Monday, March 03, 2008


So my roommate and I were having a conversation when the topic of Hi8 camcorders came up. Everyone remembers the damn things from that wedding or birth or crappy zombie thriller they shot in their backyard in the 90s. Hell, I can recall one Christmas in specific where my brother, myself and the family's Hi8 cam ruined Christmas for the whole family. Probably my first attempt as a filmmaker, as far as I can remember, I dressed my little bro Andrew up in a big puffy vest and sunglasses. The idea was a sort of James Bond thriller in the arctic tundra of Siberia (Wisconsin in the winter time was an obvious choice for the location to get this effect across). Andrew slinked around the porch and down into the yard improvising as he went along. The bomb that he was supposed to disarm was in the shed connected to our house and underneath the porch. Mind you this is like Christmas eve now. Andrew goes in to open the shed door and instead of the bomb we discover every single Christmas present unwrapped and exposed to our curious little eyes. Yes we were in shock and yes we thought about just closing the door and leaving...but then...what if the bomb went off....right? So we continued in and at this point I broke the silence and began the commentary on the early unveiling. Me being that avid little filmmaker I was I forgot to turn off the camera and one present in specific I remember was one of those little plastic play kitchens with the little plastic burgers and hotdogs, Andrew wanted it, He noticed the picture on the box and felt no shame in going right up to it and approving of its presence. After we had scoured the shed we finally left and without stirring Mom or Dad. We thought we were in the clear! It wasn't until later however that we found that our efforts for being undetected were in vein. Mom found the tape in the Hi8 camcorder and along with it all the evidence that "Christmas was ruined". I don't remember a more sullen and remorseful Christmas in my life. Mom was mad and we knew it. Actually, to this day I don't think my mom has been more mad than she was on that fateful Christmas day. To be honest though, they should've just wrapped the presents instead of leaving them exposed for us to walk in on like that. I digress. Back to the original topic. Hi8. Not only does the quality of the Hi8 camcorder suck but my memories of it suck. It's funny to think about the bastardized medium now that we have DV and more recently P2 card technology. I made a joke to Adam saying if I ever make it in the film business I'm going to shoot my first and subsequent movies all on Hi8. It's amazing that they are still selling like hot on eBay and other marketplace websites. Then while I did a search on Hi8s I came across this link to a posting where a guy is set on transferring Hi8 to 35mm...which is a freaking joke! I thought it was funny and if you've ever used Hi8 and understand the superiority of 35 then check this link out and try not to laugh:

Poor guy.

Edit: Then again the post was made in '98. Maybe he was serious...all the more hilarious!

1 comment: said...

I didn't realize that my reaction that christmas effected you so much...
I bought that little play kitchen for Drew because he begged me for one ever since he was 3 yrs old and saw one at preschool in Virginia. And it was all due to that james bond video game and your obsessive filming urges that he found out about it before I could bask in his glee on christmas morn! Damn that camera. Remember he used a folding picture eisle as a gun (in your film) because I didn't let you guys have weapons or a gun of any kind..Now he is obsessed with guns and has about 5 differnt bb guns around here. I was so stupid.