Back in August, we ran a feature on the cool retro super-8 wedding videos produced by Vancouver videographers Cake & Lemonade. We concluded that story by predicting that "We bet this is going to become a hot new canadian wedding trend, in no time". Here is the cool video example from the original August story:
Well, we hate to tell you "we told you so", but we told you so! We were just going through website reports and it turns out that one of the top searches on bride.ca this month has been, you guessed it.. "super 8mm video". We double-checked, to be sure, and the same seems to be the case on Google. This is definitely shaping up to be the hottest 2009 trend for wedding videos.
We wanted to find out a bit more about this super-8 business, so we sent a requerst for information to all the canadian wedding videographers in our network. We had some very interesting replies. Here is a quick compilation of professional tips and advice on super 8mm wedding videography:
8mm film has certain advantages and disadvantages.
On a positive note, it looks unlike anything anyone has seen in over forty years. In an industry where image is key, offering something unique is something to watch out for.
On the downside, it does require an additional shooter which will add to the cost of the package. In addition, the cost of film and processing is over ten dollars a minute, with one reel only lasting three minutes!
At Durham Wedding Video, we have a 8mm cameraman follow along and shoot about three rolls if possible, sometimes less. When film is so expensive and frail, it's surprising the amount of usable footage we can extract from that tiny three minute reel. In fact, we pretty much use every frame. We shoot bits of the ceremony and the photoshoot. By the time night falls, 8mm film is pretty much unusable due to the tremendous amount of light required, but we try to get at least the first dance (dark or not).
You can read our blog post about it and watch the video below of a particularly beautiful film from the California firm Joe Simons Productions.
Rick Dolishny, Durham Wedding Video
How about this? Here are some replies from videographers who seem to be refusing to be caught in the latest fad!
Hi. Super 8 film was used in 1965 and most have no sound, cheap & poor quality. They only have one sided running track holes and kept ripping/jamming. I think people are relating to this because it is maybe the mothers that are looking and maybe they had this type of film for their wedding.
thanks, John, Metrotown Media Productions
Most professional video editing software can replicate Super 8. No need to have super 8 equipment.
Abe Salzman, Video Affairs, Thornhill Ontario
Jason Nassr, from One Twenty Three Productions, in Ontario, sent us the best answer. A great editorial on current trends and the state of the video industry. Excellent reading:
8mm - The Film Fad
For the last several years now, growing like a secret wildfire that has gone unnoticed by the masses, is a new trend.
Imagine... filming a wedding with nothing but an old 8mm film camera. But imagine no more. But of course you wouldn't want watch this footage on an old 8mm projector... you would want it transfered to DVD and eventually Blu-Ray.
As a filmmaker I am astonished by the recent trends in the wedding videography business.
On a daily basis, as a wedding business owner, I hear, see and talk to clients about their wedding needs. I strive to provide interesting and powerful new services to my clients at AFFORDABLE prices.
For the past 9 years, I have provided my clients with a "documentary-style" wedding video in which my company will film the week-before a wedding, film in-studio interviews, full wedding day coverage and put it all together under 20 minutes, while 90% of the industry films just on the day-of the wedding and provides just fly-on-the wall coverage, let alone an edited video. All-in-all, something in which I would have considered it 'revolutionary' at the time I created it.
Now with the economy the way it is, it looks like the wedding video business is lurching backwards. A trend has emerged which has taken even me by surprise. Capturing someone's wedding on 8mm film stock... seems ridiculous... doesn't it? Seems surprising even to me.
Most of my 40+ video clients per year, tell me, if my video was affordable enough OR I didn't give them the coverage I do and put together like I do, then video would be scrapped from their budgets.
This class of wedding video won't soon be a trend for the masses given the price tag that will come with it. Most wedding videographers won't even touch something that isn't digital, let alone ship their footage a couple hundred miles away for upto 16 weeks, just to have their footage developed.
The appeal of having something nostalgic, artistic and very different will come at a price range from $4000-$12,000. Most of the market that will be able to afford such a luxury will most likely have someone shooting digital or HD as well, but then the allure of having such a unique piece is more of an appetizer than anything.
Because of the limitations of the time that it was developed (1960's) Super8 or 8mm film doesn't have sound but a sound track can be added in post-production (If put onto DVD) if a client were to really want one... So it begs the question, what is the purpose of this new trend?
This "holding onto the old" and "making it new" will always stay with us humans. Everything is regurgitated somehow... what's next... baked potato chips?
Jason Nassr - One Twenty Three Productions
(Nassr and his team of 12 across the province of Ontario, provide DJ, Video & Photography services to over 80+ Clients per year.)
So, after reading all this, the conclusion seems to be:
But the real question is: what do you think?
Ultimately, the consumer (i.e. the brides & grooms = you!) will determine whether this new trend is here to stay ..