interview w/ George of Negative Feedback
I guess I’ve finally decided to join the rest of the world and dive into YouTube. This past summer I stumbled upon a new channel called Negative Feedback, giving a new insight and outlook on the current state of analog photography. It’s hosted by George Muncey and includes camera reviews, techniques and even film comparisons. Throughout each episode he presents his own photographs within the context of the episode. The channel, started in July 2015 is based in London and has been getting consistent buzz ever since.
Me being a huge fan of film photography myself, had to catch up with George to see where the idea came from and how he’s taking the channel into the ‘real world’.
When did you become interested in photography, specifically film?
My whole interest in photography came around when I was very young, I bought a compact camera with some money from one of my grandparents and enjoyed carrying it round and taking snaps of what I got up to. But it wasn’t until I was 14 and went on work experience to a photography studio at school for two weeks that I really fell in love with shooting. I discovered that commercial photography is something i’m not fully interested in, but it gave me a much greater understanding of the real world and industry.
For the next few years I worked alongside the studio in my spare time helping out on shoots when I could. I then bridged more so into the video side of things when I studied media production at college, and started to study film production at uni. In the first few weeks of uni I decided to do the cliche thing of buying a film camera to decorate my halls room with prints from what I get up to.
This definitely sparked my interest in film photography, but it wasn’t until I dropped out of uni and bought a point and shoot (Yashica t4) to carry round with me whilst I worked for a social media network, creating digital content for them. Soon after this I got completely enveloped and tried out a bunch of cameras, and after a lot of development of my own style I’ve ended up with where I am now.
How did the idea of Negative Feedback come about?
The idea came to me one day as just the name, I then instantly checked to see if the web domain was free and snagged it straight away without a real plan of what it would be yet.
I then started off on Medium reviewing film stocks that i’ve shot to build a database of what different films look like. Although I quickly got bored with this.
I then decided I should use my video knowledge and love of youtube to make the reviews on there.
Soon after I filmed a pilot episode which I wasn’t too happy with the output as it wasn’t very planned out and was a bit rushed and forgot about it for the next few months.
A bit later due to a turn of events I dug out the footage and made a new cut of it to show a potential client and then decided to make another attempt at a first episode. As soon as that video was finished I dropped it on the Youtube and somehow committed myself to uploading *nearly* every week from then on without really thinking of what I was getting myself into.
I really love your process when shooting in China and CA. What is your packing mentality when shooting in an unknown location?
I just like going for long walks, preferably by myself and exploring the unknown territory. Stumbling upon things without a plan normally leads to my favourite style of shooting.
When I travel somewhere for a decent amount of time I like to order a bunch of film to where i’m staying in advance, and just take a camera or two with me, which i’ll choose depending on how light I want to travel.
If i’m only there briefly i’ll bring film with me on the journey but it’s always tricky picking which stock to go with, it’s all a guess of what tones/light I want to capture out there.
Where is the next place you’d like to film an episode of Negative Feedback?
Iceland is definitely high up on the list, but after recently visiting Dubai i’d really love to visit another sandy place, the tones and haze really play into the style of how I like my images to look. But I definitely think some snow would be cool to shoot soon as it’s something I don’t often get to do.
You’ve implemented a kickstarter with a paper zine project. Why did you start this venture?
I feel that I’m in a very fortunate position. Having gained a substantial following for something I love, being able to highlight and spread light on truly amazing work to people who would often go unseen is the next logical step for me.
Choosing for the publication to be print only was the only logical option for me. I believe that the end output for any photograph should be a physical medium, whether it’s a gallery exhibition or a photo book – that’s what I’m aiming for. I’d love to do as much as I can to keep print alive and running.
Your videos are educational as well as content driven. What have you personally learned about shooting with film since doing Negative Feedback?
I always pick up a thing or two when I go out and shoot with my friends for the episodes. Whether it’s just picking up subtleties in how they work, or if it’s something more substantial like how to create a lighting style with a strobe light that I might not often use.
I guess the idea is if I manage to pick up a thing or two whilst filming, hopefully that will transpose to the people watching.
What’s on the horizon for Negative Feedback?
More printed publications, I hope to continue to spread the work of my favourite unseen photographers.
We’re also working on a series of documentaries but i’m not sure how long that may take.
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