Adventures in Film…and fake 8mm

Sorry about the backlog on blogs…coming up are which AF101/ GH2 lenses to buy blog, a review of the year (whoops!), results of Bloom Challenge 4 and many more…

For all my career I have tried to emulate film with video with various degrees of success but I have never shot film. Well this year I will be experimenting. Not with 35mm but with 16mm and a lot more Super 8mm. The biggest problem is the expensive. 16mm film, processing, telecine costs a lot of money. Even Super 8mm is a fair bit, about £30-40 here with processing and telecine for around 3 minutes or so depending on frame rate. So not cheap.

It’s not that I have any inclination to shoot film professionally. I just want to mess around and it’s a great excuse to start collecting Vintage cameras.

What I am also going to be doing, after Eric Kessler set me a challenge is to see if I can use the 16mm and Super 8mm camera with the Smartlapse/ Oracle/ Revolution hear and Slider combo for timelapse. My 16mm camera and one of my Super 8mm cameras do timelapse so it will be a bit of fun!!

This Canon 1014XL-S has built in timer

Some of the Vintage cameras I have are just for display as they are works of art…

Above is the 16mm Krasnogorsk-3 that I have with the intervelometer and below is video showing how it works.

For that lo-fi look you can always screw with your images in post or use a camera like the iphone with 8mm Vintage Camera, or a Digital harinezumi. Check out Nino Leitner’s blog post for the review of the iphone app.

iphone Super 8mm: CanonFilmmakers.com FINALLY arrive in London!! from Philip Bloom extras on Vimeo.

Digital Harinezumi: Lo-fi coolness! USA Video Blog from Philip Bloom extras on Vimeo.

Great little toy camera that shoots digital “Super 8mm” looking footage.

Read about it here: http://philipbloom.co.uk/2009/11/08/lo-fi-heaven-digital-harinezumi-digital-super-8mm-camera/

Filmed in Chicago and LA

Real & fake Super 8: shoot-out from fcr on Vimeo.

Genuine telecined Super 8 footage vs. fake Super 8 digital video (recorded with a Panasonic GH13, Nikon D90 and the iPod/iPhone app Vintage 8mm Camera)

8mm Vintage Camera iPhone App Review from Storme Wood on Vimeo.

I took the new 8mm Vintage Camera iPhone App to my son’s hockey practice to test it out. I love it. Check out my video review to see and hear more about it.

I first heard about the app from Nino Leitner’s blog. It’s a great post and a great blog. Check out Nino’s blogpost here: http://ninofilm.net/blog/2011/01/08/8mm-app/

The 8mm Vintage Camera iPhone App is available in the app store here: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/8mm-vintage-camera/id406541444?mt=8&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

And you can visit me at http://www.stormewood.com

Cheers!

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22 comments

  1. Hi Philip, new contributor here a director who loves your work and site. I’ve mixed Super 8 with HD on a variety of projects, I’ve even TKed super 8 at 1080p! Check out my docu’s at stephenjudge.co.uk. Happy to share experiences. Steve J

  2. Were in the same boat it seems. A year ago I got a terrible camera fever and ended up buying a pile of super-8mm cameras and accidentally one singe-8mm camera. Only recently I have shot my first three reels of film (still to be developed). It just some random stuff I shot in Paris. I’m planning on doing a proper set of tests to see how my cameras perform in different situations some time later.

    It sure is expensive. I have to order the film from Netherlands, send it back for developing and then send it to Sweden for HD-scanning. For three reels the total cost is somewhere around 200€. But if I someday get close to this quality: http://vimeo.com/15440982 it’ll be worth it 🙂

    Looking forward to your first short shot on film! 🙂

  3. Super8mm is where I got my start in filmmaking. First, an old Bell & Howell my parents had. Wore that thing out with it’s amazing 2x (yes, two) zoom. For a number of years I used a collection of 3 Nikon R10’s. I had an old Nikon intervalometer that made doing timelapse a snap. I also had a Canon 814 (the little brother of the 1014), an Elmo that used a 200′ cartridge, a Beaulieu, and an old Nizo.

    Alas, I sold them all! Now, years later I have a tinge of seller’s remorse.

  4. Very interested to see what you come up with on cine film.
    I got interested again in super8 a couple of years back.
    Super8 really doesn’t have to look as rough and flickery as that iPhone app suggests…

    There’s a Belgian chap called Freddy Van de Putte who is doing amazing things with old 8mm films and his own DIY telecine system… take a look at http://vimeo.com/13173031
    It’s a real eye-opener what he can get out of those tiny frames. The quality he’s getting out of vintage (1950s-1970s) footage is just astounding.

  5. Hey Philip,

    I’ve used a Braun Nizo for a few years on the Tour de France – great little s8 camera. Shot for the first 2 weeks, then sent the films to Paris to get telecined and transferred to tape ready to cut some funky little ‘retro’ pieces for the final day – went down really well, completely different to the normal coverage of a live sporting event.

    The Braun was indeed built by the shaver company! It has a built-in intervalometer, instant jump from 18 fps to 54 fps for great super slomo (but it gets through a 50ft roll pretty fast at 54fps!), it’s even got a macro facility on the lens.

    Oh, and they look so cool in 70’s sci-fi, brushed aluminium!

    Not sure where you’re getting your films telecined, but I’ve had good results from The Widescreen Centre off Baker Street for my personal work – they transfer to tape or hard drive – and they’re fast and efficient (no connection other than as a satisfied customer).

    Good luck with it and have fun – reminds me I need to do more myself.

    Cheers,

    Adrian.

  6. 8mm is quite nostalgic. There is a serious group out there at: http://www.pro8mm.com and they cover everything from film purchase to processing. I have also recently experimented with 8mm in my grandfather’s Canon 814AZ camera, whilst recording with a Canon XHA1 at the beach for contrast. I called it ‘Duelling with the two Canons.’ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i84-wxykiM8 Overall, it was interesting but not really worth pursuing. Using 8mm today, even with all the digital enhancements of today is like driving a restored antique car. It looks great but still drives like an old car.

  7. I used to shoot a little super8 with a Canon that had a nice external intervalometer and also had a nice feature in that you could hook up a camera flash via a pc cord. I noticed that your Canon Super8 also has a flash port. Try it out some time as it will open up some new options when shooting time lapse.

  8. El Mao\\

    I thought the sign said “Baggage in Hell”

    To bad you will never see the beauty of super 8 Kodachrome. It really was magical. The company that was the only one left has now stopped processing the film.

    I would like to see your ideas for shooting with super 8 and getting sync sound. And please also shoot with Black and white.

    I have one of the original home movie camera which was made in 1924. It’s a a Hand Crank (i.e silent film) 16 mm cam. It’s called a Vitascope. Hand cranking this bare bones movie camera is the ultimate in Seat of the pant’s film making. Ill post some pics and footage maybe when I get a chance.

    Of course what you really want to do is not telecine the material but project it. See if you can get your hands on a super 8 or 16 projector. Shoot Reversal and see the magic all over again. Oh yeah and if you want to edit your super 8 try and find a Hervik? splicer.

    Good luck

    Dimitrios

  9. Also, as you probably know that Canon 1014XL-S is one of the best super 8 cams you can get. Use the 1014 if you are going to try anything with sync sound. Wait till you see some of that stuff.

    Sorry if I’m a little overexcited at seeing what someone with an eye like yours will do with these things.

  10. Hi Philip
    I shot about fifty music promos on Super-8 in the 90s. The results can be spectacular with a good telecine. I found the most exciting thing the use of still-photo-lenses on a Beaulieu-camera. The crop factor ist about 6, as far as I remember. By using a 200mm you get a 1600mm with reasonable speed. Just imagine these images!

  11. Nice write-up.. 🙂

    Amazing coincidence, 2 days ago I was fooling around with my father’s 814xl-s(1981) and was actually thinking of selling it to fund a new lens.

    I was actually feeling really guilty of thinking smtg like that, and now, after reading this article, I feel like a complete douche. 🙂

    Decided to keep it.. it was actually used for a couple of times only, so looks brand new..so compact and stylish, a bit smaller compared to the 1014..

    p.s. Selling the hasselblud stuff instead,haha.. 🙂

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