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RETRO TECH: CAMCORDER

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Marques: So, I've spent most of my life in front of the camera Welcome to my first video Yo, what's up, guys? It's Marques Brownlee herefrom MKBHD

reviewing tech Recommend this very highly Back with another HD video and making YouTube videos Marques: I uploaded 102 videos

and the camera that I choose to do this with has always been really important with me – C200 – Red Weapon

But if you want to know where my love for cameras and making videos really comes from, you'll have to go all the way back to the beginning to the very first VHS handheld portable camera ever I'm Marques Brownlee and I review dope new tech But on this show, I'm rewinding the clock to discover the tech of the past that changed our lives forever This is "Retro Tech: Camcorder" Yo, what's up, guys? You know, we do a lot of cool pieces of retro tech on this show, a lot of which I don't have much of a connection to because it was before my time

And even though I didn't start making my videos until 25 years after this camera came out, I still owe a lot of what I do now to this The revolutionary JVC GR-C1 came out in 1984 as the world's first all-in-one VHS camcorder So, before this, video cameras were pretty much strictly for professionals, but the small form factor and ease of use made everyone want to be the director of their own home movies All right, let's go ahead and take a look at what came in the original box and try to fire it up I'm pretty excited for it

And there it is ( inhales ) They all have this sort of retro smell I think it's just mostly old leather Anyway, some paperwork Wow, the original purchaser in 1985

$1,717 Wow Up here, RF converter Retro battery, for sure Blank tapes

A large power brick Red and black Nice color scheme Viewfinder All right, the actual camera itself, the JVC GR-C1 in the flesh

Okay, this is serious, but look at all the things we have to put together to use it I might have to look at the instructions A lot of tech today, we just throw out the instructions as soon as we get something, but this would not be the case if you got the first ever portable VHS camera You'd have to actually read through them The viewfinder's gonna go on the front right there

Where's it plug in? User manual says– there we go Battery should be pretty simple Okay, so it's definitely not simple This is already giving me Dad camera vibes Say, "Cheese," kids

There you go What is it with us getting "STD" on all these– maybe that's something about the '80s, but they just willingly print "STD" on the side of electronics here But I think this is, uh, "standard" white balance Power button Did that just turn on? Oh, my God, it just turned on

I'll pop a cassette tape in there Might as well – Eject button – ( whirring ) Wow, what a noise that makes "Then press the Start/Stop switch," which is my thumb button

Oh, boy, here we go Man, I'm unfocused And it is definitely recording Ooh, there's my zoom Wow

Oh, hey This is great I have literally no idea if this'll be in focus, but ready to learn a little more about this camera? Let's get it Okay, so, for the next few days, I'm going to take the JVC Camcorder with me and learn everything there is to know about this iconic piece of tech – Hi, I'm Marques

– Hi, I'm Jess Great to meet you, Jess So, I'm gonna start by asking you to check underneath your chair – Are we– it's like "Oprah" right now? – Yeah – Oh, my gosh

– Oh, man So, we're time traveling, is what we're doing Marques: We're going back This is beautiful We're making movies, dude

Right now You're making a movie, I'm making a movie I'm recording you right now "Doc, Doc! You made a time machine out of a DeLorean?" I've been waiting 30 years to say that Marques: Okay, so, before we get into the camcorder, I want to take it all the way back to the beginning

If you wanted to see a movie in the '70s and '80s, you had to actually go to a movie theater What was that like? Roberson: In the early '70s, if you wanted to watch a movie, there was only one place you could go You had to go to a movie theater Misty: If someone missed a theater run of something, they may very well may not see the movie ever because there was no home video market People couldn't just buy a movie, bring it home, and watch it

You couldn't stream anything Sounds terrible Shafer: But then all of the sudden, there was a push to bring films into your home Roberson: And that gave rise to VCRs and VHS Home video is in, and it seems like it happened overnight, this video revolution

Shafer: People could just watch what they wanted when they wanted It changed the way people consumed media, and that was just super revolutionary But when JVC put out their camera, it changed everything Announcer: A video camera and VHS recorder all in one The JVC was revolutionary because it was accessible

People now are part of the movie-going and movie-creating culture Reporter: Video cameras are now small enough to cradle like violins Before that JVC came out, in order to shoot video, it was this extremely cumbersome, involved process You'd have to be a professional making a movie or you'd be working for the news I think I can only make the reference to that scene in "Commando" when Schwarzenegger is about to attack the beach and he's, like, putting on all of this gear

It was like that– battery packs, and the VCR, and the camera It was multiple parts, and it was very hard for anyone to carry The JVC allowed people to take video production and have it in their own hands, then be a director of their own film It was epic Marques: The JVC camcorder turned everyone into the director of their own home movie

So I've invited a special guest to help me try to make my first video using the GR-C1 Casey, welcome back – Good to be here – Thanks for being here I don't know if you know what we're looking at right now, but I'm kind of wondering if this brings back any memories

That is the nicest way anyone's ever called me an old man before, Marques – Yeah, no problem –

in my entire life Marques: Casey Neistat puts the word "maker" in filmmaker Neistat: I said yes to every opportunity that involved picking up a camera

Marques: He's a prolific YouTube creator The majority of my videos are shot on portable cameras man of many talents and a lot of gear, and the perfect person to help me put this JVC camcorder into action

This doesn't bring back memories, – it brings back nightmares – Okay The first videos I ever edited were using the camcorder as one deck and a VCR as the other deck, trying to edit between machines That was the last time I laid eyes on one of these So, my first camera I ever bought with my own money shot to SD cards

It was a little Sanyo Xacti camera Shooting with it was super easy because I'd just start/stop, get my clips, import, edit Am I here because of my advanced age? Uh, you're here because of your experience in the world of video production – Appreciate how nice you were with that – Yeah

So, this camcorder came out in a time where personal video wasn't really a thing yet What we're gonna try to do is make a how-to video– dos and don'ts of being a YouTuber, but 1980s style – Let's do it But, Marques? – Yeah? You're dressed like it's 2019 We gotta take this just one level further

– Marques: This is, uh– – You got it I'm starting to feel older ( music playing ) Are we gonna stand in front of this? I think we should stand – Just lift there – Standing height

That's as wide as it gets? We're gonna have to be further than I thought I think it's recording Is it blinking? Check the manual – It's both – Well, record

– Okay – "To start" "While holding the record button pressed

" The tape's not going around and around – It isn't? – Nope "Press the Start/Stop switch

" So, I'm gonna hit "Record" – Oh, it's spinning – And it's recording – It's turning – Amazing

Okay – We found the record button – We found the record button Marques: That's– that's frame So, you go over this way a little bit

Do you look like you're in the middle? Move over a little bit I think– – Does that feel middle? – Uh – Oh, yeah

– Okay, perfect – Okay – Cool, okay – So, my name is Marques – My name's Casey

Come along with us on this journey I feel like that's how they talked in, like, in commercials in the– Yeah, yeah Cool – Action! – Hello Hello

Hello Things– hello Things, uh, to do – Rolling – "Don't" with editing

Gratuitous transitions I just can't even open this Oh, yeah You need a hammer to fix this thing '80s technology

Hey, guys MKBSD here – Neistat: Good? – Oh, it's out of focus Yeah, this screen is so incredibly low resolution that when I have one eye in there for so long and I take it out, I feel kind of cross-eyed Don't eat while recording your videos

( whirring, clicking ) Hold on This thing's freaking out It just shut off Oh, ( bleep ) It's the end of the tape

How many gigs is this? Gigs! Just stopped recording This is a high quality production Thank you for watching the dos and don'ts of being a YouTuber in 1985 Okay, cut That was great

All right, so I feel like I've learned a lot just shooting with it My biggest takeaway is that I'm glad we're a YouTuber in 2019 and not 1984 Yeah, shooting and editing with this sort of media would've probably been, like, a hurdle for me Another big takeaway for me from today's shoot is that you look great in a tie, Marques – Oh, thank you

Thanks – Yeah Well, I guess the plan now is to put together all the footage – Good luck – I can't wait

Marques: Okay, so, we'll show you the finished video at the end of this episode, but in the meantime, I'm going to learn much more about what made the JVC camcorder such a massive success when it was first released Roberson: The one thing you have to know about media from the '80s is that most shows and movies were just giant commercials It was product placement – Want some breakfast? – Yeah – What do you want, Wheaties? – Yeah

– Einstein, hey – And in "Back To The Future," we see Marty pull out his camera and Doc Brown going, "This technology is amazing" A portable television studio They did something really, really clever We're putting this camera next to a time travel machine, so we're already equating it with future technology

It was one of the best product placements of all time Schafer: Everybody wanted to know what that was, and everybody wanted to have one Man: Camcorders, they're called, and they're the hottest new item to hit the consumer electronic market since the VCR Home video became a craze Everybody wanted to record their own home videos

Roberson: I recall, certainly, in the '80s, being at a Bar Mitzvah and someone putting a camera in my face People are now archiving and filming everything What would be normally mundane now becomes really important So, oh, yeah, it's a birthday party, but now, you know, we're gonna film it Oh, yeah, it's a trip to the beach, but now we're gonna film it

And along comes a show called "America's Funniest Home Videos" Schafer: It was hosted by Bob Saget It was the number one show in the country Roberson: So, "America's Funniest Home Videos" started to get user-generated content and said, "Hey, your home video is important to us, so now go send it in" The sooner you get your tapes in, the more chances you have to get on our show to win the $10,000 weekly prize

Schafer: Anybody could be on TV All you have to do is film yourself doing something funny and you had a shot to be on "America's Funniest Home Videos" You could be America's funniest home video at the time Saget: Gorilla suit wedding proposal! ( cheers, applause ) "America's Funniest Home Videos" was YouTube before the YouTube Goldstein: And when this camcorder first came out, it was really this naive time

You get all of these new different types of entertainment and content that aren't just traditional movies or television shows You get the rise of fitness videos and at-home workouts People can do Jane Fonda's tapes in their living room Before there was Tinder, there was dating videos How are you gonna meet people? You make a VHS tape of yourself

I'm Maurice I'm an executive by day and a wild man by night That's what dating was like Anybody could take their ideas and make them real It's like when people go on YouTube and they watch YouTube videos and they're like, "I can do this, too," because they see other people doing it and there's a community there to receive it

Marques: I want to see for myself how the camcorder influenced the home video market, so I'm at the Found Footage Club in Brooklyn, New York, where they've collected over 10,000 of the most obscure VHS tapes This is "Dope or Nope" First one we're gonna show you is "Rent-A-Friend" If you were a lonely person in 1987, this guy, Sam, he would be your virtual friend Before live chat and the Internet, this was his idea of an interactive concept

– This guy's a pioneer – And we would like you to play along with "Rent-A-Friend" Oh, I would love to – Hi – Hi

I'm Sam, and, um, I want to be your friend – How's that sound? – That sounds great – Hot diggity dog – All right – What's your name? – Marques

– Yeah – Yeah It's– yeah You know, I see that Here are a couple things about me

Um, my nose is rather famous – Why is your nose– That looks painful – Ooh Ooh – Would you like to bite my nose? – You know, it's fine

Forget I ever did that I'm sorry Yeah, I'll try What do you think? Do you have enough information? Is this guy dope or nope? Uh, wow That was one of those train wrecks you can't look away from

You know what it kind of reminds me of is those super early vlog channels Does that make it dope? Nah, not– not really "Rent-A-Friend"? Nope We have nothing but train wrecks for you today, by the way All right, let's go to the next one

Okay This whole wall here and that whole wall there, that's all exercise videos That's one of the most common videos that we find – Okay – This one's vintage '80s

– "Body Flex" – "Body Flex II" Greer Childers had some unusual methods of exercise – We'll just pop it in – ( music playing ) All right, do you want to go along with her? – Oh, what is she– – ( all inhale ) ( rasping exhale ) What is she do– is she just breathing? ( inhaling, rasping exhale ) ( rasping exhale ) She's so small in the shot

– Side stretch – That's the same side – Okay – Get coordinated here ( rasping exhale ) – Same side

– Oh, same side – Oh, same side – Marques: This elevator music is really selling me right now ( music fades ) You know, as an athlete, I didn't really have enough room to do all the exercises and things she was doing here Uh, as a non-athlete, I just found it funny

It was hilarious You know what? I don't hate this If you're gonna separate yourself from the however many thousand other exercise tapes there are, you gotta have something, and she's got that something – This is dope – You chose wisely

All right, we are set for the next The Rejuvenique facial toning system – Okay, that's Linda Evans – So, it came with the product, and we actually have the product here Um, it's a bit– it's frightening

It's horrifying It has all these probes on the back that you put a little bit of the gel on each one of these probes, and then you put it on your face so it'll conduct the electricity This the how-to video about how to use the Rejuvenique Ultimate Facial Toning System Narrator: Your Rejuvenique system requires very little assembly Marques: Yeah, no, I'm terrified already

There she is just relaxing while her face is electrocuted – Oh! Oh, God – Oh, my God – That's like a John Carpenter, like– – Oh, my God But I'll just say, our skin looks terrific, so

I highly recommend you try it – Very convincing, guys – Uh-huh

It won't kill you – ( muttering ) – Okay? What's the movie, "Friday The 13th"? Yeah, Jason You hit start when you're ready to go Electricity's not really my thing, but – Do it – Crank it – ( buzzing ) – Oh! Oh! Oh! – I heard that one – Now it's kicking in

Oh, my God That really shocked me It feels like I just stuck my finger in an electric outlet – ( groans ) – Yeah, it's going around Mm

Unh-uh Unh-uh Narrator: As the system advances from one facial area to the next, you may need to increase or decrease the level of pulsation Oh! ( laughs ) This is easily accomplished by rotating the control knob in the appropriate direction Let's see the results

Let's see how you look You look good You look good Do I look like Linda Evans? – Uh, you're getting there – Huh

What'd you think about the how-to video? Effective? The tape was dope The product? I can't say I'd recommend it, but at least you know how to use it It's better than a manual Good job, tape You're dope

Marques: The JVC camcorder inspired a generation of content creators, and electronics companies all wanted in on the action Soon the market would be flooded with smaller and sleeker camcorder models Robison: The JVC camcorder was a huge hit, and that just made other companies that much more eager to try and see if they could make something better Misty: Sony was making one Panasonic was making one

They were all just hoping to get their corner of this marketplace Things became lighter, easier to use, smaller And then digital came about Man: Now, this is the wave of the future right here Reporter: All the whiz-bang production techniques that Hollywood studios use at a fraction of the cost

The camcorder reached a plateau where there was just no making it any better while it was still for VHS tapes Marques: So even though the retro look of the JVC camcorder might seem outdated, it's clear to me that our content-obsessed generation now owes a lot to this piece of tech What's the legacy of this JVC camera? Goldstein: Everybody whose phone has a camera on it is a beneficiary of the JVC camcorder And you can absolutely see the legacy of that in today's YouTube stars shooting things from their own lives in real time with very little technology and equipment Schafer: And we live in a time with infinite amount of user-generated content

But if you think about it, the very first visual user-generated content that was massively accessible, it exists because of the VHS camcorder Misty: People wanted to see real-life stuff Without this camera, there would be no YouTube – You'd be out of a job – Yeah, that's exactly right

Roberson: So, the legacy of the JVC camcorder is a reminder that we have the ability to decide for ourselves what are important stories The JVC camcorder allowed people to justify, "Yes, my life is important My stories are important" – the big 2,000 subscriber mark – Thanks for watching "And my desire to share it with people is equally as important" Talk to you guys on the next one

What's up, guys? Thank you for watching I learned a lot about this OG JVC camcorder, and I gotta say, I have a lot more respect now for people who truly mastered this thing And it wasn't easy, but we have actually edited the video that Casey and I made earlier in the video Enjoy the final video, "The Dos And Don'ts Of Being A YouTuber In 1985" – Yeah

– Is it rolling? Okay, so, hi So, my name's Marques My name's Casey Welcome on our exciting journey to VHS YouTube success Yeah

Let's start ( music playing ) Do! Very important to hold the camera steady It makes it much easier for the viewer to see what you are filming Very important– don't shake the camera ( laughing ) Cheese balls

Don't, with editing No need for gratuitous transitions Transitions can be distracting Transitions can be very distracting, and they don't really help the story along A big do of editing is something called "continuity," and that means one shot should match the next shot

Be sure to pay close attention to things like clothing – Don't eat

– This is goodwhile recording your videos Um Do focus on the shoot at hand Pay attention to the camera and not your lunch Thank you for watching "The Dos And Don'ts Of Being A YouTuber In 1985" And we hope you enjoyed watching this as much as we enjoyed making this Feel free to write a comment on a piece of paper, then put that in an envelope, then put a stamp on that, bring that to your nearest post office

PO Box– we'll just put it on the screen And in three to five days, we'll get that comment – Thanks

Yeah Bye – We'll see you next time So, I hope this YouTube tips episode has been pretty helpful for you guys who are looking forward to investing in a camcorder to shoot hardware reviews on YouTube, and I will talk to you guys in the next video Thanks for watching

Peace And instead of 1,000 subscribers, maybe I want 13 million subscribers I don't know

Source: Youtube

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