“Shoot like the uncle.” This odd phrase is one we often repeat to ourselves while shooting various Super 8 sessions. The idea stems from the nature of Super 8, which evokes feelings of nostalgia and home movies. Since our home movies were often shot by a close relative, perhaps an uncle, the footage carries a certain intimacy and closeness. If trust if established with the person behind the lens, the subject has no problem starring into the the camera. You may say that the “fourth wall” is easily broken within this medium.
While I was shooting the Barker Family in December 2009, I handed the oldest son Frank the camera and let him captured his family :
The Barkers here are smiling directly at the camera, moving as Frank does, and responding to his direction. Frank was comfortable with his family, so they engaged and interacted, which in turn created a more memorable and interesting film.
My best films are the ones that feel like home movies, relying heavily on emotion and nostalgia rather than shooting techniques. At the end of the day, I hope the film feels like it was created by someone who knows you well.