8 Ventures of CJ

Published on website: April 21, 2010
Categories: Archiving , CJ Johnson , Products , Super 8mm , The StoryBoard Blog

My research in preparation for the launch of KODAK Ektachrome 100D Color Reversal Film in the Super 8 mm format led to a trip down nostalgia lane. As you’ll recall, 100D Film is a daylight-balanced 100-speed film, incorporating bright saturated colors and fine grain with excellent sharpness. It features some of our latest technological advances, and all of our internal testing show that it is an ideal candidate for Super 8.

As I scanned through some old press releases, it became apparent that Kodak has consistently touted the fact that many of today's great cinematographers and directors began their careers at the counter of their local photo shop, buying a cartridge of Super 8 film. In its own way, my experiences with Super 8 helped lead me to this point. During my early teenage years, my best friend and I toyed with the idea of bringing our vision to the screen. We brainstormed a few ideas, sketched out a plan, grabbed a Super 8 camera and went out shooting. We tried our hand at a few short comedy routines along the lines of Monty Python’s Flying Circus. We even tried some simple animation. These poor attempts at comedy make me cringe as I think back on it. In our few public showings, we certainly generated some laughter, but I suspect that most of it was at our expense. Although we had a blast making the films, the results suggested that we were both better off pursuing other careers. As summer came to conclusion, we put away the camera and moved on to other activities.

Fast forward a bit to my final year in college, where I was pursuing my engineering degree. One of the companies offering employment was Eastman Kodak Company. Although they didn’t know about my film making experience, they offered me the opportunity to joining their Image Science Training Program as a way to fast track engineers into Image Scientists. Working on imaging solutions over the years has taught me a tremendous amount about the science behind imaging. Many times over the years, I’ve thought about how naïve I was in those early attempts with Super 8.

As we were preparing for the launch of 100D, I remembered this history and wondered what became of those films. Naturally, as Product Manager, I am well versed in the benefits of film as an archival medium. So, I called my parents and asked them to look through their “archive” to see if they had my old movies. Sure enough, they found them in an old shoe box!  I watched the movie on an old projector and am now sending them out to be digitized. After thirty-some years, the image quality is still remarkably good. I can clearly see some of the mistakes I made, but despite that, the images made me smile. Isn’t that what photography is about?

Do you remember your first footage shot with Super 8? If so, please share on Kodak Motion Picture Film's Facebook page a little bit about it and how this experience impacted you. Kodak is proud to continue to support this format. We are also grateful to the network of dedicated laboratories and camera houses which also support the format. To this day, it continues to be a Super way for students, hobbyists and professional filmmakers to experience the Magic of Film!

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