A “found footage” music video

In my gentle ramble through the various genres of videoblogging, I thought it was about time I did a “music video”. However, I was having a lot of trouble deciding what to do.

Then, out of nowhere, I found the clip I have enclosed. It was on the end of a VHS tape of my old stuff from the mid 1990s that I was digitising. I guess I had recorded something from the satellite TV that I subscribed to at the time, let the tape run on, then reused it. In this case, however, the sound and pictures are not from the same show, even though they were being broadcast at the same time on the same channel. The audio is from a satellite radio station (I have no idea which one) which was transmitting on one of the unused audio channels of the Sky News service.

I don’t recall ever hearing the music before, but I looked up the lyrics and it seems to be a song called “roam” by the B52s. What surprises me is how well the pictures suit the music. Not just the news reports, but even the adverts! I love the model vehicles section, but I think my favourite is the shaver roaming through the “wilderness” near the end.

The only editing I did on this was to grab this section from the tape, and fade the music in and out. I hope you enjoy it.

From the archives – a college movie from 1993

This is one of my earliest ever video productions. Back in 1993 I took a “video making” course at a local college (conincidentally, the same one where I now teach), and this was my end-of-course project.

Back then I didn’t have my own camera, so I borrowed an early hi8 analog camera from my boss at work and scrounged lights, microphones and stuff from the college. I convinced some of my friends who were on a “performing arts” course to act in it. Most impressively I even convinced the college to let us film on the roof. I think they were so astonished at anyone asking that they didn’t know what to say 🙂

This little 3 minute 44 second video took us 8 four-hour evening course sessions to set up and record. I took over an hour of raw footage. Much of this was due to the kind of continuity problems you get when there’s a week between each shoot. Can you believe that my “lead actress” went and had her hair permed in the middle, requiring us to re-shoot all her scenes!

That all sounds familiar enough, but for the next bit you need to remember that this was 1993. Before common internet access, before powerful home PCs and low-cost video editing software. The only computer I had available was a BBC microcomputer with 64 K of RAM that struggled with the meagre titles I eventually used. All the editing was done “live” with two video players and a vision mixer. No digitisation, no codecs, no computers. Just analog video from hi8 to SVHS. All done (and re-done, and re-done, and re-done) in one crazy 24-hour-long session.

Back then there was no widescreen video, so the final output was recorded on to regular video tape with thick “letterbox” borders. At the end I had to give back all the equipment and the tapes, so I lost the “original” footage. Now that I have more technology available, I have attempted to digitise from the somewhat worn VHS to something a bit more digital, and taken the opportunity to trim the borders so it can be seen in all its grainy, jumpy glory!

So here’s a test. Who can tell me the real reason why it was produced in “widescreen” ?

The video is enclosed, or you can download by clicking on the image

(WMV, 3:44, 10.2MB)