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4. December 2017 08:16
by m
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James Bond Super 8 Trailers

4. December 2017 08:16 by m | 0 Comments

If, like me, you've ever spent a little time searching eBay for James Bond memorabilia, you've probably come across a few James Bond movies or Trailers on Super 8 film and maybe you've wondered if it would be worth picking some up and perhaps even finding an old projector to try them out on. Right now, for example, you could pick up a copy of Dr No or From Russia With Love on Super 8 and Trailers for The Spy Who Loved MeThe Living Daylights and Licence to Kill are also available. All of these are relatively cheap - Dr. NoDr. No and From Russia With LoveFrom Russia With Love are about $100 each, and the trailers are about $10 each.

So what kind of quality can you expect from these films? Well, quality will vary quite a lot and this will depend on a number of factors, including who made them, which film stock was used, how many times they have been played, how they were handled and stored, etc. You may (or may not) be surprised to learn that the official versions of films released on Super 8 were often considerably worse than the 'underground' copies made by collectors from 16mm or 35mm feature films. The official releases of 'full' feature films were often abridged to fit on a 200 ft (61 minute) reel. Most of these Super 8 films and Trailers were made in the 1970s to the mid 1980s when VHS took over, which unfortunately means that many of them were made using Eastmancolor film stock which is notoriously prone to fading. Unlike IB Technicolor films, the Cyan and Yellow dyes used on Eastmancolor film between 1950 and 1982 fade over time, leaving only the magenta (red) color behind. What this means is that the Super 8 Dr No and From Russia With Love films above are probably not only missing some of your favorite scenes but are also bright pink in color. The Dalton trailers should still have pretty good color because they are from the late 1980s, but most of the Roger Moore films and trailers (and this is true for 8mm, 16mm, and 35mm) will have faded to some degree. 

Despite the tiny frame size, Super 8 film resolves to approximately 720p HD so, in theory at least, it should be better quality than VHS or laserdisc. Perhaps it is better when projected (some images of a super 8 version of Star Wars being projected can be found on savestarwars.com), but certainly, when converted to digital, I think I would choose a laserdisc over Super 8 every time. 8mm film tends to look very grainy because while the film grain is actually about the same size as it is on a 35mm film, the picture is that so much smaller that it simply makes the grain look huge. Take a look at this screenshot comparison I put together for Star Wars, in which I compare a scan of a "really nice" (and expensive) Derann Super 8 print to a scan of a 16mm print, a 35mm IB Technicolor print (TN1's forthcoming Project 4K77), and to VHS and laserdisc:

http://www.framecompare.com/image-compare/screenshotcomparison/09JNNN8U

The moral of that story then is that it's hard to top a 35mm film print - especially an IB Tech. Note, however, that the 16mm frame sample is from a standard definition capture, grabbed from a 4 GB DVD encode so there will be mpeg2 compression artifacts too. A better capture would compare more favorably against the Super 8 - smaller grain, more detail, and a sharper image.

Nevertheless, I had picked up a collection of James Bond Trailers on Super 8 for $20.51 on eBay back in 2015 and sent them to Q-branch for scanning. Unimpressed with the quality, and unsure what to do with them, they sat on my Hard drive until this weekend when I stumbled across them again while looking to see if I had any new videos to share on The007Dossier.com.

The reel came in a plain white cardboard sleeve with "Bond 1 Sup 8 Color Sound" stamped on the bottom (note that at some point it had been priced at between $40 & $50):

There turned out to be six trailers on this reel, and all were faded to red, though strangely some were more faded than others. The first Trailer was for the 1967 version of Casino RoyaleCasino Royale, and this probably has the best color on the whole reel. Usually of course, I would zoom in on the picture and crop out the sprocket holes and such, but I thought I'd just share the raw capture as that might be more interesting, and not something you see every day.

If we digitally reduce the red and boost the green and blue, some of the original colors can be restored, but it still looks pretty faded:

Dr. NoDr. No was next:

The colors were so faded on this one that when the red is reduced and the green and blue increased, the final image looks almost black and white:

From Russia With LoveFrom Russia With Love:

GoldfingerGoldfinger:

ThunderballThunderball:

You Only Live TwiceYou Only Live Twice:

Not all Super 8 films will look like this of course. There is this copy of You Only Live Twice on Super 8 listed for nearly $1500 on eBay right now, and this appears to be one of those 'underground' copies created by a collector, rather than an official release. I say this because it has 6 reels (like a 35mm print), was printed in Germany but is neither dubbed nor subtitled, and it has fantastic colors - all of which suggest that this is a more recent (1990s?) reduction made from an original 35mm IB Technicolor print. No doubt it screens beautifully, but in my opinion is way over priced when you consider that a 16mm IB Technicolor version of the same film recently sold for under $500, and that 35mm film prints of James Bond films often sell for much less - here are some recent eBay auctions for 35mm IB Technicolor 007 prints:

35mm Feature Film: DIAMONDS ARE FOREVER (1971) Sean Connery TECHNICOLOR Scope  sold for $969.99
FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE | IB TECHNICOLOR | James Bond 007 - 35mm FEATURE sold for $965.00
35mm Feature Film: DR. NO (1962) Sean Connery - IB TECHNICOLOR sold for $620 (though Reel 5 was missing which no doubt lowered the price)

In America, Technicolor printing ceased in 1974, and in Britain in 1978, so as mentioned before, most of the Roger Moore films are now faded to some extent, and it is therefore not surprising to see titles such as this For Your Eyes Only fetch only $280.

35mm projectors are not so hard to find at the moment, but they tend to be extremely large and very heavy, and - unless you used to be a projectionist - they are probably harder to operate and maintain than a smaller 8mm or 16mm projector. Still, You could have bought the 16mm version and a nice 16mm projector for less than they want for that Super 8 version of You Only Live Twice.

I don't have a 35mm projector myself, but I do know a couple of people who do, so when I was recently offered the chance to buy a very nice and reasonably priced 35mm British fujicolor print of The Living DaylightsThe Living Daylights I jumped right on that - more on that soon...

Related Dossiers

35mm Film Trailers & prints

Dr No in Glorious Technicolor
You Only Live Twice 35mm IB Tech Trailer
James Bond OHMSS 35mm Trailer in HD
James Bond Diamonds Are Forever 35mm Trailer in HD
Live and Let Die 35mm HD Trailer
35mm Live And Let Die Trailer 2
James Bond The Man with the Golden Gun 35mm Trailer HD
The Spy Who Loved Me 35mm Trailer from 1977
35mm Moonraker Trailer
For your Eyes Only Flat 35mm Teaser Trailer
For Your Eyes Only 35mm Trailer
Octopussy 35mm Film trailer
Never Say Never Again 35mm Teaser Trailer HD
A View to a Kill flat 35mm Teaser Trailer HD
A View to a Kill flat 35mm Trailer HD
The Living Daylights 35mm Trailer
35mm Trailer James Bond The Living Daylights Flat
35mm Licence to Kill Teaser Trailer in HD
James Bond License To Kill 35mm Trailer U.S. Version
Goldeneye 35mm Teaser Trailer in 1080p HD
Goldeneye 35mm Trailer in 1080p HD
Goldeneye 35mm Trailer in 4K
Tomorrow Never Dies 35mm Trailers
The World Is Not Enough 35mm Trailer HD
Stirb An Einem Anderen Tag (Die Another Day) 35mm Trailers
35mm Trailer for Die Another Day in 1080p HD
Casino Royale 35mm Trailer in 1080p HD
Quantum of Solace 35mm Teaser and Trailer in 1080p
Skyfall 35mm Teaser and Trailer in 1080p

16mm Trailers, TV Spots, etc.

Rare Original 16mm Dr. No B&W TV Spots in HD
James Bond From Russia With Love / Thunderball Double Bill 16mm TV Spot
Rare Original 16mm Goldfinger B&W TV Spot in HD
Rare Original 16mm Thunderball B&W TV Spots in HD
Thunderball 16mm IB Technicolor print
Too much for One James Bond
Rare Original 16mm You Only Live Twice B&W TV Spots in HD
Vintage 16mm Diamonds Are Forever TV Spot
Rare 16mm Behind the Scenes Footage from Diamonds Are Forever
16mm James Bond 007 Man With the Golden Gun TV Spot
Another 16mm James Bond 007 Man With the Golden Gun TV Spot
16mm The Spy Who Loved Me TV Spot
Vintage 16mm TV Spots for The Spy Who Loved Me
16mm Spy Who Loved Me / Moonraker Double Bill TV Spots in HD
For Your Eyes Only 16mm TV Spots in HD

Super 8mm Trailers, TV Spots, etc.

Pinewood Studio Open Day 1977 Super 8 film in HD
James Bond Super 8 Trailers

 
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