Guest blog: Elvis Super 8 Film Festival

First of all, I’d like to thank Troy for giving me an invitation to guest blog here on The Film Frontier. As I’m both an Elvis fan and a movie buff, I thought I’d try to combine those two topics in my post.

As you might know, Elvis Week, where fans from around the world gather in Memphis to celebrate their idol’s life and career, has just ended. Among the many activities a film fest was held on August 11, where a couple of the King’s movies were screened in a real cinema. Reading about it made me think about an old idea of mine for an Elvis film festival.

I got the idea a couple of years ago when I bought some Elvis movies on Tradera, which is kind of a Swedish Ebay. Now, I’m not talking about VHS or DVD copies, but of Super 8 sound and color films.

The films in question are G.I. Blues, Blue Hawaii, Fun In Acapulco, Girls! Girls! Girls! and Roustabout. Each one consists of 375 feet of film and has a running time of about 18 minutes.

We came in peace for all mankind
Photo by Thomas, Elvis Today
The reason I bought them in the first place is that I’m a sentimental guy, I guess. When I was a kid I had my own Super 8 movie camera (just like Elvis!) and I loved to make films, and also to buy home movies (both cartoons and feature films) and watch them with the help of my faithful super 8 projector.

I remember being fascinated by how the distributors of the super 8 movies could manage to edit down a full-length feature film like Son Of Frankenstein into a film with a running time of approximately four minutes, and somehow managed to keep the plot intact.

Thinking a bit more about it now, I realise how spoiled we are nowadays with the DVD format featuring the complete movie in perfect quality, as well as a lot of extra material. Back in the 60’s, 70’s and even the early 80’s people had to make do with four, ten or perhaps twenty minutes of super 8 film, sometimes without sound.

Now, here is my idea of a film festival: As my brother is a big fan of Elvis too, the plan is to invite him, buy a lot of Cheez Doodles that we both love, and screen my five super 8 Elvis movies. It might not be the biggest audience you’ve heard of, but it will be an attentive and appreciative one, of that I’m sure.

There’s just one problem. The reason why this festival hasn’t taken place so far and why I haven’t even watched any of my Elvis super 8 movies yet is because my projector can’t play sound. And watching an Elvis movie where you can’t hear the King singing just isn’t a very interesting concept, is it?

So now is the time to put forth an effort to find a super 8 projector with that capability so I can render my Elvis Super 8 Film Festival possible. Maybe I can find one on Tradera or Ebay. Then my brother and I can finally find out if the plot is intact on my Elvis super 8 movies. Given the not too complicated stories, and the fact that they run for about 18 minutes each, it probably is.

PS: All you sci-fi fans are invited too. You know why? Together with the five Elvis movies the seller threw in a super 8 edit of Star Wars lasting about 10 minutes. And it’s both in colour and with sound.

/Thomas, Elvis Today