50 YEARS OF KEEPING IT REEL #1
A Message From Phil and Rhonda Vigeant
As we bring 2021 to a close we reflect with continued gratitude, amazement and awe at the prolificamount of material we have supported in both the creative and archival communities. When Super8Sound (TM) opened it’s doors in November 1972 in Cambridge, Massachusetts we are quite sure the founder, Bob Doyle, never imagined that his then employee/ staff accountant Phil Vigeant would have continued the companies Super 8 Legacy to the milestone of celebrating 50 continuous years in business. While there have been changes in our name, location, logos, processes and product lines, we have stayed true to our core values and commitment to honor the super 8 format, make it accessible to all, and push the frame to its’ maximum potential. As a family run business, we know the legacy will continue when we eventually retire and pass the baton to the next generation - our daughter Jaclyn and her husband Mike Melo .
In celebration of our Golden Anniversary, we will bring you a series of blogs, not necessarily in chronological order of company highlights and project milestones. There are thousands of reels that have come through the company over 50 years, capturing so much history, and culture. We thank you for giving us a career that has been filled with so much joy, and the opportunity to make a significant contribution to the creative industry.
Keeping It Reel #1
Let’s kick off the Holidays and our 50th birthday celebration with an iconic music video that we had the privilege of working on that is a timeless legacy in and of itself. Voted the # 1 Christmas song of all time ( just ahead of White Christmas)
Mariah Carey recorded and made a music video in 1994, All I Want For Christmas Is You
The music video was shot entirely on Ektachrome 160 Super 8 film, processed at the former Kodak Super 8 Lab in Palo Alto CA, and scanned at Pro8mm on a Sony BM 2100 telecine ( at that time we were still called Super8Sound).
It’s been almost 30 years, but if memory serves us, the Super 8 footage was shot by the famous portrait photographer Annie Leibowitz https://www.biography.com/artist/annie-leibovitz ( known for iconic photos of John and Yoko, Demi Moore, Whoopi Goldberg ,etc.) in a home movie style that captures the nostalgia of the holiday season in a playful, joyful way. However in my research, I could not find any mention of her as the cinematographer for this project.
According to Wikipedia, "The first, primary video for the song was shot in 1994 in the style of a home movie using Super 8 Film. It was directed and filmed by Carey during the Christmas season of 1993. The video begins with Carey placing holiday ornaments on a Christmas tree and frolicking through the snowy mountainside. Outdoor scenes were shot at the Fairy Tale Forest in New Jersey, where Carey's then-husband Tommy Mottola made a cameo appearance as Santa Claus. It continues with scenes of Carey getting ready for her album cover photo shoot and spending time with her dog Jack. It concludes with Santa Claus leaving Carey with a bag of presents and waving goodbye. It has more than 700 million views on YouTube as of December 2020.”
One of the things we find most interesting about this style music video is the relationship between the filmmaker and the artist. We have seen this many times in the Super 8 world, including Jewel’s Goodbye Alice ( shot by Kurt Marcus in 2006 ) and more recently, Katy Perry’s Daisies (shot by Liza Voloshin, @globalize May 2020.) It is the relationship between the Cinematographer and the artist that brings the intimacy and the nostalgia that gives the project an emotional, relatable element.
(c) Pro8mm. Written by Rhonda Vigeant, 12/21