April 23, 2024  •  8min read

How to Make a Wedding Film with Super 8

Wedding film super 8

Perhaps you’ve heard of the term and seen it on Instagram; Super 8 is the vintage, dreamy videos people recently love. They look like something out of the ‘60s with the warm grain and intimate vibes. Everything about the Super 8 is drop-dead gorgeous, and in this article, we’ll be sharing everything you need to know about shooting Super 8 for a wedding video. 

What is a Super 8 Wedding Film?

Super 8 wedding film

Super 8 is a cool motion film popularized in the 60s using a film that is 8mm wide. Just like a film camera we’re familiar with, the Super 8 is captured on a film cartridge, which will be developed in a lab before photographers bring them back to the 21st century and add a perfectly chosen soundtrack. 

Even though most videographers have upgraded to digital formats, we still love the original aesthetic qualities of a Super 8. Additionally, a wedding will be embedded with the nostalgic look of a retro film, which is why photographers are starting to add this option as an add-on to their wedding photography packages—and you should too! 

Why Should You Shoot Super 8?

Why should you shoot super 8

For the same reason film photography has exploded in popularity in the past few years, film in general has a distinct look that can’t be replicated in modern times. The grain, highlights, and colors are so unique to the format that most have been craving for this authentic filming style. 

Another reason for shooting Super 8 films is that they offer an alternative option for clients in case they aren’t interested in an overproduced-looking wedding video. You might already have couples who love the vintage aesthetic, making Super 8 a must-have for your wedding package. 

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Things You Should Know before Shooting a Super 8 Wedding 

Here are the biggest things you should note before adding Super 8 to your wedding package:

  • It can get expensive – The main thing about Super 8 film is the cost as a roll of film can cost around USD50 with post-processing around USD40-50 depending on the lab you go to. 
  • Each roll is around 3 minutes long with no sound – This depends on your camera’s frames per second setting (usually 18fps), and the camera itself may be noisy. 
  • Most of the cameras offer manual focus. Our tip is to zoom in on what you’re focusing on and then zoom out. This should create fine results. 
  • Find a Super 8 camera that includes a notch in the viewfinder. This way, you can check if the film is pulled through. Otherwise, it will be difficult to tell if your film is rolling or stuck. 

Buy a Super 8 Camera

The first thing you need to do is find the right camera that fits your budget and needs. We started with a Minolta XL400, which cost around USD 99. We recommend doing the same when starting off, as it’s a budget-friendly option. You can experiment with it early on to see if you like it. You can also ask a family member who may have one stashed away. 

Then, you can decide whether to stick with the camera or look for a more reliable one. You can try checking at your local camera store or browsing through Etsy and eBay. Whatever camera you get, reading through the instruction manual online is important. 

Remember to check the battery compartment first. Pop up some AA batteries and see if the motor works. Also, check the viewfinder for haze, and if everything looks good, you’ll want to check if it works with film. To do this, mark the film with a small X and pop it in the camera while pulling the trigger for a few seconds. Then, take the cartridge out and see if the X is gone and if your camera works. It wastes a bit of film, but testing it out is worth it. 

Shooting with a Super 8

A Super 8 cartridge usually allows for 3 minutes of footage at 18fps. Before loading your film, hit the cartridge a few times to loosen up the film from within. Take around 4 to 6 seconds of clips, which gives you enough footage to work on in editing but not too long that you’ll waste those precious films! 

There are a few ways to tell when the film is done. First, if your camera has a notch like we’ve mentioned, you should be able to tell when it’s done. Most cameras have a way of tracking by foot on their side on how much film you’ve used. Once it hits 50 ft, you’re likely close to being done. Your camera may also start making a different sound once it’s finished. 

Add Super 8 to Your Wedding Workflow 

When you start with Super 8, know that it will be an investment. You can start out by offering Super 8 shots for free. This will help you learn as you go and get all the quirks out of the way as your clients won’t have many expectations for it. Bring Super 8 to all your shoots and weddings that your clients have booked. 

When shooting, you’ll need a contract as a lot can go wrong where no one’s to blame, and for your own protection. On that note, once you’re ready, you can charge more to have multiple Super 8 cameras at a wedding. If you’re already a videographer, you can bring a digital camera and edit with a Super 8 overlay. 

We hope this article will help you on your journey to shooting Super 8 wedding videos. To find more guides on wedding photography or weddings in Bali, make sure to visit our blog page on Bali Wedding. Even though many filmmakers have upgraded to digital formats, we are massive fans of the original aesthetic qualities of shooting a Super 8.

Guntur author at Bali Wedding
Guntur has been writing tips and tricks for weddings in Bali since 2020. He has written everything from preparing a pre-wedding in Bali to the best wedding dress and makeup you should choose for a wedding in paradise.

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