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the outlaw

A visual poem

shot on 8mm film

the outlaw

The Outlaw is a visual poem shot on Super 8mm Kodak Tri-X and Vision3 film on a Canon Super Camera from 1967.

Directed by Robert dos Santos, the short film was based off of a poem which was written while he was staying in West Hollywood in Los Angeles California.

With inspiration from a local actress, Suraya Rose, the short film is an ode to actresses who give their life to film, their craft, and the love of the artform.

Robert dos Santos - Film Director 8mm Fi

The concept


​The concept is based upon the short poem titled "The Outlaw" which details the life of a woman who lives outside of societal norms.

The concept was to find someone who embodied this spirit and lived as and how she pleased, without regard the status quo.

The short film, which forms a visual representation of the poem is a filmic representation of the sentiments help behind the poem.

In essence, the video, unlike the poem, and much like the person who it represents, is rock 'n roll, gritty, and painfully self aware.

the poem


The Outlaw is a poem about a woman who lives life according to her own rules whereas the people around her stand in line day to day.

Despite being labelled an outlaw for the way she thinks and acts, she lives happily knowing she is free.


super 8


Super 8 was chosen as the format for the The Outlaw due to the organic visual elements which it adds to a narrative. In a poem about a woman who lives by her own rules a medium which is outside of today's common formats was a perfect fit.

Set in a squared 1:1 format with grain, dust, and nostalgic tones it adds an additional layer of storytelling to the poem which would otherwise have been lost on traditional formats.

the heroine


The subject of the poem is a woman who lives by her own rules and it was accordingly necessary to cast an actress who lived by these overriding attributes.

Actress Suraya Rose is a physical embodiement of the poem in being an actress surrounded by normality and who is constantly trying to free herself of any constrains.


the style


The style was entirely attitude. For a poem which references a woman who lives by her own rules, it was necessary that the style was set by its own rules.

The attitude which was brought to The Outlaw was entirely that of actress Suraya Rose, who in many ways embodies the elements of the poem.



Movement, or the lack thereof, is an incredibly important and effective tool in film. Handheld camera's bring a degree of erratic and unpredictable nature to a visual narrative.

This constant erratic movement was a perfect fit for the unknown nature of the subject of the poem and the attitude which is inherent in its subject.

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When shooting digital there is little conservation on what is shot. Rehearsals, additional takes, and one more shot for good luck are common place.

In the world of film, every second shot is spend 3 times over in film stock, developing the film, and the telecine process.

Film requires the shot to be well rehearsed and is the literal embodiment of the popular phrase "measure twice, cut once".

This reserved and disciplined approach to filming and knowing precisely what you want before you roll is what drew me to shooting on film



South African director Robert dos Santos Film and Commercials Director



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