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20 years since my first home video recording July 25, 2014

Posted by Mike C. in Comedy, Media, Personal, TV, Video, Weather, Wrestling.
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On July 25, 1994, my father came home with a brand new JVC VHS-C camcorder; or “Palmcorder.”  It was intended for him, but I ended up using it more often.  After nine years of appearing in front of Dad’s previous camcorder – a VHS one – as an awkward child with a still-unnamed disorder – Asperger syndrome – I finally had control behind the camera.  Most early video was regimented and experimental, recording the same areas and rapidly zooming in and out constantly.

Here are the first 48 seconds I recorded 20 years ago today at twilight, shortly after a thunderstorm came through Wantagh:

This was followed by close-ups of license plates on my mom’s, dad’s, and aunt’s cars.  Then, my sister Lauren had her turn with the Palmcorder, recording our cousin Rebecca watching WWF (as it was known back then) Monday Night Raw on TV with her in her bedroom.  But she didn’t stop there, heading to the den during a commercial break to record our parents and great-grandparents, with a rerun of Murphy Brown blasting on the TV.  Becca was also in the den, making a funny expression with her hands on her hips.

A side note: Thanks to a shot of the TV included in Lauren’s recording, I noticed Tom Poston was in the Murphy Brown episode.  A trip to IMDB confirmed that the rerun episode was “Crime Story,” which originally aired five months earlier.

On the two humid mornings that followed, until the 31-minute VHS-C cassette reached its end, I walked around the house, panning around nearly every room and every corner of the front yard, back yard, and driveway.  I even experimented with flipping the Palmcorder upside down and flipping it back to the correct way.  I did that a few more times between then and September.

In the years that followed, my video recording skills gradually improved.  Including the first camcorder, I went through three different JVC VHS-C camcorders, each one more technologically advanced than their predecessor.  I captured over 70 hours of material and dubbed them onto a combined 30 VHS tapes.  I still have some of the master VHS-Cs.  I converted the videos to AVI computer files back in 2010.

In October 2000, I went digital with a JVC MiniDV camcorder.  And in June 2003, I was given a Canon GL2 MiniDV camcorder to use for my college senior project.  I recorded here and there with the two camcorders, logging another 13 hours of video – not counting the senior project – until my last recording on July 25, 2007.  Since then, I’ve only recorded special events.  I converted the MiniDV tapes to the computer, as well.

When the GL2 broke down in 2011, I switched to a JVC Everio AVCHD camcorder with internal memory and an SD memory card.  And that brings us to the present.

I hope someday soon to get a professional HD camcorder with an internal hard drive.  Until then, I’ll stick with the Everio.

4:35 PM UPDATE: Five hours ahead of the time I recorded 20 years ago, I went outside with the Everio and retraced some of my steps from the original recording.

Unfortunately, the skies were devoid of airplanes, which meant I couldn’t retrace that step.  Meanwhile, there’s a plane flying overhead as I type this last sentence.

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