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January 1995, Week 4


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Jeremy Butler <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 25 Jan 1995 13:24:52 CST
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----------------------------Original message----------------------------
On Tue, 24 Jan 1995, Ulf Dalquist wrote:
> ----------------------------Original message----------------------------
> In the latest issue of Sight & Sound, there's word of films being shot in
> Pixelvision video. As a backward Swede with backward Swedish friends I've
> heard of it? Anyone got a clue?
That's funny you mentioned this, it is exaclty what I was going to
suggest for Rex, Undeniably each format (including survailence cameras)
has it's own unique flavor and can be used to create numerous effects (I
have used several *broken* video cameras as their defects produced
interesting images.)  The Pixelvision camera was produced by Fisher -
Price, (yeah, the toy company) in I think it was '88.  It was designed to
be a *very* low end black and white video camera for kids to use as the
cost for it is next to nothing.  The resolution is horrible when you use
the internal recorder (even if you use the best audio tapes you can
find--oh yeah, it records on standard audio cassettes), But if you run it
through a hi8 or regular half-inch, the images can be amazing.  The lens
is prefocused and there is a very crude light adjustment (hi-lo), and it
is pretty wide so that it almost looks like a fish eye when you use it up
close.  Also the image is not the same size of the screen so it is
cropped and centered in the middle of the screen when you play it back.
I believe the first time it was used in a commercial product was Powell
Peralta's, Bones IV, and the first film I think it was used in was
Slacker (Linklater's first film).  The camera cost about a hundred bucks
in 88, but everyone has told me they quit making them a while back (don't
know if this is true.)  One of the most *incredible* things about the
pixellvision is the video feedback it is capable of, a friend of mine
used this effect quite a bit in a video of his, (I'm going to start
transferring a lot of this stuff to quicktime and mpeg, so I can mail it
or post on my web page)