Long before digital cameras were a thing, 8mm film was all the rage.  This one-of-a-kind invention changed cinematographic history by being the first recorder that was able to capture motion pictures without breaking the bank.  The grainy and gritty video of this small-format film is still appreciated today by cinematography buffs, and can take you back in time. Although many formats from past-eras have become obsolete, the 8mm has managed to find a safe and relevant niche alongside vinyl records and Polaroid cameras.  But, what truly makes the 8mm so special?

8mm: Then

Premiering on the market in 1932, this revolutionary recording device was met with immediate success.  The original film was 16mm wide, and only exposed on one half of its width. The film was processed by cutting down the center of the film and then played through video players that were intended for 8mm-wide film.  Once the roll made its way through the player, it would then be flipped and the other half of the reel would be exposed. This, though more time-consuming than other methods, was a vastly cheaper and more efficient way to do so, and even offered up to four minutes of recording, which was quite a bit more than almost any other alternative in that day and age.

After the 8mm met with such success, it was only a matter of time before it evolved.  The Super-8 was created by Eastman-Kodak, and was met with extreme success with the general public.  The Super-8 offered a cheap and easy way for anyone that wanted to make a film of their very own, whether it be for professional or personal use.  The Super-8 featured a cartridge-type film loading method that was found to be not only more convenient, but safer for the film itself. However, neither the 8mm nor the Super-8 formats contained sound until 1973.  Even then, the sound quality was spottier than most and caused many users to take a negative view to the formats.

8mm: Now

8mm film paved the way for the advanced film formats and technology that we have available today.  Even though the market has grown exponentially and it seems that new technology is showcased every day, the 8mm film format has still maintained its rightful place in the world of film.  Not only do independent filmmakers and film buffs still sing its praises, but there are multiple film festivals throughout the world that are dedicated to the history and love of 8mm. One such festival, the renowned Bentley Film Festival, occurs annually in Kansas City, Missouri.


Keepsake Solutions is a Columbus, Ohio based memory preservation service with over 15 years of experience.  We use cutting edge technology and state-of-the-art techniques to ensure that your memories are preserved, and that no precious moments are left in the past.  If you’d like to contact us with questions or comments, please feel free to do so at (614)392-1909 or email us below.