Thursday, February 2, 2012

The time I bought a roll of Super 8 film

From left to right, 35mm, 16mm, Regular or Double 8, and Super 8.

I went into a camera store some time in the '90s. I bought a roll of Super 8. I was in my 30s.

"Are you a student?" the clerk asked.

"HE MUST BE IF HE'S STILL WILLING TO USE SUPER 8! HA HA HA HA!" said the other clerk.

I wasn't a student, but they gave me a student discount.

I took it as an insult, but now I'm not sure if that's how he meant it. Perhaps he admired my refusal to use videotape.

Now even Super 8 costs a fortune. At least $18 a roll just for the processing. I'm not sure the film itself costs.

I wouldn't mind using Regular 8. I like the old spring-driven Regular 8 cameras. And you got an extra thirty seconds running time. Lenny Lipton dismissed Regular 8 as obsolete in his book Independent Filmmaking. He said he had used it before and lost track of what he was doing and run it through the camera more than once and got double exposures. I never had that problem.

Back then it would cost $10 a roll. You could buy a roll of film for $7.00 and get it processed for $3.00. You can't get Regular 8 at all now unless you special order it.

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