thanks for the suggestions, I kinda figured as much when it came to off-the-shelf emulsions. I like the idea of using sheet film but wouldn't a drill press-type circle cutter shred it? Maybe a compass/blade contraption? i'll def try out the blue/green filter wheel since its just a matter of cutting out gels and pasting them on the shutter.
By chance, if your a cinema history buff check out Who's Who of Victorian Cinema ( http://www.victorian-cinema.net/ ) click "on machines" and to see a plethora of early cinema devices-its awesome!