Archive for December 2007

How it all started…

December 9, 2007

It is easiest to describe myself as a filmmaker who had a brief but passionate affair with renaissance festivals and costuming.

When I was eleven – facinated as all children are with animated shows, particularly the Rankin-Bass christmas shows that seem so dreadful to me now as an adult – I begged my father for a Super-8* movie camera. He fought me on it, figuring that the investment would go to waste. Having worked making training and medical films – including a couple of animated commercial spots if I remember right – he figured I’d give it up as too much work and he’d be stuck with a camera.

He was wrong. Hoo-boy, was he wrong. We made a deal: I’d save up half, and he’d spring for the rest. We went to a camera shop in Brookside and he bought a used Bell & Howell Super-8 camera. My only reqirement was that it be able to expose one frame at a time using a cable release – you know, for animation. This camera (which I wish I still had but short-sightedly sold when I replaced it in my high-school years) also shot at 32fps, nearly twice normal speed, for a sort of (not really) slow motion, and 9fps, for no reason I could ever find a use for.

I took that camera to the basement and disappeared. I started cranking out short films as fast as I could process the roll and buy another. At only 3-1/2 minutes per roll, I went through a lot of rolls. Or, more accurately, cartridges. I spent the next several years making bad movies and reasonably good animation.

Then, when I was sixteen or so, I met Kent and Kevin.

To be continued…

* For those of you too young to remember, 8mm film was developed in the 1930’s as a cheaper alternative to 16mm film for consumer use. The film stock was 8mm wide (some stocks were 16mm wide, used for 1/2 then flipped for the other, then split and spliced for one 8mm strip. This was sometimes referred to as Double-8.) In the 1960’s, Kodak introduced Super-8: the stock was still 8mm wide, but the exposable portion of film was larger, grain size was reduced, and the overall quality of the image greatly improved.

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