Super 8mm Social History Project

Super 8mm Social History Project

In October 2018 I found something really cool on Facebook Marketplace and decided to turn it into a mini project for that month.

I love looking around charity shops, thrift stores, and junk shops alike to see if there are any good things worth having. Usually camera related, but anything old or could be useful to me tends to be what I look out for. I have the privilege of having six charity shops in my town and one junk shop which has an amazing name of Come in an Rummage, with an being a typo on their sign. Most of my film equipment has come from these shops so it’s great to wonder around every so often to see if anything new (or old) comes in.

But recently in my spare time I’ve began looking on local selling groups online with Facebook’s Marketplace being a great browsing experience for anything out of the ordinary close to my area. And one day I stumbled across a user in town selling 15 reels of Super 8mm home movies!

Super 8mm Facebook Marketplace


Five boxes each containing three reels of Super 8mm film. And she was selling the entire collection for £10! I’ve had my film projector since uni and a handful of movies but never anything shot by someone. So seeing this collection for such a low price and in walking distance from me, I had to have them.

Meeting the seller in town with cash in hand she asked why I was interested in them. I replied I’m a filmmaker freshly graduated from uni and have always had an interest in film. She was pleased to hear this as when I asked her reason for selling this collection of essentially ‘home video’ she replied with how she’s selling the house and moving out and needed to get rid of everything inside. The seller was against throwing anything in landfill but wanted to see if anyone would be interested in what she has and maybe earn a few pennies on the side. When it came to the reels of film, the story takes a different turn. The seller had recently divorced, hence the moving out, and said the reels were shot by an aunt on the husband’s side. Neither her or the husband had any contact to this person anymore so had no need to keep the films; and the seller’s son was described as indolent and a bit of a loser so naturally didn’t want the films either. So when someone like me with an actual interest in movie-making and history came along , she was thrilled they would go to a good home.

Super 8mm Social History GIFI guess that’s why she priced the group of films so low, she didn’t know who would be interested in such a niche collection. And who would? Firstly you’d need a projector to view them (which she or many others don’t have) and they’re someone else’s home-movies from a bygone era. But to me they were an amazing glimpse into someone else’s life and a ticket to the past documented in colour.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.