Movie Making Manual/Super 8mm Film

This Module is part of the Movie Making Manual wikibook

Taken from wikipedia as starting point...please edit to make more relevant to filmmakers....

Super 8mm film is a motion picture film format that was developed in the 1960s by Eastman Kodak as an improvement of the older 8mm home movie format. The film, 8mm wide, comes in plastic cartridges containing a 50-foot reel (about 3 minutes, depending on the film speed). Color stocks were available only in tungsten (3200K), and cameras were required to come with a built-in daylight filter, allowing for both indoor and outdoor shooting.

Amateur usage of Super 8 has been largely replaced by video, but the format is sometimes used by professionals trying to imitate the look of old home movies, or create a stylishly grainy look. Many independent filmmakers such as Derek Jarman have made extensive use of 8mm film with remarkable results, and it appears to have made something of a minor comeback in both the art and experimental film world. Oliver Stone, for example, loves to use it in his more recent films, such as The Doors Natural Born Killers, Nixon, U Turn, and JFK where his DP Robert Richardson employed it to evoke period or to give a different look to setups within a scene.

Until 1999, the University of Southern California's famous School of Cinema-Television required students to shoot their initial projects using Super 8, but the dwindling availability of equipment and processing facilities eventually forced the school to switch these classes to Digital Video. However the film is still used elsewhere by film students who wish to learn the basics of shooting film.

Super 8 is supplied in a light proof cartridge, the design of which allows it to be inserted into a camera without directly threading the film, which made the format even more user-friendly.

Kodak (as of 2004) still manufactures several color and black-and-white Super 8 films, and even introduced new emulsions since year 2002. The most popular Kodak stocks usually have been either Kodachrome or Ektachrome, and usually tend to be quite slow, usually around ISO 25, although there are known stocks that go up to ISO 100 and higher.

The Japanese company Fuji produced another variant called Single 8. The film was exactly the same as Super 8, but used a different design of magazine.