Posted on January 25 2017
The Pro814 Super 8 Camera Rises Again! (and again, and again!)
Having worked in the Super 8 business since 1972 we are always very much aware of what is trending with our filmmakers, and recently it has been our Pro814 camera.
Introduced by Canon in 1966, and manufactured through 1971 during the heyday of innovative and talented analog camera design, it was an extremely popular Super 8 camera. Made of all metal with both manual and auto exposure and the awesome Canon 1.4/7.5-60mm zoom lens, this rugged camera was built to last, and last it has for over 50 years.
When you see the camera on the major hit television show such as THIS IS US in 2017, it is not just a prop, but it is representing an iconic cultural message about the importance of shooting family life in the moment and how those super 8 films become the foundation for how we hold our family legacy. It is a full circle depiction of technology and culture. Pro8mm began restoring these cameras to a Pro814 in 2007 greatly improving the basic camera to handle modern film stocks , replacing worn parts, such as the internal 85 filter and the need for light meter batteries with fresh alternatives a modern filmmaker would want.
Several different Super 8 film stocks were shot for THIS IS US, reversal film and negative film. All the film was transferred as a 2K data scan, so when we see the family watching their home movies, there was the option to project the reversal film on a traditional film projector, or they may have used the digital version of the Super 8 film. In this case, it looks to the viewer as if the film is being projected off the film projector, the way it would have been in the context of the era of the show.
The sustainability of the Pro814 has had many cycles. In 2007 when we introduced it as a totally rebuilt and restored version of a classic super 8 camera, it was the wedding filmmaker market that really embraced it as a fantastic filmmaking tool. Affordably priced at $795, the wedding filmmaker could offer clients a “super 8 add on” to the wedding videography with a trusted, restored piece of equipment, crucial for a wedding day when you only get one chance to capture forever moments. The beautiful wedding footage captured on a Pro814 such as that shot by wedding filmmaker Shanna Howard from Nostalgia Films will take your breath away – vintage filmmaking with a modern twist!
In 2008, a feature article appeared in Super8 Today shortly after the release of the Pro814 at Cinegear Expo. The article goes in depth about the upgrades. Since that time we have also added the popular light meter battery modification, which eliminates the need for the hard to find light meter batteries.
The Pro14 was also the super 8 camera of choice for American Idol, where filmmaker Owen Smith shot some behind the scenes footage every season with his beloved Pro814. This work was featured in American Cinematographer Magazine as part of Kodak’s “In Camera” series in 2016.
A recent purchase of a Pro814 was made by young actor / budding filmmaker Jaden Smith who has been out and about honing his filmmaker skills shooting super 8 on an iconic camera that is sustainable cool. A great match for this cool kid!
In the 2016 film VOLKSWAGEN CLOSER Director Zak Marx had Cinematographer Emmett Sutherland shoot a super 8 sequence on the Pro814 to authenticate the flash back memories that the main character Klaus shared about his boyhood.
The Pro814 Super 8 film camera like the super 8 format continues to attract a community of users that span generations and application , capturing all the beauty and archival value that only images on real movie film provide. For more information, visit Pro8mm.com
– Rhonda Vigeant © January 2017
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