DV Info Net

DV Info Net (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/)
-   Wedding / Event Videography Techniques (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/wedding-event-videography-techniques/)
-   -   Full length super 8 wedding film (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/wedding-event-videography-techniques/129306-full-length-super-8-wedding-film.html)

Joe Simon September 3rd, 2008 06:41 PM

Full length super 8 wedding film
I just finished up my first full length Super 8mm wedding film and wanted to get some feed back. This was a single camera shoot that I did to test out some of my new cameras and get a feel for shooting a full wedding vintage style. I used the Canon 814XLS.

I recorded sound during the ceremony with two wireless mics and synced in post. As you will notice I did not record audio during the pre-ceremony and with the lack of nat. sound I feel it drags a bit. Let me know what you guys think of this, I'm might go back in and re-edit it so it's shorter.

You can check it out here on my blog -

Joe Simon Productions: Super 8mm Vintage Wedding film

Thanks for watching!

Josh Laronge September 3rd, 2008 08:04 PM

This is outstanding.

I highly recommend every wedding shooter on here check this out.

Joe, Thanks for sharing this it's truly fabulous and inspiring.

Richard Alvarez September 3rd, 2008 09:44 PM

Nice work Joe. Good compositions, well cut together. Good choice on the music too.

I'm not a big fan of including the 'roll out' or 'flash out' transistions- they can be a bit distracting if overused. I'd suggesting using them a little more sparingly.

What stock did you use, and which lab?

Peter Szilveszter September 4th, 2008 06:08 AM

Wow haven't seen an only super 8 shoot for ages, great job and good mix of different shots.

I haven't shot super 8 for quiet a long time, when I used to shoot with it I could only get about 3 minutes long cartridges, was this the same case for you or is there longer ones?

Emily Howlett September 4th, 2008 06:39 AM

Hi Joe

Wow, that was such a beautiful wedding video! I havent seen much super 8 about, but I can see why its coming back - its so charming! And it looks like it reallyt suits the couples style too. I love the part between the boys on the balcony and the girls getting ready. Too cute!

Awesome work!

Matthew Ebenezer September 5th, 2008 09:31 PM

Hi Joe,

I thoroughly enjoyed that - definitely one of my favourites and very inspiring.

I'd say I agree with you about the lack of natural audio making it drag a bit. The pre-ceremony stuff went on a bit too long - I think that's the section that you could shorten the most to keep things moving along.

The only other minor thing I noticed is that you repeat a few shots over the course of the film - not the end of the world though.

Excellent music choices as well and you transitioned very well from one section to the next.

I hope more people check out this video 'cause it really deserves the attention.



Oren Arieli September 5th, 2008 10:51 PM

Nicely done, with a tricky medium to boot. A few shakes here and there and the occasional soft-focus are part of the charm of film (although we do our best to eliminate them in video). Did you have any concerns about camera noise?

Colin McDonald September 6th, 2008 01:49 AM

I may have missed the point here
Sorry to be the one person on the list who has reservations, but I shot hundreds of feet of Super 8 before video recording was affordable outside of tv stations and large companies. I shot quite a few weddings, so I feel qualified to comment on this interesting film.

1. Super 8 being supplied in a cassette, it didn't fog every few seconds unless there was something far wrong with the camera. Even with standard 8, which did fog at the beginning of each reel, no one but the most rank amateur would dream of leaving footage with orange and white flashes in the edit. I never did.

2. I find this film has too many technical errors, deliberate or otherwise. Editing of Super 8 was basic, crude even, but pretty easy. You physically cut the film and put the scenes in the order required while removing all the unwanted bits - any wobbly, badly exposed, out of focus, badly framed or otherwise technically flawed footage would go first. Then the rest would need to justify its inclusion and position in the edit on artistic grounds. Shooting ratios existed even in these days when the cost of the film stock was horrendously high. I was happy if i could get it down to about 1:1 - I still have the boxes of reels of cut film. A correctly executed join ran smoothly through the projector and every change of scene/angle would be a straight cut without orange, white or black flashes in between.

3. I find the uneven style distracting - is this meant to be a romantic nostalgic wedding film in the style of the late 60s/70s or not? The "steadicam circle" of the subject comes across as an anacronism (and anyway one is not supposed to include the shadow of the camera in shot); similarly the POV behind the bushes. There are indeed some very good shots in this film, many in a contemporary style but mixed up with crash zooms pans and jump cuts.

4. It's too long, as others have said. In the heyday of super 8, people rarely shot long real time event footage - it was just too expensive. Also, the majority of super 8 filming was silent, so it was normal to do a "highlights" film.

Shooting video with a "film look" is a stylistic school of thought and a technique involving deph of focus and colour rendition etc. It does not normally stretch to emulate technical flaws such as fogging and filmscratching and poor focus (quite the reverse!) unless for special effect. The inclusion of cliched effects like this in a serious film-look video would cheapen the whole production, so I don't quite see how including techical flaws in the next logical step of filming on real film stock makes it any more acceptable.

I shot on super 8 because it was the only choice (16mm was WAY to expensive). People shoot on super 8 nowadays because it IS film and has an authentic look. It does not need to parody itself.

So for me, this film seems to have a kind of revisionist nostalgia. I am also having a problem with the implication that those who shot weddings on super 8 film were all technically inept.

Sorry if this comes across a bit heavy - I appreciate the work put in to this and I did take the time to watch it through several times. Please accept this as food for thought and not purely negative carping.

Matthew Ebenezer September 6th, 2008 03:08 AM

Colin - you've made some good points but as the title of your post alludes I think you've missed THE point :) Joe can speak for himself but my guess is that Joe's intent wasn't to make a Super 8 film for Super 8 purists.

As someone who has never shot Super 8 (or anything film for that matter) I love the look of Super 8 because it is the complete antithesis to footage produced by today's modern cameras with their clean, crisp, sterile and boring images.

The only Super 8 footage I remember seeing as I grew up were the amateur home movies filmed by my parents. So, the wobbly footage, film burns/flashes and all the other technical no nos evoke a sense of nostalgia for me. Plus, I just think that stuff looks cool ;)

I would hazard that many couples requesting Super 8 footage as part of their wedding video packages are doing so for similar reasons - it just has an organic resonance to it that modern video cameras do not.

Whether the use of Super 8 for weddings these days is a cop-out, a fad, or a way to offer something unique to our clients, I'm looking forward to getting my first Super 8 camera one day :)

That's my take on it anyway.

Bill Thesken September 6th, 2008 03:15 AM

Very nice, I like the beginning w/ lots of different perspectives, illusions, dramatically drawing you in with the visual and music, the violin close up right on beat, the arch looked like you are about to fly through it, (I'll need to find a way to duplicate that type of shot without putting a camera on a bird...) Overall great editing which is the real key. Probably can't be taught in any class.

Richard Alvarez September 6th, 2008 08:46 AM

Colin stated "I may have missed the point" - and I think he might have.

Yes, as I stated in my post, I agree the rollout and exposure flashes occure too often, to me they are a bit distracting, and the 'added' scratches and exposure problems can also be distracting too -But I took his attempt at a sort of 'meta - look' or a 'postmodern' look if you will, at the retro-feeling of shooting in Super 8. Yes, its self-refferential, and almost a parody of the look - but I don't think he went QUITE over the top.

I've shot plenty of super 8, and yes - still have six very nice cameras. It's entirely possible to shoot a nice piece in focus, properly exposed, perfectly framed. I have a short film I did back in 2001 that I occasionally pull out and show people. "How did you get the grain effect?" They occasionally ask. Adding the 'flaws' of bad super 8 - as someone else points out, might be what some clients WANT in order for it to look more like their childhood memories.

Its possible to simulate these flaws with most NLE programs 'old film' look - and I wouldn't use them myself - prefer to let the film lattitude and grain speak for themselves - which makes me wonder about this one. I'm guessing Joe "Added" the rollouts, the scratches and such in post.

I'd still like to know what stock he shot on, and what lab did it. Its not reversal I'm betting. THAT would really added a nostalgic look.

Joe Simon September 6th, 2008 09:22 AM

Hey guys thanks for the comments.

This was shot on a mix of Kodak Reversal 64t, and Negative 200t, 500t. The reversal has a nice nostalgia look but the negative has such awesome latitude, so I enjoy shooting that more.

First I think it takes more skill and balls to shoot in film. You don't see exactly what you are getting in the view finder so you have to know what you are doing. If your film comes back messed up then you are screwed!

If you have seen any of my other work you know this is really different. When I shoot HD there are no shakes, out of focus shots or film burns or effects.

When I was shooting this wedding I wanted to bring back the nostalgia of home video S8 but throw in some cinematic flair, thus the more stylistic shots. The focus could have been better on some shots but I didn't have my focus set just perfect on the camera so it threw me off a bit.

I do think I overused the film burns, and effects a bit. But they work great for transitions and give it a nice artistic feel. But I think this is purely and artistic choice and it comes down to the persons taste in cinema. Sure I could shoot a perfectly straight forward S8 film with no film burns and straight cuts with no shaky shots etc..... but I don't think it would be as enjoyable.

The scratches, foggy and out of focus shots you see were done in the lab during transfer. I ran the film through a special effects transfer to achieve the desired look. This was all done at Spectra Film and Video in Burbank CA.

Just to add, I shot this wedding for free for this couple to test out some different S8 techniques and to make sure my cameras worked right. I have two more S8 weddings in editing now that will be different and REALLY amazing.

Thats enough of my rambling haha, I have to do some work. Thanks again I appreciate everyones thoughts and views. It's great to see both sides of the story.

Justin Ferar September 7th, 2008 02:14 AM

Joe, we also use the Canon 814...

I was wondering, do you use a lens attachment to get your extreme close ups? There's no way I can get ours to do that.

BTW- I get one client a year who wants super 8 only. I've got 2 $10K HD cameras and they want me to shoot using a $300 camera! I digress.

Anyway, would love to know what attachment you are using, if at all.

John Moon September 8th, 2008 09:40 PM

Setting aside all the technical issues, the people that want this have already seen "the look" and they like it. A little unstability ads to a sense of authenticity and realism. Look at the series "The Office". All the "impurities" associated with the shooting and the processing are all factors that help create the vintage feel. Unfortunately we know what to look for. The client on the other hand knows good cinematography but probably can't recognize great cinematography.

Great work Joe...yep Great.

Serge Satkar September 9th, 2008 07:55 AM

Very charming and special film!
I'm afraid it's near impossible to make such feel from video footage

Brian Boyko September 9th, 2008 09:30 AM

To me, those light-exposures, blurry shots, technical errors are the point.

A professional super-8 shoot from the 1990s wouldn't have those errors. An -amateur- super-8 shoot from the 1970s would.

Oleg Kalyan September 9th, 2008 10:35 AM

Really enjoyed the look and feed of the film, great couple too!

Question how did you record the audio. Have you transfered the video to DV to go to editing?
Very unusual and inspirational piece, for authenticity!

David T. Green September 9th, 2008 12:37 PM

I;m also one who has enjoyed this wedding film and when you look at film's from hollywood you also see errors which they try to hide but as a pro when we look at them, we see the errors.
There is no perfect film out there and i think this was a great job done.

Colin McDonald September 9th, 2008 02:15 PM

So I missed the point
OK, so I'm out-voted!

Like I said, interesting film, lots of hard work, good shots but edit style not for me.
Thanks for posting, Joe, and look forward to seeing your next work.

Shaun Conner September 15th, 2008 01:38 PM


Originally Posted by Joe Simon (Post 928952)
I just finished up my first full length Super 8mm wedding film and wanted to get some feed back. This was a single camera shoot that I did to test out some of my new cameras and get a feel for shooting a full wedding vintage style. I used the Canon 814XLS.

I recorded sound during the ceremony with two wireless mics and synced in post. As you will notice I did not record audio during the pre-ceremony and with the lack of nat. sound I feel it drags a bit. Let me know what you guys think of this, I'm might go back in and re-edit it so it's shorter.

You can check it out here on my blog -

Joe Simon Productions: Super 8mm Vintage Wedding film

Thanks for watching!

I loved it. I hope to add this to my package eventually.

Charlie Wiser August 16th, 2010 12:32 PM

Excellent! I don't know what Collin was going on about.

Rainer Listing August 16th, 2010 04:34 PM

Since the thread has been revived, I'll just comment I'm entirely with Colin. Could be that those of us who used to shoot 8/Super8 long ago and have moved on just don't get it.

Stephen J. Williams August 16th, 2010 04:49 PM


Uhhhgg,,, Now I want to take my 814 out of the case and use it on my next wedding.

1 question... what was it like during the ceremony. Mine is pretty loud and I would think that the camera rolling could be a little distracting during the quite times.


Philip Howells August 16th, 2010 11:31 PM

Joe, I'm sorry to be another dissenting voice but I fail to see why "errors" like film burns are considered acceptable even desirable when almost every amateur NLE includes the device. Frankly, transferred to video for editing and the application of silly effects isn't a film any more. My thought when watching was why didn't he throw in the "Old Film" filter for good measure.

I am surprised that the film transfer introduced imperfections. I thought the general image quality was good enough to have been done by telecine chain - unless the telecine operator is a klutz

I was a very keen amateur film maker - 9.5mm, Super-8 then Single-8 for in-camera dissolves - from the mid 50's my first camera (Pathe Baby) cost me 1 in 1953. I never aspired to an 814 though before I went over to Fuji's Single 8 I had a Canon 518 with the huge chunk of telephoto extender which was actually very good and with which I won some amateur awards.

But I also had a tripod and disdain wobbly cam under any but the most expert circumstances. Hill St Blues made it look easy but any pro knows that it is exactly the opposite and this film certainly isn't pro.

More to the point, the content was to my mind mundane and amateur. Sideways shots from cars only work in dramatic clips, wheels close the edge etc - to portray the view it simply doesn't work, in film or video or stills.

Sorry Joe, just my 2c and not intended to be unkind. I'm pleased you have a strong following of admirers but I can't be one of them. I agree that the circumstances under which we all worked then were more demanding - imagine being the cameraman filming an unrepeatable event and not knowing what you got until the film came back from the lab - but the work we did then, even as amateurs, was better than Brian suggests.

Chad Nickle August 17th, 2010 12:00 PM

How old is this thread? Almost two years. I really don't think any of this is relevant anymore, not to mention Joe has since become recognized as one of the best in the business since he posted this.

What seems amateurish is to come on a necro thread and criticize a piece of work from somebody that was posted years ago!

This horse died loooong ago. I seriously doubt Joe even comes on these boards anymore.

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 10:22 AM.

DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2021 The Digital Video Information Network