Sifting through some stuff I had sitting in a corner the other day, I came across some old tapes of some of my work I did when I was still a fresh young production assistant learning the ropes. And yes, it was on tape, 3/4 inch tape in fact. Back in the day if you didn’t use beta in broadcasting and video production, the next preferred format was 3/4 inch. SVHS and VHS were the next steps down from that and were referred to as 1/2 inch. Of course nobody in their right mind uses any of these formats anymore. I obviously wanted to keep the footage on these or else I would not have kept them. Sometimes you never see the demise of a technology when it has been around for a long time until it happens. I vaguely remembered what was on them.
One of my offices luckily still had some 3/4 inch tape decks. I thought it would be a good opportunity to transfer this stuff to dvd before the dinosaurs get tossed out. I kindly asked my boss if I could borrow a dvd recorder from her office for a couple of days so that I could transfer the videos over. So that’s what I did today as I worked on my stuff that I really needed to work on, I let the stuff copy over. Wasn’t much mind you, much of my stuff had been destroyed long ago. I really did do a LOT more stuff than what remains as evidence of my work at the old tv station. But alas all that remains is a few examples of my first sports promos, show openings, and a couple program advertisements. Also found a vhs copy of a series from one of my public access students that I had kept because it was quite creative. That and I helped him a bit with it as well.
While all of this stuff is total crap by 2013 standards, and maybe even 2000 standards lol, it was cool stuff back in the mid 1990s. For local tv, probably some of the best you can get on a small budget. And for me starting out, it was something I remember taking a lot of pride in. I had a strong work ethic and I was quite the perfectionist. With all the crap that was going on in my life, I had one single thing I was able to take pride in and that was my video work. It may have been small potatoes compared to the big networks, but hey I was just starting out and was learning. Looking at the footage, I saw some of the growth. The first couple of clips were a bit mediocre perhaps, but then later clips showed marked improvement. I began to get a little misty eyed as I remembered the pride, the feeling that I was accomplishing something in my life, the feeling that I could be going places, the feeling that I was on my way to maybe living my dreams eventually, the feeling that I was not going to be like the rest of my family and actually make something of myself. I remembered the many nights I would stay late at the studio off the clock just to finish a project because I could not stand to have something unfinished if I was on a roll. I remembered the people I worked with as well, not just mere coworkers but a real team working as one toward a single goal on each and every production big or small, and everybody had each others backs. The true feeling of teamwork sort of felt lost once our company changed hands.
I wish I had kept more clips of stuff I had done, but tapes would get recycled a lot, or were scattered between more than just the one studio. That and you can only take so much in your arms. I’m surprised I had the 3/4 inch tapes considering nobody uses that format at home.
I will never regain my pride or happiness, unfortunately one cannot turn back the clock, but having a small momento is better than nothing. One small thing to say that you once almost mattered.