Megan Hill (photo by Martin Usborne)
A self-proclaimed movie junkie, Megan learned all about makin' movies (back when there was still cutting and splicing) at Emerson College. After a number of years working in the entertainment industry in Los Angeles and then starting her own graphic design studio in New York, Megan's love of retro filmmaking took over.
In 2007, she dusted off her old super 8 camera and filmed her friend's wedding as a gift. According to Megan, capturing the most intimate moments of that big day was the best feeling. And once her friend received the film and sent her a tearful message of joy, Megan knew she was onto something. She was meant to spread this happiness to people who also appreciated the grainy, saturated, gorgeous quality of real FILM! And thus Hello Super 8 was born.
Where are you located?
My company is based in Brooklyn, NY but we have a team of cinematographers based in Los Angeles and the Pacific Northwest. And we travel all over for events!
How did you get your start filming weddings?
I shot a good friend's wedding as a gift on an old super 8 camera I had tucked back in my closet. I absolutely loved being behind the scenes on such an intimate occasion and shooting on film was such a thrill. Getting my film back from the lab is always like Christmas morning!
Did you have any formal training in filmmaking?
Yes, I majored in film production at Emerson College in Boston and worked in the film industry in various capacities for a few years.
What’s your creative style or vision for wedding cinematography?
My creative style is all about capturing the fun and spirit of the day. I try to focus on the unique personalities of my clients and their communities that come together to celebrate with them. I specifically like to document the range of emotions and the small details that contribute to telling the story of their day in a short but sweet film.
What role does film play in achieving that for you and what made you choose the super 8mm format?
Super 8 is the perfect format for my vision because it makes me practice patience. Instead of just shooting off hours of digital video (and sifting through endless footage in the editing room), I have to watch intently and wait to get my perfect shot. I'm essentially editing the film in my head as I shoot so I have to be very careful and think ahead before I pull the trigger.
What do you think draws your clients?
First and foremost, our clients are drawn to us by our body of work. A lot of people don't even consider investing in a wedding video these days but after they see that wedding films can be done tastefully with a fun and artistic flare, their minds change. We hear that people love watching the wedding films of perfect strangers, so they can only imagine what it would be like to see their own story on film. And then there's the fact that we tend to have as much fun as the wedding guests and blend easily into every party (we're known to sip a glass of champagne and do the electric slide at the end of the night).
How do they respond when they receive their final films?
Our clients are thrilled with the results of their films. The couples that were on the fence about getting a wedding video often tell us that having a film of their day is the best decision they made in their planning process. They adore watching their film over and over, sharing it with their loved ones and having an archival piece of their family history that will be passed down for generations.
Do you have a favorite stock to shoot with?
My favorite stocks tend to be VISION3 200 & 500T. The negative stocks look particularly lovely for weddings and the latitude has been great for low light situations. I also have to give a shout out to EKTACHROME 100D... I just love that retro super saturated look!
What postproduction path do you follow: What facility do you use for the transfer? Do you scan at HD or other resolution for the editing portion of your projects? On what system do you edit the films?
My go-to lab is Spectra Film and Video in Burbank, CA. They take their time with their transfers and color corrections and deliver superior results. I have scanned at HD but typically stick with SD, as it's the native super 8 format. I edit all my work in Final Cut Pro.
How has your work evolved over your career? Have advancements in technology - for example, film stocks, lenses, camera mounts, etc. - changed the way you shoot a project?
My work has evolved on a trial and error basis, like most businesses. My first film was shot on a very plastic Minolta model. I got a decent picture but it was pretty fuzzy and the night time footage was just plain bad. Over the course of 4 years, I've tested various cameras, stocks, lights and labs and have finally found a winning combination to get beautiful images. The Vision 3 stocks have greatly improved the footage of low light conditions and investing in professional grade Canon & Nikon cameras have given me fantastic image quality (and very sore arms by the end of a shoot!). :)
More Super 8mm love!