Death Hawks: Black Acid

Directed by Sami Sänpäkkilä
Camera assistant: Anna-Mari Nousiainen
Featuring Death Hawks with Jenni & Anna Hämäläinen
Stock: S8 Vision 200T, Vision 3 200T
Developed and scanned by Alhoslab

Death Hawks: Black Acid music video is my first work shooting on film since 2006. There was no script for this music video, our idea was to make a psychedelic video featuring the band. So basically I was giving them directions such as, lift your head up, dance like a maniac etc. Everyone interpreted this in their own way and I cut it along with some public domain footage of microscopic images of crystals, cells and bacteria.

Shooting on super8 film

I got excited about the prospect of shooting film again because I had a few rolls of old super 8 material in my fridge and also because there is a new lab in Tampere! Alhoslab is a private super 8 and 16mm film development and scanning facility that is run by Antti Alhonen. You can find his website here: I can highly recommend it, the results are as good or even better than what I’ve got from professional labs. (EDIT: The film lab has quit and sadly is no longer operating.)

Shooting on film also allowed me to use a strobe light which we made excessive use of. If you shoot strobe lights on a digital cmos sensor mechanical shutter cameras you get half exposed frames that look really bad. With film you can go as crazy as you want. Also the latitude is amazing compared to digital, you can blast a strobe on someone’s face and don’t need to worry much. All the footage turned out great.


The shoot was lit with one Arri 2000W tungsten through a diffuser from a very high angle and we used a 600W Cinelight tungsten as backlight. We only shot 25 minutes of footage so I had to be very economical while shooting. No pre-roll or tails! I download the public domain footage from various locations online that are free to use and layered those on top of the super 8 material.

We used Kodak Vision 200T and Vision 3 200T as stock. The Vision 200T was old stock from 2004 that I had stored in a fridge. You can clearly tell the difference from the old and new footage. Old footage looks underexposed and there is more grain in the black areas. I didn’t know that if you have old footage you should overexpose it by one stop to get closer to the quality of the new stock. I’ll keep this in mind from my next film project!

The band and the dancers Jenni and Anna did their own costumes and make up which looks awesome. Anna-Mari Nousiainen helped me light the set and worked as a camera assistant once again. It only took us a day to shoot the video. Shot with Canon 1014-XLS.

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