Kodak is bringing Super 8 film and cameras back from the dead
The annual CES show often sees the dawn of new technological eras, but Kodak is using this year’s show to revive some beloved tech from the past.
At CES 2016, the iconic imaging firm has announced (via WSJ) it’s reviving the Super 8 film medium, and will this year launch new Super 8 cameras – more than 30 years after it halted production.
The idea is to capitalise on the re-emerging penchant for shooting on real film rather than digital, and the company will aim to provide a complete ecosystem for those using the new cameras.
Meanwhile, the camera – which is still in the prototype stages – will feature a digital, rather than analogue, viewfinder.
Now free from a period in bankruptcy, Kodak is pitching the idea to schools in the hope that a new generation of filmmakers will be able to experience actually shooting on film for the first time.
The first of the new breed will arrive this autumn. Kodak will be enlisting the talents of Yves Behar to replicate the design of Kodak’s first Super 8 camera, released in 1964, while also adopting a “modern sensibility.”
Kodak is currently putting the cost of the camera at anywhere between $400 and $750. In 2017, a more affordable and more widely available camera will follow.
Related: CES 2016 Day One roundup
Kodak last released a Super 8 camera in 1982; its first model was launched way back in 1964.
The Super 8 Revival plan comes as noted directors Christopher Nolan, Steven Spielberg, Quentin Tarantino and JJ Abrams continue to profess their love for the medium.
In support of the initiative, The Hateful 8 director Tarantino said: “On film, there’s a special magic on a set when you say ‘action’ and to the point you say ‘cut’ – that’s a sacred time. I’ve always believed in the magic of movies, and to me the magic is connected to film.
“When you’re filming something on film, you’re not recording movement; you’re taking a series of still pictures. It’s when this is shown at 24 frames per second through a lightbulb that it creates the illusion of movement. That illusion is connected to the magic of making movies. The fact that Kodak is giving a new generation of filmmakers the opportunity to shoot on Super 8 is truly an incredible gift.”
Spielberg added: “For me, 8mm was the beginning of everything. When I think of 8mm, I think of movies.”