After I’d completed the transfer to video, (a process that took several afternoons) I produced a copy for each of our children. Some ten days after the fact, our daughter Michele called to let me know that she had played her set of disks, and was happy with the result. What made me write this column, was that her husband Jeff, when watching the old films asked: “Where’s the sound?”. Michele, having been raised in a household where her father usually had a movie camera, or video camera either attached to an eye, or certainly close by, explained to her hubby what I’m going to tell you.
For those of you who may feel that “old home movies” were filmed using a video camera, (with sound) and transferred onto video tape, I have news. Home movies have been around since Thomas Edison’s time. The first movies were shaky, for they were filmed with hand cranked cameras. A strip of film passed through the gate of the camera, and was exposed at a hoped for 18 frames of film per second.
By my era, cameras were much smaller than Tom’s, used color film and were powered by a hand wound, spring motor. Each roll of 8mm film delivered 3½ minutes of movies; but still, no sound. Not that I wouldn’t have loved to have sound, but that was not available for the home movie maker.
The first home movies I made were produced during the first year my wife Sharon and I were dating. I continued to film any occasion I deemed noteworthy.
I’m in hog heaven now, because I can make HD color movies with sound, and, without worrying about a 3½ minute time limit. And, I can take the raw video, and edit it in my computer. How great is that?
My latest camcorder (shown above) is a tiny Samsung that set me back less than $150, and takes amazing video. I also have a larger Canon, that cost 10 times as much, but isn’t 10 times better . I always have a couple of batteries charged and ready; for most other camcorder owners in our family rarely have a fully charged battery within a mile of their camera. Not Pop, no, my gear is always ready for any recordable event—not that it’s always been that way, for until I started buying a spare battery or two for my current camera, I was left up the dead battery creek many times.
I think the most frequently heard phrase when I drag out the camera, is: ”Don’t video me, my hair’s a mess!” Or, the victim throws a hand in front of the lens or, over their face, leaving me with little of the retreating subject matter to film.
I take what I can get.
Over the years I have “filmed” many hundreds of hours of video; video that sometimes is actually viewed by the family. I’ve discovered is that there is a certain reluctance on the part of family members to return to those days already lived, unless there is truly something worthwhile to view. Quite often, I find an audience consisting of just myself, pretending that what I am viewing is interesting.
Possibly after I’m ancient history, one of my ancestors will find a dusty box of old DVD’s, search for a similarly antique DVD player, and watch what passed for “home movies” way back when.
Yep, Jeff, my antecedents, and possibly yours, will see those images, and say: “Where’s the 3-D?”.
Seems like the more things change, the more they seem the same.