WonderPan: Grain Never Tasted So Good

By Karen Freer

Chef Ambrosia was a master in the culinary arts, celebrated for their ingenuity and originality in the kitchen. They had garnered numerous awards and accolades for their gastronomic creations, and their restaurant was among the most revered in the city. However, when they received a peculiar challenge from Team AW, they understood that they would need to employ all of their skills to meet the occasion.

Team AW had approached Chef Ambrosia with a special request. They requested that Ambrosia create a film to commemorate their 5th Birthday. They implored Chef Ambrosia to infuse a classic dish with a touch of innovation. A high-contrast twist, reminiscent of the enigmatic allure of grain and ambiance, and a subtle sprinkle of salt. The challenge intrigued Chef Ambrosia, as they had never before delved into the realm of film, but they were prepared to utilise their culinary expertise to aid the filmmaking community.

Chef Ambrosia set to work, dedicating countless hours to researching the properties of panchromatic film and experimenting with various components. They explored an assortment of spices and oils, yet none seemed to yield the desired effect. Discouragement loomed, when suddenly, inspiration struck.

Recalling their days at chef school, Chef Ambrosia mused that sometimes, it was not merely the ingredients that mattered, but rather, the duration of marination. Perhaps this same principle could be applied to the creation of film.

With renewed determination, Chef Ambrosia applied the technique, meticulously heating a blend of black and white pigments in their beloved saucepan. They simmered it for a full two days and two nights, tirelessly pushing the mixture around the bottom of the pan. Once ready, Ambrosia delicately poured the concoction onto a sheet of film, sprinkling a layer of silver flakes upon it before allowing it to dry.

The following morning, Team AW arrived to cut, wind, and test the film. To their astonishment, the outcome was simultaneously familiar and distinct, unlike anything ever seen before. It possessed the qualities of panchromatic film, exhibiting a full range of tonalities, yet its grain expression and captivating shadows caught them off guard. They were overjoyed!

They christened the film 'WonderPan,' and as Ambrosia stood in their kitchen, clutching the saucepan that had led to this unexpected triumph, they realised that their ardour for the culinary arts had guided them into an uncharted realm of artistic expression.




  • Just developed my Wonderpan 400 in Rodinal 1+100 (my normal semi stand). I was very surprised to see what it actually is. Especially as the last roll I processed was the same film – also shot at 400 and processed in Rodinal.
    Intrigued to see what it looks like when I scan it later 😁

    Shaun Smith
  • This story about the creation of wonderland is utter nonsense …. The film would melt in a hot saucepan .. really you shouldn’t tell fibs

    Rick Woollard

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