Among the excited news that delighted us film photographers at the turn of the year is Kodak’s announcement of its Super 8 Filmmaking Revival Initiative during the CES 2016. For the promising features and functionalities it was introduced with during the event, the new Super 8 camera was awarded by Mashable, Techno Buffalo, and Video Maker as one of their top CES picks.
With the project slated for the full product launch in Fall 2016, we’re among all of you who are curious about Kodak’s plans and hints about this beautiful work that merges the old and the new. We’re thrilled to have had a quick word with them Kodak folks for a glimpse of what’s ahead for us who are looking forward to this sleek new camera!
What originally initiated this project? How did the idea gain momentum and what was it that made the company realize that it can be made?
Kodak has been making premier imaging products for more than 100 years. More than any other company on earth, we are well positioned to deliver a Super 8 camera that shoots on film. Furthermore, with the resurgence of record players and other similar items, we currently find ourselves amid an analog renaissance. The camera is being brought to market with this in mind.
Can you briefly walk us through the features of Kodak’s new Super 8 camera? What makes it different and thrilling both for those who have used it in the past and those who are uninitiated with the 8mm format?
The integrated microphone is one option of the design models we showed at the CES. External microphones can be plugged in, in order to allow the filmmaker to go for the quality of sound desired. We also added a digital viewfinder to the camera. Other tentative specs can be found here.
For those who are new to shooting with 8mm format, what are some basics that they need to know to get started, especially with using this camera?
Leading up to the product launch, Kodak will engage with the film community to deliver events, videos and other content to address questions just like this.
With this new camera, is it possible that Kodak is also working on developing new 8mm film types to go along with it?
Kodak is offering three color negative films and one black & white reversal film. The Color Negative film is available in three different speeds: a 50 ASA daylight stock and two different tungsten stocks in 200 ASA and 500 ASA. The black and white reversal stock can be used on daylight conditions at 200 ASA, under tungsten with 160 ASA and can of course go straight to projection. We are not currently exploring other film stocks.
The new camera looks very modern but uses 8mm film cassettes. Can you talk us through the design and reasons for its overall look?
We wanted to create a camera that was both beautiful and functional. Working with filmmakers and enthusiasts, we’ve created a model that addresses their needs with something that echoes the look and feel of the original Kodak Super 8 camera, introduced in 1965, while adding a modern sensibility.
What was the most challenging part about merging the old and the new in this camera?
The biggest challenge is creating and product that matches the excitement for the camera and our brand. We are ready to meet this challenge.
Why did Kodak choose to reinvigorate the 8mm format instead of converting it into a digital version? What makes it still relevant 50 years after it was introduced? Are there any plans on the way for other formats?
With the resurgence of record players and other similar items, we currently find ourselves amid an analog renaissance. The camera is being brought to market with this in mind.
Despite the general consensus that film is outdated and being slowly phased out, why is it important for Kodak to release a product like a new Super 8 camera in such uncertain times?
Film remains an important option for professionals and amateurs alike. The flood of interest and excitement following our announcement confirmed our belief that many people want a brand new Super 8 camera in their hands.
With the dominance of digital methodologies in the filmmaking industry, how does the support of well-known names like Christopher Nolan, Quentin Tarantino and JJ Abrams help the “re-introduction” of film?
The majority of Oscar-winning films over the years have been shot on film. Today’s top directors like Nolan, Tarantino and Abrams all prefer film as a medium and continue to be vocal advocates.
In a society where digital cameras are commonplace, how would you convince someone who hasn’t tried film to give it a go, or, for someone who has stopped using it, to switch back?
Super8 is a great format, not only for consumer and “prosumers”. Many of today’s top Directors and DOPs started their careers shooting on Super8. We hope that many young filmmakers have the desire to work with this fantastic format and then graduate to larger formats. We see a wide range of people who will be interested in capturing their precious moments and projects on Super8.
What’s coming up in terms of getting the word out about this new camera? Can you share with us some details about its release in the market? Have any directors and filmmakers shown interest in giving it a go soon?
The word is out. We’ve received an incredible amount of media coverage to date. We look forward to sharing more about the product launch later this year.
For more information about the new Super 8 Camera, please head to Kodak’s online resources in the links below: