Ancient Technology

Wednesday I got the opportunity to handle a side of MSG I knew existed, but I had never gotten to work hands on with.

We receive lots of video content on older devices for us to transfer them to modern devices like DVDs. The two older technologies I got to work with were film projector reels and compact video cassettes. As a quote-on-quote youngster, I am not expected to care much for ancient technologies such as film. However, I’ve never considered myself too normal, and my curiosity for the transference process is a prime example of my abnormality.

Stewart, Jonathan, and I worked with a small projector and reel first. We had to clean the projector because it had a buildup of film residue. When it projected light, the edges were scratchy and uneven. After a little compressed air and ingenuity, the projection was much cleaner. Then we worked to get the reel to properly load into the projector. This was a little more complicated.

We finally decided to try another projector to see if that would load our reel more efficiently. It worked much better, even though we had to manually load it the first time. Next, we set up a camera to capture the projected video. That is the beauty of this particular process. The film’s video comes to life, and we capture and edit it for the owner.

Film has captured my attention ever since I took the photography class at Angelina College, which I would recommend to any person who is even the slightest bit curious about the film process. Film is an intimate, creative art that is becoming less and less appreciated as time goes by.

Transferring the compact video cassettes was a little bit easier to do and understand. Misty showed me how to load the cassette in a converter that would allow it to be placed in a VCR. We made sure the cassette worked properly, and then we recorded the memories onto a DVD.

Throughout this process, I was picturing all of my family’s VHS tapes full of times before I was even born. I can imagine how happy the people who will receive these DVDs will be when they know they will be able to view their memories on a device they actually have.

I am a firm believer that it is important to always try to be more present in the moment rather than stuck to the recording and shutter buttons on a phone or camera, but sometimes you just need to capture your child’s first steps or your sister’s championship track meet. To be a part of maintaining those memories for someone is amazing.

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