Hauling Like A Brooligan

Stephen Gallagher

Independent Filmmaking

This readable, likeable handbook was my bible back in the 70s when its combination of practical sense and friendly encouragement meant that it served both as craft manual and comfort read.

Its user’s-view of various Super 8 cameras, wind-up 16mm Bolexes and optical printing techniques may have little-to-no application in this digital age but the laid-back, know-your-tools-and-do-some-stuff aesthetic seems as relevant to me now as it ever was.

(UPDATE: There’s been, so I’m told, something of a recent upsurge of interest in Super 8 as a production medium for its purely aesthetic qualities, and Lipton’s book – along with its companion piece The Super 8 Book – continues to be recommended as a user’s vade mecum.)

More so, if anything. I’m in the midst of a screener-viewing frenzy as this year’s BAFTA voting deadline approaches, and there’s a low-budget Irish musical shot on the streets of Dublin with a handheld DV camera that’s outclassing all the Hollywood blockbusters for heart and originality. It’s called Once. I heard somewhere that the budget was £150,000, or it might even have been Euros. Which, in mogul-speak, is “chump change”.

Lenny Lipton, of course, was also the co-author of PUFF, THE MAGIC DRAGON.