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Is There a Super 8 Life Style?

Posted on April 28 2011

Wikipedia defines lifestyle in its simplest terms as “the way people
live”

Group posingSome lifestyles are easy to define.  Just watch an episode of  “Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous” or a National Geographic show that has a segment on some indigenous culture.  We see the lifestyle of the people pretty clearly.

In the 21st Century, particularly here in the West, there are more lifestyle options than ever before, and they are not all defined by socio-economics. Our choices for health and wellness, sexual orientation, products we use, how we transport ourselves, the way we socialize,  are choices that reflect our life style. The essence of our being.

Old pictureTo me, lifestyle is every day life. What we wear. What music we listen too. How we celebrate. I love to watch the everyday life of people’s home movies from the 50’s, 60’s, and 70’s shot on 8mm or super 8mm film. I can walk into our scanning suite any day of the week and get a nostalgia fix when I catch a glance of a birthday party, Christmas gathering, family BBQ, beach day or Disney outing. There is something so calming about the footage. Parts of it are always predictable. I identify with it. It slows me down from the constant pounding on my computer, ipad, or smart phone. It takes me back. It makes me feel good. It reminds me – I’m ok.

Vintage photoI like seeing the woman dress the way my mother dressed in that era. The shape of the eyeglasses, the dishes on the table, the cars.  I get really excited when I see a lamp that is the same style of one I grew up with, or a fabric pattern that was iconic in its day.

More and more I hear filmmakers I work with say that one of the things they like best about shooting on super 8 film is the “lifestyle behind it”. When I first heard people talking in this way, I thought they meant the surf culture or the skateboard culture, or even the adult film culture of which so much has been captured on 8mm film over the decades. So I started asking, what do you mean? What is the super 8 lifestyle?  Do you mean the lifestyle of the filmmaker who chooses super 8 as the way they want to tell a story or “Lifestyle Filmmaking shot on super 8 film”?

Bayou and DanielAfter giving this some thought, I think I have decided it is both. There is a certain type of filmmaker who defines the super 8 life style, and clearly chooses to tell stories on this medium. They are Independent. Hands On. Above average intelligence.   They like counter-culture. They are a Risk Taker. Personable. Humble. Modest. Generous. Grateful. Patient. And, amazingly creative.  The Super 8 filmmakers that I know who are the most successful with their super 8 filmmaking possess a majority of these qualities. And it is these qualities that really put these filmmakers in a league of their own when it comes to getting the shots that are romantic, playful, emotional, personal, intimate, and heartfelt.

Filmmaker George ManzanillaFilmmaker George Manzanilla who shoots his spots for Billabong on Super 8 film says what he likes is that it is the emotional connection you are able to make with the subject when you shoot them on Super 8 film. It’ s a personal format. You get images you can’t get from a digital camera. The way he shoots changes the relationship the models. http://youtu.be/V4YyFSlP7aQ

Feature filmmaker Kurt Markus and son Ian were the entire crew for the super 8 documentary “It’s About You – John Mellencamp”. His narration in the film speaks about how having another person along to do the sound would have changed the dynamic. Then they would not be just father and son messing around in America with their Super 8 cameras. http://vimeo.com/16177978

Look at music videos such as  “Two is Better Than One” (Boys Like Girls) The performance piece is shot on the Red Camera.  http://youtu.be/cUMfdoIXv4U The love story is shot on super 8. It feels so real and touches emotions deep with in your soul. Or singer Harper Simons “Berkley Girl”  (shot by Ben Kutsko from The Masses) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VfXv6RBPEdI&feature=player_embedded

Vintage wedding photoNowhere do we see this hankering for super 8-lifestyle filmmaking so prevalent as we do in weddings. While brides of the 80’s and 90’s were all about being shot on video, the past 10 years have shown a huge resurgence toward creating montage wedding footage on Super 8 film. Intimate. Personal. Playful. From simple low-budget weddings to Hollywood Celebrity Extravaganza Weddings, brides, grooms, and even the guests want to get in on the act. Check out the work of some of these amazing Wedding Filmmakers (and we have dozens more with just as awesome footage!) These are folks who have made a HUGE commitment to their craft, taking a risk (without video assist) at someone’s wedding that the footage being captured on 30-year-old cameras will do the job they were hired to do. This is not for the weak of heart. These wedding filmmakers personify the Super 8 lifestyle and personify the craft! Check out some of them and their amazing work.

Kate Headley http://www.kateheadleyphotography.com/

Braden Lower http://www.abryanphoto.com

Megan Hill http://hellosuper8.com/

Steve Moses http://vppvideo.com/

Michelle Walker http://layercakefilms.com/

The filmmakers themselves rave about the vintage charm.

Michelle Walker of Layer Cake Films on her website explains that as a super 8mm wedding film company, we create films that are original, offbeat, fun, and exciting. We strive to make custom stylized films that combine our generation’s style and sensibility with yesterday’s vintage film and retro feel. No melodramatic forced emotion! We are all about having fun and capturing the joy of your wedding day. We embrace offbeat couples.

FilmingSuper 8 Film was invented as a home movie format to record the lifestyle of everyday living 50 feet at a time. Each roll is like a play list of 3 ½ minutes or less. A shot of life in  “reel” time.   Today we see a trend toward recapturing more simplistic, intimate story telling people are gravitating to simple stories. The cameras were designed for the average consumer, so that anyone could use it. I think we will see more and more filmmakers using Super 8 to capture this feeling of intimate lifestyle. The number of super 8 shots in commercials and in TV shows continues to grow with each passing. Full circle. Lifestyle filmmaking on super 8. Your own reality TV show.

How do you define the “Super 8 Lifestyle?  Please post your responses here!

You can also register for our FREE, teleseminar on Super 8 Lifestyle Filmmaking, Wednesday, May 11 at 4:30pm pacific (7:30pm eastern). Click here to read about the teleseminar and register: http://tinyurl.com/3sj6rhe

By Rhonda Vigeant. Director of Marketing, Pro8mm www.pro8mm.com

The post Is There a Super 8 Life Style? appeared first on Pro8mm.

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