Super 8: An Illustrated History
Release Date: October 15, 2019 on Rare Bird Books
Super 8: An Illustrated History is a coffee table art book showcasing the history of Super 8 filmmaking. In addition to featuring stunning photography documenting the sleek mid-century design of Super 8 cameras and projectors, the book will be filled with vintage advertisements and eye-catching illustrations from Super 8’s heyday. Super 8: An Illustrated History also offers up a detailed history of this beloved film medium. Super 8 burst onto the film scene in 1965, conquering the home movie market. The book explores the research and development that went into creating a brand new format. Not only was Super 8 embraced by suburban dads, the target audience of the format, but it was soon co-opted by the art world, found a home in the punk rock universe, and ultimately seeped into popular culture. Filmmakers who got their start in Super 8 include, Robert Zemeckis, Jim Jarmusch, Todd Haynes, Sam Raimi, Wes Anderson and Alex Gibney.
A healthy 20-year run was followed by barren years, starting with the rise of the camcorder in the 1980s. Super 8 filmmakers struggled as companies ceased manufacturing equipment and film labs stopped providing services for filmmakers. Yet somehow Super 8 managed to persevere. Many artists continued shooting Super 8 throughout the lean years. Thanks in part to a renewed interest in analog technologies, Kodak plans on bringing a new Super 8 camera to market in 2019, their first new camera to roll off the assembly line in over 30 years.
Super 8: An Illustrated History also features interviews with and essays by filmmakers who got their start in Super 8, and with pioneers who were instrumental in the development of the medium. These interviews are revelatory, showcasing how young artists, working with no budgets and with little-to-no formal training, managed to make impactful movies and give voice to international subcultures. Interviews include Richard Linklater (Slacker, Boyhood, Dazed and Confused), Dave Markey (1991: The Year Punk Broke), Rocky Schenk (music video director for Adele, Devo, Nick Cave, The Cramps, Robert Plant), James Mackay on Derek Jarman (The Last of England, Jubilee), Lenny Lipton (The Super 8 Book), Beth B (Black Box), James Nares (Rome ’78), G.B. Jones (The Lollipop Generation), Bruce LaBruce (Super 8 1/2, The Misandrists), Lisa Marr & Paolo Davanzo (Echo Park Film Center), Marc Huestis (The Gay Film Festival of Super-8 Films), Peggy Ahwesh (Martina’s Playhouse), Paul Sheptow (Super-8 Filmaker magazine), Ed Sayers (The Straight 8 Film Festival), Melinda Stone (Super Super 8 Film Festival), Jonathan Tyman (Ann Arbor 8mm Film Festival), Norwood Cheek (Flicker zine and screening series), Martha Colburn, Narcisa Hirsch, silt, Matthias Müller, John Porter, and Karissa Hahn. On the technical front, the book features interviews with Frank Bruinsma (Super8 Reversal Lab), Bob Doyle (Super8 Sound), Tommy Madsen (Logmar Camera Solutions), Phil Vigeant (Pro8mm), and Roland Zavada (Kodak).