Kodak has announced the Super 8 cine camera at CES 2016 that actually uses Super 8 color negative film cartridges with the addition of a 3.5″ LCD panel (which means that there is an actual image sensor inside the camera?). It has a built-in light meter and both focusing and aperture control are manual.
Kodak is targeting those who desire to experiment using film, e.g. film schools, where many students no longer get a chance to experiment with analog footage. It has compiled a long list of movie directors and cinematographers who profess support for this revival of film cinematography.
We are at an early prototype stage with only concept drawings available. Two versions are proposed: a beautiful retro-looking rectangular model complete with optional pistol grip (above) and a rounded model (below). The lens is interchangeable, with a C-mount. It comes with a Ricoh 6mm/F1.2 and an optional 6-48mm (8x) zoom lens will also be available for purchase.
Movie can be recorded at 9, 12, 18, 24 or 25 frames per second. At a cinematic 24 fps and considering that Super 8 film comes in 50ft (15m) cartridges, each capturing around 3,600 frames, we can expect to be able to record about 2 minutes and 30 seconds of footage per film cartridge. “Cut! I’ve got to reload a new cartridge!” Since Kodak, in its press release, freely throws around names like Christopher Nolan and JJ Abrams, we can expect about 30 5-second head-turning whiplash-inducing clips on one film cartridge. Not Bad!
The Kodak Super 8 Camera is expected to arrive in a limited-edition version in the fall of 2016. Projected price is between US $400 to $750. Also, expect to pay $50 to $75 per film cartridge (development processing of the 8mm film and a digital copy for downloading included).
If you think that this is a steep price for a basic no-frills film movie camera, Kodak thinks so too and plans to introduce in 2017 a lower-cost version aimed at a broader audience.
Kodak Launches Super 8 Filmmaking Revival Initiative at CES 2016
Filmmakers rally behind Kodak’s revival of Super 8
LAS VEGAS, N.V., Tuesday, January 05, 2016 —
On the heels of celebrating 50 years of manufacturing Super 8 film, Kodak is launching an initiative aimed at putting Super 8 cameras into the hands of a new generation of filmmakers as well as meeting the needs of top directors, indie filmmakers and others who appreciate the art and craft of filmmaking.
At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, Kodak will kick off its Super 8 Revival Initiative with a display of an early prototype of a new Kodak Super 8 camera that combines the classic features of a Super 8 with digital functionality as well as opportunities for visitors to shoot their own Super 8 footage and watch home movies on the Kodak CES booth (South Hall #20618).
The Kodak Super 8 Revival Initiative reaches far beyond the introduction of a new camera. The company has built a roadmap that includes a range of cameras, film development services, post production tools and more. “It is an ecosystem for film” said Jeff Clarke, Eastman Kodak Chief Executive Officer. “Following the 50th anniversary of Super 8, Kodak is providing new opportunities to enjoy and appreciate film as a medium.”
Film has generated huge buzz in Hollywood recently as the chosen medium for award-winning movie directors and blockbuster movies. Now the Kodak Super 8 Revival Initiative is being applauded by the industry’s top directors, many of whom got their start on Super 8 film.
At 7 years old, director and producer Christopher Nolan began making short movies with his father’s Super 8 camera. “The news that Kodak is enabling the next generation of filmmakers with access to an upgraded and enhanced version of the same analog technology that first made me fall in love with cinematic storytelling is unbelievably exciting,” said Nolan.
“For me, 8mm was the beginning of everything,” said Academy Award®-winning director Steven Spielberg. “When I think of 8mm, I think of the movies.”
“While any technology that allows for visual storytelling must be embraced, nothing beats film,” said JJ Abrams, writer and director of Star Wars: The Force Awakens . “The fact that Kodak is building a brand new Super 8 camera is a dream come true. With a gorgeous new design, interchangeable lenses and a brilliant scheme for development and delivery of footage, this camera appears to be the perfect bridge between the efficiency of the digital world and the warmth and quality of analog.”
By launching its first Super 8 camera product in more than 30 years, Kodak is demonstrating its resolve to ensure that film plays an important role in the future of filmmakers – both professionals and amateurs. This product, like many in Kodak’s history, will be a tool for artists and all those who aim to capture special moments.
As one of the first American companies to recognize the value of industrial design, Kodak has engaged with Yves Béhar, design entrepreneur and founder of Fuseproject, to ensure that the new Kodak Super 8 camera design echoes the look and feel of the original Kodak Super 8 camera, introduced in 1965, while adding a modern sensibility.
“Kodak has always represented innovation that is approachable while delivering the craft of filmmaking. Our design aspires to express both these ideals. We are designing the Kodak Super 8 camera with robust materials and new ergonomic features to serve the needs of Super 8 fans, whether shooting action or static scenes,” said Béhar.
Please visit Kodak at CES South Hall #20618 to see a prototype of the new Kodak Super 8 camera, shoot your own Super 8 footage and view home movies from Kodak.
SUPPORT FOR THE KODAK SUPER 8 REVIVAL INITIATIVE FROM HOLLYWOOD AND BEYOND:
Steven Spielberg, Writer, Director, Producer – Multiple Academy Award® Winner
“When I watch the news, I expect and want it to look like live television. However, I don’t want that in my movies. I want our century-plus medium to keep its filmic look and I like seeing very fine, swimming grain up there on the screen. To me, it’s just more alive and it imbues an image with mystery, so it’s never literal. I love movies that aren’t literally up in my face with images so clear there is nothing left to our imaginations. Had I shot it on a digital camera, the Omaha Beach landings in Saving Private Ryan would have crossed the line for those that found them almost unbearable. Paintings done on a computer and paintings done on canvas require an artist to make us feel something. To be the cursor or the brush, that is the question and certainly both can produce remarkable results. But doesn’t the same hold true for the cinematic arts? Digital or celluloid? Vive la difference! Shouldn’t both be made available for an artist to choose?”
Quentin Tarantino, Writer, Director, Producer – Multiple Academy Award® Winner
“On film, there’s a special magic on a set when you say ‘action’ and to the point that the take runs until you say ‘cut,’ that’s a sacred time. I’ve always believed in the magic of movies and to me the magic is connected to film. When you’re filming something on film you aren’t recording movement, you’re taking a series of still pictures and when shown at 24 frames per second through a lightbulb, THAT creates the illusion of movement. That illusion is connected to the magic of making movies. The fact that Kodak is giving a new generation of filmmakers the opportunity to shoot on Super 8 is truly an incredible gift.”
Steve McQueen, Writer Director, Producer, Artist – Academy Award® Winner
“Super 8 taught me how to be a filmmaker. At the time, it was all about expense, meaning that I had to know what I wanted to shoot or at least edit in my head what I wanted to shoot before I shot it. It taught me how precious an image is and can be. It taught me how to refine my technique in editing and, ultimately, how beautiful film is. To this day I still shoot on Super 8.”
Robert Richardson, Cinematographer – Multiple Academy Award® Winner
“I am a strong believer that a filmmaker should have as many tools at his or her command. The news that Kodak is bringing back Super 8 came as a great delight for it fortifies the future of film being made available to all. My career began with Super 8 and that transferred into working with the stock on a number of projects from JFK to Natural Born Killers. I could not be pleased more to hear that what I felt was slipping away into darkness is returning to the light.”
Patty Jenkins, Director, Screenwriter – Monster, Wonder Woman
“People like to think that digital mediums can do anything film can do, nowadays, but that simply isn’t true. Digital is great for certain things, but it is still different. There are plenty of looks, feelings and qualities that only film can do, and you simply cannot capture digitally.”
Ed Lachman, Cinematographer, Director – Carol
“The first camera I ever picked up was the Super 8 camera and it’s still a joy to play and experiment with. There’s always a sense of discovery with the form. I’ve actually used it in a number of feature films including Mi Familia , Selena and I’m Not There .”
Alex Ross Perry, Writer, Director
“Kodak’s commitment to keeping film alive, not only as a medium for commercial cinema but also by supporting 16mm and Super 8mm for artists and independent filmmakers is, in a word, remarkable. When I hear about the titans of the industry fighting for film, the conversation is always about 35 or even 65mm. Knowing that the precious little 8mm and 16mm siblings are safe as well give me great comfort, as I know that the formats I rely on to make my films will continue to exist.”
Michael Goi, Cinematographer – American Horror Story
“Super 8 film is more than just a format for me. It has an immediate aesthetic voice, a familiarity that creates an emotional response in the viewer. I use this to great advantage when I use Super 8 film on American Horror Story . It brings you back to cinema in its purest form, when the average person could, for the first time, pick up a camera and make a movie. Motion picture film creates images that are an organic extension of my dreams and imagination. It transforms light into images that are more than just representations of reality; they are images of what I’d like reality to be.”
Bill Bindley, Writer, Director, Producer – Gulfstream Pictures
“Super 8 is the bridge for storytellers to become filmmakers, so it is incredible that Kodak is launching a new updated and stylized Super 8mm camera. This will hopefully introduce our next generation of filmmakers to the rich benefits of shooting on film, all within a reasonable budget.”
Stephen Lighthill, ASC – AFI Conservatory
“As a cinematography educator, I know our next generations of filmmakers need opportunities to shoot on film. Now, the most accessible film format, Super 8, will be available to more filmmakers through Kodak’s latest camera and film initiatives. I applaud all of Kodak’s efforts to keep the film in filmmaking.”
Jason Wise, Director, Producer – SOMM
“I began my career shooting on celluloid film. As a workflow, film taught me discipline by forcing me to focus on what I put through the lens. As an art form and a storytelling tool, celluloid shaped how I want my films to look and it made me a better filmmaker. I have been chasing the color depth, highlights, process, and the feeling of shooting film for years now in a digital world and it is an impossible thing to replicate. I shot Kodak Super 8mm film in my upcoming feature documentary SOMM: Into the Bottle and plan to shoot a large portion of my next two feature films on both Super 8mm and 35mm motion picture film. One added benefit is that on set, there is an engagement level that you just don’t get on a digital set. And there is a euphoria amongst everyone when they find out you are shooting film. It goes without saying that my entire team is ecstatic that Kodak has a new Super 8mm camera; I will be first in line to put them to use.”
Max Bervy, Director, Producer, Executive Producer – Warren Miller Films
“Film is still the standard capture medium that all video technologies continue to achieve. When light passes through the gate and hits the film, you are capturing the true image of the scene; rich information, nuances of color, shadow and highlight detail, mood and texture which dramatically increases your creative options in post production. The dynamic range of shadow and contrast that film can capture is still progressing with Kodak’s film offerings and cameramen who are true artists. I’ve been involved with over 400 outdoor action sports movie segments (with 90% of them shot on film) as either a director, producer or both capacity, filmed on seven continents with the confidence that film and film equipment will hold up in the most mean and extreme conditions that mother nature can throw at a film crew in the field. This new Super 8 camera is going to change action sport cinematography as the industry has tired of digital technology. I can’t wait to get this camera!”
Shannon McIntosh, Producer – Hateful Eight, Django Unchained, Inglourious Basterds
“I learned to shoot on Super 8 in college. The fond memories of working in the medium have always held a very special place in my heart. The fact that Kodak is coming back with Super 8 is a true gift to the new generations of filmmakers, giving them a real opportunity to work with film, have a choice and learn the craft from every angle.”
Rachel Morrison, Cinematographer, Director
“There is something tactile about film that is inherently humane. I can’t think of anything more fitting for a medium whose currency is channeling emotion into imagery.”
James Chressanthis, Cinematographer – American Horror Story
“I have been shooting Super 8 for a long time. … We were shooting music videos in LA. I shot ground-breaking music videos with MC Hammer, NWA, Dr. Dre, Too short, all the West Coast hip hop… and we got all the advantages of Eastman Kodak in that tiny cartridge. And I’ve used it right up ’til 2015. On American Horror Story , we shot on 35mm, 16mm, and also on Super 8. … The last thing I shot on American Horror Story was a circus wedding … and it was glorious.”
Owen A. Smith, Cinematographer – American Idol
“I grew up watching Super 8 that my dad had shot of me when I was a kid and for the past 10 years … I use that same footage shooting American Idol , traveling around the country, pretending to be dad, following his kids … and I’ll be shooting more Super 8 this summer.”
Daryn Okada, Cinematographer – Mean Girls
“That was the first moving image that I ever did anything with and found out there is a magic to it all….If it wasn’t for Super 8, I wouldn’t have had the jump start in the business.”
Ferne Pearlstein , Cinematographer, Director, Producer – Sundance Cinematography Award Winner
“I think it’s important for filmmakers to be able to choose the right instrument and medium for every project. If I were a still photographer and used a large format camera, no one would say why aren’t you using a digital camera? If I were a painter and used acrylics no one would say why aren’t you using watercolors? I’m a better filmmaker when I’m shooting in film.”
John DeCesare , Director, Cinematographer – Poor Boyz Productions
“I began my career as a ski film cinematographer 21 years ago shooting on Super 8. Shortly after, we switched to 16mm and created 20 feature films. Those films included over 1,500 shoots in some of the most extreme conditions in the world. We filmed the greatest athletes in the world in ski, snowboard, surf and motocross pushing the boundaries of the human capacity to their logical and often illogical extreme. I must attest, I owe it all to those first few images on Super 8. The aesthetic of film is unparalleled in beauty and depth. Film’s ability to come back with the most beautiful images from the gnarliest climates is just amazing! I can’t wait to get my hands on this new Super 8! KUDOS to Kodak!”
Jennifer Peterson, Director, Producer – AFI Fellow
“I started my career shooting films on Super 8mm. I graduated to 16mm, then 35mm, with the last decade spent unfortunately shooting digital. It just isn’t the same. You can’t fake film. God how I miss film, especially the rawness and textural beauty of Super 8. As a director I’m constantly striving to make my actors look great and film does this in a way digital never has and never can. I love shooting women and film makes women look so beautiful, while digital is so unflattering (to them). I can’t wait to get my hands on this camera!”
Paolo Davanzo, Executive Director and Co-Founder – Echo Park Film Center
“We live in a world of immediate gratification where you can make a video on your phone, email it to a friend and it might go viral by midnight. However, what has happened to slowing down and paying attention to the world around you? All of us at the Echo Park Film Center – a non-profit media arts center, cinema and school – have been using Super 8 film as a powerful educational tool and beautiful artistic medium for most of our lives. It is still relevant and we applaud Eastman Kodak for launching this initiative to bring the power and grace of Super 8 film to a new generation!”
Rhonda Vigeant, Director of Marketing – Pro8mm
“For 50 years the Super 8 film format has been the gateway for filmmakers to learn the fundamentals of cinematography, and holds the greatest potential for teaching the next generation of filmmakers about shooting on real film. The future for Super 8 is bright as a viable cinematic option.”
Steve Cossman, Founder and Director – MONO NO AWARE
“Super 8mm empowers individuals by making the practice of cinema arts accessible. The format places the same high-quality, archival motion picture technologies used in the largest budget, internationally released films directly (and affordably) into the hands of the consumer. MONO NO AWARE has been teaching an introductory Super 8mm filmmaking workshop since 2010. Interest in the availability of stocks and cameras only increases with each year.”
Adam Stone, Cinematographer – Loving
“There are several reasons I choose to shoot on film. It’s the format I’ve used the most and feel most comfortable with, but the main reason is that it feels like an organic format. I like that the grain and artifacts are created while shooting the film. I like having that look established when I begin selecting takes in the offline edit as opposed to incorporating them later in the DI. Also, there is a slightly intangible quality that film footage gives the dailies. It feels more realistic to me. It’s easier for me to believe what’s happening in the footage.”
Ed Sayers, Director and Founder – Straight 8
“Shooting Super 8 used to be a foot-in-the-door to filmmaking. Today it’s a foot-in-the-door to shooting film. Hundreds of apps and plug-ins borrow its aesthetic. But there’s nothing like the real thing. Super 8 is thrilling as it purrs through camera and more so, once processed, as it reveals its unique visual nuance.”
Alexander Olch, Director, Designer, Founder – Metrograph
“Super 8 is cinema in its most intimate and elementary form: a roll of film held in your hand, to shoot, to splice, and to project. Its qualities are forever pure, like the sound of a solo piano, or acoustic guitar.”
Bradford Young, Cinematographer – Selma, Pawn Sacrifice
“I never saw myself in Super 8 as a kid. I feel robbed of an experience. I want my kids to feel what I see in other people’s memories shrouded in that time capsule.”
Jem Cohen, experimental filmmaker
“Super 8 has been an integral part of my work for 30 years. I didn’t shoot it out of nostalgia or because I wanted something ‘low fi’ or because it reminded me of something else. I shot it, and continue to do so, because it has its own integrity, versatility, and power.”
Leslie Raymond, Executive Director – Ann Arbor Film Festival
“Easy and affordable for the artist and hobbyist alike, yet robust enough for the professional. Intimate as a diary or as dynamic as a fire hose, it can be handled as an extension of the photograph or with professional grade production values. Jurying the Super 8 Challenge allowed me to reconnect with the medium and see the variety of creative exploration. I am excited to see it persisting as a member of the film family.”