super 8

Pro8mm to launch weekly podcast: The Home Movie Legacy Project

 

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December 20, 2012

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

Pro8mm of Burbank, CA launches a weekly pod cast commencing January 9, 2013 that compliments their new division, Home Movie Legacy, www.homemovielegacy.com

 

rhondasmall

The Home Movie Legacy Project will air live on Wednesdays at 4PM Pacific Time (7EST) with your host, Rhonda Vigeant (author of GET “REEL” ABOUT YOUR HOME MOVIE LEGACY…Before It’s too Late!) If you are the family historian passionate about preserving and sharing family films, a filmmaker wanting to use legacy or found footage in a documentary, a wedding or life-style filmmaker wanting to include super 8 film in your work, a production manager looking to incorporate Super 8 film in a current project, a genealogy buff, memory keeper, or archivist, this show is for you!

http://rockstarradionetwork.com/shows/thehomemovielegacyproject

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Rhonda will draw upon her many years of running Pro8mm, a company known worldwide as being the Super 8 experts for production and legacy footage for over 4 decades. Pro8mm has developed proprietary technology for the entertainment industry to use Super 8 film in today’s most popular television shows (American Idol, The New Normal, The Neighbors, American Horror Story), theatrical releases (Argo, Super 8, The Fighter) and dozens of music videos, commercials for national brands and Independent Films.  They have worked on thousands of super 8 and 16mm projects for the entertainment industry, and have handled millions of feet of film to archive the legacies of the world’s most famous faces. They have digitized historical material for hundreds of documentaries, as well as Presidential Libraries, and Museums.

Some shows will focus on compelling interviews with people who are sharing their personal story using home movies from the past and the present, sharing what was discovered, what was challenged or what was confirmed. Other shows will feature technical content with guest speakers that will teach you how to best move your analog media into your digital life, including how to organize it, repurpose it, share it on social media, or monetize it for a wider audience.  A filmmaker forum segment featuring Phil Vigeant, President of Pro8mm, and author of The Power of Super8 Film: Insider Secrets Every Filmmaker Should Know, (Rhonda’s business partner, husband and tech guru) will be routinely included to help you learn what the entertainment industry does with their digital assets, tips on how to become head of your own personal studio, and why filmmakers can and should continue to shoot on film in a digital world. Home Movie Legacy isn’t just about grandpa’s old home movies. The term is all-inclusive and casts a wide net on the past, present and future independent filmmaking.

Rhonda is completely passionate about the value of legacy home movies in particular, and educating people how to best care for and share them.

“Everyone has a legacy and Home Movies are a living, recorded history of our lives, our family, our community, relationships, celebrations, the way we looked, dressed, and interacted. If a picture is worth a thousand words than a home movie must be worth a million. No where else can we rekindle those moments of times gone by or see ourselves interacting with our loved ones who have passed away. It jolts the memory with such a strong emotion in a way that nothing else can. My life’s work has been dedicated to the belief that not only is it important to see these images, but it is equally as important to preserve them with integrity for future generations so your family legacy on film lives! My show will be a call to action to GET “REEL” ABOUT YOUR HOME MOVIE LEGACY…. BEFORE It’s TOO LATE!”, while enjoying stories about the masses and the moguls who launched their careers by shooting home movies on film and continue to make it a vital part of their professional work today”.

Check Our Calendar http://www.homemovielegacy.com/calendar/ to view upcoming guests!

If you would like to be considered to be a guest on the show, email me, Rhonda@homemovielegacy.com

 

 

 

                 2805 West Magnolia Blvd, Burbank, CA 91505

Categories: Home Movie Archiving, super 8 | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

First Footage From The Trendy New Rhonda Cam

http://vimeo.com/44115199          

We had a great time at Cine Gear Expo  with the launch of Pro8mm’s  introduction of the trendy new Rhonda Cam. Everyone who stopped by the booth could pick up a roll to shoot for free!

The Rhonda Cam comes in 5 different skins

Named for company co-owner, The Rhonda Cam commemorates her 30th anniversary with the company.  Evolved from a Canon 310 XL, this super 8 camera was originally produced from 1975-1983. It was adorned as being the world’s fastest lens speed of f/1.0, and a 3x zoom and macro shooting as close as 215 mm from the film plane mark if the zooming lever was set at “Macro.”

More than a retro throw back with a modern look; we are bringing it back because even today, it can do something no other camera can do.  It has the professional application as being the lowest light film camera on the market!  The f/1.0, coupled with modern film stocks such as a 500 ASA is something filmmakers need in low light situations, such as indoor weddings or studio shots.

Part of The Rhonda Cam’s appeal is it’s “toy like” appearance” in spite of the amazing pictures it can film.  It measures just 7” x 4 ½ ” x 1 ¾ ”!

The camera is available with a variety of skins including animal print and camouflage. Eventually it is likely that custom skins will be available.

Rhonda states, “I wanted to design something young and fun that would appeal to a new generation of filmmakers that looked cool and was simple enough to use; a camera that they would be inclined to just pick up and shoot.” I also have heard from many of our regular clients that they have wanted a really small point and shoot super 8 camera that can be thrown into their handbag or backpack.  We thought that we would be bold and come up with something really stylish that would appeal to the wedding filmmakers, and all the genres of super 8 lifestyle filmmakers we work with.  I can’t wait to see it “on set” in the fashion industry, music videos, skating and boarding.  I can just picture a camera on every table at a wedding, matching the décor of the event.

Pro8mm has not modified the original specs of the camera.  Our team of expert camera techs have gone through and tested each camera to bring it back to factory standards, including the focus, take up and exposure The Rhonda Cam runs on two AA batteries.  As a simple point and shoot super 8 camera, we anticipate that it will not be able to perform to the same extent as other cameras in our line, while being the perfect choice for certain filming situations.  The Rhonda Cam has a limited range of exposure (40 and 160) During this “Beta Test” period, we will be able to determine which film stocks run best.  We know from experience that certain cameras prefer certain stocks.  Since we will not be increasing the pick up torques or exposure settings we will make available recommendations moving forward.

For more information, email info@pro8mm.com www.pro8mm.com

COMES WITH A NEOPRENE CASE.

file://localhost/Users/rhondavigeant/Pictures/iPhoto%20Library/Modified/2012/Apr%2023,%202012/rhonda%20and%20rhondacamphoto.jpg

Specifications:

Focal Length: 8-5 – 25.5mm f/1.0 Macro Zoom

Speed:  18 FPS plus Single Frame

Auto Exposure

Power/Manual Zoom

Power = 2-AA

Measure: 39 x 112 x 176 mm

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It’s “Showtime” for a Low Budget “Rock-umentry” Made About a High Profile Musician!

May 15, 2012 For Immediate Release from Pro8mm, Burbank, CA

ImageMedia Contact:  Rhonda Vigeant Rhonda@pro8mm.com

The true spirit of independent filmmaking makes history this week with the premier of “It’s About You” on Showtime! Featuring legendary singer/songwriter John Mellencamp, “It’s About You,” is a 90-minute documentary shot entirely on Super 8 Film by award winning Montana based photographer Kurt Markus and his son Ian. The filmmakers followed Mellencamp for six-weeks in the summer of 2009 where he was performing in small outdoor stadiums across America along with Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson. During the tour, Mellencamp recorded his new album, “No Better Than This,” which included a session at legendary Sun Studios in Memphis.

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With a premier at SXSW (South by South West Film Festival) in Austin in March 2011 (which Mellencamp attended) the film continued to screen at all of John’s live concert’s at venues around the country and in Europe. It brilliantly served as his opening act. This alone makes the film unique in that thousands of Mellencamps’ die-hard fans screened it live prior to its theatrical or television debut. Often minimized as having “low production value” the Super 8 film stocks held up amazingly well being digitally projected on the big screens in the concert venues, and added to the nostalgic culture of seeing Mellencamp on the screen performing old and new favorites prior to his taking the stage.

The world premier theatrical release was in January of this year in New York and Los Angeles. But the real story here is that the film was not made by armies of people. It was made by a father and son with a creative vision to go solo. They filled their dream to go it alone.  While the films reviews were mixed, the technical merits and accomplishments of what this film says about independent filmmaking are cinematic feats. To make an Indy documentary worthy of a coveted spot of Showtime is reason alone to applaud Kurt and Ian Markus.

The filmmakers interfaced with one particular man at one particular company for their entire workflow. Philip Vigeant, owner of Pro8mm in Burbank, California has been pushing the Super 8 film format to it’s maximum potential for over 30 years. In preproduction meetings with Kurt Markus, they discussed what challenges would most likely arise and how they could be overcome. Kurt would often say, “we’re attached at the hip”, noting that the film could not have been made without the coaching and masterminding with Vigeant.

The film was shot entirely on 450 rolls of Pro8mm color negative (Kodak Vision 3 stocks) They had two Beaulieu 6008 Super 8 cameras that were modified for MAX 8 (a 16 x 9 widescreen aspect ratio) and Crystal Sync. The film was shot with just one camera at a time, with a second on hand for back up.  Pro8mm processed all the film in house at our Burbank lab, and scanned it in native 1080 HD to Pro Res 422 on a Millennium II HD state of the art scanner with full scene-to-scene color correction.  Vigeant, who was also the colorist on the project worked closely with Kurt Markus to overcome some the technical challenges faced on doing a project of this nature – shooting on the road over a 6 week period with no crew.

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In the scanning suite colorist Phil Vigeant performed a number of creative special effects. These included scanning photos that Kurt Markus shot of Mellencamp that were re-photographed on Super 8 film. This allowed the ability to add movement and interest. This technique permitted the film to stay true to the “shot entirely on Super 8” mantra. Some of the digital film back up shot by Ian Markus in the recording studio was also re-photographed on Super 8 film, which punctuated cinematic interest.

The choice of modern Super 8 film was perfect to achieve the “vintage look” that the filmmaker was going for, but with all the latitude that Kodak Vision 3 stocks offer. The grain structure held up amazingly well on the big screen, and the filmmakers were able to achieve their creative vision.

It’s About You is scheduled to play on SHOWTIME at these times, and “On Demand” It will also be available on DVD through Amazon.

Thu, May 17 7:30 PM             SHOWTIME

Fri, May 18 10:00 PM             SHO 2

Sat, May 19 8:30 PM            SHOWTIME SHOWCASE

Sun, May 20 12:00 PM           SHOWTIME

Tue, May 22 5:55 PM             SHOWTIME SHOWCASE

Wed, May 23 5:35 PM            SHO 2

Fri, May 25 5:00 PM              SHOWTIME

Sat, May 26 10:55 AM            SHO 2

Tue, May 29 5:30 PM         SHOWTIME

Wed, May 30 4:45 AM            SHOWTIME

Wed, May 30 5:00 PM            SHOWTIME SHOWCASE

Thu, May 31 6:30 PM            SHO 2

Sun, Jun 03 4:30 AM             SHOWTIME

Thu, Jun 07 4:00 AM             SHOWTIME

 

Kurt Markus’ photography has appeared in such leading publications as Vanity Fair, Rolling Stone, GQ and The New York Times Magazine, and he has shot cutting-edge ad campaigns for BMW, Armani, Nike and other companies. His unique vision has been brought to bear on It’s About You, which was shot on Super 8 and whose vintage Americana look is the cinematic equivalent of a well-worn pair of jeans.

RT: 80 Minutes

Rated: NR

 

 

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Sync Sound Digital Masters for Super 8 and Other Small Gauge Film

For immediate Release from Pro8mm – May 7, 2012 Media Contact Rhonda@pro8mm.com New Audio Encoding System Creates

16mm, super 8 and reg 8 sound heads for M2 scanner


Pro8mm, the company formerly known as Super8SoundTM takes their 40-year legacy as inventors of sync sound for Super 8 by launching an audio encoding system specifically for Small Format Film. While we have offered sync sound masters for Super 8 and 16mm from full-coat for many years, our new system is designed specifically for single system film with audio stripe.

This upgrade of our audio system allows us to scan directly to our state-of-the art Millennium II 2K Scanner with audio and picture in sync. The system can handle all types of sound tracks used in small format film, including Super 8 main magnetic track, Super 8 stereo main and balance track, Regular 8 main track, 16mm with magnetic track, and 16mm with optical audio track.

Of special interest is our capability to handle audio for regular 8, a specialty that is both unique and rare. Millions of feet of audio stripe are eliminated from archives and private home movie collections because most facilities do not have the capacity to transfer it, and in many cases, can’t recognize that the sound stripe on the film exists. Our experienced team members are trained to be able to quickly identify if there is sound on your film and what type it is.

Throughout the history of filmmaking, sound in many forms has been used in conjunction with small gauge film. Sound has been recorded on film using either magnetic or optical systems, and has had many challenges from fidelity issues to holding sync with picture. Part of the Super8 SoundTM legacy is having been the company to invent a fullcoat recorder and double system filmmaking so that audio for super 8 film could be done the same way it was done in larger formats. We continue this legacy today by giving you the opportunity to create a magnificent new digital master of your film and sound in perfect sync, with high quality audio. For more information on our history, go to: http://www.pro8mm.com/story.php

Pro8mm will have a base set-up charge for the new system of scanning film with audio.

Super 8 Main Track, 16mm Optical, 16mm Magnetic:

State-of-the art Millennium II 2K Room: $250 set up Throw Back Ursa Diamond Room: $125 set up Super 8 Two-Track Regular 8: State-of-the art Millennium II 2K Room: $375 set up Sound Only Without Picture: Super 8 or 16mm Magnetic : $250 an hour

16mm Super 8 Optical

SOUND HEADS

Pro8mm | 2805 West Magnolia Blvd. Burbank, CA 91505 | http://www.pro8mm.com | 818-848-5522


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Healing Through Home Movies

I have often told my clients over the years that one of the most often overlooked, but important reasons that you want to move your home movie archive onto a hard drive, sooner rather than later is to “BE READY”.

While we often associate Being Ready with a planned event such as that 50th anniversary party or retirement dinner happening sometime in the future, there are other times in life that you find you will want to be ready for something unexpected.

Our family recently had the tragic experience of loosing a family member quite suddenly.  In the shock and sadness of this also came the realization that we, as the keepers of the family archive would have only a few days to edit together a beautiful memorial piece that would be shown at the Wake. Instead of being a daunting task trying to collect material from various people and sources and rushing to get them hastily digitized, because we were ready, the experience was in an unexpected way part of our healing.  Because we were ready, we found that the process  of putting together this tribute piece offered us a feeling of comfort, and was a vital part of our mourning and grieving. As we scrolled through her life on film from baby, to child, to teen, to bride, to mother, and so much more, we laughed, we cried, and most of all we were grateful that we would be able to bring others comfort in their sadness with an amazing story of wonderful memories of our loved ones life, which we set beautifully to music.

More importantly, we could do the editing ourselves, without the assistance of strangers or a company recommended by the funeral home.   Just about a year ago we encoded the entire family archive that were  gathered from several generations of different family members home movies to file format.  This was a huge improvement from our prior version which was DVD.  You can not edit a DVD, so there was  no option for extracting clips.  This version has the home movies encoded to digital files on a  Codec called  Pro Rez  422.   The entire archive was organized into playlists on several hard drives. This encoding gave us the ability to plug the hard drive into our Mac Computer  We could quickly scan through each film and extract clips of our loved one throughout her life.   We were then able to  edit the clips to tell a story.  We are not experienced editors, but these new programs are extremely easy to use.  We used Final Cut Pro, but imovie, or any computer base editing system (compatible with the Codec you chose) will work.  We found appropriate music.  The process took about 6 hours to look through 1 TB drive worth of material, select our clips and edit them.

We were able to burn our  10 minutes edited piece onto a  DVD to play on a loop at the Wake.  In addition, we  burned  copies to give to family members so that they would have this tribute as a permanent memorial to our loved one.  The power of this cannot even be put into words.

I think especially during those private moment of sadness and grieving, the ability to create a story without the assistance of strangers or a hired production company is so wonderful.  It is an extension of the love you feel for the departed, and allows you to  tell the story that you want to tell, the way you want to tell it as a visual Eulogy.

I hope this post will help motivate you to be ready for whatever life’s events can be more fully realized through the memories and healing power that lie within your family films.  Our loved ones and their legacy live on and are sustained through our photographs and films.  Take care of them, and treat them with the integrity they deserve.

-Rhonda Vigeant (c) February 23, 2012

http://vimeo.com/32595596    (sample) 

“Mourning is one of the most profound human experiences that it is possible to have… The deep capacity to weep for the loss of a loved one and to continue to treasure the memory of that loss is one of our noblest human traits”. (—Edwin Shneidman, 1980)

 

Categories: Home Movie Archiving, super 8, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 2 Comments

Will Kodak’s Filing For Chapter 11 have an effect on Super 8 film?

-A personal statement from Phil Vigeant, President of Pro8mm

When I first worked at Super 8 Sound in the early 1980‘s the problems were the same for Super 8 film as problems Kodak faces with 35mm film today. The market for super 8 film in the early 80’s had dropped so dramatically due to the overwhelming success of VHS that everything crashed.  We are not talking about a little dip in sales. We are talking about a crash in sales that resulted in a   90% drop in business. http://www.dtvgroup.com/Super8Sound

At that time all companies involved in the super 8 industry either went out of business, filed for bankruptcy or where part of a larger company that could absorb their losses. In this predicament you have to make a decision:  Do you believe in the future of your product or it is just time to call it quits?

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I believed that there was a future for Super 8 film and so I went through the pain of taking the company through bankruptcy so that I could re-start the business. If there was no Chapter 11 then Super 8 Sound ™ could not have been reorganized. There would be no Pro8mm, and at the risk of sounding boastful, there probably would be no Super 8 film today. This is the point of bankruptcy. It gives you a chance at life;  a new beginning for those that believe in their product for future generations. For us, it gave us the opportunity to invent super 8 negative film, Max 8, and complete workflows so that Super 8 film could be used as a professional production medium.

There are risk to all this and there will not doubt be lots of changes at Kodak. Sometimes the people that take over are not interested in the future of the company and are only interested in disposing of the valuable parts of a business If you have watched the movie Wall Street (the original) you know what I mean.

We are already feeling some of these changes, which we must intern, adjust to.

As for Super 8 film, Pro8mm has its own Super 8 film manufacturing process, and we have been making Super 8 film since 1992. Although Kodak is our premier supplier and we work very close together we have other vendors. We have successfully been making super 8 films from Fuji film stocks as well as Kodak film stocks for 20 years now.

Since the big crash in the use of Super 8 film in the early 1980’s as a format for home movies and intro film classes.  it has enjoyed a steady growth in other applications.   Super 8 is not part of the crash of current 35mm film sales.  It is in fact “It’s own thing”.  We hope the leadership at Kodak has the right intentions for the future and will re-start the business, as we did at Pro8mm so generations in the future can enjoy their products.

Categories: super 8 | 2 Comments

Will Kodak’s Filing For Chapter 11 have an effect on Super 8 film?

-A personal statement from Phil Vigeant, President of Pro8mm

When I first worked at Super 8 Sound in the early 1980‘s the problems were the same for Super 8 film as problems Kodak faces with 35mm film today. The market for super 8 film in the early 80’s had dropped so dramatically due to the overwhelming success of VHS that everything crashed.  We are not talking about a little dip in sales. We are talking about a crash in sales that resulted in a   90% drop in business. http://www.dtvgroup.com/Super8Sound/

At that time all companies involved in the super 8 industry either went out of business, filed for bankruptcy or where part of a larger company that could absorb their losses. In this predicament you have to make a decision:  Do you believe in the future of your product or it is just time to call it quits?

Image

I believed that there was a future for Super 8 film and so I went through the pain of taking the company through bankruptcy so that I could re-start the business. If there was no Chapter 11 then Super 8 Sound ™ could not have been reorganized. There would be no Pro8mm, and at the risk of sounding boastful, there probably would be no Super 8 film today. This is the point of bankruptcy. It gives you a chance at life;  a new beginning for those that believe in their product for future generations. For us, it gave us the opportunity to invent super 8 negative film, Max 8, and complete workflows so that Super 8 film could be used as a professional production medium.

There are risk to all this and there will not doubt be lots of changes at Kodak. Sometimes the people that take over are not interested in the future of the company and are only interested in disposing of the valuable parts of a business If you have watched the movie Wall Street (the original) you know what I mean.

We are already feeling some of these changes, which we must intern, adjust to.

As for Super 8 film, Pro8mm has its own Super 8 film manufacturing process, and we have been making Super 8 film since 1992. Although Kodak is our premier supplier and we work very close together we have other vendors. We have successfully been making super 8 films from Fuji film stocks as well as Kodak film stocks for 20 years now.

Since the big crash in the use of Super 8 film in the early 1980’s as a format for home movies and intro film classes.  it has enjoyed a steady growth in other applications.   Super 8 is not part of the crash of current 35mm film sales.  It is in fact “It’s own thing”.  We hope the leadership at Kodak has the right intentions for the future and will re-start the business, as we did at Pro8mm so generations in the future can enjoy their products.

Categories: super 8 | Tags: , , , , | Leave a comment

Life is Super Gr8

Last month Phil and Rhonda attended the second annual Super Gr8 Film Festival in Harrisonburg, Virginia, a charming little town in the Shenandoah Valley, and home to James Madison University.

Organized by two local residents and incredibly wonderful guys, Paul Somers (artist, poet, filmmaker and educator) and Tim Estep, (TimeStepFilms), The Super Gr8 Film Festival is a community-organized event that featured 48 super 8 short films (shown over two nights) made by local filmmakers. Many of the filmmakers had never made a short film before this event.

In August of this year, Tim and Paul asked Pro8mm if we could sponsor the event and attend the festival. We were thrilled and honored to do so, as this festival is one of the first to used Pro8mm workflows entirely. Paul and Tim bought 48 rolls of film ½ Super8/66 Tri-X and ½ Pro8/13 Tungsten for the festival participants, all processed and scanned on the M2 at Pro8. As a sponsor we also added The Power of Super 8 Film Seminar to the agenda the day before the festival. This pre- event was held on campus at J.M.U. where we were joined by award winning wedding super 8 filmmaker and photographer Kate Headley who drove down from Washington D.C. to speak to an enthusiastic and engaging audience.

All the short films, approximately 3.5 minutes in length were edited in-camera, with-out sound. Each filmmaker then created an original soundtrack for his or her short film. This in some cases included live performances during the screening. This festival is unique in that none of the filmmakers get to see their finished films until the night of the festival screenings.

The screening was held over two nights at the Court Square Theatre to a packed, sold-out house. The topics covered in the films were as diverse as you could possibly imagine and they were absolutely fantastic! The panel of judges voted, and then the audience also voted for an audience favorite. The first night featured the black and white films and the second evening color negative super 8 film. An after party and awards ceremony will follow the screenings each night.

Super Gr8’s mission is to bring the community together through film. It was amazing to me how in this small Shenandoah Valley college town, everyone, everywhere we went stepped right in and got totally behind Super Gr8. Actors, filmmakers, crew and fan club were all a part of the festival is some way. This was a community labor of love unlike I have seen before. Tim and Paul spent endless hours finding cameras, getting them repaired, lending them out to contestants, and training them how to use them. They contacted local merchants to sponsor the event and local artists to raffle off their work as a fund raising effort. Even the trophies were unique, one of kind objects of art hand made out of old super 8 cameras, mounted on a stand. It was clear to us that Tim and Paul were very well respected King Pins of the community.

For me, I have to say with absolutely honest, this Super Gr8 festival was the high light of my year. Never have I met people more appreciative, warm, and friendly as I did in Harrisonburg. It affirms what I have always believed. Give people a creative opportunity, make it affordable, accessible, and add in a chance to collaborate with others without competing for anything other than a chance to totally immerse themselves in something enjoyable and enhance a sense of community pride, and you have the perfect recipe for a life that is Super Gr8!

http://www.supergr8.com/
Photos by Josh Gooden
Festival Organized by Tim Estep and Paul Somers

Kate Headley speaking at The Power of Super 8
The Super Gr8 Film Festival 2011 in Harrisonburg, VA
 
Phil Vigeant talking about the tiny Super 8 format
Tim Estep and Paul Somers, Super Gr8 Festival organizers
Categories: super 8 | Tags: , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why People Use Super 8 Film To Create Hip Campaigns for National Brands

Recently, various members of the press who have been curious about who uses Super 8 in 2011 have interviewed me. Their curiosity has been sparked by the release of the recent J.J. Abrams Film, Super 8. The press usually starts their inquiry about Super 8 with people at Kodak, or some college professors who may have taught a super 8 class “in the day.” They may have spoken to an archivist who works with home movies and historical collections that represent a fabulous montage of our history and culture from the 40’s, 50’s 60’s and 70’s. But then, invariably, the get referred to me, a director of marketing for a company that has specialized in Super 8 film for over 35 years and who has had the privilege of knowing first hand that thousands of projects of all kinds, from various industries, are shot on Super 8 film every year.

A few days after the Super 8 movie came out, I was called by MSNBC who wanted to do a segment at a real Super 8 camera store. They were hoping to see an enormous collection of vintage camera models, both obscure and common. When I told the person that called that we didn’t have any cameras like that or any projectors– she said, ok then, we will have to get back to you. Which they didn’t. They didn’t get it.
Unless the interview is being done by one of the film industry trade magazines, (which has a little more understanding for the desire to work with a variety of mediums), the conversation usually goes something like this.
Interviewer: “So, is Super 8 back?”
Me: “Back? Where did it go?”
Interviewer: “Well, who shoots this stuff? A few people who want to create a sense of nostalgia, right?”
Me: “Well no, actually it is being used in some very hip campaigns for companies such as Roxy, Billabong, Whole Foods, Swiffer, Ford Automobiles and hundreds of other national brands for food, beverage, clothing, sports teams, fast food restaurants, and more. You can see it in TV shows such as American Idol and True Blood, and Music Videos for some of today’s hottest artists such as Katy Perry and Beyonce, as well industrials, independent projects and political campaigns.”
Interviewer: To create a sense of nostalgia, right?
So instead of feeling frustrated and defensive for the umpteenth time that “they just don’t get it” or offended that no matter how much time I spend explaining about how we upgrade the cameras with things that modern filmmakers would want, state of the art negative film stocks which we reformat, 16 x 9 aspect ratios, native 1080 scanning and Pro Res files off our state of the art scanner, I started thinking about it. What is nostalgia from more if an intellectual perspective? And I decided, maybe these interviewers are more intuitive then I thought.
Nostalgia is by definition as a sense of longing. I decided to embrace this possibility. What is it that makes me nostalgic? What is it that I long for? For me it is a wish or desire to connect with people in a way that is engaging, organic, and intimate. To get away from the Facelessness of Facebook and the 500 people in my network, many who I really don’t know that well, or in some cases, at all.
I think that purveyors of National Brands get this. Modern society tends to be very isolated and spread out. Many people are looking for a simple way to communicate their product or brand. This perhaps may be the fall out from all the corruption we have seen in recent years in the finance industry, bailouts, and sex scandals among the politicians.
I think there is a movement happening. A shift toward taking back our power in small ways individually. It’s an awakening that does make us feel nostalgic for the corner store or a place like “Cheers Bar,” where everybody knows your name. The needs and wants that have been created by a corporate-driven culture that feed our egos are being replaced with a need to feed our souls.
Community. Connectivity. Individuality.
Big brands are caught up in this, and now have to re-brand themselves to fit in with this movement and economic cycle. They want to embrace the local farmer; small bank and many in the face of unemployment are themselves cultivating entrepreneurship. They want people to see them as committed to sustainability and protectors of the environment.
So how does a company like Wal-Mart portray themselves as the local hardware store? Personal story telling. Focusing on individual contributors as opposed to corporate culture. What better way to do this then with Super 8 film?
So yes, bring on the nostalgia. Everyone loves a good story and that “feel good” feeling especially shot on Super 8 film!
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Super 8 Filmmaking is Alive, Well and Remains a Hot Production Medium at the One-Stop Burbank Shop, Pro8mm

 The release of the J.J. Abrams film Super 8 is bringing renewed attention to the popular film format which millions of families captured their home movies on during the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. The format gave a vehicle for today’s most beloved filmmakers to experiment with a home movie camera that proved to be the gateway to some of the most prolific careers in filmmaking.  Directors such as Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Oliver Stone, Sam Rami, Tim Burton, Francis Ford Coppola, and Ron Howard, among others, have all launched careers that have roots in Super 8 film.   As kids, they picked up the family Super 8 camera and saw it as much more than a tool to make home movies.  They used Super 8 as a production tool to experiment with a craft. This is the theme that runs through J.J. Abrams film Super 8 –  a group of kids who were making a real independent movie for a film festival with a Super 8 camera.

 While the general belief is that the Super 8 format died an honorable death with the advent of consumer and pro-sumer video, Hollywood insiders and savvy independent filmmakers know that the power of super 8 film is alive and well in Burbank, CA!

The company Pro8mm (formerly called Super8 Sound) has been working on over 1,000 professional projects every year since the mid 1980’s. Pro8mm hit its heyday in the 1990’s, working on every episode of VH-1 Behind The Music, Where Are They Now, and numerous MTV shows and specials.  More recent music videos have been shot on Super 8 film for such artists as Katy Perry, Beyonce, Christina Aguilera, Harper Simon, McFly, and  John Mellencamp. Commercials for consumer products such as Ford cars and trucks, Swiffer, Home Depot,  Billabong and Roxy, as well as inserts in TV shows such as American Idol, 48 Hours, The Grammy’s, and My Name Is Earl have all embraced the Super 8 format.  Additionally, 35mm theatrical releases such as Super 8, My Sister’s Keeper, and Factory Girl have incorporated Super 8 inserts to create the sense of flashback scenes and vintage moments throughout their feature films.  This list is just the tip of the iceberg for professional applications that the Super 8 format has worked particularly well for.

Additionally, Pro8mm specializes in the HD archival transfers of homes movies and historical films for use in museums, documentaries or the personal archives of the worlds most famous faces. Pro8mm’s projects include the Hewlett-Packard Family and The Estee Lauder Family, The Richard Nixon Library, and tour footage from The Eagles “Hell Freezes Over” tour. Pro8mm has also transferred the first films of many famous directors and cinematographers.

Pro8mm focuses on a hybrid of products and services that make it possible for filmmakers to do professional production work with the Super 8 format. Pro8mm turns its work around very quickly, sometimes even the same day.  All services are on-site, including a retail store for purchasing or renting cameras and film, the processing lab, camera technicians, and the scanners, which digitize the film in 1080 high-definition to a hard drive for ease of editing.

Pro8mm rebuilds classic Super 8 cameras with modifications that a modern filmmaker would want, such as 16:9 aspect ratios and sync sound. Pro8mm also reformats over 20 different Super 8 film stocks, cutting down Kodak and Fuji 35mm film. This gives cost-effective access to the same film stocks being used to make Hollywood blockbusters. Recently, Pro8mm invested over one million dollars in a Millennium II, 4K scanner, with daVinci 2K color correction, custom modified for Super 8, regular 8 and Max 8 formats.  This is the same type of scanner you would see at a high-end 35mm post-production facility.

Over the past two years, Pro8mm has made a monumental commitment to educating the next generation about the benefits of shooting on Super 8 film.   In 2010, Phil Vigeant, President of Pro8mm, wrote a book titled, “The Power of Super 8 Film – Insider Secrets Every Filmmaker Should Know.”  The book focuses on why the pros use it, love it and keep it a secret. Phil gives his expertise on the format and explains why he invented products that change the way filmmakers and the entertainment industry use Super 8 film.  Additionally, Pro8mm has launched a series of free teleseminars that focus of Super 8 applications and technical information about the process. Pro8mm has expanded their educational products by offering free hands on film shooting workshops at schools, major industry events and even private workshops at their shop. Pro8mm also hosts their own 2 day Super 8 training workshop, where Phil Vigeant gives in-depth technical sessions on Super 8 filmmaking, and guest speakers talk about and show samples shot on Super 8 film of the many applications of Super 8, such as weddings, commercials and music videos.

COMPANY HISTORY:

Founded in 1971 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, the company, which was originally called Super8 Sound ™, pioneered the belief that the Super 8mm film format had tremendous potential as a production medium.  History Of Super 8 Sound . A small group of inventors and entrepreneurs designed a line of specialty sync-sound full coat (audio tape that has sprocket holes) and cassette recorders, editing benches and crystal sync modifications to Super 8 Cameras and other production accessories. The idea was that you could replicate 35mm filmmaking using Super 8 equipment. This indeed made the Super 8mm film format and Super8 Sound ™ an integral part of hundreds of university film programs worldwide. Film programs could teach in double system filmmaking on cost efficient super 8. It became widely used by individuals with a desire to make independent films.

In 1982, Super8 Sound employee and staff accountant Philip Vigeant had the opportunity to buy the company. In the years that followed, Vigeant bought out other small companies in the Boston area including a film lab and a camera repair shop adding their services to Super8 Sound™.

A film chain telecine which transferred film to videotape was also added that year with the firm belief that the future of small format film laid in the ability to integrate it into the video arena. An in-house publication called The Independent Producer was launched which focused on the success of the independent film scene, focusing on people who were shooting on super 8. The magazine highlighted the stories of individuals making low-budget super 8 music videos and film for video distribution.

In 1987 Super8 Sound expanded the business by opening a second office in Hollywood, California. This expansion was driven by the amount of clients the company had on the west coast who were involved in producing MTV style music videos for their bands.

In 1989, another expansion was implemented to a larger Burbank location, adding a technical camera repair room, on-site processing lab, and film to videotape transfer services. Now a complete turnkey, one-stop shop, the company redirected it’s focus to meet the demands of their growing list of studio and industry mainstream clients. The Boston office was eventually closed in 1995. The Rank Cintel telecine suites with daVinci color correction were added, permanently eliminating film chain consumer quality transfers.

One of the biggest innovations for the company came in 1993 with the development of a line of Pro8mm negative film. Prior to this, only reversal super 8 film stocks were available from major film manufactures such as Fuji and Kodak. The idea was that a line of professional film stocks in the familiar easy to use 50-foot preloaded cartridges would offer a palette to filmmakers allowing for greater creative options for the cost efficient, highly portable super 8 format.

The company developed a manufacturing operation on-site to cut and reformat professional 35mm film stocks, loading it into super8 cartridges. All-inclusive packages were offered so that film, processing, and telecine could be prepaid, allowing for better targeting of the production budget. The industry, students, and independents embraced this concept with huge enthusiasm. Today Pro8mm has an expansive line of over 20 reformatted film stocks that range from 50-500 ASA and 3 different scanning systems, including high-definition. In addition, they repackage Kodak Super 8 film stocks to include their award-winning processing and HD scanning services.

Over the next 10 years thousands of projects were shot on Pro8mm film including dozens of episodes of VH-1 Behind the Music, hundreds of commercials, segways for prime time television shows, and scenes in theatrical releases.

The name of the company was changed to Pro8mm in 1998, which was more in line with the company’s mission statement and goals. Professional Super 8 and

Pro (in favor of) 8mm. The days of sound on film and mag full coat recorders were gone and the new direction of the company would be to integrate the small format film into the digital world. Profound changes were to follow to bring Super 8 into the HD world.

In 2003 Pro8mm expanded the small format product line to include Pro16mm, loading 16mm film onto 100’ daylight spools, rebuilding classic 16mm cameras and expanding our processing and telecine services.

Aligning with prosumer and industry trends, 2005 brought Pro8mm into the widescreen era with the introduction of  Max 8, a 16 X 9 widescreen super 8 camera and scanning system. Pro8mm began building classic cameras with a new expanded gate, allowing for 20% more image to be captured where the old sound stripe used to be on the film. The development of modern aspect ratio products and scanning committed Pro8mm to be on board for the world of high-definition and the future.

In late 2007, Pro8mm began purchasing HD Scanning Equipment and set up an HD Scanning Suite. Their Millennium II HD Scanner and 2K daVinci Color corrector gave Pro8mm the capability to move forward by both preserving archival material in HD or by directing scanning in native 1080 off the frame, and accommodating our production clients as all broadcast moves to digital.

As a generation of filmmakers began to finish film school without ever shooting a frame of real film, 2010 brought the company to the realization that they needed to make a hefty commitment to education people on how to shoot on Super 8 film. Company president Phil Vigeant wrote a book called  “The Power of Super 8 Film – Insider Secrets Every Filmmaker Should Know and the company began running free shooting events, teleseminars, workshops, and two-day Boot Camps for a nominal fee.

Pro8mm is applauded for being a one-stop shop where Super 8 cameras, film, processing, digital mastering, hands on training and treasured family archival home movies can all be handled by a dedicated staff with decades of experience. The company has enjoyed continuous growth for over 40 years in a niche market that in our opinion exists at all because of the dedicated hard work and entrepreneurial spirit to continuously move forward in alignment with the media industry.

Check out Pro8mm at pro8mm.com or call 818-848-5522

By Rhonda Vigeant, Director of Marketing  Rhonda@pro8mm.com

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