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Alex Sellings

transfering hd footage TO super 8

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Hi Guys,


I am interested in making a skateboard film shot entirely on super8. I have previously used super8 in skate films but just to cut in some scenery and lifestyle shots for aesthetics.


The problem is, filming the actual skate tricks is hard because it can take the skateboarder many tries to land the trick. this wouldn't wouldn't work with super 8 for obvious reasons so I am wondering if there is a way to shoot the tricks in regular hd and transfer to super8 film? Even just filming the hd monitor with the super8 camera? any experience or ideas?


Thank you in advance!

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I used to film skating with the VX1/MK1 setup. Loved it and I fully understand your problem. I also bought a Super8 camera when I filmed it and would shoot basic tricks for 'filler' on film.


I never tried filming the monitor but I don't think its the way to go about it. If you want that Super8 look for your skate film I'd suggest grading the HD/digital footage to get the look you're after. There are plenty of tutorials on YouTube and the free version of DaVinci is a great piece of software to use to grade.

You should shoot real Super8 film for your skate film as well and have both in and try and match as best you can.


It also helps explaining to the skater what you're shooting on (Super8). If they don't know what it is, show them examples of what Super8 looks like and how there is a finite amount in each cartridge (and the price). Hopefully they will be down to get there tricks on film and will do their absolute best. Of course this is asking a lot.


Film a cartridge with footage you plan to use and try and save 10 seconds on the cartridge. Then with those 10 seconds, film a HD monitor and see what it looks like.


All the best,


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Are you trying to match the two formats to look more like each other? If trying to make the hd look more Super 8, than perhaps shooting off a monitor might help you. Dan's suggestion of shooting the short end of a roll as a test is great. I highly recommend doing that. I would try to source a 4:3 flat panel monitor. Make or purchase a hood for the monitor.

You could do all this one frame at a time, maybe if you shot at anything other than 24fps. Not sure which stock you are using, but perhaps underexposing to boost grain is preferable.


But in the end, it may very well work out to be the same or more work going the digital route. I feel that HD can kind of pass for S16mm or 35mm, but Super 8 never quite makes it. It takes some time/$$ and the free solutions always look fake to me. You know that right out of the box, the super 8 is what you want. I would explain this to the talent and about the limited amount of takes per cart and find out if they can do it in X amount of takes. Then plan around that. Rehearsal makes shooting film feasible. Shoot the warm ups on HD. Start looking in the yard sales and such for Super 8 crash cams.

It can be done on film, it just takes a bit more planning.

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Thanks for the great responses. Dan, im using the vx2k and mk1. Sounds like you know my pain all too well! Good idea re the test. That will be my first move.


Chris, Yep sounds look like there isnt really a shortcut. Time and money being my only option. I agree regarding fake super 8. It stands out like a sore thumb to me as well.


Will, no I wont be out putting for projection. This film http://www.thrashermagazine.com/articles/videos/jim-greco-s-year-13-film/ was shot on 16mm and the skating was shot hd then transfered to 35mm negative..

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