It all began sometime in the 80s. My Dad, for reasons I don't know, brought home a VHS video camera. My brother and I made our first movie then, a sort of parody on real estate agents. We walked around the house pointing at different unimportant features. One of us possibly was a prospective buyer. I don't remember.
But that camera went back to whence it came, and it was a couple years before the family had a camcorder. It was a Hi8 camera, about the size of a loaf of bread. A Canon A1 I believe. At any rate, our creativity took off with this one. We filled up tape after tape with stuff, mostly nonsense. But there are good number of moments on those tapes that we still cherish today, including the Johnny movies, the Alien movie, Star Wars, all types of stop-action stuff, and the beginnings of more ambitious projects.
We started working with friends who were also creatively using the camera. The Marnell brothers, the White brothers, the O'Dell brothers, and others. Had the right catalyst been present, who knows, some set of us might have become famous filmmakers.
With the recent advent of cheap digital camcorders, there has been a resurgence of filmmaking within this same circle. My brother and his friends have produced more incredible shorts, while I, being isolated from them, have focused on making documentaries of my swimming adventures. The digital camcorder and computer editing software have really made the process more complex, and the results more impressive. I'd like to get back to making shorts, if I can find willing collaborators.
Screen capture from
Robertson: the Pilot Episode, Part 1.
Stock photo for the Alien movie.