A little bit vintage… 

McKinney-based filmmaker Elizabeth Allen has always had a soft spot for anything vintage. In the early 2000s, while exclusively filming weddings, Elizabeth purchased a professionally refurbished, antique Super8 film camera to experiment with. When one of her brides discovered the find, she asked Elizabeth if she and her affianced could take the Super8 with them to Africa on their honeymoon. Soon after the newlyweds returned, Hopscotch Films for Vagabonds was born. Elizabeth began offering the Super8 to others after falling in love with the process and end result. “I love the collaboration of working with other people’s shots,” Elizabeth explained. “The combination of film, the Super8 lens, their eyes, and my production creates an entirely new product that can never be replicated.”  

 How it works… 

When creating a Hopscotch Film, logistically there isn’t much to know except how to work the camera. Prior to the trip, Elizabeth explains how to load and unload the film, how to turn the camera off and on, and what button to press when shooting. That’s all there is to it! (She also provides a shooting a guide to help with shot selection and troubleshooting.) Elizabeth gives each vagabond a customized stock of Kodak film to use at their discretion. Her only advice: shoot what you love! Upon return of the camera, Elizabeth sends the film off to West Hollywood to be processed in one of the last labs in the country that still develops film. She then turns the footage into a Hopscotch Film in post–production with her unique eye. (Check out the end result on the opposite page.) 

 Why Hopscotch Films are so special… 

Living in the 21st century, people are absolutely saturated with “memories”. Never in the history of the world have so many pictures been taken on a daily basis. Smartphones with built-in cameras document every part of our day with photos and videos. Our visual documentation is presented on social media only to be briefly examined (not cherished or valued) during mindless scrolling. These photos and videos are likely never stored properly—if at all. Hopscotch Films are different. The limited amount of film forces you to be intentional about what you are shooting and more present in each precious moment. Vintage film also has a special, unique aesthetic unlike anything our smartphones can create. In addition, the experience of shooting with a fifty–year–old camera brings with it the wanderlust gained from traveling the world with other vagabonds, places like Africa, Scotland, Bali, Hawaii, Mexico, even Austin—not to mention the time spent with the camera’s original owner. Think of the memories documented through the lens of Elizabeth’s Super8 and imagine what memories of yours it has yet to capture.  

 Prior to our trip to St. Barth’s, Elizabeth gave me a quick lesson on how to use the Super8. She held the vintage camera and lovingly brushed aside a little sand left behind from a previous vagabond. “Yeah, she’s been some places,” Elizabeth smiled.  

Watch our hopscotch film from St. Barth’s here!!

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Read more at The Art of Living Beautifully