Super 8mm Film Footage – Sundance Film Festival

thismaybethelasttime-photoI recently attended the ‘friends, family, and movie-people’ premiere of This May Be The Last Time, a documentary produced by Matt Leach, Sterlin Harjo, and Christina D. King and directed by Harjo. This was the first feature-length film backed by This Land Films a section of This Land Press based in Tulsa, OK. The premiere took place at Circle Cinema in Tulsa on the heels of a successful debut at Sundance Film Festival in January 2014. Here is the posting about the film on the Sundance site.

I was hired to work on the film last year. I worked with the director and producer and other members of the cast and crew to capture re-created historical events that took place decades. Though, there was some original home movie footage of other stuff they could not unearth any archived footage from this particular significant event. So the goal was to re-create several scenes in a manner that might pass for film footage captured in the early 1960s. Super 8 film shot in a hand-held ‘man-on-the-scene’ type way was used to create a stylized, authentic appearance.

Coming into the picture I had seen a rough cut of the film and I understood the scenes and what they wanted to capture.

The shoot was a memorable one for me as many of the shots took place with me standing in the North Canadian River with a camera in my hand. All told we shot 7 rolls of film that day at 24 fps which amounted to about 17 minutes of film. The film stock was Agfachrome 200D Color Reversal film and shot on a Canon 814 XLS.

The intention was to use about 5 minutes of the footage. I was happy to see that every roll of film turned out wonderfully; good light, good focus, and framing. Plenty of the footage made it into the final film and the trailer.

I was happy to have been given the opportunity to share in this experience. The documentary is beautiful, heartbreaking, and uplifting, all at the same time…it’s a story worth watching.

 Posted below is the official trailer for the film:

 

New Super 8 Film added – State Fair 2013

I added a new film to my Vimeo channel last night. This one is from the Oklahoma State Fair this year and features my fam at the livestock barns and at the midway. This was the first time I used my “nicer” camera at the fair. I used my Canon 814 XLS 814XLS_3to shoot the footage. I shot on Kodak 500T Color Negative film. The soundtrack is from live recording at the fair using my Edirol R-09.

Taking my Super 8 camera and filming a roll or two has become a new tradition for me. I have been doing this for 7 or 8 years now and it makes me wish that I’d been doing it since my first visit there. I think the color and movement of film really captures the authenticity of being there.

This was also the first footage I’ve edited using Final Cut Pro X. I just downloaded the trial version yesterday and was able to quickly cut together the footage and the soundtrack without any real problems – which was great. I was a little hesitant about the interface to begin with but it turns out it was more intuitive than I originally thought. I didn’t search any help documents, just went right to work. Granted, there were no real edits within the film as I like to keep the film “whole” and as uncut as possible. But I did add titles, credits, and a layered audio track. Looking froward to playing around with FCP-X some more. Migration from FCP-7 looks imminent.

Oklahoma State Fair 2013 from Aaron Gibson on Vimeo.

Cool News & Work in Progress

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I received word that a film that I did some Super 8 film work for has been accepted to Sundance. The documentary film This May Be the Last Time, directed by Sterlin Harjo and Produced by Matt Leach, both of This Land Films, will be shown at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah January 16-26.

Here is the announcement on the This Land Films website:

http://thislandpress.com/12/09/2013/this-land-films-premieres-this-may-be-the-last-time-at-sundance-film-festival/

Here is the short description of the film on the Sundance website:
“This May Be the Last Time / U.S.A. (Director: Sterlin Harjo) — Filmmaker Sterlin Harjo’s Grandfather disappeared mysteriously in 1962. The community searching for him sang songs of encouragement that were passed down for generations. Harjo explores the origins of these songs as well as the violent history of his people.”

My contribution to the film was minimal in terms of the overall production but I had a fun experience working with these guys, the talent and other crew. I was hired to shoot several rolls of film as a part of the film that re-created a specific historical event. I shot the film using a Canon 814 XLS and Agfachrome 200D Reversal film stock. The film was then digitally transferred and scanned at HD resolution.

I have seen the raw footage but not the final cut of the film – so I’m excited to see how the footage was integrated into the story.

Congratulations to all those involved! We’ll be watching the progress of this film to see the progress it makes.

Super 8 Wedding Film – Lauren and Adam

This is a short wedding film I shot in October 2013 for my brother Adam and and his wife Lauren. I’ve been shooting Super 8 film for a long time now and with this film have decided that I’m going to enter the world of Super 8 wedding films. So pass on the information and if anyone out there would like to have their wedding filmed please get in touch with me. I will have a complete website with all the information soon!

Seasonal Super 8 Throwback

I don’t know why I hang onto good stuff like this instead of putting it out when I get it. I have a bunch of Super 8 films that I shot years ago that I have yet to share. There are two films here, one is from October 2007 and one is from October 2008. Maybe I thought that I would add sound to them at some point but I never did. Instead they’ve just sat at home. I was happy to rediscover these wonderful pieces of family Americana and I am happy to share them.

I hope I don’t need to restate the importance and value of film in recording memories. The footage speaks for itself – so much more than an iPhone recording, don’t you think?

New Super 8 Film – Art on the Mother Road: Part One

I’ve got a new Super 8 film to share. I expect this will be a multi-part film series which may culminate into a full film. If you like it please share it and pass it around. Thanks.

Art On the Mother Road from Aaron Gibson on Vimeo.

This is a short film that I shot sometime in Fall 2012. It takes place in El Reno, Oklahoma at the site of Rick Sinnett’s mural titled Guardian of the Mother Road. One of the projects Rick has been working on is painting a series of murals along Oklahoma’s Route 66 – known as the Mother Road. Each mural draws in components of the Oklahoma landscape and Rick’s representations of native symbolism and presents them in a symmetrical and colorful array. This short (one cartridge/50 ft reel) highlights Rick’s presence and pride in his work and how his art is positioned in relation to Route 66 and the open fields surrounding it.

I shot this film with a Canon 814 XL-S on Kodak 500T Negative film. Edited in Final Cut Pro 7. The music was a lucky find (creative commons licensed). Intro sound effect is my own recording of me putting a Super 8 cartridge in the camera and pulling the trigger.

Processing and telecine was performed by my friends at Yale Film & Video in Burbank, CA.

Thanks for watching.
More about Rick Sinnett (aka Mothman) and his current projects can be found online at:

http://siloartproject.com

http://mothcollection.com

and of course on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.

SIlo Art Project Documentary – Report

Instagram Photo
For the past few months I have been assisting Rick Sinnett (mothman333, mothmancollection.com) on the Silo Art Project. Mainly, I’ve been helping out by shooting video for a documentary for the project . Yesterday we went to El Reno, OK to shoot some footage for an upcoming Kickstarter campaign which he’ll be lauching in the coming days. A few weeks ago we visited Digital Media Warehouse in OKC where Rick printed a number of fine-art prints in order to raise money for the project. OETA was there (along with myself, whom you may catch a glimpse of here and there) to capture the process.

I am excited to be involved with this project. It’s always refreshing to find someone passionate about their work, especially when it comes to bettering the environment, the community and making a positive social impact – that’s what this public art project is really focusing on. Furthermore, Rick is incredibly driven to see this project through. It’s been more than a year of work – lots of behind-the-scenes stuff and still we are inching closer and closer to making “This Land” a reality.

You can keep tabs on the progress on the Silo Art Project twitter feed.

Following Rick (mothman333) on Instagram. Check out the Silo Art Project Facebook page. Watch for the upcoming Kickstarter page. And buy some of Rick’s art in various forms on MothmanCollection.com to support the project.

Things in production…

My family and I recently took a trip east across the US – 13 states in 14 days we like to say – from Oklahoma to the Outer Banks in North Carolina and back. Along the way we stopped in Saint Louis, MO; Pourtsmouth, Ohio, New River Gorge in West Virgina, then on to Manteo in North Carolina, then back through the south: Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Arkansas. It was a long trip – sometimes tough with two young ones who didn’t want to ride more than a couple of hours (or less) at a time. I took several cameras along and had the opportunity to shoot 3 rolls of Super 8 film. Also shot some video with my GoPro2 and some stills with my Nikon. I’m looking for to having the film processed and seeing how it turned out. More and more I’ve been using my old-standby MovieFlex S8 to shoot on. It’s just so easy and comfortable to use. It focuses well, the color (if it’s color film, of course) is great, and the light meter seems to adjust accurately and moreover, forgivingly. I say all of this before getting those last three rolls in the mail to see exactly how they turned out.

I had a couple of rolls processed not long ago – one was from a drive-in cinema with a miniature golf course just below the screen. I shot right at “magic-hour” on Ektachrome 100D and I have to say it’s probably some of the most beautiful color film I’ve seen – just perfect. I need to get it digitized and online.

I am working on a couple of independent projects outside of my Super 8 dabblings:
I am still working on the Oklahoma climbing documentary and hope to have some more interviews in the near future. That’s a slow going and long term project that I’m chugging away on. The other project came up recently and involves shooting some digital footage for the Silo Art Project. This is going to be a collaborative project – I think – one where I shoot and someone else edits the footage and pieces it together for a larger project. I’m not sure but I have this feeling that it’s going to turn into something. I’m just kind of free-wheeling it, not really planning or figuring anything. Just going to show up with a camera and document. it’s funny because it’s kind of how I envisioned my OK climbing doc to work but instead I feel more anxious about making the climbing doc “good” and so my up-tight-ed-ness seems to get in the way of actually accomplishing the simple act of just setting up these interviews, turning the camera on and letting the people speak. Why is that?

It’s kind of an exciting time with all this stuff going on. I’m hopefully that I will have something to show in the near future – maybe even a short Super 8 film to submit to some over-seas festivals. I need another reason to visit England!

Another thing on my mind that I’ve been thinking about for a long time, years in fact, is starting a Super 8 class or seminar or short course program. Give everyone a Super 8 camera, talk about the basics, learn the fundamentals, shoot some film, process it, transfer it to digital and host a viewing party. I wonder what the interest in something like that would be? Maybe I could even associate it with a school/university just to further the value of it – class for credit type of thing. Just an idea.

Finally, and this probably isn’t even worth mentioning because it’s nowhere near a fleshed out idea – but I’ve had a recent fascination with chairs. Chairs. I’m not sure why. I feel like I need to shoot a film about chairs.

Enough of this update. Next post will be something of more substance.

Filmmaking, Screenwriting, Super 8 Film, Creative Endeavors