Standard 8mm: Shyba Family

Found Film

A few months ago, my dad was on a quick visit to Edmonton and before leaving he handed me a hard drive. On it is hours and hours of footage of home videos from our childhood (which I'm glad Nicole laid eyes on after agreeing to marry me since it's full of my awkward-years self with a mushroom cut, decidedly not rocking it). It's incredible to have access to all of this footage. My dad filmed everything, religiously, even occasionally setting the camera on a tripod and recording for full 20 minute increments during birthday cake cutting and story time and so on, giving the feeling of being a fly on the wall. At my own life. In the past. It's surreal and wonderful.

The real gift, though, is a file on the hard drive called "Old Movies", containing a full two hour video of scanned standard 8mm film (like, before super 8 even existed), which was captured by my grandpa Martin in the mid-fifties to early-sixties. Being so passionate about video captured on film, and so fascinated with family history, this video clip, to me, is worth more than gold.

I spent hours going through the material.

My dad and his brothers were all born in Calgary between 1951 and 1959. Their childhood was quintessentially Albertan, as mine later was as well. Road trips to Banff and Radium Hot Springs, camping and Stampeding in the summer, and making the most of long winters, either by embracing the snow or getting the heck out of the country. It's beyond magical, to me, to be able to watch living footage of my dad and uncles growing up and being both sweet and rough with each other, playing, fishing, finding animals (there's footage of them holding: a rabbit, two snakes, a dog, a cat, a pig and a large bird of some kind). To see footage of what must be the beginning of Standard Medical Supplies, the family medical supply business which still exists today, as STAT Healthcare. To see Calgary, so much tinier than it is now, during the construction of the Calgary Tower. Seeing the mannerisms of my grandma Alice and grandpa Martin, who were gone before I arrived, is the greatest gift. My heart's full.

For my dad's 66th birthday, I put together some of the best moments from the 2 hour video into a short 12 minute film. If you're from - or familiar with - Alberta, I hope it brings you a sense of nostalgia. And as it certainly does for me, I hope it serves as a reminder that it pays to capture the people you love, even if that footage stays unwatched for awhile. It's more valuable than anything.

- Paula

SUPER 8! Tristan's First Birthday

A little over a month ago we added a new member to our family - a Canon 518 Super 8mm. I've been coveting one for a long time and have always been in love with the gritty, imperfectly-perfect looks of super 8 footage. Not to mention the challenge of shooting without any feedback - you capture what you capture and you find out later what it looks like. Nerve-wracking in the best way.

So what exactly is super 8mm?

Put simply, it's an old-school film format created in 1965. It comes in the form of a reel of film that feeds over the lens, exposing 18 tiny frames of film each second. In other words, it creates a series of photographs very quickly which, after being developed, can be fed through a projector and played as a moving picture. Back in the sixties and seventies, super 8 film was the go-to format for family videos since it was relatively easy to use compared to previous mediums, and many households had their own projectors to show home movies on.  Since video and then digital mediums came about it's become pretty obsolete, except in a few circles where it's still appreciated and used for it's unique (and totally rad) properties. If you're interested in seeing more of what Super 8 can do, check out the Straight 8 Festival, a film fest whose entries are all shot on a single roll of 8mm.

Super 8mm film used to be everywhere, but it's much harder to find these days (and even harder to find a place that can process and digitize it). Thank goodness for Niagara Custom Lab, who were able to provide film, processing AND digitizing. Dang!

We thought that the perfect occasion for trying out our new baby would be the 1st birthday celebration of our sis Candyce's not-so-new baby, Tristan. Candyce threw a pretty incredible backyard bash (featuring props and decor by our sister-business, Neat Rentals) and we were rolling. Read more about the party and see some photos featured on the Buddhi Baby blog, and take a look at the video below!

We're so excited to be rolling out Super 8 as a format for videos that we shoot. We'll be featuring a combination on Super 8 and digital footage for our Whole Shebang wedding video package, and offering it as an add-on or stand alone as well.

We can't wait to have more opportunities to let it roll!

- Paula