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Super 8 development

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Jessica Zimmerman
Super 8 development
on Mar 1, 2016 at 12:13:18 am

Not sure if there's anyone out there who can help me but....

I just picked up my roll of super 8 which was developed + digitized. I popped it in my computer to find only 30 seconds of grainy dark footage from (what I thought was) my full roll. I'm not sure how or why this happened. I've brought in rolls before where the cameras teeth haven't properly grabbed the film, resulting in a very short amount of footage actually captured and had the development shop call me to warn me about this, but I've been waiting for over a month for this footage with no warning that most of it didn't actually work.

Is there a way that most of the roll could have been exposed when they went to develop it, resulting in the footage being lost? Or is this a malfunction of myself or the camera?

I don't know a ton about film development, so I'm not sure what a roll of exposed film would look like, but I can see a few frames scattered throughout, then the 30 seconds of working film at the very end of the roll. All of the indoor, professionally lit footage is lost but the outdoor gloomy footage worked.

Any advice or guidance??


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Mark Suszko
Re: Super 8 development
on Mar 1, 2016 at 2:52:14 pm

Might be an exposure problem in the camera. If there are frames you can pick out here and there all thru the processed roll, then it did go thru the transport mechanism end-to-end, it just didn't get properly exposed. Was this an antique camera? Might it have an iris problem?


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Jessica Zimmerman
Re: Super 8 development
on Mar 1, 2016 at 7:54:52 pm

Yeah its an older camera, I'm not sure what year but it was my first time using it (I have another super8 camera that works great).


Possibility about the iris problem as that would make sense, I just found it strange that the very end of the roll with the outdoor footage worked but nothing else. I guess it's more frustrating that I paid $50 for developing and digitizing to have 30 seconds of unusable footage. I've had an issue once before and they called to warn me that nothing substantial was filmed and if I wanted to follow through with digitizing etc.

So you think its probably a camera malfunction as opposed to a problem with the shop exposing or disrupting the film during development?

Thanks so much for your help!


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Todd Terry
Re: Super 8 development
on Mar 1, 2016 at 9:17:50 pm

[Jessica Zimmerman] "So you think its probably a camera malfunction as opposed to a problem with the shop exposing or disrupting the film during development?"

Sounds like it. If it is a proper professional lab, it's unlikely they would have done anything to it that caused the problems you described.

So... the bad/non-existent footage is dark/black? I got that impression. If that is the case it is definitely NOT a lab overexposure or anything like that. Since Super8 is reversal film (not negative stock), overexposure would result in pure white/clear film, not dark.

Sounds like a camera issue... though what the issue is might be a puzzler to track down.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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Mark Suszko
Re: Super 8 development
on Mar 1, 2016 at 9:17:07 pm

It's impossible to be certain without hard data and experimentation on the actual camera. If you could post a picture of the camera, along with the make and model, maybe someone here will recognize an issue. Could be something like the photodiode that controls auto-iris has become intermittent. Or the iris itself is "sticky". Or you engaged an ND filter without knowing it. Could be anything, since I don't know what you shot it on.


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