While the democratization of the digital camera has largely removed the barrier of access to movie making, it’s also made many films, low-budget or otherwise, look and feel the same. A unique visual aesthetic is important, and sometimes it requires going the extra mile and actually shooting on film, which provides images with warmth and texture that digital can’t quite capture.
Enter Joey Shanks of the Shanks FX YouTube channel, in conjunction with PBS Digital Studios, who provides a primer on how to shoot on a Super 8 film. In the first video in a three part series, Shanks goes over the equipment and accessories required, like specific cameras, where to look for them, what features you need to look out for, what kind of tests to run, etc. It’s a thorough how-to that comes from a place of knowledge, care, and expertise. Watch the video below.
Shanks also provides a handy list of articles and links for those who are very interested in the process. He points to a NoFilmSchool article about shooting on Super 8 film, tips from Kodak and Pro8mm, a Super 8 camera instruction manual archive, a list of models and manufacturers, and even a link that has recommendations for camera purchases.
The second part of the series will deal with shooting a test roll and how to send off roll to get it processed and digitized, and the third part will document Shanks and his team shooting a little 2 page script on Super 8 film and the unique challenges that come with shooting a narrative story on film.
For more videos from DIY master Joey Shanks, check out his YouTube channel.