Photog Hopes to Mass-Produce Chemically Altered Film with Help from Kickstarter

It was almost a year ago to the date that we featured the work of photographer Matther Cetta. In a series titled Photogenic Alchemy, he took rolls of film he had photographed with his toy camera and developed them in a number of strange ingredients — from Drano to Pepto Bismol.

The conglomeration of chemicals used throughout the series gave each photograph a unique look that couldn’t be replicated any other way; and now, he’s hoping to take this aesthetic public with some help from crowdfunding platform Kickstarter.

Called Flim – Bringing a New Life to Film, Cetta’s goal is to crowdfund the mass-production of these unique rolls of film. After ordering film in bulk, Cetta is taking it upon himself to create individual batches that have been tweaked with the same chemicals he used in Photogenic Alchemy. Ultimately, the goal is to create an online store where daring photographers can buy these strange rolls of ‘ruined’ 35mm film.

Hydrogen peroxide and nail polish remover

Hydrogen peroxide and nail polish remover

It’s an interesting endeavor, taking a more extreme approach than previous ‘specialty films’ sold by sites and communities such as Lomography, but we have to say, the lack of information has us a bit concerned.

Even after reading over every word of the Kickstarter information, there are a number of questions that readers will likely have… fairly important questions.

First off, other than mentioning 35mm film once, there’s no definitive answer on what film formats Cetta is looking to utilize for this project. Also, there’s no mention of a specific ISO rating or film stock.

Pepto Bismol

Pepto Bismol

Another concerning factor is the lack of any branding or marketing plan we could make out.

According to Cetta, a portion of the $10k he’s looking to raise on Kickstarter will go towards branding and marketing specialists. But for a campaign where the smallest pledge you can make to receive the product is $50, you’d expect a more definitive outline of what it is will come of the idea if it is to be funded.



There seem to be as many questions created as there are answers given in the Kickstarter campaign, but that doesn’t diminish the interest factor of Flim too much. We would just love to see a more solid roadmap and plan for this project, which clearly has some serious potential.

Warnings aside, you can head on over to the Flim Kickstarter campaign to read more into the project and see if you’d like to make a pledge. Right now, the campaign has only raised just under $400 of its $10k goal, but there’s plenty of time left for that to change.

(via PopPhoto)

  • Oj0

    Hipsters… Hipsters everywhere.

  • Mike


  • Jake

    So I should give this guy $50 so he can soak my film in lemonade or Drano for me? I guess that makes sense. I remember the 90’s when $75 “distressed” jeans with holes and frayed cuffs were all the rage.

  • Jack B. Siegel

    Everyone is free to do what they like, so good luck with the campaign. For me, I don’t really care how you get there. The image is what counts. At times, I think we are too enamored with technique for technique’s sake. I can use Nik’s Analog Effects 2 program to get similar results.

    To some extent this reminds me of Andres Serrano’s Piss Christ that caused such controversy in the late Eighties. So you used your own urine rather than yellow dye. At the end of the day, do I want this art object in my house? So you used Drano to develop film. It may be a good marketing campaign for your work, but will the photo hold up long-term?

  • Ralph Hightower

    No thanks. I use film, but I want an accurate image. I don’t shoot expired film. And no, I’m not a hipster; I still use the 35mm film camera that I bought new 34 years ago.

  • Jason Muspratt

    I generally don’t care that much for the process either, but at some point the process is the interesting part. Why carve a statue from marble when you could pour concrete in a mold, then paint it to look like marble?

    That being said, I think this is a stupid idea.

  • Omar Salgado

    Just a fad.

  • Michael Andrew Broughton

    “Cetta’s goal is to crowdfund the mass-production of these unique rolls of film.” *sigh*

  • agour

    wow, i can buy three rolls of film for $100! This guy really has no clue how kickstarter works..