Past Workshop Descriptions

Small Gauge Filmmaking

This hands-on workshop is a kick starter to get you going on experimenting with small-gauge filmmaking. Participants are expected to have access to a Regular 8mm or super 8 film camera, and know how to operate it. This is a broad introduction to the process, but with specific tasks: load, shoot and process film, transfer film to digital, record and transfer audio to computer, and assemble picture and sound. Filmmakers will learn what aspects they like and/or don't like, need more information about, want to pursue on their own or with help from others. They'll see that process filmmaking is an experience unto itself and that it may or may not result in a movie they want to screen.

Prior to the first class, participants will receive a link to view pre-recorded how-to videos and have time to try the instructed activities. Included will be the workshop introduction and steps, a description of Regular 8mm and Super 8 formats, what is Double 8mm, how to load a Regular 8mm camera, shooting what grabs you, what is needed to make a temporary dark space and process negative (as opposed to reversal) film. Each participant will then shoot their film, assess their dark space needs and shop for the required materials, processing chemistry and supplies.

The first live online class will facilitate questions, answers, discussions and resource-sharing to support the progression of each individual’s film. If participants complete their shooting, they will bring their exposed film and experience about shooting, questions and concerns about setting up a dark space and processing their films. The steps of negative film processing will be demonstrated, and questions fielded.

Between the first and second class, additional videos and documents will be shared on how to record sound with a available devices, transfer that audio to software, as well as transfer film on to video at home (requires a film projector). At the second live class, participants will bring their recorded sound, film to digital transfer, and any follow up questions about recording and transferring both audio and film. In each participant’s context, we’ll discuss the steps involved and how to assemble picture and sound in available software.

Before the third-class participants will view another video and access a document on how to assemble picture and sound, and consider next steps. Each participant will assemble a movie file with picture and sound and follow the instructions to have an exported work-in-progress or competed project ready to share. At the third live meeting, participants will bring their assembled picture and sound to screen, celebrate, discuss and talk about possibilities.

LIFT’s Camera Theory workshop is a prerequisite for the Kick Starter to Small Gauge Filmmaking. 

Please Note: Supplies are not included in the cost of this course.

Film and processing supplies can be purchased from LIFT on an appointment basis or be mailed at a cost. Existing Production Members may rent cameras based on availability. Digitizing of film (limited to 1 roll of super 8mm and 15 feet of regular 8mm) is only available to participants based in Toronto with drop off time starting Monday April 12, 11am - Wednesday April 21, 5pm. A digital copy of participants work will be sent via email by Friday April 23. Filmmakers outside of Toronto with personal access to a camera, who can digitize their own work are also welcome to take this course.

Course Requirements: 
Regular 8mm or Super 8mm Cameras
- Sound Recording Device (eg. smartphone)
- Film: Regular 8mm black & white negative (15 feet; 30 feet if slit and spliced)
- Film: Super 8mm Tri-X (black and white, reversal) (one cartridge)

- Processing Chemistry: instant coffee, washing soda, vitamin C powder (ascorbic acid), table salt
- Material to Darken a Room: eg. weatherstripping, cardboard, blackout cloth
- Processing Supplies: description and suggested supplier will be provided in the handout

Category: Filmmaking Intensive
Maximum Capacity: 6
9 hours of instruction in 3 parts$100 /member$125 /nonmember

Wait List
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