FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ~-
IS SUPER 8?
Just the coolest and cheapest film format out there. Super
8 was introduced as a simpler form of consumer filmmaking in the late sixties.
Film comes in a cartridge that like videotape is slipped into the camera for filming.
Most Super 8 cameras have automatic functions for easy use. When developed the
cartridge is broken open, the film processed, and sent back to you on a reel that
can be threaded into a Super 8 film projector for viewing. Entering the eighties,
video took over and all the wonderful cameras and filmmaking equipment was no
longer manufactured. Beaulieu in Italy and Quarz in Russia are currently the only
companies still manufacturing super 8 cameras. Super 8 lives on though. The format
was championed in the early eighties by the New York underground punk scene. Small
groups of Super 8 filmmakers can be found here and there who enjoy the look of
super 8 and its relatively small production costs. The internet has helped spread
valuable information on super 8 filmmaking and ebay has put cameras in the hands
of hundreds of new filmmakers.
CAN I GET EQUIPMENT?
The Cinemaker Co-op rents
super 8 equipment by the day. If you want to buy, Ebay is the largest source of
super 8 equipment. Always check a sellers feedback and read descriptions
carefully. Do your research before buying a camera or projector and know what
you want. If the description doesnt mention the items running condition
then ask the seller before buying. Buying from non-auction sites means youll
probably be paying a lot more but you are more likely to get higher quality, working
equipment. Here are a few:
|Cameta Camera||Pardee's Cameras|
|Mac Java Photo||
Chambless Cine Equipment|
| Du-All Camera||Bolex Boy|
|Peachtree Camera Repair||Image
We recommend checking
eBay to get a general idea of a specific items price before purchasing elsewhere.
You can also find useful information about camera features before purchasing at:
super 8 Camera Guide
super 8 camera List
Upper Fold Cine Classic
Mondofoto (website has a picture encyclopedia of over 800 cameras
and other super 8 equipment.)
If you are ever in a new place or passing
through a small town look up the local camera or pawn shop. There are some places
the Internet hasnt creeped into and an old man is likely to sell you a beautiful
camera for next to nothing. Garage sales are a great place to find gems too. I
wouldnt recommend buying cameras from antique stores. Most equipment is
too dusty and overpriced.
If you want something new, there are currently
two brands of super 8 cameras still being manufactured:
8C-2 is a Russian-made, spring wound, Super-8 camera with run speeds between
9 to 32 frames per second and single frame, manual/automatic exposure, manual
f/1.8 zoom lens from 9mm to 38mm. The Quarz camera is available in the United
States from Film & Video Services, 2620 Central Ave. N.E., Minneapolis, MN
55418, (612) 789-8622 or try Kiev/USA or FAFilm.
Beaulieu currently manufactures
top-of-the-line, professional Super-8 cameras. Beaulieus are available in England
from The Widescreen Centre or in the U.S. at super 8 Sound.
WHERE CAN I GET SUPER 8 FILM?
The Cinemaker Co-op
sells film at its Austin office. Also, check with your local specialty photo stores.
You wont find it at grocery stores or those drive-thru one hour photo places.
If your town doesnt have any, you can call Kodak Direct at 1-800-621-3456
and order using a major credit card. Black & white film can be ordered singularly
but color film is sold in packs of five.
CAN I GET SOUND FILM?
Super 8 sound film is no longer manufactured.
You can find it on eBay, but supplies are shrinking. All current stocks manufactured
by Kodak are silent. Sound in most cases sound is recorded and played from a separate
source. For this reason sync-sound cannot be achieved though there are interesting
efforts around this (link to projector page). Magnetic sound striping can be added
to your film after shooting and a soundtrack can then be recorded directly onto
the film using a projector with recording capabilities. Sync can sometimes be
crudely achieved but for the most part sound striping is just a way to get sound
and image together for exhibition purposes. For Cinemaker festivals we burn a
CD of soundtracks and cue them loosely at the start of each film.
CAN I GET FILM DEVELOPED?
Austin, TX 78705
b/w 16mm daily, s8 twice a week
1001 LENORA STREET
10555 VICTORY BLVD
TEL: (818) 508-9253
FAX: (818) 762-0688
Currently $12 to process bw s8 + $5 shipping
Will not make prints of objectionable material
37 E. 1st STREET
NEW YORK, NY 10003
18 ELM STREET
PLATTSBURGH, NY 12901-1827
super 8mm/super 8mm.html
Offers many unique film services
1545 WEST MOCKINGBIRD LN #5017
DALLAS, TX 75235
(800) 224-5654 CRAIG BEASLEY
outlabs kodachrome to Switzerland
P.O. BOX 274
PARSONS, KS 67357
AND VIDEO SERVICES|
2620 CENTRAL AVE., NE
|FUJI TRUE COLOR|
3259 EAST HARBOR DRIVE SUITE
PHOENIX, ARIZONA 85034
|PREP FILM SERVICES|
NORTHVILLE, MICHIGAN 48167
|ROCKY MOUNTAIN FILM LAB|
145 MADISON ST
DENVER, COLORADO 80206
P.O. BOX 335
ROWLEY, MA 01969
the best s8 to video transfers as well
2128 SOUTH HANLEY ROAD
SAINT LOUIS, MO 63144
b/w tuesday and friday
HOW CAN I TRANSFER
MY SUPER-8 FILM TO VIDEO?
Most places that offer cheap transfers use
a variable speed projector, a transfer box, and a video camera of some sort. The
problem with transferring film to video is flicker. Film is shot between 18-24
frames/second while video scans at 60 fields/second. This discrepancy between
rates causes flicker. The same thing happens when shooting film off the television
or shooting video or film off a computer monitor, but instead of flicker you get
a line or bar rolling up the screen. The variable speed projector eliminates flicker,
the transfer box bounces the projected image off a mirror onto a ground glass
which the camera records. For the most part I find transfer boxes unnecessary.
They tend to create hot spots in the middle of the screen due to the
projector being so close.
For flickerless transfers the variable speed
projector is key, though some have made other adaptations to get around flicker.
If you dont care, project on something white with little or no texture.
Set up your camera near your projector and film off the wall. It is best to reduce
the projected image as small as possible for more detailed transfers. If you route
your camera through your VCR then you can use your TV as a monitor to insure your
framing is good.
Most places that make transfer are not of the highest
quality. Colors are dull and the picture isnt too sharp, but you get what
you pay for. Film to me is always better projected. For higher quality transfers
try Super 8 Sound or Brodsky & Treadway (see address above).
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SUPER 8 AND REGULAR 8MM?
Regular 8 or just 8mm
was the predecessor to super 8. The super 8 cartridge was more idiot proof than
the 8mm spools that had to be manually threaded. Regular 8 came on 25 ft. spools
16mm wide that had to be flipped half way through shooting in order to expose
the other side. The film was processed then slit in half, spliced together in
the middle creating a 50 ft. reel. Most super 8 cameras featured automatic controls
such as auto irising and auto zoom and no flipping of the film was required.
You can tell the two formats apart by the size of the sprocket holes in the
film. super 8 has much smaller sprocket holes compared to 8mm's which is identical
in size to 16mm. super 8 reels have a larger projector mounting hole than 8mm
thus super 8 projectors have larger mounts on the take up and supply arms. It's
hard to argue which looks better since so much is based on what kind of camera
you use. Because 8mm is on a spool film can be run through the camera repeatedly
for multiple exposures while the super 8 cartridge prevents film from being backwound
as conveniently. 8mm can be left unslit then run through a 16mm projector creating
a four screen effect. Slit 8mm film is recognizable because the heads and tail
of the film are usually exposed to light during the spool flip. When slit and
spliced together this creates the "middle six feet" where images bleed
in and out and then go white.
CAN I GET RUGULAR 8MM FILM?
PLATTSBURGH, NY 12901-1827
Selling b/w & color 8mm stock as well as processing and
295 SOUTH 8th STREET
DIXON, CA 95620
b/w 25 & 160 asa and color 25 & 125 asa in double s8mm and reg. 8mm
KAHL MEDIA ART
FAX: (492232) 922678
48 DORSET STREET
LONDON W1H 3FH, UNITED KINGDOM
CAN I GET A BULB FOR MY PROJECTOR?
Projector bulbs are identified by
3 letter code. You can find this code somewhere on the old bulb or sometimes it
is written on the projector around the lamp housing. If you can find either then
make note of your projector make and model and go to the Projection Lamp Finder
Page. Now you can order via the web from Pureland Supply, Bulb Direct,
Light Bulbs Unlimited.
FESTIVALS ACCEPT SUPER 8 ENTRIES?
United States super 8 Film/Video
Festival in New Jersey & Splice This! in Toronto accept and exhibit primarily
super 8 and 8mm films. Most short film festivals do accept films that orginate
on super 8 or 8mm but often screen the works on video, 16mm, or 35mm.
WHERE CAN I FIND OLD super 8 FILMS?
Derann Films in England are just a few places on the web to find all types of
I find most links to information regarding super
8 filmaking at the 8mm Metadirecory.
E-mail questions to the
Cinemaker Technical Director.