For me, the most devastating film to lose as the world continues to make its way towards more digital options and digital art has been FP-100C/peel-apart film. The cameras that require this type of film are beyond special and have made their way into historical moments, laid a blue print unlike anything the photography world had ever seen before. The effect this film has on me and the reaction it draws from others is unlike anything I have ever experienced before. It’s magic. Which is why it should be a crime to let this film die but here we are.
This weird little project was brought on by the need to keep a fragment of this iconic film alive by trying to adapt the well known Big Shot into a machine that can (under the right circumstances) take 120 film via 6 x 9” film back on a 4” x 5” surface (which just so happens to be the measurement of the back of the big shot before I burned it off with a burning hot red box cutter).
There’s been a series of issues and problems that were unexpected. I’ll spare everyone the details unless you’re a nerd and really want to know how this is going. Let’s just keep it at this: this has been frustrating and difficult. I’ve learned how to cut into plastic, I’ve had to find the right film back that would allow me to operate separately from the shutter, find darkroom fabric to sew my own light seals, move the film closer to the lens to compensate for the smaller film then compensate for the film plane adjustment which required finding the new focal length (which also made the viewfinder absolute to an extent although I still use it for framing).
It’s been a journey. Here is the end result and a few portraits of what it took to get here. Fingers crossed & prayers the next test roll of film (roll #3) turns out.