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Old November 27th, 2007, 04:39 PM   #1
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Lorinda Norton's 80's video camera makes the big time!

A few years ago I put out a request for an 80's era video camera (the ones that were coupled with VHS or Beta decks that you hung off one shoulder) as I was looking to get that period home movie look for a flashback sequence in a film I was shooting. Our own Lorinda Norton came through and sent me her venerable Magnavox camera (seen below), and it delivered exactly what I was looking for--that green, smeary, blurry look that those early cameras delivered, in all their glory.

Unfortunately we didn't end up going with it for this project, nor for the next one that came up this year (we did shoot a flashback scene with the camera but we covered ourselves by also shooting it with on Varicam, and it was that which was used for the final film). However, a friend enquired if I had such a thing for a Snoop Dogg video that he was working on that was emulating the look of the era, and he borrowed the camera and indeed the footage was used, along with a 3-tube Ikegami and 16mm. So Lorinda, the camera is making its Hollywood debut at last, and hopefully there will be more down the road in store!

The still below is from the preview of the video online at MTV; the complete video premieres tomorrow I believe.
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Old November 27th, 2007, 05:43 PM   #2
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Oh man, that is just a hoot! Charles, you made my day. I love it!

Maybe I should hang on to my XL1s. Twenty-five years from now it may come in handy somewhere. ;)
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Old November 27th, 2007, 06:53 PM   #3
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Woah! Brush with greatness. That's awesome!
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Old November 28th, 2007, 03:58 AM   #4
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I have 4 Sony EIAJ 1/2" reel-to-reel "portapacks" out in the shed, not one complete pair of good heads across the whole lot of them unfortunately. I also have the old pink and grey black and white tube camera.

Also a Panasonic VHS of the first colour vintage. Colour was anything you liked as long as it was red and blue.
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Old November 28th, 2007, 07:28 AM   #5
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I have fond memories of my running around high school with my dads 2 piece Akai camera..... batts only lasted about 10 mins.

also... i have a good friend in sacramento who has a warehouse full of old tube cams and tape audio gear.... some cool old farfisa organs and other vintage sound gear as well.... I used to borrow his echoplex for guitar delay as well. He just can't throw anything away.

Also... if your ever in Berkley Ca. ... there's a salvage warehouse full of cool stuff.... I picked up a majestic gear head for $5. My Hasselblads mounted on it right now on a 9' arcay studio stand.

I think Mike Curtis was looking for some old 8mm's and wanted to make t-shirts with screen prints of the cams on the shirts.
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Old November 28th, 2007, 07:59 AM   #6
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Man, you just brought up a TERRIBLE memory I had suppressed. My first video camera (outside the ones I worked with at the station) - An RCA portable - camera cabled to a 'deck' that slung off the shoulder. Bought in 1979. I had it for ONE DAY, and it was sitting on a table, when the table COLLAPSED dumping it all face first onto a tile floor. Trashed the camera and the deck... 2000 hard earned bucks (In 1979 dollars, remember). Whew... thought I had forgotten that tragedy.

Tell Mike Curtis I have a wide selection of Regular 8 and Super 8 cameras I can photograph and send him. Good 'retro looking' stuff
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Old November 28th, 2007, 11:21 AM   #7
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Yeah, gotta love those old cameras :-)
I shot 1/2 of a 45 minute film using an old tube JVC a couple years ago.
http://www.fotgfilms.com/video/mm.html
(99% of the B&W footage is the old JVC)
Here is a pic with my old JVC and my new JVC
http://jaschob.com/img/jvc.jpg
Cheers,
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Old November 28th, 2007, 06:29 PM   #8
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The entire video is up at:

http://www.mtv.com/overdrive/?id=1568964&vid=191701

There's a whole chunk in the middle that looks to have been shot on the old camera--lots of green fringing, blown highlights and smearing, just how we like it!

After it came back, I spoke to my friend who shot this stuff and said "I forgot to mention, but you knew with tube cameras you can't just point them at bright lights and leave them there, right?" silence..."Uhhh...really?" My fault for not having warned him in advance. Of course now that I watch the video, the whole thing was bright lights beaming at the camera...!

In anticipation of another gig, I'm making up a rig to mount an old DV camera next to it as a recorder and viewfinder (using the flipout screen on same) and an external battery as this required an AC adaptor or outboard VHS deck to work. Will post pics, it should be a bizarre setup!
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Old November 28th, 2007, 11:50 PM   #9
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Damn,

Lorinda - That Magnavox camera was MY first video rig as well!!!

Do you still have the VC-20 recorder? or the matching tuner?

Mine is sadly long gone - but somewhere the manual remains in a cardboard box.

What really frosts me is that I've lost the VHS I shot with it of a Jimmy Buffett 1970s concert appearance at a Phoenix Cactus League ballgame in the late 70s...

Damn hard to dance to Margaritaville with 20 lbs of VHS recorder on your shoulder - but we all suffer for our art.

Thanks for the trip down memory lane!
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Old November 29th, 2007, 12:22 AM   #10
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Bill, this was actually a hand-me-down from my dad for home use. What I remember is having a mile of cable running from the VCR through the entire house or an open window so I could get outside shots of my kid!

Good luck with your cool-sounding setup, Charles, and thanks for the link...and the fun. I told my parents about the whole thing. They wanted me to send them the link, but after watching the video, I think maybe Ill just tell em about it. :)
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Old December 6th, 2007, 09:46 AM   #11
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This week's issue of Newsweek magazine (Dec. 10th, 2007) sports a frame grab from this video in the Soundbytes column on page 31. More congrats for Lorinda and props to Chas!
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Old December 6th, 2007, 09:49 PM   #12
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Wow, this is just...wow. What a camera! Remember Superman with Christopher Reeve, when he first flew to save Lois? There were TV news cameramen with 16mm cameras, and three guys (in white and white hats) with a VERY early portable video camera.

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Old February 27th, 2012, 05:32 PM   #13
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Re: Norton's 80's video camera makes the big time!

I dusted off Lorinda's camera once again for a possible Comedy Central gig (period man-on-the-street footage). Got it all rigged up for "prime-time", with a much less retro but still basically obsolete nNovia hard drive recorder that accepts the composite video in from the camera and records to DV codec, plus a DP4 for viewing and an AB battery to power everything (had to cut into the camera's snake cable to make that happen--scandalous!)

Footage still looks as awful=awesome as always!
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Old February 27th, 2012, 05:35 PM   #14
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Re: Lorinda Norton's 80's video camera makes the big time!

Zombie parts! The rig that refuses to die. An upcoming sketch on K&P?
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Old February 28th, 2012, 01:07 PM   #15
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Re: Lorinda Norton's 80's video camera makes the big time!

No, upcoming new series. Just got word today that it won't be used, they are going with post-effect instead. However director of K&P did get to see the test clip and says he is going to press the writers to develop a period sketch so we can use the camera! I'll get BTS if we do.
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