8mm

Long story about little.

My dad used to have this marvelous piece of firepower. It was a .22 Hornet, and it packed a real wallop. I always coveted that weapon, but quite early Dad traded it to my brother-in-law for an 8mm movie camera. Hence this story.

So, as a kid I wound up shooting a bunch of 8mm. Shortly I went to sea on an aircraft carrier, and I purchased an 8mm camera of my own and took a lot of movies aboard ship and later in civilian life at motorcycle races and other fun places.

But here’s the irony. All this time I never actually owned a movie projector. There was a family projector, but when the inheritance was distributed somebody else wound up with it. So I have all these great films I have not viewed in decades.

Along the way I also acquired a 16mm camera that used magazine load film. I was familiar with the concept, because that’s what was used in the navy for gun sight video and also to record flight operations. In the Navy there is a special rating, photographer’s mate, that does nothing but take photos and such. Aboard the aircraft carrier their job was to get up at the 07 level in the ship’s superstructure and shoot movies, takeoffs and landings. If something went wrong the Navy wanted it on film. I think I may once have seen aboard the Randolph a freezer chest packed with Kodak boxes of fresh film.

Came time to do a blog post, and I needed an old newspaper clipping. I knew right where it was. It was right here in this closet in one of these boxes. So I started pulling out boxes and searching. The result of that was I recorded to DVD and discarded a bunch of skeptical VHS tapes. In one box I came across the movie films. I decided they needed to meet the same fate as the VHS tapes.

It turns out it’s fairly easy to get the DVDs from the movies, but it’s not exactly cheap. Like $8 for a 50-foot reel of 8mm. $200 for a running hour of 16mm. For me it’s either pay and throw away the film or else throw away the film and not pay. In one case I would still have the movies, but in a more compact form.

I have sent off two reels of 8mm to a place in Longview, and this morning I drove down to the place in San Antonio and dropped off my reel of 16mm. In a few days I will begin to come into possession of DVDs containing video of a number of people, known to me, and obtained when these people were much younger than they are now and not nearly as circumspect. Here is my deal.

These people, who can be easily identified in the video, even though they are now more advanced in age, will need to pay me a certain sum, or else these videos will be posted on YouTube. You know who you are. Do I need to elaborate?

2 thoughts on “8mm

    • How much money depends on what I see on the video when I start getting DVDs back. For example, I have seen a few frames showing a baby getting a bath in a kitchen sink. She will pay dearly to keep her son from seeing this.

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