One Take Super 8 Event

The One Take Super 8 Event (OTS8) began in 2000, with 20 filmmakers each shooting a single reel of Super 8 film, which then premiered to an audience without the filmmakers seeing their work beforehand. All the films were shown as shot. No cuts. No splices. The popularity of this non-competitive festival has allowed it to return each year with more filmmakers participating. To date over 1000 films have been created for over 50 One Take Super 8 Events across North America!

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Syracuse REVIEW

Wow, what a night. Took a few days to recover from the sold out, packed house premiere of Syracuse's 3rd annual OTS8. There's something quite fun, underground and exciting about hopping in a car packed with reels of films and a super 8 projector and heading for the border to showcase new films (more on border crossing later on). Funk'n Waffles played the consummate host yet again, and things keep getting better every year. Great screen and sound set up, with a lot of live performances for the films.

All the films were strong examples of how diverse, creative and powerful super 8 can be.
Christina Kolozsvary's film perfect combination of tightly composed soundtrack that completely raised visuals to a new level, lighting was amazing for the ektachrome stock giving it an ethereal feel. Phil Loeb & Mike Canale brought down the house with the kung fu, zombie flick. (What's a one take without an homage), great live soundtrack too, you almost forget you're watching a film with all in camera edits, with no chance to change anything.

Ashley Ferris and crew raised the roof with a little audience participation, dancing with their film and fantastic MIA soundtrack. Too bad the audience was a little timid, cause we could have lit that place on fire! KVJB was the perfect follow up to end reel 2, with a 'surround' sound live audio and some improvised commentary, keeping the night and films light and fun. Syracuse has completely tuned into the spirit of super 8, and it's great to see it take hold.

I dont' think I've ever seen a super 8 yoga film before, but Kyle Corea made it a reality. great colour tones and composition. I don't think video would have captured it in the same way. something about the light that seemed to work with the salutations.

Challenging themselves to do a true 'one take' Keech, Rose & Kohlbrenner brought it on with lessons on Fish Food, in a tightly rehearsed team effort. This is all the more impressive considering how much time and effort they dedicated to organizing the event and make for a seamless evening of film. As an added bonus to the full house, Jason Kohlbrenner set up a live webcast, which was well received. We'll be attempting to post the link here for those who missed the show. There's also plans to digitize the films for open screenings in Syracuse throughout the summer.

The Elmo ST-600 worked splendidly for the screening. Bright images in small spaces are always great. super 8 seen large is a highlight for those who have never seen it projected before. Some karma was floating around, as after the screening, while rewinding the films a belt released, rendering the projector inoperable. Luckily, a quick inspection back in Canada revealed that the belt just slipped off the main motor. A quick and easy fix, saving a search for a new belt. It's a joy having electronics that one can actually fix. Those projectors will outlast any DVD/VCR/MP3 player in the universe. It was also a bit risky travelling cross border without a spare bulb (oops), but I think there's a few more hours left in this one.

I've mentioned it before, but driving cross border or flying with a super 8 projector has received more than a few inquriries/ strange stares. The range of knowledge about what the thing actually is varies, but regardless, it never passes through security or customs without a thorough swab/inspection. Coming back into Canada received the most informed customs agent I've ever ran into the inquisition went as follows.

Border Agent :citizenship?
Me : Canadian
BA: purpose of trip?
M: visit friends
BA: bring anything back?
M: nope.
BA: what's in the box?
M: a projector
BA: what are you doing with it?
M: showing home movies to friends
BA: 16 or 8mm?
M: (inside my head 'WTF? this guy's good') super 8
BA: oh, bell&howell, or elmo?
M: elmo.
BA: you have super 8 films?
M: uhuh.
BA: where'd you buy the projector?
M: in Montreal ( picked it up from used Camera store. paid a decent price for it, but the thing is mint)
BA: you should get a customs form for the projector next time you travel across the border
M: really?
BA: yeah, those things can be worth something on ebay.
M: (playing slightly naive). oh really, I didn't think anyone used them anymore.
BA: oh sure, if they're in good condition you sell it for a decent price.
M: good to know.
BA: have a good day.

Now, this border agent might be a bit more informed, as this was a crossing close to Rochester (home of Kodak), so it's not untirely unlikely that he would know things about small guage film. Regardless, points to him for actually knowing what he was talking about and not looking dumbfounded like most security at the airport when they do that strange cloth swab to check for explosive residue. I always find it weird that they think for some reason, if someone wanted to use explosives, they'd pack them into a 30 year old super 8 projector. Seems like a lot of hassle and not very discreet. in any case. travelling with projectors is always good for strange conversations, and a little bit of public service, letting the population know that we still exist. (I wonder if DJs get the same speculation when they travel with turntables?)