4-1-11 Super 8 memories
There's a movie coming out soon called "Super 8" about kids who were filming a movie using a Super 8 camera and accidently film the crash of a train that contains space aliens. I read that the producer of the movie, J.J. Abrams, made Super 8 movies as a kid, as did Steven Spielberg. I feel honored to have something in common with those noted film makers.
When I was about 11 years old my brother Bob and I bought a spring-powered 8 millimeter camera and projector from a neighborhood consignment shop. Bob made a couple movies...one was a World War 2 movie filmed in a nearby wooded area we called "the field". He and his friends Chris and Jeff recruited all the kids in the neighborhood and all the old war uniforms and props they could summon from attics and the Army-Navy Surplus Store in Minneapolis and filmed a 3 minute never-to-be remembered epic. I had a role guarding a German prisoner in a tent and got shot as he escaped. We still have that movie, circa 1973, now on video tape.
Later my friends Joe and Mark and little brother Gary filmed our own movies...one was an outer space classic, and another was a hostage situation gone wrong. Joe and I later filmed a bike trip we took to the Twin Cities airport. Joe still has those movies...I hope. I'd love to see them again. And later my friend Loren and I bought a Super 8 sound camera and projector and filmed some movies when were were in our teens, but our crappy projector chewed them up.
My friend Doug and his friends Chris and Rick had a Super 8 camera and made some pretty good and funny movies, and later made some videos that were shown on Bloomington Public Access T.V. And when my sister Barb got married in 1967 my dad bought a Super 8 camera and projector, starting about 20 years of Cola home movies. In later years my brothers and I started filming family events, and, much to Dad's chagrin, started working special effects like stop-motion animation and disappearing into mundane Christmas and wedding movies.
Also as a child, my parents gave me a tape recorder and cassette tapes for Christmas when I was eleven, and that launched my radio career, as I recorded my own radio shows and radio theater plays. I still have those tapes and am open for offers from anyone who would like to record them onto CD or MP3 for me.
I guess my point is, the things that kids find fun like making home movies or tapes, or learning to play a guitar, can often turn into a career. And lucky is the person who can work for the rest of his life doing something he really enjoys. I count myself in those ranks. My friend Doug, on the other hand, should have gone into making videos and movies...he was that good. But instead he buys and sells auto parts on the internet. Doug, if you're reading this, it's never too late!