An 8mm Short Film, From a 1880mm Tall Filmmaker

Recently, I got to visit Boulder City, Nevada, in order to attend the Dam Short Film Festival with some friends.

In between showcases of short-film screenings and delightful filmmaker-centric gatherings, we also took the time to make a short 8mm film. 

Our medium of choice was Double 8mm film, which was exposed at 24 frames per second with a Bolex H8 8mm film camera.

The short, silent, seventy-seven second film is viewable below:

“Listless Nerf Battle” – 8mm Short Film

Projecting Projects on 8mm Films

Today, you have the benefit of watching this short film on a mobile-device or computer monitor screen.

Way back when this short film was originally filmed, the only method available to me for reviewing the footage was to literally project it on the wall, using an 8mm film projector.

The film-projection process was always exciting when you load up your own films… filmmaking is exciting in a way that sometimes borders on stressful. 

Perils of Projecting 8mm Short Films

If the projector started to display a solid white image, I would imagine that the whole 10-minute reel would be over-exposed to the point of unrecognizability.

I’d worry that I’d wasted the time of my friends, since it was my choice to use a “finicky” medium like 8mm film, instead of the “easy” medium of digital video.

If the projector started to display a solid-black image, I’d naturally expect that everything was under-exposed and next 10 minutes would effectively feel the same as watching an unplugged television screen.

8mm Film Projection Payoffs

It feels especially good to watch a short 8mm film with friends, and its all the more fun if those friends are also stars of the film.

In regards to the short 8mm film in-question, nearly every shot turned out great and there is a story, albeit a simple one.

Nevermind the fact that I edited out a whole two minutes from the beginning of the short film’s story; I think a shorter movie is a better movie, almost always. 🙂

That being said, I’m especially impressed at the length of these takes, considering how relatively expensive it feels to hold down the “record” button on any movie film camera.

8mm Film Scanning @ The Library

I feel incredibly lucky that my local San Diego library branch has a “digital archive center” where I can transfer my 8mm film reels onto a high-definition digital video format.

Thanks to the San Diego Central Library’s IDEA Lab Staff for always helping me with my creative endeavors!

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