Technology & Time Travel

Sony Trinicon CRT Cameras are the first step in getting the look I'm after. At the moment I'm a little torn between the HVC-1000 and HVC-2200 models. The 1000 is a little older and gives a better texture and I think I like the colors better. The 2200 give better clarity and requires less light to get a good picture. I use either camera depending on the shot.

The Panasonic WJ 5500b Special Effects Generator is used for transitions and color keying effects. This particular unit came from a high school A/V department in Wisconsin.

Monitors are essential for television puppetry. This technique was pioneered by Jim Henson in the 1950s. By looking into a monitor, a puppeteer can have her puppet make eye contact with the viewer - but firstly with the puppeteer herself. It creates a feedback loop inside the puppeteer's brain. I've found that old CRT monitors work much better than modern computer screens, which tend to have a slight delay.

I use a Singer 128-23 Sewing Machine from time to time for building puppets and sewing costumes. I'm not very good with it yet so more often than not I just sew things by hand.

*Update* I'm pretty good with a sewing machine now.

Most of the sound effects for the Creatures of Yes are recorded to 1/2" tape by John Ringhofer in Finland. But the music and some sound effects are still recorded in my Brooklyn apartment with this modular synthesizer.

I also use this machine for video signal processing. It can produce some glitchy effects - think late '70s experimental video art.

Until recently I'd just been using work lights from the hardware store to light my scenes, but I just acquired a Pepper 200 watt studio light. It is so much brighter. This one is a relic from ABC television studios (as you can see by the stenciled logo). I wonder who's been lit by this in the past?

I use a lot of filters and lenses. Close up filters (x1, x2, x4 and x10) are a big help for practical reasons, and can be stacked to get different values (ie: a x1 lens + x2 = x3 magnification). You can also get a little blurriness around the edges of the frame when using close up lenses which creates a nice, old timey effect.

I also use special filters for adding sparkle to lights or to create kaleidoscope effects.

I get a real thrill out of doing these things in camera.