Is there any definitive protocol for shots in which the slate can't be both in focus and close enough to the camera to fill the frame? Do you just have to focus on the slate, then re-focus on the actors on the fly?
While those specific limitations don't personally appeal to me, I definitely believe in the theory that limitations breed creativity. For instance, I think that the actual issue with all the CGI Hollywood uses is not the quality of the CGI, but the fact that it allows directors to get lazy and shoot whatever they want knowing that a team of FX artists can composite monsters and explosions into shaky footage of any angle. Practical effects enforce limits on what kind of footage you can shoot, and the result is more thought-out, deliberate cinematography.
For my first short film, I needed a shot in which the camera spins around the room several times at dizzying speeds. My solution was duct taping my tripod onto my office chair, grabbing the back of the chair, and then running around it in circles. Probably the best shot of the film.
My favorite bad movie to study is the 2013 Evil Dead remake, which is basically a 90-minute course in how to not make a horror movie. You take it for granted that in Jaws, Spielberg fakes you out with swimmers wearing shark fins while training you to associate the ominous musical cue with the real shark, just so halfway through he can throw the real shark at you without the music and scare the shit out of you. In Evil Dead '13, you become painfully aware of the fact that EVERY scare is real, and EVERY scare has musical buildup so none of them are actually scary.
To everyone saying "just get an old Super 8 camera."
First up, the new camera uses the "Max 8" aperture which captures a widescreen image instead of a 4:3 one by using the film area that used to be set aside for the soundstrip. If you want widescreen Super 8, an old camera won't cut it.
Second, most vintage Super 8 cameras aren't entirely compatible with modern film stocks. If you get an old camera capable of reading all of the film speeds Kodak offers, you're likely still gonna be paying in the triple digits.
Third, this camera's got interchangeable lenses. Good luck finding that on an old camera.
Fourth, Logmar's camera is pretty much the same thing but it goes for over $6,000. Even at the highest end of Kodak's price estimate, that's still less than 1/8 the cost of the competition.