Jo's Blog

Posts Tagged ‘super 8

The Great Easter Egg Robbery

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I’ve been attempting to digitise my grandfathers Super 8 film. This one is an all-time family classic. The Great Easter Egg Robbery. If you can see past my very amateurish attempt at filming it (complete with split screens and a rogue torch) this little film involves my uncle as the policeman, my gran as the victim of stolen Easter eggs, my aunts as the robbers (watch out for my auntie Liz’s spectacular head first fall over a country gate in the car chase scene), various other neighbours and family members roped in as extras.

I’ve added the music, which I think you’ll agree, goes splendidly with the action.




Written by Spiller

December 4, 2012 at 8:14 pm


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Last night I accidentally tripped over some cocktails so didn’t actually make it to the Stills Camera club but the theme this month was ‘Home’ and I had intended to go. Damn those Breakfast Gimlets!

I found myself thinking a lot about the topic of ‘home’ in the past couple of weeks, about what it means to me and how I might represent it meaningfully with a photo. I struggle with the notion of connecting ‘home’ to a physical place or space, maybe because I’ve lived in a lot of different places, maybe also because I’m about to move again so mentally disconnecting from my current ‘home’. I can feel a great connection to places that could never be called my home. And I often feel very at home in the anonymity of unfamiliar places.

So in the end I kept coming back to this film which connects me to my past and to the people that I call ‘home’. I wanted to show this at the Stills Camera club but for the watching to be a personal and intimate experience. So I rigged it into an old box brownie, with headphones threaded through the peep window at the back.

Put your eye up close to the open lens, smell the faint aroma of tobacco and old leather and let me welcome you to a place called ‘home’.

Written by Spiller

January 13, 2012 at 9:06 pm


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The most exciting thing I brought back from Manchester this weekend is this beautiful gem. My grandfather’s old camera. This has been in my uncle’s attic for the best part of about 40 years, untouched and forgotten. I tried putting a film through it on Sunday but firstly, I was so excited about using the camera, I forgot to clean it. I was also using a film that was about 5 years out of date. Oh, and I don’t really know how the camera works.

Those are the three excuses I’m giving for why the negatives came out almost completely blank when I developed the film last night. There’s a faint turin shroud-esque shape of figures on the film but it’s not in any way useable. However, project number one for winter is to learn how to use this lovely thing and hopefully take a half-decent picture with it.

I also brought back my grandfather’s beautiful super 8 projector, which looks a bit like an old bakelite food mixer and needs a new bulb but looks amazing. I loved the fact that the box it came in had a fossilized frog in the bottom, showing how long it’s been lying dormant. I also have most of his collection of super 8 film now so winter project number two is to digitize the best of them as a present to the family.

Watch this space.

I feel a great affinity to my grandfather, although I never really knew him. He is, however, responsible for my earliest memory. I remember watching my mum sitting on the edge of her bed in tears while on the telephone and being so panicked that I started crying as well. I was eighteen months old and we’d arrived in Hong Kong only four weeks previously. She wasn’t able to fly back for the funeral as this was the 1970s and we were on the other side of the world.

He was, however, a great one for grand plans and gadgets, fine wines and foreign travel and was considered a great entertainer and raconteur by all accounts. I think there’s something of that spirit in this picture below which has to be one of my all time favourite photos .

Written by Spiller

November 1, 2011 at 9:50 pm

A Quiet Holiday

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This has been another really special thing for 2011 – rediscovering my grandpa’s large collection of Super 8 film from the 1950s – 70s.

This one is particularly special. Cine film of the McNeill summer of 1973. Masterfully converted to digital by the fabulously talented, Evi Tsiligaridou. Soundtrack put together by me, with music by Yann Tiersen, Grizzly Bear and Sidney Bechet

I hope you enjoy it.

Written by Spiller

March 27, 2011 at 9:13 pm

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