, I decided to write a

book about my production processes. Of course, I do not reveal the recipes of the

film soup films from the HANALOGITAL standard range, but the book contains all the

knowledge about film soup films that I have gathered over the past years. The

feedback so far has been very positive and I am pleased that the book has so far

encouraged many people to finally dare to make their own film soup experiments.

Do you have a favourite film soup recipe?

That is a good and difficult question at the same time. I think it is obvious that I

personally like the film soup recipes for the films in the HANALOGITAL standard

range very much. On the one hand, because I like the effects of each individual film

soup and, secondly, because the film soups deliver very reliable effects so that I can

offer the films for sale with a clear conscience. In the meantime, I have been creating

film soups for over 10 years and there have always been results that have completely

thrilled me! Especially the film soups that I have made with natural ingredients. I

particularly liked the film soup from the summer of 2021, which I created from

poppies and this ingredient left little bright dots on the film strip. In the photographs,

they looked like little points of light, a double exposure with the starry sky or even

little fireflies. I have not been able to achieve an effect like this before and that makes

this one summer film soup unique and one of my favourite recipes.

How do you develop film soup rolls?

This is actually one of the most frequently asked questions and I totally understand. It

is indeed not so easy to find photo labs that are willing to develop film soup films and

you might not necessarily dare to develop at home either. The fact that photo labs

don't like to develop film soup films is probably because they may have had bad

experiences with sticky, wet or completely destroyed film soup films. Also, most

photo labs are concerned about their machines and chemicals or may not want to go

to the trouble of developing such film soup films separately from all other films. I think

these are all understandable reasons. However, I have made the experience that

there are photo labs that are willing to develop film soup films. The prerequisite is that

you contact the photo lab beforehand and ask nicely and, in the best case, explain a

little about the film soups: What film soups are in the first place, maybe even what

you have manipulated the films with beforehand, that you have dried the films

sufficiently and that the film strip does not stick together everywhere. Some photo

labs are then willing to develop such films and perhaps go the extra mile with

separate development or chemicals.

You really should never just hand in film soup films to your photo lab for development

without warning. This will only cause trouble if you try to foist such films on the photo

lab. And you certainly don't want to be responsible if other people's films are affected

in colour by your own film soup films. So always ask and, with a bit of luck, you will

find a photo lab that develops soaked films. And if it is indeed impossible to find a photo lab that processes film soup films, one might consider developing such films at home. I guess you just have to dare and it's really not that difficult. Here, too, the points mentioned above should be observed:

Allow the films to dry well, do not mix too much potentially sticky material into the film

soup, use separate chemicals and do not develop the film soup films together with

normal films.

Personally, I have had all my film soups developed in a small photo lab in Germany

for 4 years now. I discussed everything with this photo lab in advance and explained

my experimental work with the films. Since then, the photo lab knows how to deal

with my films and fortunately develops any film soup film for me, no matter how

crazy. Lastly, do you have any words of wisdom or upcoming projects that you would

like to share?

I still have so many ideas in my head, but - like probably many others - I have been

severely slowed down in my creative work for some time now by the continuing poor

availability of analogue colour films. I am therefore also experimenting with black and

white films and devoting myself to other projects, such as this interview and the

opportunity to talk about my work. I always like to say, especially with regard to film

soup films, that you should simply trust yourself and the creative process.

Experimenting also means you might not get the best results, but you always learn

something, you can try a different approach next time, and the element of surprise

makes this whole film soup thing just incredibly exciting! Just don't be too

disappointed if a film soup fails and ends up destroying the entire film. The important

thing is to have fun experimenting!

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