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Happy 50th Birthday, Super 8 Film!

Happy 50th Birthday, Super 8 Film!

Fifty years ago, Kodak introduced Super 8mm. Though “Cine Kodak Eight” was introduced as early as 1932, standard 8mm had a number of major issues that made it difficult for amateurs to handle.

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But the new “super” format solved some of these problems. With the invention of the 50-foot cartridge in 1965, filmmaking became much more accessible to the masses. And many of today’s most successful filmmakers — including Steven Spielberg, J.J. Abrams, David Fincher, Tim Burton, Peter Jackson, Richard Linklater and Christopher Nolan — started out shooting Super 8 movies. The original Super 8 film was silent, but Kodak released a sound version in 1973. 

Over the years, these filmmakers and others have used Super 8 on films such as “Natural Born Killers,” “The Fighter” and “Argo.” Most recently, the documentary “Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck” was shot primarily on Super 8. Though it was primarily seen as an amateur’s camera, it has become a popular choice for special effects and for pros who wanted to get the authentic “Super 8” look.

Abrams’ 2011 feature “Super 8,” co-produced by Spielberg. was an homage to the Super 8mm format.

“Super 8 has stood the test of time,” said Andrew Evenski, president and general manager of Kodak’s Entertainment & Commercial Films. “It is the first love and experience for so many filmmakers, from first time users to Oscar® winners. Super8 has launched careers, captured life’s most important moments and preserved art for five decades. These are the same reasons Super 8mm endures today and will remain a strong format of choice in the future.”

With Logmar Solutions introducing the Logmar camera, the first Super 8 camera to hit the market in 30 years, it’s likely we’ll see more Super 8 shot productions in the coming years. 

Below you can watch Kodak’s tribute to 50 years of Super 8:

READ MORE: Here’s What Sundance Cinematographers Think of Shooting Film vs. Digital

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