Item #3: VHS tape of a high school film project
Acquired: 1989, Toronto
Here’s an excerpt from a short film I helped make for a project in my final year of high school. This is one of the least embarrassing scenes I could find, and it’s still pretty bad. I think we realized that even then, but we were on a tight deadline and needed to get the thing done. As I recall, most of the script was entirely improvised on the spot, loosely following some sort of storyline my friend Dave had written that only he understood.
Back in those days, video cameras were still expensive, unwieldy beasts that most families couldn’t afford, so we had to rent one from the local video store. The one they gave us was basically defective in both sound and video, but we didn’t find that out until days later when we tried to edit our footage (by patching two VCRs together) and realized that most of what we had was unusable. But having little other choice, we went ahead and used it anyway. The result was a gritty mess of a film that made little sense, but somehow still managed to earn us a B+. I think our teacher could see how much fun we’d had in making it, and perhaps felt a little sorry for the condition of the camera.
I’m glad I kept the tape though, because it’s practically the only footage I have from those days. And so I never even considered throwing it away. That’s quite a difference from today’s hyper-documented world where nearly every moment of one’s life can now be captured and stored online for indefinite posterity. In this new age of abundance, how precious will all that footage seem, 20, 30 or 50 years from now? Perhaps, not very.
PS: There was actually a recent Hollywood movie called “Temptation” that I heard was pretty lousy. It has no affiliation with our lousy film.