Everyone loves to talk about the glory days of racing, but YouTuber Nick Shirrell is proving to us all that maybe all you need is an old camera, some film to run through it, and the right soundtrack to make a modern IndyCar race feel a huge measure more nostalgic and entertaining.
This isn’t Nick’s first experiment with modern cars and racing captured on vintage camera gear, but the flickering frame rate, lovely grain, and strange saturation of the film used to record a modern IndyCar race is still worth highlighting, as it transports us from our boring digital age and adds a visceral, emotional layer that seems like it’s lacking in modern racing coverage.
According to the video description, Nick shot with a 1968 Canon 1218 Super 8 movie camera using Kodak 50D and Kodak 200T film stock. Super 8 cameras were popular back in the day because they were cheaper to buy, and used a smaller-cut cheaper film stock that helped home moviemaking proliferate. It reminds us of old home movies and helps intuitively add a layer of nostalgia to even a modern context.
It helps that Nick seemingly sourced some old-timey narration and cleverly synced it up with the sequences he shot, discussing the track, the pits, a look inside the garages, and the cars racing by, though it seems like the actual noise from the cars may have actually been recorded live as well.
It’s impossible to pinpoint exactly what it is about film photography and videography that makes it feel more like a memory, more physical and engaging and emotional, but it works so well when paired up with cars. I’ll take it over a digital feed covered in all sorts of ads and graphics any day.