Want to Shoot on Super 8? Here Are a Few Things You Should Know First
Who doesn't love the nostalgic look of Super 8 footage?
It's romantic. It's cool. It's imperfect in the most perfect way. If you've ever wanted to try your hand at shooting a film, whether it be experimental, a short, or a set piece for your feature, Simon Cade of DSLRguide provides a quick 4-minute video that shows you the very basic first steps you'll need to take in order to get under way.
So, what are the basics. Duh—get yourself a Super 8 camera. Maybe an older family member has one lying around, maybe you can find a working one at a thrift store (I've bought two this way), maybe you'll have to go online and order one. If it's your first time shooting with Super 8, don't worry too much about getting a fancy one, because a cheap $50 one will do just fine. The most common problem with these cameras generally lies with the motor, so make sure that baby is in good working order before you go any further. (If you find that it doesn't work, ask yourself if you've added batteries.)
Next is film stock, and this is where the romance of Super 8 dies a little—it's expensive—and not just to buy the rolls, but to get them processed and digitized, too. You'll have to drop about $30 per 50' cartridge, which, depending on your frame rate, will only get you maybe 4 minutes max of runtime (if you're shooting at 16fps). The cost of getting your film developed and transferred varies, especially when it comes to whether or not you want to upgrade to a higher resolution. But, generally you're looking at $50 to $150.
So yes, shooting on Super 8 makes for some beautiful images, but before you dive head first into it, it's good to know what you're getting yourself into. Shooting digital, it's easy to take for granted the fact that you can 1.) capture as much footage as you want without incurring any additional cost, and 2.) not have to wait weeks to get your footage back for editing. Lesson: When you shoot on film, you have to really want to shoot on film. And if you do really want to shoot on film, that film is most likely going to look great—or at least make you feel great while shooting it.