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.

Image

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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Kurt Markus with Pro8mm -super 8 camera shooting It’s About You John Mellencamp

Kurt Markus with Pro8mm -super 8 camera shooting It's About You John Mellencamp

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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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Introducing The Rhonda Cam – A trendy Super 8 Camera from Pro8mm

 

Rhonda and Rhonda Cam

Image

For Immediate Release:

Burbank.  Press Contact – Rhonda@pro8mm.com

Introducing The “ Rhonda Cam ”

A Small, Trendy, Affordable Workhorse of a Super 8 Camera

 

 

                  PROTOTYPE TO BE BETA TESTED

                 AT CINE GEAR EXPO BY ATTENDEES

Pro8mm films it forward again with the introduction of the trendy new Rhonda Cam.  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

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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Rhonda Cam

Rhonda Cam

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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)

 

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New Pro8/03 ASA 50 Daylight Negative Vision 3 Filmstock

New Pro8/03  ASA 50 Daylight Negative Vision 3 Filmstock

 

CURTS COLUMN

50D  –  the Super-8 that tops the stops!


Says Curt: “Imagine being able to buy a Super-8 film stock with 14 (yes, fourteen) stops of latitude, and still be within the area of the finest of grain structure?”

Well, look no further because Pro 8mm, in conjunction with mighty Kodak have rolled out their first batches of what is called ‘Pro8/03’. It’s the very latest Super 8 stock produced from Kodak’s new Vision 3 colour negative emulsion!

The new 50D Colour Negative Film is the latest addition to the Vision 3 family, with improved colour reproduction for more natural skin tones, colour consistency across the exposure scale, and extended highlight detail. And what’s more they make the claim that is still the word’s finest film grain stock.

So confident are they of its quality that they, Kodak, have sent the company of ‘Pro 8mm’; a special survey for use by their clients who choose to test the new stock before it officially hits the market. So much so, that this has encouraged this company to make a very special introductory offer of a test roll which includes both processing and HD scanning. That’s just so you can tell them what you think!

This means that, if you’re amongst their first twenty-four customers to try this stock out you’ll benefit from a special discounted price. Now surely that’s an offer no Super-8 user can refuse?

You can find out more by clicking on this button link,

but I imagine that you’ll need to get in fast for that special offer!

See you next time

CURT BUCHANAN
Your Pittsburgh Reporter
p.s. Pro 8mm offer some great Teleseminars  –   worth a look.

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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 | 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

Super 8 Documentary About John Mellencamp in Theaters and DVD

http://media.mellencamp.com/email/12_29_2011.html?utm_source=Publicaster&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=EMLJMEOS_update_20111228&utm_content=http%3a%2f%2fmedia.mellencamp.com%2femail%2f12_29_2011.htmlNRImage

JOHN MELLENCAMP: IT’S ABOUT YOU – A FILM BY KURT & IAN MARKUS — JANUARY NYC & LA SCREENINGS ANNOUNCED
John Mellencamp: It’s About You – A Film By Kurt and Ian Markus will premiere for a limited engagement at the IFC Center in New York City (January 4-16, 2012) and at the Music Hall in Los Angeles (January 6-16 2012). WatchMellencamp.com for updates and a great contest with special items surrounding the film. Please note that this is the complete 80 minute version of the film. A shorter version was shown before concerts on John’s No Better Than This Tour. Additional screenings of the movie in other cities may be announced and watch for a DVD release later this year!

JOHN MELLENCAMP: IT’S ABOUT YOU
Directed by renowned photographer Kurt Markus and his son, Ian Markus, It’s About You is a new musical documentary that offers a rare and intimate look at the life and music of Rock and Roll Hall of Famer John Mellencamp. The film premiered at this year’s SXSW festival and follows Mellencamp on his summer 2009 concert tour and during the recording of his most recent album, 2010’s universally acclaimed No Better Than This, the sessions for which took place at American musical and historical landmarks, including Sun Studios in Memphis and the First African Baptist Church in Savannah, GA. We see Mellencamp recording – with a single mike and mono tape recorder more than half a century old – in the same hotel room where legendary bluesman Robert Johnson created some of his most memorable work. Along the way, Mellencamp reveals a side not often seen by the public, in a film that becomes a soulful, highly personal meditation on small-town America.

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.
Running Time: 80 Minutes
Rated:

Pro8mm  was the all inclusive lab for this film .  “It’s About You,” a 90 minute documentary shot entirely on Super 8 film by Kurt and Ian Markus.   The  filmmakerts folllowed John 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 . Kurt and Ian shot Pro8/19, Super 8/63, and Super 8/85 with a couple of  6008 Super 8 cameras, which we modified for Max 8 and crystal sync. Following the premier at SXSW in Austin, which Mellancamp attended, the film continued to screen at all of John’s live concert’s at venues around the country and in Europe. It served as his opening act. What an amazing experience to see  our Super 8 workflows  with thousands of people on a 40-foot screen. It was a proud moment seeing it in LA at the Nokia Theater watching the crowd react with thunderous applauses.   Working closely  with filmmakers Kurt and Ian Markus , we provided all the super 8 film, processing, HD scanning to Pro Res  as well as the camera support.  Kurt shot the film with two Beaulieu Cameras modified for Max 8 (16 x 9 aspect ratio) and crystal sync.  In the scanning suite colorist and Pro8mm Owner Phil Vigeant performed a number of  special effects.  These included scanning photos that Kurt Markus shot   that were rephotographed  on  Super 8 film .

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