Can You Shoot Video on Film Camera?

When it comes to shooting video, most people think of digital cameras or smartphones. However, there is a classic medium that still remains popular today – film cameras.

While they may not be as convenient or accessible as their digital counterparts, film cameras offer a unique aesthetic and charm that cannot be replicated by digital technology. But can you shoot video on a film camera? Let’s explore.

What is a Film Camera?

A film camera uses photographic film to capture images. The film is coated with light-sensitive chemicals that react to light exposure, creating a negative image of the scene. This negative image can then be developed into a positive print, which can be viewed or used for various purposes.

Can You Shoot Video on a Film Camera?

Traditionally, film cameras were designed to capture still images only. However, some filmmakers have found ways to adapt these cameras for video production.

One method involves using 35mm cinema film with a modified camera that can advance the film in small increments, creating the illusion of motion when played back at normal speed. This technique was popularized by experimental filmmaker Stan Brakhage in the 1960s and has since been used by other avant-garde filmmakers.

Another method involves using Super 8mm or 16mm film with specialized movie cameras designed for capturing motion pictures. These cameras feature adjustable frame rates and shutter speeds, allowing filmmakers to control the look and feel of their footage.

While shooting video on a film camera may not be as convenient as using a digital camera or smartphone, it offers several advantages. For one, the unique aesthetic of film can add character and warmth to your footage that cannot be replicated by digital technology.

Additionally, shooting on film requires careful planning and consideration due to the limited amount of footage available on each roll of film. This forces filmmakers to think more critically about each shot and ultimately results in more intentional filmmaking.


Although shooting video on a film camera may not be as widely used as digital cameras, it is still a viable option for filmmakers looking to create a unique and nostalgic aesthetic. Whether using cinema film or specialized movie cameras, shooting on film requires careful planning and intentionality, ultimately resulting in a more deliberate and thoughtful approach to filmmaking.