In the 80’s consumer video cameras became available and many families permanently sent their super-8 equipment to the attic and started filming Christmas morning (for instance) on vhs tape. This is where the ball gets rolling for all the nonsense you are now seeing on YouTube except that one thing was sorely lacking- consumer editing equipment. There were basically two ways to edit in those days, either the preferred by millions, default method, editing in camera (meaning one shot follows the next, that’s it buddy), or the totally crazy-gonzo-dedicated way, which was to set up two vcrs and become a virtual mind-over-matter wizard. With the two vcr method one had to remain cognizant that: 1) the play deck will print “Play” over your footage for a stretch of 5-7 seconds after you start it, so you have to get far enough back to avoid this, and 2) the pause/ record function on your capture deck has a definite delay to it, so you have to anticipate what you want ahead of time, not to mention that stopping the tape to wait was not exactly synchronized for editing either. Also, the major factor was that all this had to be done in a linear manner- going back to change anything after you had moved on was sheer insanity (though that too was practiced). Compounding all this was the tracking issue with tape and just general generational degradation meant that- oh well just watch one of these two masterpieces and you’ll see what I mean.
The thing was though, this was all a grand opportunity, and with the general ethos of intensive hand-eye coordination brought about by Asteroids, Centipede, Pac-Man and of course Space Invaders!, none of this was impossible, that is, it was what it was… When non-linear home-editing software finally became generally available I was so stunned I’ve barely recovered. Now its time to totally employ it, and with these films in my resume there is no doubt that I will be totally employed!
A note: for now I’ve left the heads and tails of MTV “120 minutes” videos that I could have easily edited out on here to further reveal the cultural milieu of the times. Also, these are the only two surviving movies of mine that I know of that were shot on the family video camera. It is unlikely that any others will ever surface. Without further adieu:
Incident on South Street