Guillermo del Toro on his teenaged Super 8 days

Del Toro as a young director (DGA Winter)

Pan’s Labyrinth and Pacific Rim director Guillermo del Toro (standing next to camera in the picture above) talks about his childhood Super 8 movies, from an interview with Rob Feld in the Winter 2014 issue of DGA Quarterly:

Somebody gave my dad a Super 8 camera, projector and screen as a down payment for a car, or something like that. Back then you could buy a Super 8 version of Star Wars or a Hammer horror film. I bought Boris Karloff movies—The Curse of the Crimson AltarThe Raven—and a Planet of the Apes. I must have been seven or eight. I was fascinated because you could do reverse on the projector—I watched the movie in reverse so much that the projector burned the movie. So we bought a splicer and all of a sudden I understood editing. By pure accident….I grabbed my dad’s camera and started doing an action movie with my Planet of the Apes figures. You would ship the film to Kodak and a week later it would come back developed. When I opened that envelope and I projected that first Super 8 reel, something happened that was absolutely life changing. I saw images on the screen like I had seen in the Planet of the Apes Super 8 or The Raven, and they were mine. I cannot explain it except that it was the best film experience I’ve ever had. It’s never been topped. I got the right first kiss.