Madonna, Jewel, Aerosmith, Katy Perry and Mariah Carey are just some of the hundreds of artists with music videos shot on Super 8. Music videos complement the meaning and feeling of a song, so finding the unique and memorable look for the video is just important as the song itself. That's why music video directors turn to Super 8.
Nostalgia, grit and grain are some of the most popular aesthetics of the format that attract filmmakers to Super 8 for music videos. Harper Simon's Berkley Girl and Boy's Like Girls' Two is Better Than One, a mix of Max8 Super 8 film and digital footage, uses the Super 8 aesthetic beautifully to reminisce about past relationships. Videos such as the Black Eyes Peas' "What It Is," and Beyonce's "Why Don't You Love Me," take advantage of Super 8's old-school look, grit, and stock-specific color tones to really accentuate the look and feel of the urban hip-hop scene and retro cookie cutter home in suburbia. Not to mention they make the vintage-inspired outfits look so much better.
With so many different Super 8 film stocks available today, filmmakers have the option to choose the specific stocks they need to achieve the look they want. For example, tighter-grained Super 8 stocks like the Pro8/01 create very smooth images when exposed properly and have a resolution similar to 16mm stocks of yesteryear, while the Super8/85 Ektachrome stock provides colors and contrast that look like projected home movies from the past. But music videos aren't just shot on Super 8 for these looks. Many videos are more experimental and take advantage of the various stages of the chemical and analog processes to achieve 'organic,' stunning effects. These include cross processing, skip-bleach, push/pull, and even stressing the processed film in dyes and various household chemicals before the transfer to digital.