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NBC News Shoots Entire National News Report Using Film / Super-8 in 2022!


Tim Tyler
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In a report shot entirely on film, NBC News’ Gadi Schwartz tells us about the growing demand for vintage cameras as photography shoots up in popularity.

nbc-super-8-2.jpg

The boom has been fueled by younger generations, social media and a desire to slow down in a hyperconnected world. When setting out to report this story, Gadi realized there was only one way to really do it justice. Take a behind-the-scenes look as Gadi shoots a few rolls with photographer Jason Kummerfeldt in Los Angeles, with their journey captured on a film camera.

 

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20 hours ago, Robin Phillips said:

How many film fabrication machines does Kodak have anymore? is it just the big one featured on smarter every day?

I believe that's the only manufacturing system they have. 

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35 minutes ago, Robin Phillips said:

yikes... talk about all the eggs in one basket. May its construction be robust and its maintenance regular

well, it's a 1.5 billion dollar basket, so I don't see how they can easily ramp up production, other than what they did already, work in three shifts, Monday through Saturday.

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I find it a bit wierd with all the dust and marks.  So people will assume that's how super-8 always looks.  Or maybe if they had made it all clean and fog-free, the viewers wouldn't have accepted it was film ?  In contrast,  the 35mm stills looked as they should, so that was a good advert for analog film.  And it's refreshing that younger folk everywhere are very much into these classic cameras. 

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Hipsters are at it again. He was talking about Kodak Gold as if it is a great stock. I would put up some Portra up there. It should have been shot on s16 to make it nice and sharp to make the younger generations see what could be achieved with film...

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8 hours ago, Giray Izcan said:

He was talking about Kodak Gold as if it is a great stock.

You should give his channel a watch.  He talks a lot about a whole host of stocks.  He's likely referring to the new 120 Gold that seems to behave halfway between 135 gold and 120 portra 400.  When you look at a 6x7 sized negative of Gold 200...  it is a pretty fun/good stock imo

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On 10/20/2022 at 12:06 AM, Giray Izcan said:

Hipsters are at it again. He was talking about Kodak Gold as if it is a great stock. I would put up some Portra up there. It should have been shot on s16 to make it nice and sharp to make the younger generations see what could be achieved with film...

 

I'm sure it would have looked far better if done cleanly without the specks.  And we shouldn't forget super-8 was once used as a professional medium to make TV docs for small expeditions etc.  Attractive because it was light to carry.  Of course the TV resolution then was far less. But the prints certainly were clean, and would look even better if scanned now. 

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1 hour ago, Doug Palmer said:

I may have this wrong.  Didn't somebody in US use S8 for news-gathering ?   I know 16 was used a lot.

There was an attempt to professionalise S-8 in the US in the 70s (Super-8 Sound comes to mind, with location mag film recorders and pulse-sync Nizos, and there were a few Super-8 Steenbecks) but there was never a proper lab infrastructure to back it up, with neg and print stocks, and I think S-8 was just too fragile to stand up to the rigours of cutting news. Although there was a dedicated reversal stock, 7244, with its own compact dry-to-dry processor, but as noted, the stock on its own wasn't enough. There was no ecosystem.

16mm. was used for pretty much everything outside the studio for decades, though news went to tape in the late 70s, when the unions allowed it, and finishing on film stopped in the 90s.  UK film dramas were shooting on film into the 2010s. A good piece of "The Blue Planet" documentary (2001) was shot on 35mm.

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There was a regular television program in the 1980s, 'The Leyland Brothers', originally shot on 16mm, that eventually made the change to Super 8. I'm sure some of the Australian contributors here remember it. It was a documentary travel show featuring outback locations. I'm not sure it ran for all that long as a Super 8 show. Perhaps a year or less. The image was okay on the lower definition televisions of those days, a bit fuzzy at times though, but the sound wasn't as good as it had been with 16mm. Mike and Mal Leyland turned to Super 8 as a cost-cutting measure. It was a quaint and old-fashioned show. I remember thinking at the time that maybe they should have stuck with 16mm.

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Can't remember the name,  there was once a BBC show that sent people off to remote parts of the world with super-8 cameras. Presumably with Ektachrome film or possibly Kodachrome.  Again, I could be wrong...   Clare Francis I think had super-8 Nizos attached to her yacht.

Video cameras very bulky and gave poor results in those days.

 

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On 10/19/2022 at 8:07 PM, Doug Palmer said:

I find it a bit wierd with all the dust and marks.  So people will assume that's how super-8 always looks.  Or maybe if they had made it all clean and fog-free, the viewers wouldn't have accepted it was film ?  In contrast,  the 35mm stills looked as they should, so that was a good advert for analog film.  And it's refreshing that younger folk everywhere are very much into these classic cameras. 

Yes, super 8 can look much better than that. Maybe they were going for the shaky home movie look. Otherwise a tripod, wide angle, steadier hands would have helped !

Edited by Craig Lindley
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Well the odd white speck's bound to be there with neg, it was always more noticeable than black dust on reversal. And of course it's bigger on S-8.

A bigger quibble is that there was (I think) a shutter problem with the camera they used outside, causing a bit of flicker, and the occasional frame jump. That slightly luminous (read: flare) was always a Super-8 thing. Good primes could have helped with it, but I don't know if many were made, let alone used.

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On 11/8/2022 at 6:37 PM, Niels kakelveld said:

It looks like they used a Beaulieu camera from Pro8mm, aren't they the most expensive option by far? registration looks pretty poor even by Super 8 standards.

Or is the shakiness done intentionally by the operator.  It almost looks like one of those earthquake movies where they maybe attached camera to a power tool 🤣   But the shots in the camera-store look fine.  Yet there's so much uneveness... the processing ? and of course the specks later on.  Wonder where it was processed.  Maybe they wanted a look like 'Bait' (a good 16mm movie).

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