For quite some time I've been contemplating the idea of starting a mail in service for developing and scanning film. (Mostly for EU parts till things get going smoothly )
I have a largeish amount of money set aside for this and some of the equipment and knowledge necessary for it to work.
I'd start a project to create a social community of film photographers with free access to a service similar to smugmug etc - I have 7 servers with over 48TB of space racked and idle
in Germany and Finland. Also I have access to community software still in alpha stage that will not be pushed live till they get a small fund injection first (something very promising from the looks of it.)
The whole community would be backed by the developing & scanning services that would go with it. No advertising and absolutely no fees for it's members ( I'd offer free drum scanning to RFF members who contact me
Now here is the tricky part, the amount of money I have will be enough for 1 or 2 C41 machines(used), 1 E6 machine(used) and the software license if needed for the community website.
I was thinking of starting a kickstarter/indiegogo project to fund a stockpile of developing consumables and a refurb hasselblad x5 drum scanner(i'm in contact with several vendors and could get one like new(demo) with the batch scanning attachments for 1/3 of the sale price).
The idea behind this is that I'd want to give local students a place to work and develop their film for free and the european community a place that will stay with E6 until there are no more chemicals or film to be developed.
The unique part of the service would be the drum scanning where at a price of one scanned frame in lets say UK you'd get your whole roll scanned here ( did I say that the main workforce would be art students working via student services).
The scanned files would be burned to dvd's and sent out via flat rate post from within the Eu, but not only that, as the space I'd provide for this is a part of the business projects space given by our city (10yr lease) the files would be made available via ftp in a matter of minutes after the scanning is done ( the office has a fiber connection). You would mail the rolls to a PO box in Germany, Slovenia or Croatia so the shipping costs would be minimal both ways.
To recap, I'd list what the project if started already has and what it needs :
- a clean newly redone place with installed ventilation, industrial and normal power outlets, fiber internet, water and drain system ready for use
- (for the money i have set aside) 1 or 2 c41 processing machines
- 1 e6 machine
- for the community part, 7 servers prepaid for the next 1 and 1/2 years , 48TB of space and knowledge of amazon services ( if need be)
- filing cabinets, slide mounting equipment (old but usable).
- a business license and a contract with student services from prior jobs
- I'll probably buy at least one plustek 120 (for personal use and if they are sturdy enough give it to the project)
- computer equipment to work the scanners
what is needed :
- consumable materials to keep the processing machines working (I was thinking at least a years supply to be on the safe side)
- scanners ( if possible the used Imacon X5 to differentiate these services from the rest of the offerings available atm)
- funds to advertise it and get the word going
My main thought behind is not to make a place that will be here for profit and be driven by money, but a place that will be driven by love towards film photography. I'm young, I missed out the kodachrome era, but by doing this I think that I'd at least give a chance to us film photographers to enjoy it a bit more and a bit longer that what the big guys want us to.
After you have read this simple plan, if I was to make this project available on kickstarter/indiegogo would you back it and/or spread the word ?
What are your thoughts on this, what would you add and improve or remove from the idea ?
All your insights are more than appreciated !