02 June 2008

Hot Hot Hot Super 8

This Saturday we both Made and Did at the same time. It was the summer edition of Flickers "Attack of the 50' Reel" - a bi-monthly non-competitive Super 8 film challenge. I am old enough to remember Norwood Cheek visiting Vancouver with his Flicker Super 8 film festival back when the name Chapel Hill seemed to conjure up a mysterious and glamorous location - how could I know I would actually end up living here one day? Here are the rules:

You pay $15 and pick up a roll of film at 11 am.
You make a film on a prescribed theme - all edits in-camera of course.
You return the completed film at 7 pm. and enjoy a backyard cook out.
They send the film off to be processed and when it comes back, screen it at the Cats Cradle - where everyone, including you, see it for the first time.

It has been a long while since I busted out my Super 8 camera. When it comes to difficult-to-acquire media like Super 8 film and now Polaroid film, I get a little hoardy and afraid to use it unless the project is Absolutely Perfect. The structure of this event meant I had to throw out perfectionism and hoarding - they provide the film after all - and Just Do It. I love that.

The theme was Hot Hot Hot, fitting because it was in the 90's and hazy and golden that day. And we needed to be able to shoot this film while toting around our baby girl. A roll of Super 8 film is about 3 minutes and 20 seconds and of course, there is no sound, so you have to stay simple. Thus the theme Making Strawberry Ice Cream was born. We filmed ourselves driving out to a farm and picking 11 pounds of strawberries. We filmed picking up the rest of the ingredients: milk, cream, ice and rock salt. I washed sliced and pureed quarts of strawberries. And as a thunderstorm growled closer, we frantically churned and churned and churned. At 6:45 pm, we tried our first scoop - cold and sweet and pink - on camera, of course. And then hustled over with our film and about a gallon of homemade ice cream to share. If you have to attend a party where you don't know anyone, may I suggest arriving with homemade ice cream? It helps.

I wish I had some pictures of us cranking the ice cream in the baby blue ice cream maker - but we were too busy trying to get it on film. The thing about Super 8 - no instant feedback and no do-overs if you screw up. I have my fingers crossed it's in focus and there was enough light. I'll be out of town when it screens but Sergio will be there, representing and reporting back if we made fools of ourselves.

I can't wait to do it again.


Martine said...

Will you be transferring the ice cream film to digital? I would love to see it!

Marigoldie said...

I am way, way into this! Can't wait to see it (if you can get it up here digitally).