The Wonder Years

When someone asks me to explain Super 8, I always reference this short clip and they understand immediately. This is a perfect depiction of home movies in the 70s and creates a sense of nostalgia for the “golden days.” This short intro is only a minute long, yet it speaks volumes about the personalities of each family member. It’s a perfect snapshot into what life was like for them on a daily basis.

In the 1960s, Eastman Kodak created Super 8 as a cost effective solution for amateur filmmakers and consumers to record the everyday lives of family and friends. Its ease of use and ability to swap film cartridges mid-shoot allowed for widespread growth and popularity in the 70s. Because of the cost of film, families chose key moments and special events in their lives to capture and display, which is why most of our parent’s films were so story driven.

Today, with our iPhones or Flip cameras at our sides at all times, we have no discernment for which life-events deserve special documentation. When we are able to capture without any monetary cost, we end up overshooting our lives. This leads to the truly special moments of life getting mixed in with the mundane. Even worse, the special moments are never presented in a final format.

A Homemade Film from Bryan’s birthday in 2009

In our minds, Super 8 is the perfect antidote to this problem. Not only does the medium evoke feelings of nostalgia (i.e. The Wonder Years) but it’s presented in such a way that it is worth revering.

When you think back on the “wonder years,” which events were worth remembering, and therefore, worth documenting well?