Saturday, January 9, 2016

Super 8 Film May Be Here To Stay, For A Little While Longer

There has been bad news regarding Kodak and its future in recent years.  The rapid transition of consumer and professional photography from  film to digital has been a big reason for the decline and Kodak filed for bankruptcy reorganization back in January 2012.  The advent of inexpensive digital cameras and digital editing have made movie making more convenient and less expensive than ever before.  30 years ago Super 8mm film was the most common way to record family vacation and home movies.  It was so beloved that it's become the title of at least 2 movies 8 mm and JJ Abrams' Super 8.   Many student filmmakers made movies using Super 8mm as a low cost alternative to 16mm and 35mm.   That was a long time ago and the film format that help start the careers of many young directors is making a comeback.  Kodak has reveal a new Super 8mm format camera, the first since 1982.  Kodachrome 40 reversal film has been discontinued since 2006 but a few options still remain.

Super 8mm Film Sample

"On film, there's a special magic on a set when you say 'action' and to the point that the take runs until you say 'cut,' that's a sacred time. I've always believed in the magic of movies and to me the magic is connected to film. When you're filming something on film you aren't recording movement, you're taking a series of still pictures and when shown at 24 frames per second through a lightbulb, THAT creates the illusion of movement. That illusion is connected to the magic of making movies. The fact that Kodak is giving a new generation of filmmakers the opportunity to shoot on Super 8 is truly an incredible gift." 
- Quentin Tarantino

Constraints help to push filmmakers to think before they act.   They are required to design and plan their productions more carefully.  The limitations can help creativity and increase the likelihood of producing quality work.  One 50 foot 8mm film cartridge will only allow shooting for 2.5 minutes, at 24 FPS.  You must think before you act or end up burning through all of your film.  Kodak plans to sell 50 foot 8mm film cartridges that include services in the price.  Kodak will process and digitally scan the film and upload it to the cloud for easy access. The audio is recorded via built in digital recorder. It's a mix of the old and the new technology.  There is no official word on the price but it's believed to eventually sell for $400 - $700.  Like it or not the analog film format is on its way out. In 20 years it's unlikely that you'll be able to find a roll of film anywhere except an antique shop.

It's a surprising move from a company that has seen the rapid drop in film product sales.

More info @  and see the full specs here.


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