Super 8 is a valentine
Photography by Joshua Behan
MK Super-8 originated from an idea my wife and I had for our wedding. We had a little Bell & Howell camera and several rolls of Super 8 film available for our guests to use as they pleased. The results were very special to us and the resulting movie was a great way to preserve the moment but we quickly learned the quirky equipment was anything but point and shoot .
Some rolls had only been partially used and almost all of it was underexposed. A lot can go wrong using old cameras and without the advantage of instant playback, learning how to use the format is a long process of trial and error. I spent the rest of the summer filming my wife and daughter with the remainders, experimenting and teaching myself how to best work with 8mm film and falling more in love with my subjects. It ended up being the most moving footage we got out of the project.
The quality and texture of Super 8 film invokes a feeling of nostalgia in way that nothing else can quite match. Seemingly simple shots took on so much more weight and significance seen through the grain of super 8 film. I started acquiring more cameras and playing with a variety of stocks and the results were constantly surprising and fascinating.
There is real beauty in the flaws.
Not only was I enjoying my experimentation, but I was also ending up with some amazing documents of my family and friends. I begin shooting wedding and engagement films for friends as gifts. Things grew from there.
I think it is romantic that the cameras I use have lasted far longer than many marriages and they still work beautifully. Find a 40-year-old camera that’s been treated with a little love and care and it is going to run like it was just off the shelf. There’s something metaphoric about that. Maybe there’s a little good luck in using antiques to document a young marriage.