Video Transfers at Louie Central

This week, I’ve been doing a lot of transfers of old analog Hi8 videotapes, thanks to the generosity of my friend Aron Ranen of I’ve shot a major portion of my documentary on Hi8 video with PCM audio, which isn’t exactly a common format. Most of the Hi8 decks will only play back AFM audio, as does every Digital8 unit I’ve ever used. I loved the crisp image I used to get from my Toshiba TSC-200, but the Hi8 format had some serious drawbacks.

When I first got involved with this LOUIE project, I borrowed an old 3-tube JVC camera with a 3/4″ pack from the local public access channel. I figured a radio marathon with songwriter Richard Berry would certainly be newsworthy, right? One little video project turned into a much bigger project, and I’ve used all sorts of video formats over the years- Betacam SP, 3/4″ SP, Hi8, SVHS, Digi-8, Mini DV, and DVCam. If I had one regret about video formats, it would be that I shot way too much of my crucial interviews with Hi8, which turned out to be a really terrible format for drop-outs, but I am very fortunate that I was able to get interviews with all folks that I did.

Again, my hat goes out to Aron this week for his video support services. Aron was actually part of my production team when I did my very last video production with Richard Berry. Richard did a reunion with the Pharaohs as part of a Doo Wop Show in Long Beach, California. With Aron and my co-producer Jesse Block, we were able to get some great interviews and performances with the band. I certainly had no idea that would be the very last time I would ever see Richard alive.

For those of you interested in learning how to use the Final Cut Pro video editing system, Aron offers courses at in San Francisco. Aron’s also directed some very entertaining films of his own, such as “Did We Go,” a documentary that questions whether man actually did walk on the moon. If you sign up for any courses with Aron, be sure to mention that “LOUIE sent cha!”

In the meantime, you’ll have to excuse me, as I’ve got more video dubs to attend to…

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