Famous movie director Steven Spielberg often attributes his success to his use of a Super 8 camera in his youth. It’s fair to say that he wasn’t the only person of that generation to become obsessed with home movies. The Super 8 film phenomenon spread like wildfire during the second half of the 20th century. Before Kodak introduced the Super 8 film format, it was hard to make home movies.
The film in use at that time was hard to thread into the camera manually. Also, you could only expose half the width of the film during the first filming session. Once the spool came to an end, the user had to open the camera and flip the spool. Then, this allowed the person to record the film edge that remained unexposed in the second pass. Once a person had processed the film, he or she would halve it along its length. This would result in two film lengths that would fit in a projector.
The great benefit of Super 8 film was that it did not require any of that hassle. It also offered impressive image quality. As a result, more families opted to use it to film their special moments.
The Introduction of Super 8
Kodak introduced Super 8 film in 1965. At the same time, the company launched two cameras onto the market, the M4 and M2. Super 8 film was more convenient and affordable than the standard 8-millimeter format. All users would need to do would be to put a film cassette in the camera and record. When people finished the film, they could remove it from the camera and process it.
The 1960s and 1970s saw a huge boom in families making home movies. Thanks to its user-friendly nature and low price tag, Super 8 brought filmmaking within easy reach. The 1980s TV show, “The Wonder Years,” showed a Super 8-style movie in its opening credits. Each cassette only had sufficient film for three minutes of grainy, colorful footage. Nevertheless, it allowed sufficient time for any amateur filmmaker to show the key moments of important events. It was the perfect way for families to preserve their memories and relive them later.
Super 8 In The 1970s and 80s
Original home movies made with Super 8 film were silent. However, in 1973, Kodak introduced Super 8 film with magnetic strips. This allowed users to record some sound alongside the images. Although Super 8 was very popular in the 1980s, as the decade rolled on, it began to slowly decline. New technologies were now available to record home movies. VHS camcorders became fashionable and soon were the standard way to make a home video.
Eventually, Kodak decided to scale down its production of Super 8 cameras. Eventually, it ceased manufacturing the Super 8 movie cameras altogether since there was such low demand. Nevertheless, some people want to use a Super 8 camera for its aesthetically unique qualities. It is still possible to buy Super 8 film, but only in select photographic stores.
Facts About Super 8 Film
- While Kodak does not make Super 8 cameras anymore, Super 8 film is still made. The company manufactures no less than four types of Super 8 film.
- The final manufacturer to make Super 8 cameras for sale was the French Beaulieu company. This firm continued to make Super 8 cameras into the 1990s.
- Within the filmmaking community, Super 8 film is still used. Filmmakers consider it to be a cheaper alternative to HD video. Usually, filmmakers use it to make commercials, music videos, and small films. Hollywood movie studios do not use it to make blockbusters.
- Kodak used Kodachrome to make Super 8 film. This was a form of color reversal film that the company made between 1935 and 2006. Kodachrome wasn’t just used in movie cameras. It was also used in still cameras. It was especially used for images that printed media were going to publish. One famous use of Kodachrome was Steve McCurry’s “Afghan Girl,” which the National Geographic published in 1984.
- There is now a Super 8 application. This aims to re-create the old-school camera experience. It offers different filter effects and lenses that you can apply while you record a video. You can use it on Apple devices.
Preserving Super 8 Film
If you have home movies in Super 8 format, it is time to think about preserving them. Film degrades over time. Therefore, you should transfer your Super 8 film to DVD or digital format. This will ensure that your precious family memories stay safe in the long term. Here at Reborn, we convert Super 8 film to DVD in Denver. We are happy to help you save those special moments for the next generation to enjoy.