Friday, July 30, 2010

Is an 8mm reel-to-reel collectible?

Q: I have an 8mm reel-to-reel Disney cartoon that I watched when I was a child some 50 years ago. Is it collectible?
Carol, Pensacola, Florida

A [Dave Smith]: The old 8mm film versions of Disney cartoons are practically valueless today. Few people have projectors, the films have gotten brittle and practically all the films have been released on video cassette or DVD.

About 8mm [Marcio Disney]

"Eight millimeter" film is one of the oldest movie formats, that was first introduced in 1932.

Eight-millimeter film dominated the amateur market for thirty years, until Kodak decided to improve every aspect of the format, calling it, Super 8. 8mm film has almost completely disappeared from the home movie market. Today it finds use in Television Applications, some Documentary Films and Music Television.

[It's a Jungle Cruis Tribute video and the commercial recorded by Ed Sullivan starts at 2:13 ]

Most common 8mm and Super8 reels – 3" – can hold up to 50 feet of film, which is approximately 3-4 minutes of video.

There are larger reels as well:

    5" - 200 feet of film;

    6" - 300 feet;

    7" - 400 feet;

    8" - 600 feet;

    9 3/4" - 800 feet;

    10 1/2" - 1200 feet.

Everyday, Disney fans send dozens of questions for Disney Chief Archivist Dave Smith. Here are Dave's answers to your questions. Check back every day for a new post with a new question.

Dave Smith (born October 13, 1940) was the Walt Disney Archives founder and chief archivist which is located in the Frank G. Wells Building at Walt Disney Studios in Burbank, California. He joined the company June 22, 1970. Forty years later, on July 2010, he retired.

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