Film look? Bah! - How about, VHS look?! at DVinfo.net

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Old June 2nd, 2008, 07:20 PM   #1
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Film look? Bah! - How about, VHS look?!

So, this was a little project I had to complete in multimedia with some friends. We decided to annoy the teacher by making our video look like some horrible VHS tape from the 90s.

We used a 20 year old HI8 Sony Camcorder, and ran the footage through a VCR on VHS tape a few times. To achieve the feedback and colour distortion we shook the cheap VCR player while capturing to the computer.

We then filmed the screen with the same camera and repeated the process - this time without shaking the VCR. Then finally in post, we blurred the blue channel.

This is the result:
http://vimeo.com/1072867
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 10:07 AM   #2
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I'd cut back a bit on the bad tracking roll, otherwise the look wasn't bad. Don't confuse the crappy VHS look with the crinkled tape and dirty heads on the VCR look.
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Old June 3rd, 2008, 12:39 PM   #3
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I was going to say, HI8 wasn't around 20 years ago--then I realized I bought a camcorder in that format in 1991 (along with the brand-new Steadicam JR!) and that, shockingly, was 17 years ago, so close enough.

I don't really think of the "look" of 1995 video as being particularly crappy; the gear wasn't digital yet but looked pretty good overall. I think you may have pushed things a bit far with your process, although it is fun to see what the result was.

To me, for a more defining look in "vintage" video you would have to go back a bit further to the tube cameras which were around until the mid-80's. Home video from that era is very much defined by the streaking and smearing especially around highlights. See this thread for one such (high visibility) project:

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthrea...ght=snoop+dogg
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Old June 4th, 2008, 09:56 AM   #4
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Should have picked up a few VHS or VHS-C cameras off of ebay.. Those should still be easy to find eh?
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Old June 4th, 2008, 01:13 PM   #5
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They are out there...FYI, very few tube camcorders (i.e. one piece with integrated recording) were made, the switchover to solid state happened around the same time. Ideally you would want a camera from a two-piece system where the deck was separated, however most of these had a dedicated multipin cable between camera and deck and you need the deck to output video. Chances are you will want to record the video on something other than the original deck as most of those won't be working very well these days--while that may deliver the VHS "look" at best, at worst you may end up losing footage.

The camera I got from Lorinda was ideal because it came with a separate power supply and breakout RCA's for video and audio. This makes it easy to record the output onto DV etc.
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Old June 14th, 2008, 04:53 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Yang Wen View Post
Should have picked up a few VHS or VHS-C cameras off of ebay.. Those should still be easy to find eh?
This is what I was going to recommend. They're VERY cheap on Ebay. What you have doesn't look like old VHS. It looks like what it is. Someone trying hard to make video look bad.
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Old July 30th, 2008, 07:54 PM   #7
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I liked how the music and graphics fit the theme. I'm guessing you did the music on one of those electronic keyboards.

The video did look a little too beat up for its own good, though.
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Old August 7th, 2008, 05:05 AM   #8
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I like what you've done there. I have a similar plan for part of my next project, hopefully I will have footage to post soon.
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Old August 9th, 2008, 05:45 PM   #9
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If anyone wants to achieve the VHS look, I've got an old AG-460, featuring a stuck pixel (once the camera warms up for just a few minutes). I'll sell it cheap-a-cheap. :)
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Old August 13th, 2008, 09:26 PM   #10
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lol I thought it looked great and overall was pretty funny. Watched the "Backfire" short as well.....lol'ed at that one as well. Keep up the good work man.
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Old August 20th, 2008, 10:49 AM   #11
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Thanks for the comments. :)

Looking back at it now, I think the flickering is a bit too much. The colours sort of work though.
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Old September 1st, 2008, 09:22 PM   #12
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Why not Tape your video to a VHS Recorder?

I would thnk you could obtain that analog look by taking your DV or whatever and recording it to a VHS recorder.
I have my my vhs and betacam stack sitting on my station shelve and just plug your video into the deck and use the output RCA jacks, record LP and you will achieve good analog look.
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Old September 1st, 2008, 11:49 PM   #13
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Recording in SLP/EP really captures the worst side of VHS recording quality. Also a high-quality capture card can capture more noise, making the effect more authentic.

I'm also curious on what SNL used to film their VHS music video "Daiquiri Girl"...
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Old November 14th, 2008, 11:21 AM   #14
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Awesome production, everything (music, script,acting,look) seems to fit nicely together.
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Old February 5th, 2009, 08:16 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Dan Herrmann View Post
I would thnk you could obtain that analog look by taking your DV or whatever and recording it to a VHS recorder.
I have my my vhs and betacam stack sitting on my station shelve and just plug your video into the deck and use the output RCA jacks, record LP and you will achieve good analog look.
I'm trying to achieve the same sort of thing shooting at 24Pa on the DVX100- What kind of specifics would I need to do this? I started filmmaking purely with digital cameras and I'm not very familiar with analog... Do you mean recording into an every-day VHS recorder? If so, how would I get the video back onto miniDV to capture into Adobe Premiere Pro CS3?
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