Cast of characters from the Cowboys & Jeeps days, early on in my career as a rough and ready tour guide. Some of these jokers are still with us, others have moved on or are currently convalescing.
Again these are cropped to a 1.66:1 aspect ratio, Nicholas Coyle Film & Video scanned the film for me in 5K. These are right out of the box HDR scans with a one-light pass. Next step will be to get into DaVinci Resolve and color grade everything, though I still have 11 rolls of Super 8 from 2018 that I have yet to get processed and scanned. There are still many interviews yet to conduct, and everything was shot silent so I need to get a lot of sound effects also. This documentary is taking a lot longer than my last film; I suppose I want it to be a worthy successor.
Bugs, birds, sheep, hotshots, and old vehicles. These are some of my favorite shots of the Super 8 footage I took 3 years ago now. As much as I talk about film photography being affordable, I have to admit that motion picture film expenses can pile up quickly, even when shopping around for the best price. In 2017 I shot 15 rolls of super 8, but never set aside money to get everything developed and scanned, so it’s been sitting in my mom’s freezer for the last 3 years. What else was I spending my money on back then? Film festivals, I suppose. I still have 11 rolls from 2018 that I haven’t sent off for processing yet; I was planning on making a documentary but put that all on hold to concentrate on photo project stuff instead. Now I’m taking the time to get all my footage in shape so I can decide how to proceed on the documentary front.
Shout out to Nicholas Coyle Film & Video for the incredible 5K scans, I’m using up all the campaign contributions I made with this documentary project. I cropped to a 1.66:1 ratio, but nothing has been color/contrast graded yet. that will take considerably more time I’m sure. Nick told me the film was a bit fogged, understandable considering how long it’s been in my mom’s freezer.
When I was originally compiling my list of best prices for buying/processing/scanning super 8 film, Nicholas Coyle reached out to me on Facebook and let me know about his scanning house prices which are still the best I’ve found for a 2K scan, and I just used him myself for the first time. He’s about to be the best price for a 4K scan.
We’ve been in touch for about a year and a half so I knew this was coming: he’s finally upgrading to a Lasergraphics 6.5K Scanstation and is running a special crowdfunding campaign to help with expenses. So if you were waiting for the right time to get some film scanned, there will never be a better one. $50 for 3 rolls of super 8, or $100 for 6, or $200 for 12, or $400 for 24: that comes out to $16.67 per roll for a 4K/6.5K flat scan; if you just want to scan 1 roll it’s $15:
Once he’s up and running the price goes up slightly but I like how it’s tiered: $15 for 2K/3K flat scan (the larger file if you’re want an overscan instead of cropped), $20 for 4K/6.5K, and then $5 more for a one-light transfer, $10 more for a best-light transfer. Simple and still incredibly affordable compared to the competition: FPP comes close with 4K scans for $35 but there is no information on what the scans will look like, if they’re flat or color-corrected, things of that sort. At least Coyle’s information is all out in the open and also shipping from him to me is incredibly cheap; he’s only 2 hours away from me.
I already chatted with him so the scanner is coming one way or another in the next couple months, the campaign is to help him pay off some of his initial expenses. So please consider supporting him, as the price will be hard to beat. I plan on using Coyle to scan all my film from now on. Here are a few recent scans:
Overwhelming Majority is an experimental documentary dealing with issues of alienation, isolation, and social anxiety. I remember my teacher Jane sending me this article when I was making the film and being very intrigued by that aspect, something I’d never considered. OM has been screening at film festivals for the last year and a half, but in light of recent events like Las Vegas, perhaps it’s time to be seen by the rest of the world.
WINNER: Best Experimental film – 2016 Blissfest333
WINNER: Best Experimental film – 2016 UCCS Short Film Festival
NOMINATION: Best Experimental film – 2017 Wales International Film Festival
NOMINATION: Best Documentary Short – 2016 Blissfest333
2017 London International Documentary Festival
2017 Carmarthen Bay Film Festival
2017 Colorado Short Circuit
2017 Wales International Documentary Festival
2017 Durango Independent Film Festival
2016 Southern Colorado Film Festival
Much to my surprise, all my super 8 footage is usable. Here are a few screenshots just looking through the (very) big Quicktime file.
In fact, I wonder just what I’ve gotten myself into with these 4K log scans I got. The above screenshots were much flatter, but I just brought them into Photoshop and added my standard still photography adjustments. Now while evidently I can do somewhat the same taking video clips into Premiere or After Effects, it’s a steep learning curve for me and hasn’t been going too smoothly. My only other option at the moment is to use the settings in Final Cut Pro X which are more rudimentary, with unsatisfying results.
I ended up sending my film to Pro8mm in California instead of my local stop, Cinemalab in Denver, which gave me more options than I needed, but also a better price all around. Still I think that instead of 4K log scans, I’d have been better off with something that included their in-house color correction but I never asked how much that would cost. I didn’t plan on using Pro8mm, but it turns out that Cinemalab, despite what they say on their website, does not offer super 8 processing.
So what will all this mean? I suppose the final film won’t look quite as good as it has the potential to, honestly. But then 20 years from now I can hire a professional to do the work for the re-release and charge you all more money to buy it.