My super super-8 project

While browsing my local Goodwill store I came across a Bell and Howell Focus Matic Super 8 camera.  It looked in good shape so I bought the bastard for 4 U.S. dollars.  I plugged in some AAA batteries and much to my amazement the camera still works (anyone who’s ever browsed the electronics section of Goodwill knows that the “As Is” tag is a sure sign of junk).  It looks like I got lucky on this buy: everything works even though the camera dates back to 1974.

Harmless video camera...

... or futuristic space weapon??

Next came the challenge of finding some working super 8 film, and much to my further amazement, there are still companies out there producing it.  The now bankrupt Kodak offers a decent line of super 8 film, including negative and reversal, Ektachrome, and black and white.  I want a noir feel to my planned short film, so I ordered a cartridge of Kodak’s Tri-X B&W Reversal for $15 on Amazon.

This short film project has me excited, but there are a few factors that could become a future pain-in-the-ass.  For instance, a 50′ cartridge of super 8 film only produces about 2 and a half minutes of footage.  That’s not much to work with.  Then comes the challenge of converting and editing the fucker.  I (and I’m guessing the rest of the modern world) don’t have access to equipment for editing traditional film.  So I’ve been looking up some companies online that specialize in developing film and transferring it to digital.  This site looks promising and has reasonable pricing.  Once I’m done experimenting with the first cartridge I’ll give them a call and see what kind of deal I can strike.

In the meantime, I’ve been looking up some super 8 videos on Youtube and found some great work done by fellow film enthusiasts. Reading the comment sections has been a great help to me during this project.  This video makes great use of B&W film and music:

And here’s some super 8 footage of NYC taken about two years ago.  What an awesome vintage look:

Stay tuned for future developments!


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