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It is a question you may be asked when you embark on your analog journey. There are several answers, and no, we won’t answer with, “Why not super 8?” Granted that phrase does have its merits but more tangibly we can assert that you should shoot super 8 because of the following: 

Life is like a coin. You can spend it any way you wish, but you only spend it once.

Lillian Dickson 

Just as in life, film can only be used once, and you don’t want to waste it. Isn’t limitation a disadvantage? Nope! It’s a benefit! You have 50 feet of film in each, which averages out to 3 minutes of video. This limitation requires careful planning. Not being intentional can be costly because developing and processing can average around $40 to $90 USD per film cartridge. 

With careful planning and practice, successful filming can easily be achieved. Often digital content has the result of machine-gun-like approaches. Blanketing anything that looks interesting aesthetically with as many frames or photographs you can fit on your memory card. You then could spend hours editing, literal hours of video. With Super 8 film, you know you only have 3 minutes to work with 50 feet of 24 frames per second (or 19 FPS) each time that the shutter is flicked open. When you reach for another film cartridge, that equals money, time waiting for processing, digitizing, and then editing. 

Believe it or not, this limitation helps foster your creative process. Is it the only method of arriving at creativity? Of course not, but it helps define and articulate your artistic vision. 

Super 8’s elegance is in its beautiful imperfections. However, it is not a medium without limitation, and it’s important to consider these when planning and organizing your Super 8 adventure.

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