In 1984 my dad, always wanting to be at the height of technology, bought the newest and greatest Beta Video Recording System. Every home movie was filled with “no, no you can move. It is a movie camera.” There was the effect of lights that trailed as the camera was moved in dim light, and all of our movies made you seasick to watch them because at the time there was no such thing as vibration reduction. Not to mention the fact that the thing was huge!
Then once you made your video it sat on the shelf with a poorly written label that was filled with tiny script telling you all of the events that had been recorded on that one tape. And at family functions the tapes would be brought out for their rare viewing, being randomly selected because no one could read the label.
On weekends with our dad when we were older we would set up the Beta and create our own movies and T.V. shows. They were complete with commercials, costumes, musical guests, and more. We were every character and figured out how to do tricks with the camera to make our videos look cooler.
One of the things the lack of technology did offer us was the opportunity to be creative. Now, even without special software, you can upload your movie to your computer and add in special effects that have already been created for you. The creative part of the process has been given to some techie. In my day (it really wasn’t THAT long ago) we didn’t have all of the fancy add-ins. We had to make our own special effects, and it truly made us into more creative adults.
There have been so many advances today in technology that a person can make professional quality movies with their cell phone (my dad also had the first car phone when they came out), edit, and publish their product to be viewed by the masses within minutes — something my sisters and I would have gotten into big trouble with if it was available when we were kids. And there is no need for tiny script on labels because all files are neatly organized on a hard drive or cloud and movies can be streamed to wherever a person wants them or posted to sites so family and friends can view from their own computers (no need for the old-fashioned family function). Thinking back makes me wonder if we all couldn’t use a little lack of technology and get back to the Beta in all of us.