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Question for the old school shooters...


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#1 jmpatrick

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 10:14 AM

Back in the days of 8mm and S8 (or even 16mm), was it common to pay someone to film and edit your wedding like is the norm with video nowadays? What did something like that typically cost back then?

Just wondering...

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#2 David Mullen ASC

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 10:49 AM

I'm not old enough, even at 45 (next Tuesday) to have gotten married in pre-home-video days...

But I've seen some old Super-8 and 8mm home movies of other people's weddings, usually edited by the a family member on a basic home editor with a tape splicer. You have to remember that most people shooting in Super-8 back in the 1970's and before weren't thinking of distributing copies of the footage for anyone else, since there was no home video to watch it on, and no one was going to go through the expense of making dupes to send out reels to other family members.

Someone richer would have shot their wedding in 16mm, then probably hired someone to cut it, unless they were an amatuer editor. Even then, it might have been a reversal shoot, with the original spliced and projected, not copied.

There were hundreds of 16mm production companies back then, making industrials, documentaries, how-to instructionals, local commercials, and probably weddings and other event filming -- you have no idea how big the professional 16mm industry was. I see adds in old magazines for 16mm labs in almost every major city in America.
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#3 Patrick Cooper

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 11:09 AM

Yes it was common to pay people to shoot your wedding on 8mm back in the good old days, at least here in Australia. Though I'm not sure how common it was for these people to shoot 16mm....I suppose the wealthier families could afford to have their weddings shot on 16mm. A few years ago when I was out and about shooting super 8 with my Canon 1014 Autozoom Electronic, and old guy came up to me and said that it's good to see that people are still shooting on super 8. He also said that he used the very same camera as mine to film weddings with back in the 70s.

My parents' wedding was shot on super 8 in about 1968 or 1969 but at the time, my parents couldn't afford to pay for the film so the film maker kept the reel / s. I know this would be an almost impossible task but I wonder if this footage can be tracked down. Ive no idea what the guy did with the films that couples didn't purchase - whether he stored them or threw them away. The film maker actually lived not far from my parents at the time. Knowing my luck, the film is probably on ebay....

Edited by Patrick Cooper, 22 June 2007 - 11:12 AM.

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#4 Marty Hamrick

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 04:27 PM

When I worked for a lab back in the 70's,I had a client who made a living shooting weddings and other family events on 16mm.He was from a wealthy family in South America.Some time later he switched to super 8 and I never heard from him again as the lab I worked for was primarily 16mm.I think it's safe to say that having a professional film your wedding back then was reserved for those of wealthier status.

I have a few old issues of the magazine Super 8 Filmaker where there is an article on a super 8 wedding business.The article is late 70's,so I doubt seriously too many readers benefited from that article.
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#5 Marty Hamrick

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Posted 22 June 2007 - 04:42 PM

There were hundreds of 16mm production companies back then, making industrials, documentaries, how-to instructionals, local commercials, and probably weddings and other event filming -- you have no idea how big the professional 16mm industry was. I see adds in old magazines for 16mm labs in almost every major city in America.


Ah yes,those were the days.It was great fun.You could make a living in film without moving to LA.Many of these productions were quite large budgeted.The average cost of a film was figured then (circa 1975-80) to be around 1000 bucks a minute,the average length of a film,15 to 20 minutes (this was also before the days of electronically induced sensory overload A.D.D.).A typical 16mm production company employed anywhere from half a dozen to thirty or so full time employees with more freelancers doing side work.Also like David said, there were labs in every major city in the country,employing dozens of folks.
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