Make us your home page

Gadgets & Gizmos

From the staff of the Tampa Bay Times

Create some vintage movies with the Super 8 app for iPhone and iPod Touch

screen_shot_2011-05-25_at_11.14.08_am.pngLots of apps are created to promote different products. They usually offer some type of information, themed games or other content related to what's being sold, and in most cases you have to endure a lot of advertising while accessing the useful nuggets in the app. When I first saw the Super 8 iPhone app show up, I figured it would be a giant promotional piece for the upcoming movie by the same name. I was wrong. This app is a keeper.

Super 8 is one of the coolest video apps I've seen in awhile. If you're familiar with the popular Hipstamatic photo app, Super 8 is very similar but for video. It turns your iPhone into a vintage Super 8 movie camera, complete with different lenses to produce different visual effects. The interface is slick and beautiful, taking you through the process of changing filter, shooting, ejecting the film cartridge and eventually, "developing" your film. When you're shooting it makes the clackity-clack sounds of old cameras, and you can include these sounds in your final video if you choose.

You can use the front or rear camera when shooting, and you can turn on vintage effects like the scratch-and-dirt overlay and frame shake. An analog timer keeps track of your recording time. Lenses include color, chromatic, black & white, sepia, X-ray, negative and infrared. My favorite is black & white with chromatic being a close second. Check out the sample video I made with those two lenses.

After shooting some clips you can arrange or delete scenes (clips), include an authentic Super 8 film leader, give your film a title, add credits and finally "develop" your film. When your film is done it's sent to the projector room where you pull down the screen for a look, complete with the clackity-clack projector noise and reverse, play, pause and fast-forward controls. Popcorn, anyone?

mzl.wsdpvxox.320x480-75.jpg   mzl.ieyoncmd.320x480-75.jpg   mzl.jflhoytj.320x480-75.jpg

When your masterpiece is done you can share it by sending via email or you can save it to your camera roll. This is one thing I didn't like about the app. Direct sharing to YouTube, FaceBook and Twitter should be included and I hope the developer will add these features.

mzl.nasotngq.320x480-75.jpg   photo.png

And honestly, the promotional part of this app is so subtle, you hardly notice it. The splash screen gives the name of the movie (same as the app) and the date it will be in theaters (June 10). A small ticket on the main interface screen takes you to links to buy tickets for the film. Some "missing frames from the S8 editing rooms," called Found Footage, show up when when you play back your movies (they're gone when you export) and if you collect all 25 of them it unlocks a new clip that you can collect at

This is a very slick app and lots of fun. The developer says it's free for a limited time, so go grab it and send me some old movies. The app works with the iPhone 4 and 3GS and the latest iPod Touch, although the rear-facing camera and light only work on the iPhone 4.

[Last modified: Wednesday, May 25, 2011 6:47pm]


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours