Photographer Jason De Freitas embarked on a fascinating business that combines his love of flight and filmmaking; By attaching a 1960s Super 8 cinematic camera to a modern first-person-view (FPV) drone, he captured some truly magical footage, as shown in the captivating 3-minute video in this article.
According to him, instead of opting for a conventional gimbal rig, he chose an FPV drone to achieve a very unique perspective – the combination of modern dynamic drone movements and close-range flight with vintage aesthetics. Super 8 gives an almost surreal result, as if offering a glimpse into an alternate timeline where digital cameras were never invented.
The shots captured by the Super 8 drone are particularly notable because they would not have been possible during the heyday of Super 8 cameras from the mid-1960s to the late 1970s, making them truly anachronistic.
To create the Super 8 FPV drone, De Freitas used his iFlight Chimera 7 Drone as a platform. Although a larger drone would have been more practical, he challenged himself to work with his existing setup. To mount the camera on the drone, he designed and 3D printed a support incorporating a servomotor, allowing him to remotely trigger the camera shutter from his controller.
Due to the limited payload capacity of the 7-inch quadcopter, De Freitas had to use smaller batteries and accept shorter flight times. With careful flight, he managed about 4 minutes of flight time before he needed to change the battery. To ensure a wide field of view for comfortable FPV footage, he attached a cheap fisheye adapter to the Microflex lens, compromising image quality but improving the ability to capture dynamic shots.
For this project, De Freitas used Kodak Ektachrome 100D film, his favorite Super 8 film, renowned for its vibrant colors and projection ability. The film was developed by De Freitas himself, resulting in a scratchy, grainy look. Rewind Photo Lab in Sydney scanned the film, allowing De Freitas to share the experience online.
Despite its challenges, such as the Microflex 100’s unpredictability as to whether it recorded during flight, De Freitas plans to replace it with a slightly larger and heavier Canon 310XL in the future.
Jason De Freitas is the mastermind behind other viral creative ventures, such as photographing the Milky Way on medium format film, building a drone capable of shooting 35mm film, and capturing the International Space Station crossing the Moon on 35 film. mm. More of his work can be found on his Instagram, YouTube and website.
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