That 'app' is exactly what I would call "nostalgia", as is the movie Super8 itself, to some extent.super8man wrote:Look, they have an "APP" for that:
I hate to say it but the train has left the station. I think this same discussion has been taken up in the "wooden boats" forum. Speaking from experience, while it is interesting to contemplate building a 40-foot wooden sailboat, the days of affordable and available quality timber has pretty much disappeared. There's no going back. Enjoy what we had and what is left but any talk of something new is pretty much bordering on penny stock dreams with someone behind a curtain pulling the strings. Keep your thoughts close and your money closer.
The 'app' acts as a substitute for history. The app applies a "vintage" look to new material - which is a way of sending that new material, back in time, into the past, and returning it, suitably aged. It is an 'app' for that, the logical conclusion to which is to decompose the image into complete noise and static and finally into nothing at all. Which is the end game of nostalgia - the destruction of history.
History is a different beast. It works in the opposite way. To create a real Super8 camera is the complete reverse. It is to bring something out of the past (whether from the machine shop or ebay) into the present and give it a makeover. But if by "Super8" one means creating the glory days of Super8 where it was a mass market item then yes - one is entirely day dreaming, living in the past, in nostalgia. That won't happen. But was this ever part of the proposition? Is it even implied in any way?
If by "Super8" is meant the creation or reconstruction of some technology, eg. a Super8 camera (a real one rather than a fake nostalgic one), this an entirely different proposition. This sort of thing is done all the time. By historians in particular. Using old methods (eg. mechanics/film) to do something otherwise done today by different means (eg. on digital). For example, I've made paper by hand. Why? Why not just buy it from the shop? Because it is an art. Something one can enjoy. But its also a way of appreciating and understanding history in a way that is absolutely not nostalgic. And it also has business potential by the way - there is a market for hand made paper.
One of the first computers (in an early modern sense), ever designed, was recently built from scratch, following the designs handed down to us by history, not least for reasons that the original machine was actually never built. It had existed on paper for centuries. When built according to the design it worked as designed. History rebuilt this machine, not nostalgia. Nostalgia would prefer to dream of the past (in Steampunk sepia tones for example), rather than actually touch it in any way. Indeed there are a now a number of projects underway, rebuilding old computers, from the last century, to the previous century, indeed right back to computers used in Ancient Greece. None of this is nostalgia. It is, instead, a way of doing history.
Nostalgia is the masking of history. History is a way (the way, the only way) of defeating nostalgia.
To say the camera won't happen, or to say it's a wet dream, is precisely to imagine it as such - as some sort of magical reconstruction of an era where everybody will be using Super8 cameras again. Which is, of course, ludicrous. It is indeed that which won't happen. But it is precisely this nostalgic interpretation of Super8 which masks the camera project itself, which is an entirely different thing: it is a legitimate way of doing history. Or at least I would hope it was, otherwise it won't happen - it could very well be someone's idea of what a wet dream might be like (how I have no idea, but for those who keep insisting it is, who am I to argue).
On a purely personal level I'd be more than happy to acquire such a camera and use it - not to recreate some "vintage" look (there are apps for that - indeed one's I write myself from scratch ) but rather, it would be to create a "look" (or what I prefer to call a reality) that is completely different from that synthesised in vintagisation. If one is into creating vintage looks, what would be the point of using pin registration - surely that would be entirely counter-productive? Indeed it is. The whole point of pin registration is to get away from stupid "vintage looks".
Strictly speaking pin registration isn't entirely a necessity as one can register frames in post. But pin registration isn't just registration - it also stops any residual movement of the film during exposure, ie. improving sharpness. This is a really cool thing. Not for those after a vintage look, or a "Super8" look (ho hum), but for those interested in the fundamentals of photo-chemical-mechanical-optical images.
The question is not why, but why not.
We have to stop thinking of film as something in some sort of life/death battle with digital, relying on increasingly desperate means, to remain relevant. A much better approach is to treat it as already dead, not just last week or next week, but a long long time ago, way before digital was even conceivable to most. To give up film ...
Once you give up film. Once you realise that you had already, decades ago, given it up, will you realise why you can, quite happily, without any anxiety at all, every now and then, and ever since, properly engage it.
As a parting note, my 10 year old daughter, looking at some black and white 16mm on TV from the forties, asked me why the people always looked better in old films? It completely threw me. I looked up from my computer and watched the film through her eyes. In what way I asked myself. What is it? What makes film work? Even when transferred to video? Something gets through and touches even the most innocent of eyes. Perhaps touches them the most.