Before there was video there was Super 8. In the 1950s and ’60s, it offered amateur filmmakers a low-cost, low-tech option to explore an art form that, as practiced on the Hollywood scale of 35mm, or even the indie scale of 16mm, was simply too expensive and logistically complex for them to pursue.
Home movies were one of the staples of Super 8 film, but artists also embraced the medium. Even after video came on the scene in the 1960s, Super 8 remained a niche medium. But its presence was much less than it had been.
Starting around the year 2000, mini-film festivals began to pop up where established and aspiring filmmakers would employ Super 8 camera and film to create three-minute shorts that they would subsequently screen. The films aren’t edited, so they exist as a great playground for artists looking to experiment with light, story, character and other aspects of the art form.
On Friday June 5, RPL Theatre will be screening the latest batch of Super 8 films produced by 25 local filmmakers. The screening goes at 7 p.m., and admission is free.