Yes, this first video I produced and it dates back to 1975. Yup, 1975! It’s so old, that I forgot that I had it until recently.
The story behind this video is that in 1975 the University of Miami Student Activities Department had some extra funds in the budget and since I had just finished my term as the News Director of UM’s college radio station, WVUM-FM, and had performed two TV internships at WCIX-TV, they assigned me the task of seeing if it was possible to record various activities around the University.
Honestly, there was no direction and they basically handed me thousands of dollars worth of video equipment and asked me to see what I could do with it…really! The University didn’t have a place to store it at the Student Union and allowed me to keep it at my apartment off campus.
Really, I can’t make this stuff up!
If you go back to 1975, these “mini cam” systems were fairly rare and just starting to surface at some of the higher end, mostly network owned and operated TV stations. At the time the standard source for news gathering was film, not video tape.
In 1975, I was a Senior at UM and was completing my second internship in the newsroom at WCIX-TV. This station was an independent and while some of my fellow students were performing internships at the local network affiliates and got some very cool logo’d gear embroidered with familiar call letters, they pretty much we’re go-fors picked up a lot of coffee for the staff. That’s because the stations where they interned were union shops and they pretty much couldn’t touch anything. WCIX-TV was an independent and after the first month or so of my internship I was doing everything from actually working in the newsroom to manning the audio console to running a camera for the 10pm news. Yeah, I was on a first name basis with the anchorman, Prescott Robinson!
Allow me to provide credit for the above photo to SaySix.blogspot.com. It’s amazing the things you can find with a quick Google search!
Getting back to the story of this video, when the University placed this video system in my care, of course I brought this somewhat portable video recorder/camera to the Newsroom for the pros to check out. They were blown away and couldn’t believe that the Student Union has purchased this expensive system while they were using some very worn film equipment. Both the video camera and tape deck were fairly heavy, bulky and was not that easy to connect, the results were instant and no film processing was needed. This Sony system used the 3/4″ cassettes and, for that timeframe, the quality was very good.
This tape had been placed in storage for a few who knows how long, and while the quality degraded prior to being preserved on DVD, the original images were noteworthy, especially for its day.
The subject matter for this video was based on a weekly feature I was producing for WVUM-FM. I would write a feature story and and edit it with lyrics of songs. It was time consuming, but heck, I was having fun!
Looking back in my personal archives, I realized that this isn’t really the first video I produced and there’s one that predates it. It’s really not that noteworthy, but when I realize that it was produced in 1975, it could possibly be the first music video ever produced. I’ll save that one for later!
So, with all that said, here’s the first (decent) video I produced: