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Bulk Film: 101

What is bulk film and why should you use it: A guide to saving money while shooting more film!

If there’s one thing film shooters know, it’s that film is expensive. It’s not as much as buying a Phase One medium format DSLR, but it’s still far more expensive than it used to be in the days or yore. Of course developing your own film at home can save you heaps on lab processing fees, but what about saving on actual film?

One of the easiest ways to save money when shooting 35mm film is to invest in bulk loading equipment. While it may technically be possible, bulk loading 120 film would not be practical for multiple reasons, particularly spooling and backing paper. However for 35mm, the process is quite simple and helps you get a lot more bang for your buck.

What is bulk film?

Bulk film is a massive roll of 35mm film that you load into empty cassettes and cut on on your own. It usually comes in 100 ft rolls, allowing you to spool between 18-20 rolls of 36 exposure film. The actual number of rolls you get from a bulk roll will depend on the type of loader you have.

So just as an example, as of February 2016 a 100ft roll of Ilford HP5 Plus 400 runs around $69. If we go on the lower end and divide by 18 rolls, that means you pay $3.83 per roll of 36 exposure. Currently, Ilford offers a 5-pack for $29.99 or $5.99 per roll, and single rolls at $8.99. Now let’s look at a 100ft roll of Ultrafine 400 black and white film, which currently sells at $35.95; again on the low end of 18 rolls you’d now be paying $1.99 per roll of 36 exposure. That’s literally cheaper than film was in the 80s and 90s - no joke.

As you can see the savings add up quickly with bulk film, even after taking into account the supplies needed to to it.  A home darkroom or complex equipment isn’t necessary to load your own bulk film. The process is surprisingly easy and economic, which is why it’s such a great option for saving money if you shoot a lot.

Here’s what you need to roll your own bulk film:

To take the above price comparisons further, let’s say you buy a set of empty cassettes for $19.95 and a bulk film daylight loader for $59, plus two 100 ft rolls of the aforementioned Ilford HP5 Plus 400, you’re still only paying $6 per roll and that will continue to go down the more you shoot since you already have the loading equipment. (Side note: you can also use a regular bulk film loader with a dark bag or a light-proof room if you happen to have one.)

Canister vs. Cassette

There can be some confusion for new film shooters between canisters and cassettes, particularly because both are available in bulk. Cassettes, pictured above, are the metal containers that hold the film. You’ll absolutely need these to roll your bulk film and put it in your camera. Canisters, however, are the plastic containers that hold your film cassettes. They can be practical for storing your film, protecting from moisture and organizing. While they are recommended, they are not essential for rolling or shooting bulk film.

Black and White Vs. Color

While it used to be possible to find some types of color film available in bulk, most have been discontinued. Black and white is far more common - making it both easier to find and easier to deal with. If you get your black and white film developed in a lab, they can keep your cassettes and return them to you with your negatives and contact sheets (or scans.) If you do manage to find some bulk color film, more power to you!

Have a look at this awesome video from Matt Day on How To Load Bulk Film:

*Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you decide to make a purchase through those links, ISSF receives a small commission. This in no way affects our editorial decision making process.

Touka and Kaneki a Step in the Right Direction

Touka and Kaneki are two characters in Tokyo Ghoul that in many ways have created a chemical reaction. Sometimes they are able to come together and make something useful but other times they cause an explosion. Touka and Kaneki are two characters who are similar but have reacted to their world differently. 

They are both lonely being raised by a single parent after the sudden death of the other, and the parent who raised them left permanent scars. Touka was raised by a hypocrite who told her that humans were to be cherished as he killed them behind her back. He would later leave home one night and never come home leaving Touka to develop abandonment issues, as she never felt good enough to keep her father around. She also kept her fathers lessons close to her heart and whenever she strayed she thought of herself as a monster.

Kaneki was raised by a mother who treated him kindly with conditions, as long as he was quiet and a good boy she treated him fine. But god forbid he acted like a normal child and didn’t think of his mothers issues he was abused. Then on top of that his mother died so suddenly that he felt abandoned and his foster family in his aunt made him a recluse which made him feel worse. Kaneki also carried around the twisted message of letting himself get hurt for the sake of others.

Touka and Kaneki grew from this so differently, Touka turned bitter towards that life before she was able to examine herself, and find peace with her lifestyle. Kaneki on the other hand internalized his frustrations acting like he was at piece with his life on the outside, but he was tearing himself apart on the inside. They developed opposite of each other, as Touka matured Kaneki fell apart. They worked so well together in the beginning because in the first part of tg they had similar development. Kaneki and Touka were trying to figure out what it meant to be a ghoul. Kaneki was trying to learn what his new life of a ghoul had for him, and Touka was learning that she could live a normal life away from the violent circle of hatred. Their paths meshed together so they grew together until a the same sunlight in a way.

However, as much as they grew together, they also grew closer together, the more their faults started to creep up on them both. Touka wanted to protect Kaneki because he was once human. But as Touka did that Kaneki became more concerned and decided to protect her at the cost of himself.

But in Kaneki’s need to protect her he hit her weakest emotional cord, abandonment. He told her he wasn’t going to go home with her, and told her she couldn’t help him and asked Tsukiyama and Banjou to go with him in front of her. All her childhood insecurities came back in that moment, she wasn’t good enough and it hurt her.

It was at this point that they developed separate from each other, where Touka became a normal high school girl and Kaneki became a serial killer and gang boss. They developed into two completely different paths and they didn’t know how to approach each other. When they met up again it showed through their conversation which inevitably resulted in Kaneki lying about being fine and Touka hitting him and telling him he hates how he changed. This exact moment triggered both of their childhood trauma’s. Touka with her issues of her not being good enough for her father and how he couldn’t confide in her. Causing her to lash out against everything he taught her, and Kaneki with his abuse and him doing exactly what she wanted from him.

However, because of the Anteiku raid they never got to reconcil, so thus three years go by and Kaneki is reborn as Haise. They developed apart and had a fresh start as Touka the waitress and Haise the investigator. This is so important because this is the time that without the burden of a past they fell for each other. This taught Touka a very important lesson, that she cares for Kaneki enough to let him go, but that she still cares for him and that not every change in him is bad. Kaneki learned that he has a permanent home in Touka one that she won’t take away based on conditions because even after she said she hated his change she gave him a place to return.

Then Kaneki changed again to a highly suicidal Kaneki, willing to die to be cool, to protect others. He hit his lowest low of the series and it was in that moment Touka said three words the struck him “See you later.” which he thought was cruel because he wanted to die. Touka knew but wanted him to understand the meaning of that and it caused him to hesitate to doubt, which lead to him making a change of heart during their fight with Arima. 

Kaneki and Touka are two characters that develop off of each other, they bring out the best and worst in each other. They both hit cords in each other, but they also can heal wounds that they never realized they had. This conversation between them in this chapter is an important example of that. Touka admits her man issue with Kaneki, which is the fact that he always leaves her. Something she never understood and something she keeps trying to fix to no avail. Then he tells her that it was to protect her, because he didn’t want to cause her trouble where she would end up dead.

 Then he asked her to come with him, which filled the void that she had for so long. Touka also helped fill one for Kaneki as well, which was his loneliness. I’m not saying that Touka is a cure for his problems but through her confession she showed him that she cared. Which shocked him like he couldn’t even believe, that someone cared for him.

I think that the most amazing thing that even if he doesn’t accept the feelings romantically its important for him to know. Kaneki isn’t in any shape or form mentally to be with someone, he’s someone living for the moment holding onto a fragile string to survive. But for someone who has craved being loved for so long, it’s something he needed to here, that someone accepts him with his faults and respects his decision for death even if they don’t agree and don’t want him to die.

This is so important because Touka and Kaneki have reached the moment where they realized the mistakes that they made that caused the other hurt. They were able to talk about it and reach a positive note for both of them, and I excited with how this will help them develop positively moving forward. 

Golden Hour - Kickoff!

Hello, everyone! We’re a four-person team (of friends who live relatively close to one another) who play otome games (yes, we were willing victims of the Cybird and Cheritz games) and VNs (yes, we are also victims of Steam sales). After a couple of conversations about what we liked about VNs and the tropes we’d use if we made our own…we decided to work on a game!

Golden Hour is our second game and first VN, and we’re planning to make it a free-to-play game for iOS and Android. Please cheer us on *u*!!!

Also, any feedback at this point is greatly appreciated as we are still in early development! Feel free to reply or drop a note!


Overview

A young girl transfers into a new school just as the term is nearing its close. With summer approaching, she is tasked with photographing the preparations for the school’s year-end tradition: a grand festival of lights. With her camera at the ready, she dives into a tangle of friendships, rivalries, courtships and conflicts—but the longings of troubled young hearts can’t be captured by lenses alone.

Golden Hour is a mobile visual novel/otome game that thrusts players into the exhilaration of high school romance to capture the fleeting, vibrant colors of youth. Set over a period of ten days, the game follows the protagonist’s attempts to find her place in her new city, especially through her encounters with four remarkable young men.

Caught up in the currents of their lives, she comes to learn their dreams, joys, fears, and obstacles. As she peers into their worlds, she finds her own horizons expanding with knowledge of the city they all call home: developed and all but controlled by a family of old wealth, the city is as full of gentle light as it is of cloying shadows.

Golden Hour is a story of romance, and coming of age; of finding solace in others and certainty in oneself; of lovers, friends, rivals, and family.

Characters

Main Character
[Player-named], Second Year

Our story’s protagonist is used to switching homes, owing to her mother’s career, but she’s hoping this move is her last for a while. Thanks to her frequent relocations, she’s used to dealing with a wide variety of people–but isn’t too quick to open up, and would rather view the world through the lenses of her trusty camera.

Mr. Shutter-Shades AKA your academic fairy godmother

The Media and Visual Culture teacher seems a bit.. strange. But not in a bad way. The student social networking system was something he developed to ease the kids’ daily school lives.
Likes: The Internet. Tabletop games. Students developing meaningful friendships.
Dislikes: Bullies.

Bachelors and Rivals

Coming Soon (4 Bachelors, 4 Rivals, and a sizeable supporting cast)!


Gameplay

Branching Storyline

The game follows four main storylines that span a few days, each with multiple endings and unlockable CG scenes.


Multiple Narrative Modes

[*] Class Schedule
Gameplay happens in blocks of time: morning classes, morning break, midday classes, lunch, afternoon classes…more classes… you get the picture! Checking the calendar and attending classes diligently gives the protagonist a better chance at hitting her stride in her new school. The protagonist can also schedule hangouts with friends or go on dates during the weekends!

[*] In-Game Chat App

What, high schoolers need some way to talk long into the night, right?

[*] Ayara High Student Social Network
A place for Ayara High students to take note of school announcements, post about their day, and advertise their club events. Everyone has an account right from the moment of enrollment.


Stretch Goals

There are a few things that would be nice to have, once we finish with the main storylines!

[*] “Rival Stories”
What happens to everyone else when the protagonist has chosen a character route? We’d like to take a deeper look at the friendships, rivalries, and romances that spring up among the rest of the cast. (ie, if you pick Kouya’s route, Nagi will romance someone from the student council throughout the route playthrough!)

[*] That One Teacher…
This is an extra storyline we’d like to develop, focusing on, well, that one teacher.You know, the one with the weird glasses (someone reeeeally should tell him that Shutter Shades went out of style years ago). 

Brought to you by Matchaa Studio.

Tell me again it’s not canon.

It’s in the music.

True Love, Tallahassee, Regina’s Price. Cues and keys and crescendos, intertwined, layered again and again, pinned to scenes with the creator’s approval. Operation Mongoose? A TL motif. Going Home? A TL motif. Sacrifices, magic, teamwork? A TL motif.

It’s in the wardrobe.

Red and grey and black and back again. Plaid–confusion, discontent. Deep blue–loneliness, searching for family. Shared clothing, further intertwined. Parallels and callbacks to past couples, inciting conscious and subconscious connections. Why do they share this look instead of them or them?

It’s in the scenery.

Gallant knights with golden hair all in white abreast upright steeds. Splashes of color reflecting mood. Mirrors reflecting each other. Seals and symbols–the Tallahassee and Storybrooke, the dreamcatchers™, mirrors. All mirrors. Unicorn mobiles linked to unicorn hearts. A black unicorn, an unused mobile–innocence lost, never gained? White horses, black swans.

It’s in the camera direction. It’s in the editing.

Iconic shots, tricky angles, cued reactions–focus on her, not on him–which mean something. Rom-com zooms, reflections capturing both, pans guiding our attention to the thoughts behind the dialogue. Everything means something.

And the text. Hell yes, it’s in the text.

The magic to transcend realms. Unstoppable. Unbeatable. Wholehearted understanding, from one to the other. Mirrored storylines and struggles. Intertwined fates–both share a True Love already, after all. Longing glances, jealous quips, situations that require the one to save the other, then the other to save the one. Ultimate sacrifice. All canon. “I saved you, now save me.” “With you, I always know.” “I know you.” They’re stronger together than apart, time and time again.

Yes, it’s in subtext. It’s in innuendo and acting choices, it’s in interpretation and suggestion.

But when it’s built into the very foundation of the show–the Savior meets the Evil Queen–it’s not delusional. It’s not unintentional.

Either the wardrobe department, the music department, the prop department, the actors, and the editors are all going rogue…or someone told them to put it in the music, the wardrobe, the scenery, the camera direction, the subtext, and the text.

Tell me again Swan Queen isn’t canon.

Fantasy Biology: Pixies

It was close voting this time round folks, but the Pixies pulled ahead by a beetle’s wing.

Pixies are small entities which are often confused with fairies. They are generally considered more benign than the other Fae but are still enigmatic. Their features include:

  • Small size
  • Child-like appearance
  • sometimes nude, sometimes wearing rags and discarded things
  • like finery (ribbons, lace, etc)
  • may or may not have wings (some debate)

Those wings are interesting, and I suspect they’re the main reason i was asked about this species in the first place, because they’re insect-like wings, not vertebrate wings. And as it happens, making the Pixie an arthropod or insect species works really well.

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The Dinner Party

just a random idea that came to me in a fever dream earlier this week. rated E for explicit smutty smut smut. enjoy!


“You want me to do what?”

Peeta frowned at her foot, wielding the nail polish brush threateningly. “First, I want you to hold still.” Katniss wriggled her toes defiantly but then obliged, hardly daring to breathe when he swiped the coral nail polish onto her big toe in nice, even strokes. It looked perfect, of course. He could always paint better than she could, even nails.

“Seriously, though. You want me to go to a dinner party with you?” she asked. He glanced up at her with a crooked smile before he started painting her next toenail.

“You make it sound like I’ve asked you to strip naked and run around the block or something,” he said, focusing on her toes. She snorted, then clamped her lips shut when he shot her a warning look. Snorting made her foot jiggle, apparently. “It’s just a dinner party. Delly asked everyone to bring a guest–someone, and I quote, ‘interesting.’ So I’m asking you.”

Katniss stared at the top of his head, his blond curls falling across his forehead as he worked. “But I don’t really know her. And what a weird stipulation,” she said with a laugh.

Peeta shrugged. “Delly likes her theme parties,” he muttered, tongue poking out the corner of his mouth as he delicately painted her pinky toe. Satisfied with his work, he shot her a triumphant smile. “And you’re the most interesting person I know.”

She rolled her eyes. “Says the guy who paints nails better than any girl I know.”

He gave her a look of mock offense. “Are you questioning my masculinity? You know how I feel about rigid gender roles.” Then he held up his hand, palm flat, fingers spread. “And who’s got a steadier hand than me?” She kicked playfully at his hand, and he made a noise of protest, grabbing her ankle to place her foot down on the coffee table. “Don’t mess up my hard work.”

Katniss slumped down into the couch, chewing on her lip. “You know I don’t like people. How am I supposed to be interesting around a bunch of strangers?”

Screwing the nail polish bottle shut, Peeta sat back on his hands. “Just think of it as a challenge. See how often you can work into the conversation that dry wit and razor-sharp sarcasm of yours without them realizing you’re insulting them.”

“Do you want people to hate me?” she asked wryly, folding her arms over her chest. He grinned.

“Delly said interesting. She didn’t say anything about likable.” He laughed when she flipped him off, then pushed off the floor to stand up. “I should head home. But I swear, if you just be yourself, people will love you.” She didn’t think it was that simple. Peeta never had to worry about getting people to like him; it just came naturally to him. But she didn’t argue the point, letting him pull her up from the couch. With cotton balls stuffed between her toes, she wobbled after him to the front door. Grabbing his jacket from the coat rack, he turned to her. “So you’ll come?”

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