As promised, I went out and rented a U-Matic tape deck. One day, $100. I hooked it up through my DV-deck (this converts it over to a digital stream) and then dropped it onto a hard drive. Total time to transfer all thirteen 20-minute tapes: about 5 hours. Total space: 52 gigabytes.
Of course I first digitized the cafe scene, which had me in it, just to see how different I look. The answer: just a bit. I had larger glasses and was of course more scrawny, but you can tell it’s me:
The main actor is Tim Buntel, who was a superstar actor in his final year at Emerson College, and the veteran of a ton of productions, even at that young age. I’d worked with him on a number of plays at Emerson, and he was always my top choice. He always could strike the best poses, even when given very little direction:
The other two main actors are David Klotz and Marichelle Inonog. As I have not transferred the 16 millimeter film to video yet, there aren’t any good shots of them, currently. They make an appearance in some of the scenes, as flickery images on a film bench, but they’ll look a lot better than this:
Some of the shots are truly beautiful, even 14 years later, and even through a couple generations ago of video equipment (most of what I used what relatively old even by 1991-1992 standards). I credit this beauty to the heavy influence of Scott Rosann, my producer, co-writer, and honestly, co-director:
And the production is absolutely caked with friends, acquaintances, girlfriends (none of my own) and buddies of buddies. Notable in the first photo is myself, and then the second sysop of the Works BBS, Dave Ferret. Looking at these photos is like looking at a yearbook for me.
Here’s my film mentor, film teacher Pete Chvany (you’ll see his name mentioned in the thanks in the BBS Documentary packaging), my co-MUSH-wizard Rich, and Mr. Rosann himself, playing the part of a student.
This link will take you to the full gallery of digitized video. There’s also a bunch of 16mm footage that hasn’t been converted, as well as audio tape to go with the 16mm. That’s where all the rest of the film is hiding (it’s probably another 15-20 minutes, I’ll bet).
The digitization took place across a laptop, leaving my main machine free, and leaving me to do a little idle checking up on the various cast and crew members in this film. Tim Buntel was an easy find, which I did a long time ago: he’s employed by Macromedia and is a ColdFusion engineer and expert. To my surprise, David Klotz is the co-leader of a band named “Fonda” that has done very well for itself. Mike D’Alonzo (who is in the audience shot) is a big name in improvisational comedy in Austin, Texas. The rest will take some effort to find, unless they look for their names online. Then we’re all set.
The name “David Linton” hadn’t hit my head since the time of filming; he was the amazingly talented Cinematographer who shot all my 16mm film with me. I can’t find his name out there where I’d want it to be: next to Scorcese and Spielberg. I hope he’s doing well. I hope they’re all doing well.
Either way, they’re all about to get quite a shock. It’s fun to pull back and get one’s own history in shape.
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