Cubes by Hillvale Photo

On the 2nd of May 2016, Hillvale developed their 50,000th roll. This is the process of crushing 50,000 film canisters into cubes. Hillvale is an independent photo lab based in Melbourne, Australia. They opened to the public in 2013.

In the video, each 35mm canister contains approximately 24, 27 or 36 photos. This means that between 1.2 million and 1.8 million photos have passed through Hillvale as of this 50,000th roll. Holding onto 50,000 35mm canisters takes up a lot of space. 30 50 litre tubs to be exact. To save space we decided to crush them into cubes.

Before the crushing took place, the plastic spool from each canister had to be removed to ensure a solid bind. This was a slow process and with the help of 30 or so friends over a week, Hillvale managed to get through all 50,000.

A metal yard in Campbellfield, Melbourne helped Hillvale accomodate this project. They crush everything from steel beams to 44 gallon drums every day with the aid of a 200-tonne strong industrial hydraulic compacter. 

Each canister, once removed of plastic spooling and end caps weighs approximately 6 grams.

Because of the volume, 3 cubes were produced. The total weight of all three cubes came to 304 kilograms. This means there is over 50,000 canisters and up to 17,000 in each cube.

This is a dedication to all of you who have used Hillvale. Hillvale started with an inherited machine with the aim to offer a more affordable, relevant and community focused photo lab service. Without you, Hillvale wouldn't be able to continue developing film and improving their service everyday. They strive to give you the best outcome they can through your comments, acknowledgements and criticism. Here's to the next 50,000.

Produced by Hillvale
Directed by Jason Hamilton & Andy Johnson
Director of Photography - Daniel Von Czarnecki
1st Camera Assistant - Ben Friesen
2nd Camera Assistant - Nick Forster
Music - Leisure Suite
Voice - Wil Wagner
Colour Grading - Daniel Stonehouse @ Crayon
Editors - Jason Hamilton & Andy Johnson

Copyright © Hillvale 2017


The hardest thing about photography is that it's so easy — Patrick O'Dell.