The Birth of the WonderLAB

By Paul McKay

We've been hinting at how we might use some of the unused space in our brand new premises, and today we can announce the first concrete plan: we are bringing a full Minilab to the Analogue Wonderland Headquarters!

This means that we will be able to develop, scan, and print all of your films - whether you live locally and drop them off to us - or if you send them in from around the country 🤩

Analogue Superhero 🦸🏼‍♀️

However... neither Mary or myself have any minilab experience, so we have had to bring in an Analogue Superhero to help us create the WonderLAB.

And that superhero is Marina Llopis a.k.a. IFWEFILM! Marina is a hugely talented film photographer with over 7 years' experience in labs and commercial studios from Japan, Spain, and the UK - and the absolute perfect person to help build the processes, train the
team, and plan the equipment flow to create an exceptional service for the entire UK film community.

To talk through the details, and share more of their vision for the WonderLAB - here are Paul and Marina:

The WonderLab Vision

Thanks to Marina's experience in so many different labs across the world, she has been able to identify some common themes of what can often be improved, and for us there are three specific and important areas that we want the Analogue WonderLAB to excel in:

1. Sustainability - we will make the analogue process as environmentally friendly as possible - from start to finish - so that people know that the impact of their hobby on the wider world has been absolutely minimised

2. Organisation - we want the WonderLAB to be the most efficient minilab in the world, eradicating process and logistical mistakes from the system, so that folks can entrust us with their special memories with 100% confidence

3. Community - we want to cultivate a hub of film photography for our local film photographers and blur the lines between commercial and home development, so that anyone can choose seamlessly between processing at home or dropping their films at our door

Marina in her various prior studio/lab roles

Details and Timings

There are many things for us to still do before launch: finish sourcing more of the equipment; hire and train a team to help Marina; make changes to the website so that it's easy to order lab services along with your usual film stocks; make sure the logistics slots nicely into the current warehouse set-up; and a few other things.

With that being said, we are targeting early September for the initial opening of the WonderLAB!

We are probably going to ask a couple of you to help us test the systems before opening it up to the whole community, and the exact date will depend on our progress in the coming weeks - but we wanted to share the initial news with you as early as possible 😊

The community has been incredibly supportive and encouraging since the very inception of Analogue Wonderland - and we would love you to help us build the WonderLAB into a service that fits exactly what you need.

So please follow along with the highs and lows on Instagram: either Analogue Wonderland or IFWEFILM

And if you have any specific ideas, feedback, thoughts, or crazy concepts for the WonderLAB then please email Marina at her new address 😆

Happy Shooting!
- Paul, Mary, and Marina

Early concept art for the WonderLAB

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