Join Brussels' FIRST community darkroom !
Join Brussels' FIRST community darkroom !
Hello again! We’re Cole and Raph from Mori Film Lab and we want to build Brussel’s best new community Darkroom!
About 7 months ago we launched our first KissKissBankBank campaign. 30 days later we had raised more than the original 5000 euro goal, which let us open the film lab of our dreams.
Since then the lab has been growing... fast. We had very low expectations when creating Mori Film Lab. We just wanted to do something we loved and hoped people would like it too.
But so far we've smashed all the goals we set ourselves for the shop and lab. We're processing more and more film every day, and we've already had to expand our team to help us stay on top of everything!
We've been getting a lot of great feedback from our customers (❤️ Mori Film Lab community) which makes us super grateful for how far we’ve already come. This is why we are always looking to create better opportunities for the local film community.
One of the questions we get asked non-stop is if we also have a darkroom or do darkroom prints and sadly the answer has always been no... until now.
What’s the project?
One month ago we received a rare opportunity. The neighbours behind our lab space recently moved out and the amazing people at the Forest Factory offered us part of the huge space.
At first we were only going to take a fraction of the space, to use as storage or to expend the lab a little. But this space is one of a kind. Sandwiched between two buildings and with no windows it would make an amazing darkroom!
This was the lightbulb moment for our darkroom project.
However the space is currently still bare, with no power or plumbing. Some serious renovation works need to be done, which is pretty expensive.
So we asked you, our community if there would be much interested in darkroom printing, and the answer was overwhelmingly YES!
So f**k it, let’s do it!
To plan this project we needed a little help from someone who knows the darkroom through and through. This is where our friend François comes in. He's a darkroom veteran, having spent countless hours printing and processing in many different darkrooms.
That’s us standing in what will become the darkroom.
But first, why start a darkroom in 2021?
For the same reasons film photography is making a comeback! Many people now start to understand that the process of making a photograph doesn't end when you fire the shutter. More and more people are drawn to the darkroom to learn how to print their pictures.
Good quality developing is the best, and getting high-res scans sent straight to your email is even better, but no matter how good the scans are, holding your physical photo is a world away from seeing it on a screen. There's something magical about holding a photograph that YOU made from start to finish.
The other reason is one we've heard from François and other photography students. So many students fall in love with the darkroom printing process at school, then once they graduate they no longer have access to a darkroom, and the knowledge and practice of darkroom printing is lost.
There's a clear lack of accessible darkrooms in Brussels, and there's clearly a growing demand from students and enthusiasts
So we got together with François and the Forest Factory team and drew up some plans...
- Black & white and colour enlarging: while black and white printing is great, most people nowadays also shoot colour and we think you should have the possibility to print both types yourself.
- Easy to use for beginners: Darkroom printing should not be intimidating. We want you to be able to understand the equipment well and have fun printing.
- Fun to use for experienced printers: We want to give our more experienced printers a choice between 'easy' and 'advanced' equipment, which is why we decided to invest in some top-of-the-line equipment.
- Accessible and easy to book: Planning your printing sessions in the darkroom should be easy. Book a time slot directly on our website and just drop by and start printing.
- Big enough for multiple users at the same time: A good darkroom needs to be big enough and efficiently laid-out for multiple people to use it at the same time, without interfering with each other’s work.
- Flexible time slots: book for just one hour or for several. Just have a couple of pictures you want to print? Simply book a couple of hours with no strings attached and you’re good to go !
- Accessible and affordable for casual darkroom printers and students: We want to make it accessible for casual printers by offering an hourly rental system for those who just need a couple of hours every now and then. Looking to print regularly? We'll also be implementing a membership plan, giving you significant discounts on darkroom and lab pricing over a month or trimester.
- Experimental: While it’s primarily meant to be a traditional darkroom we also want to create a place for people to experiment with alternative processes. This will be possible on special darkroom days and during courses.
Most importantly it should also be a place where you can learn. We want to hold regular courses for you to be able to learn how to use a darkroom and be completely independent in creating your own beautiful prints.
As of today all the plans have been drawn, we have received quotes for the works and already found part of the darkroom equipment. You can help and support us with one of the many different campaign rewards, and there should be something for everyone!
Don’t shoot film but still like our project?
Are you looking to donate a little something but you aren't interested in one of the film-related rewards? That's okay! At the very bottom of the page there is a 'Make a donation' box.
Thank you so much! Come grab a coffee with us when you drop by our store!
Alternatively you can come with your friends and family and get your portrait taken and printed as a traditional darkroom print !
All backers will be invited to our darkroom opening party with a free drink and quick visit of the new darkroom.
Waar dient de collecte voor
We have already put up a lot of the money for the project and the necessary equipment but building a brand new darkroom is expensive.
Here's a quick breakdown of how our €7000 goal will be spent:
€2535: Building the light-tight walls around the darkroom space.
€1285: Electrical installation.
€1510: Colour heads for the enlargers, masks to print up to 6x9, safelights and other small darkroom items.
€520: KissKissBankBank fee. 8% of the goal will go to pay for the KissKissBankBank platform.
€650 Marketing of our project. This marketing budget helps us spread the word in the local film community!
Stretch goal: 10000€ dream big right?
Our 10 000 euro stretch goal will make it able for us to equip every room with a colour enlarger and equip an extra room to be able to make wall-mounted large format prints.