Independent films are usually distinguished by their unique content and style. The idea is to make indie films look different from most mass marketed films, which makes Super 8 film a great aesthetic for this type of movie.
The first commercial feature length Super 8 documentary was shot in 1996, titled, "Year Of The Horse." This film documents Neil Young and the Crazy Horse's 1996 concert tour. Jim Jarmusch interviews the band about their long history, and we see backstage footage from the 1970s and 1980s.
In the 2011 documentary, "It's About You," filmmaker Kurt Markus, along with his son Ian, were the entire film crew and crafted a gorgeous 90 minute documentary for the festival circuit about John Mellencamp. The film was also edited into a shorter version serving as the opening act to John's live concerts. In and out of various concert venues, studios, and more, Super 8's portability and accessibility made it the perfect format for this type of film. It would have been difficult for directors Kurt and Ian to capture such intimate shots of John and the band with big, heavy equipment. The film captures the esscence of the story, and the format played a big role in not only the aesthetic, but also the mentality of the film.
Other films such as "Dig!" by filmmaker Ondi Timoner (Sundance Jury Selection) and "The Bruce Movie" (1996) shot entirely on Super 8, 16mm and 35mm, are great examples of the spirit of Super 8 indie films, shot in whole or part on Super 8 film.
Super 8 Indie Films and Documentary Examples
"It's About You", a documentary about John Mellencamp, by Kurt and Ian Markus. Shot in Max 8, transferred to HD on the Millennium II scanner in 2010.
Clip of "The Bruce Movie" by Ryan Thomas. Shot in the 1990's, transferred to Standard Definition.