Super 8mm Film -A Motion Picture Film Format - Wedding Compass

Consider 8mm film for your Wedding Day

In the 1960’s a new medium called Super 8mm film caught our attention. While it was the privileged few who had access to such cameras, it still left a nostalgic mark on many of our lives. After a few short lived years, the super 8 camera was replaced by the video camera and other film formats. Companies stopped making the cameras and film altogether, leaving only Eastman Kodak as the lead supplier of super 8 film. Even today, only a select few vendors carry this piece of nostalgia but it is well worth the effort inquiring about it.

In later years, Super 8 film found its way into America’s favorite sitcoms like, The Wonder Years and other big productions by Oliver Stone, Madonna, etc…It was a resurgence of sorts and Hollywood paid attention. Soon after, budding film makers in Los Angeles and surround areas used Super 8mm film as a stepping stone to bigger formats like 16mm and 35mm. With limited access to the film, development, and working cameras the super 8mm format quickly found its way into collectors and film enthusiast’s hearts. While much more difficult to handle than today’s video cameras, it still produces images unmatched by any camera. It seems year after year a new filter hits the market to give video the old “Super 8 look”. To the trained eye and super 8 fans, we know a fake when we see one.

In recent years select videography companies offered Super 8mm film to high-end weddings. It was a way to spice up the standard wedding video with silent film, graininess that cannot be duplicated on digital, and a sense of nostalgia that makes any production stand out.

Essentially Super 8 film provides the quickest access to an actual film-stock, with the lowest amount of investment. The lower price (compared to 16mm and 35mm) should not deter the planning bride from investing in super 8mm.

In many cases, the vendors who do offer Super 8mm film can work with the couple. For instance, many super 8 cameras can shoot at several speed levels. Shooting at a faster speed allows for a crisper image but definitely cuts into the allotted film time. Shooting at a slower shutter speed will extend the length of a roll, but will take away from the overall quality. You get a grainy image compared to shooting at a faster speed. The beauty of slow speed is that you can order less film, and stretch that to more segments of your wedding.

In our experience (super 8 is a silent film), it’s best to supplement film with video footage. We find that the best results come from the key moments such as the bride walking down the aisle, first dance, and exiting the religious services. It is key to remember that film requires more light than video, and shooting in a candle lit room guarantees a dark roll of useless images. Many couples save the film segment for day time or with the use of a bright light.

There are a few companies in each market that offer Super 8mm film as an addition to the wedding video. in some cases, packages can start at a significantly steep price but there are companies that offer Super 8mm a la carte and only tack on a small price increase.

Consider super 8 film and make your wedding video an instant classic!

Images provided by: Yah Ya Films>