Saturday, May 29, 2010

Quick and Dirty Editing Playtime

About the time that I was starting university, I decided to buy a video camera. I checked the Recyler Newspaper and found someone selling one in the Mt. Olympus area for around $80.00.  What I purchased a Panasonic video camera and mobile recorder.  These were two separate pieces; a huge, black camera almost the size of a professional camera, and a heavy recorder that could hang from my shoulder.  This was a very heavy duo.

I used the crudest of methods in putting together music and videos.  It what was available to me at the time.  To record songs, I used two tape recorders, side by side.  I would record my piano playing on one tape, then while playing that first tape back, record my voice, or a guitar part over the piano playing back onto the second tape.  If I did this more than three of four times, the ambient noise of the tape recorder’s motor would end up louder than the music I had recorded.

I used a similar method for the videos I made.  I would record video onto my VHS camera and recorder, and then I would play that raw tape from a regular VHS player into my recorder, stopping and starting to create edits.  This recorder had a special function in which I could add an extra audio track, or completely replace the original track, with new audio.  I used the additive mode to create a music score to the video I had shot. 

This kept me busy between the ages of about 19 to 23.  The products were usually strange and not always well thought out because I often came up with an idea and just went ahead with it without really working out the details.

For instance, I made a short video called, "A Caper," using my friend Eric as a James Bond type of character.  This was one in which I added already exiting music.  It opened with seeing him shoot down the barrel of a gun of course.  Then, he received some special instructions from a hand coming out of a mailbox (this required some very tricky photography on my part…wink, wink).  He then proceeded to break into a house, crack open a safe and retrieve a Russian secret microdot out, and escape detection.  The video ended with Eric climbing onto a roof and jumping into a pool; for what purpose is still a mystery to this day.

But it was fun, quick and dirty playtime!   View the video, "A Caper"