Saturday, 22 June 2013

Viva VHS!

From Wiley Wiggins Video Thing Blog.
On the net you'll find dozens of pages devoted to Abandonware, especially devoted to computing, whether it be games, software, or computers. However, when it comes to motion/video capturing technology, I think off-hand that only Super 8 has a presence over the other formats.

What then, if we call abandoned software 'Abandonware', do we call abandoned capturing technology? Vidforsaken? DitchedCam? 86mm? Well, whatever we call it, I came across this music video directed by Price James for the artist Hercules and Love Affair recently shot on VHS. Price is inspired by transformative intertextual media to create visually eclectic clips. Price is one of media's NewTube successes, being that independently having ranked up enough hits on YouTube he was spotted by Ridley Scott for global directorial representation.

However, unlike the Filter Set who coordinate their cursors to video auto-copilot for a fake VHS feel, Price shot the whole clip using a VHS Camera and recorded the sound to camera also. His comment that there are some things you just can't replicate rings true for me. I've looked at Super 8 footage I've shot, and looked at Super 8 footage graphically emulated, and I like the actual Super 8 footage more. The reason I think lies with putting together all the elements of the shoot, lighting, location, camera movement, and then allowing the randomness of exceptions to react with the technology (My next diminutive Movarium, I am shooting on Double 8mm for that very reason) - something that if done in post can be acknowledged as contrived by the astute observer.

I had a Super VHS camera but I gave it to a friend of mine who collects VHS Tapes, and I think the device brings a lively video vibe to this clip called My House.

And if anyone out there is capturing with odd and unusual devices, let us know so we can eyeball your stuff, and inspire our own modus operandi.

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