Posted on November 21, 2011
In 1965 I went with a tenpin bowling team to a tournament in Paris. We hadn’t been bowling very long so we didn’t do very well but we saw some great teams performing!… all captured on 8mm film… silent of course.
About that time I had written and recorded a bowling song ‘Lets go Bowling’. I’ve since transferred the film to Video and edited it to the record. I started with 9.5mm film in the 50’s, the only other option was 16mm, very expensive! Then came 8mm, 16mm split down the middle, 50ft reels, you put the film through once, turned it over and ran it through again, problem was turning it over without letting in the light! When it came back from the processors there was usually a blank bit in the middle where you turned it over. I made several attempts to get sound with my films, the first being a projector with a device on the side to sync an audio recorder! You threaded the audio tape through the wheels and it would regulate the projector. I tried and tried this without success, the audio tape just kept running off the wheels. Much cursing and blaming the equipment, what a load of rubbish.
On reading the instruction more carefully, always a good idea, I realized the audio recorder I had was running at the wrong speed. I think the correct speed was 3.75 and mine was 7.5. My next attempt was sometime later with a device that allowed you to glue a thin recording stripe down the side of the film and with a sound projector, record your sound track!As you can imagine the stripe was very thin and very tricky to put on the film. I must say I had limited success, when the stripe went on OK I was able to put commentary and music on but… the music was a bit suspect, a lot of wow and flutter, the voice was passable. The big let down was the fact that after a while the stripe came of in places! I did try several times but finally gave up, it was too much.The only successful film with a sound track that I made was a trip to Florida using a Super 8 sound camera. That was the last time I used a film camera.
Since I moved into filming and editing on tape I have seen enormous progress in the equipment available… I’ll save that for my next Blog… and I’ll post that bowling film on my web site… fade to black.