Local Analog Filmmaker Teaches You Super 8

 
Faiza Kracheni splicing Super 8 raw film in our blackbox.

Faiza Kracheni splicing Super 8 raw film in our blackbox.

 

Super 8 cameras are having a big moment right now in filmmaking. Have you noticed? From Queen B, Beyoncé in the infamous Vogue Behind the Scenes video to rapper Drake’s summer 2018 hit Do You Love Me, that literally made the internet explode with the Kiki challenge. Before iPhones, digital cameras, and even VHS….there was Super 8.

But what is Super 8?

Super 8 film still c/o Faiza Kracheni

Super 8 film still c/o Faiza Kracheni

In 1965, Super 8 cameras were introduced by Eastman Kodak and a filmmaker revolution was born! Super 8 cameras were a breakthrough for the independent film industry, enabling aspiring filmmakers without breaking the bank. Unlike its film format counterparts, Super 8 film is pre-loaded into its own light-proof cartridge by the manufacturer. The filmmaker simply pops the super 8 film cartridge into the camera without ever needing a changing bag, and it’s ready to begin filming. In fact, Super 8 cameras became a staple in many homes throughout the 60’s and 70’s for capturing home movies. 

Still from Drake’s “Do You Love Me” music video shot on location in New Orleans on color Super 8 film stock.

Still from Drake’s “Do You Love Me” music video shot on location in New Orleans on color Super 8 film stock.

The Super 8 camera was groundbreaking for both aspiring filmmakers and hobbyist at the time. From Stephen Spielberg and JJ Abrams shooting their very first films on the format to entire festivals around the globe being dedicated (including our very own) to the format. 

Fast forward to 2019

Still from  Beyoncé Behind The Scenes video shot for Vogue.

Still from Beyoncé Behind The Scenes video shot for Vogue.

You will see dozens of apps attempting to emulate the grainy and saturated texture of Super 8 film, but the fact remains Super 8 format is a much more user-friendly process than previous film format standards - so why not learn the real deal?

Further, Super 8 has always had a cult status within the film industry with significant Hollywood directors such as Quentin Tarantino, Stephen Spielberg, and advocating for preserving film format - we especially like this quote from Spielberg. 

"For me, 8mm was the beginning of everything. When I think of 8mm, I think of the movies."

So how do you learn?


If you’re familiar with our organization, chances are you’ve met or seen our Programs Director Faiza Kracheni advocating for art inclusion, diversity, and accessibility but did you know that Faiza (and all Austin School of Film staff) are filmmakers & artists themselves?

Images c/o of Faiza Kracheni, personal work mixed with student work through ASoF ~ 2018-2019

Images c/o of Faiza Kracheni, personal work mixed with student work through ASoF ~ 2018-2019

Faiza has been shooting on Super 8 for 15 years now and primarily uses film format to create - from music videos, installations, and short films, her work has screened both locally in Austin and across the globe in Toronto, Los Angeles, NYC and more. She is the creator and educator behind Avant Garde & Experimental Filmmaking, Super 8 workshops, and ASoF’s newest analog addition - Experimental Filmmaking II, where students will use multiple analog and digital formats to create new work with everything from VHS cameras to 16MM. 

In her classes, students are not only shown how to shoot on Super 8 but they are given a Super 8 camera and film stock to literally go shoot on film. After their shoot, students are shown how to develop their film using a special DIY method perfected by Faiza Kracheni over many years of shooting on film. Each film format class will also include ASoF’s unique process of projecting the raw Super 8 stock and digitizing the film allowing students to edit on any non-linear editing platform. 

When you’re shooting on Super 8, you’re handed a camera used by some of cinema’s greatest and through hands-on learning, you’ll become a better creator thereafter - being aware of your shot list and becoming diligent with your creative choices. 

Interest peaked? Take a look at our upcoming Super 8 + other film format classes below.