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-~ FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ~-

What is super 8?
Where can I get equipment?
Where can I get super 8 film?
Where can I get sound film?
Where can I get film developed?
How can I transfer my home movies to video?
What's the difference between super 8 and regular 8mm?
Where can I get regular 8mm film?
Where can I get a bulb for my projector?
What film festivals accept super 8 entries?
Where can I find old super 8 films?

WHAT IS SUPER 8?
Just the coolest and cheapest film format out there. Super 8 was introduced as a simpler form of consumer filmmaking in the late sixties. Film comes in a cartridge that like videotape is slipped into the camera for filming. Most Super 8 cameras have automatic functions for easy use. When developed the cartridge is broken open, the film processed, and sent back to you on a reel that can be threaded into a Super 8 film projector for viewing. Entering the eighties, video took over and all the wonderful cameras and filmmaking equipment was no longer manufactured. Beaulieu in Italy and Quarz in Russia are currently the only companies still manufacturing super 8 cameras. Super 8 lives on though. The format was championed in the early eighties by the New York underground punk scene. Small groups of Super 8 filmmakers can be found here and there who enjoy the look of super 8 and its relatively small production costs. The internet has helped spread valuable information on super 8 filmmaking and ebay has put cameras in the hands of hundreds of new filmmakers.


WHERE CAN I GET EQUIPMENT?
The Cinemaker Co-op rents super 8 equipment by the day. If you want to buy, Ebay is the largest source of super 8 equipment. Always check a seller’s feedback and read descriptions carefully. Do your research before buying a camera or projector and know what you want. If the description doesn’t mention the item’s running condition then ask the seller before buying. Buying from non-auction sites means you’ll probably be paying a lot more but you are more likely to get higher quality, working equipment. Here are a few:

Cameta CameraPardee's Cameras
Mac Java Photo Chambless Cine Equipment
Du-All CameraBolex Boy
Kiev/USACole's Cameras
Peachtree Camera RepairImage Realm
Photographer's SpaceFAFilm
Tempe Camera 

We recommend checking eBay to get a general idea of a specific item’s price before purchasing elsewhere. You can also find useful information about camera features before purchasing at:

super 8 Camera Guide
super 8 camera List
Upper Fold Cine Classic Website
Mondofoto (website has a picture encyclopedia of over 800 cameras and other super 8 equipment.)

If you are ever in a new place or passing through a small town look up the local camera or pawn shop. There are some places the Internet hasn’t creeped into and an old man is likely to sell you a beautiful camera for next to nothing. Garage sales are a great place to find gems too. I wouldn’t recommend buying cameras from antique stores. Most equipment is too dusty and overpriced.

If you want something new, there are currently two brands of super 8 cameras still being manufactured:

The Quarz 8C-2 is a Russian-made, spring wound, Super-8 camera with run speeds between 9 to 32 frames per second and single frame, manual/automatic exposure, manual f/1.8 zoom lens from 9mm to 38mm. The Quarz camera is available in the United States from Film & Video Services, 2620 Central Ave. N.E., Minneapolis, MN 55418, (612) 789-8622 or try Kiev/USA or FAFilm.

Beaulieu currently manufactures top-of-the-line, professional Super-8 cameras. Beaulieus are available in England from The Widescreen Centre or in the U.S. at super 8 Sound.

WHERE CAN I GET SUPER 8 FILM?
The Cinemaker Co-op sells film at its Austin office. Also, check with your local specialty photo stores. You won’t find it at grocery stores or those drive-thru one hour photo places. If your town doesn’t have any, you can call Kodak Direct at 1-800-621-3456 and order using a major credit card. Black & white film can be ordered singularly but color film is sold in packs of five.

WHERE CAN I GET SOUND FILM?
Super 8 sound film is no longer manufactured. You can find it on eBay, but supplies are shrinking. All current stocks manufactured by Kodak are silent. Sound in most cases sound is recorded and played from a separate source. For this reason sync-sound cannot be achieved though there are interesting efforts around this (link to projector page). Magnetic sound striping can be added to your film after shooting and a soundtrack can then be recorded directly onto the film using a projector with recording capabilities. Sync can sometimes be crudely achieved but for the most part sound striping is just a way to get sound and image together for exhibition purposes. For Cinemaker festivals we burn a CD of soundtracks and cue them loosely at the start of each film.

WHERE CAN I GET FILM DEVELOPED?

University Co-op
2244 Guadalupe St.
Austin, TX 78705
(512) 322-7005

ALPHA CINE
b/w 16mm daily, s8 twice a week
1001 LENORA STREET
SEATTLE, WA 98121
(800) 426-7016
SUPER 8 PROCESSING
YALE LABORATORIES
10555 VICTORY BLVD
NORTH HOLLYWOOD, CA 91606
TEL: (818) 508-9253
(800) 955-YALE
FAX: (818) 762-0688
http://www.yalefilmandvideo.com/
Currently $12 to process bw s8 + $5 shipping
Will not make prints of objectionable material
PAC LAB
37 E. 1st STREET
NEW YORK, NY 10003
(212) 505-7797
(best gamma for b/w)
PLATTSBURGH PHOTOGRAPHIC
18 ELM STREET
PLATTSBURGH, NY 12901-1827
(518) 561-6312
E-MAIL:super 8mm@aol.com
http://members.aol.com/
super 8mm/super 8mm.html
MARTIN BAUMGARTEN
Offers many unique film services
CLEAR COLOR PHOTO
1545 WEST MOCKINGBIRD LN #5017
DALLAS, TX 75235
(214) 353-4595
(800) 224-5654 CRAIG BEASLEY
outlabs kodachrome to Switzerland
DWAYNE’S
P.O. BOX 274
PARSONS, KS 67357
(800) 522-3940
http://www.k14movies.com
FILM AND VIDEO SERVICES
GARY RASMUSSEN
2620 CENTRAL AVE., NE
MINNEAPOLIS, MINNESOTA 55418
(612) 789-8622
FUJI TRUE COLOR
3259 EAST HARBOR DRIVE SUITE #200
PHOENIX, ARIZONA 85034
(800) 224-5227
http://www.fujifilm.com/
PREP FILM SERVICES
21940 CUMBERLAND
NORTHVILLE, MICHIGAN 48167
(800) 793-FILM
ROCKY MOUNTAIN FILM LAB
145 MADISON ST
DENVER, COLORADO 80206
(303) 399-6444
BRODSKY & TREADWAY
P.O. BOX 335
ROWLEY, MA 01969
(509) 948-7985
make the best s8 to video transfers as well
DEVERSIFIED LAB
2128 SOUTH HANLEY ROAD
SAINT LOUIS, MO 63144
(314) 727-4522
b/w tuesday and friday
 

 

HOW CAN I TRANSFER MY SUPER-8 FILM TO VIDEO?
Most places that offer cheap transfers use a variable speed projector, a transfer box, and a video camera of some sort. The problem with transferring film to video is flicker. Film is shot between 18-24 frames/second while video scans at 60 fields/second. This discrepancy between rates causes flicker. The same thing happens when shooting film off the television or shooting video or film off a computer monitor, but instead of flicker you get a line or bar rolling up the screen. The variable speed projector eliminates flicker, the transfer box bounces the projected image off a mirror onto a ground glass which the camera records. For the most part I find transfer boxes unnecessary. They tend to create “hot spots” in the middle of the screen due to the projector being so close.

For flickerless transfers the variable speed projector is key, though some have made other adaptations to get around flicker. If you don’t care, project on something white with little or no texture. Set up your camera near your projector and film off the wall. It is best to reduce the projected image as small as possible for more detailed transfers. If you route your camera through your VCR then you can use your TV as a monitor to insure your framing is good.

Most places that make transfer are not of the highest quality. Colors are dull and the picture isn’t too sharp, but you get what you pay for. Film to me is always better projected. For higher quality transfers try Super 8 Sound or Brodsky & Treadway (see address above).

WHAT'S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SUPER 8 AND REGULAR 8MM?
Regular 8 or just 8mm was the predecessor to super 8. The super 8 cartridge was more idiot proof than the 8mm spools that had to be manually threaded. Regular 8 came on 25 ft. spools 16mm wide that had to be flipped half way through shooting in order to expose the other side. The film was processed then slit in half, spliced together in the middle creating a 50 ft. reel. Most super 8 cameras featured automatic controls such as auto irising and auto zoom and no flipping of the film was required.

You can tell the two formats apart by the size of the sprocket holes in the film. super 8 has much smaller sprocket holes compared to 8mm's which is identical in size to 16mm. super 8 reels have a larger projector mounting hole than 8mm thus super 8 projectors have larger mounts on the take up and supply arms. It's hard to argue which looks better since so much is based on what kind of camera you use. Because 8mm is on a spool film can be run through the camera repeatedly for multiple exposures while the super 8 cartridge prevents film from being backwound as conveniently. 8mm can be left unslit then run through a 16mm projector creating a four screen effect. Slit 8mm film is recognizable because the heads and tail of the film are usually exposed to light during the spool flip. When slit and spliced together this creates the "middle six feet" where images bleed in and out and then go white.

WHERE CAN I GET RUGULAR 8MM FILM?

PLATTSBURGH PHOTOGRAPHIC
18 ELM STREET
PLATTSBURGH, NY 12901-1827
(518)561-6312
E-MAIL:super 8mm@aol.com
Selling b/w & color 8mm stock as well as processing and film slitting

JOHN SCHWIND
295 SOUTH 8th STREET
DIXON, CA 95620
(916) 678-2942
http://members.aol.com/super 8mm/JohnSchwind.html
selling b/w 25 & 160 asa and color 25 & 125 asa in double s8mm and reg. 8mm

KAHL MEDIA ART
POSTFACH 1560
50305 BRUHL
GERMANY
TEL: (492232) 922677
FAX: (492232) 922678
http://www.kahlfilm.de/

WIDESCREEN CENTRE
48 DORSET STREET
LONDON W1H 3FH, UNITED KINGDOM
011.44.171.486.1272
http://www.widescreen-centre.co.uk/


WHERE CAN I GET A BULB FOR MY PROJECTOR?
Projector bulbs are identified by 3 letter code. You can find this code somewhere on the old bulb or sometimes it is written on the projector around the lamp housing. If you can find either then make note of your projector make and model and go to the Projection Lamp Finder Page. Now you can order via the web from Pureland Supply, Bulb Direct,
or Light Bulbs Unlimited.


WHAT FILM FESTIVALS ACCEPT SUPER 8 ENTRIES?
United States super 8 Film/Video Festival in New Jersey & Splice This! in Toronto accept and exhibit primarily super 8 and 8mm films. Most short film festivals do accept films that orginate on super 8 or 8mm but often screen the works on video, 16mm, or 35mm.

WHERE CAN I FIND OLD super 8 FILMS?
eBay and Derann Films in England are just a few places on the web to find all types of old films.

I find most links to information regarding super 8 filmaking at the 8mm Metadirecory.

E-mail questions to the Cinemaker Technical Director.

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Austin Cinemaker Co-op | 1705 Guadalupe St. Suite 201 | Austin, TX 78701 | (512) 236-8877

The Cinemaker Co-op is a non-profit film resource center in Austin, Texas, dedicated to the belief that film can be -- and is -- a financially accessible art form.To that end, we provide low-cost super 8 film equipment rental as well as a variety of educational workshops, screening salons, and film festivals throughout the year.

Austin Cinemaker Co-op is sponsored in part by The Hideout Coffee House and Theatre, KMFA Classical 89.5, is a sponsored project of the Austin Writers' League, and is funded in part by the City of Austin under the auspices of the Austin Arts Commission


S I T E   D E S I G N:  
Clay Crenshaw