Light Kit and Film Stock for Super 8 mm

Dear Mr. Mullen,

Thank you for your time and your patience in moderating this forum. I am personally very grateful for the time you have already devoted in sharing your experience with us.

I have a few questions..

I'm just starting out as a filmmaker: I've shot one short film on Kodachrome, which actually played at the Seattle GLFF and Portland's LGFF: I consider myself very fortunate!

However, the second time around, Kodachrome has been discontinued and I don't favor the 64T as a replacement.

I am shooting on a Canon 518 SV..

I've read that you started on Super 8 which was really encouraging, as I am doing the same. My question is this:

Which film stock would you suggest for interiors? Exteriors?
Do you have a recommendation for a modest beginning light kit? Can you create a DIY light kit with Home Depot lights? If not, what would be the beginner kit you would recommend?

Thank you!!!

Just an aside, Twin Falls Idaho is hauntingly beautiful..


David Mullen ASC

Active member
Anything that puts out light is fair game for shooting a movie. When I was a beginner, I had an odd collection of DIY lights -- hardware store reflector dishes and light bulbs, Chinese Lanterns, fluorescent work lamps (although ordinary flos don't work well with Super-8 cameras since many of those aren't crystal-sync and 60 Hz discharge lamps will pulse / flicker.) Also bounce cards, reflectors, etc. are useful.

I recommend finding at least one movie-type lamp just so you can start to find the uses for such a unit, maybe a 650w fresnel, maybe used. I had one cheap quartz-halogen open-faced movie lamp that I found in a garage sale for $5, only to discover a couple of years later when I had to replace the bulb after it finally burned out that the bulb cost $25...

The only similar-looking color reversal stock to K40 is Ektachrome 100D (5285), but Kodak doesn't sell it directly, you have to go through someone like Pro8mm. Fuji Velvia 50D is also a good substitute for K40, but it is becoming rare. I also like the b&w reversal stocks.

Otherwise, you could shoot interiors on 200T Super-8 negative stock, but then you couldn't project the original, it would really be for telecine only and you'd have to spend the money on a Rank transfer. There is also the 500T stock for low-light stuff.

Pro8mm also sells the other neg stocks in Super-8 like 100T, 250D, etc.