My introduction to moving image making began in the mid 80’s at the University of Oklahoma with Super-8 film. Besides the purely technical aspects of film, I learned the fundamentals of stop-motion animation using clay and other materials, as well as scratching and painting on emulsion. I was also introduced to audio-recording using sound cartridges. The only film of note from this medium was a 2.5 minute cel animation set to a Louis Armstrong tune of my photocopied gesturing hand. It was aptly titled: Hand-A-Mation (1985). The difficulty in editing and lack of professional cameras pushed me into 16mm.
Soon after switching to the larger film format, I also became interested in analog video. Originally working with cumbersome ¾ U-matic cameras, they were attached to a large tape-deck by an umbilical cord of wires. Their sheer size made them impractical for most purposes. I then transitioned to the ill-fated, but cutting-edge prosumer format, Super Beta.
While I was fascinated with the immediacy of video, screening a work with the same quality as the original outside the academic or professional setting was impossible. VHS tape , though, rugged, did not have the quality of the original master, nor was the average consumer television capable of high resolution display.
Strangely, my most significant work in the analog video medium was produced using the most low resolution equipment available. A Sony black and white camera, originally part of a late 1960′s reel-to-reel system, used my VHS deck as the recorder. With a T-160 tape, the result was a real-time, 8 hour long, documentation of the flickering flames and sound of my gas heater. The work is simply titled: Gas Heat (1988).
Shortly thereafter, I devoted the majority of my creative energy to 16mm film.