First Thing I Ever Shot

I think my father wanted to be a filmmaker.  My dad was an owner of a Super 8mm camera, and had one of the first VHS video cameras ever produced. He would have us all gather on our living room floor while he loaded reels through the projector.  Most of the videos were of my older sister because she was the first baby.  I had some footage of myself on Super 8, but I (along with my younger brother) were mostly featured on VHS tapes.

So, what was the first thing I ever shot?  As a young boy, getting my hands on my father’s VHS Camcorder was a treat.  Since it was a "pricey" piece of equipment we rarely had the opportunity to use it.  During Easter one year, I may have been 11 or 12, we all drove up north to Squaw Valley.  My grandparents had a few acres up near Fresno.  My grandfather had always wanted to move away from the city and he finally had the chance.  My family drove up together, our VHS camera in tow, and we filmed everything.
One afternoon, after a few days of visiting, I became bored and grabbed my father’s camera.  I walked up and down my grandfather’s property filming the giant trees, the quail, my brother and sister swinging in a tire.  I decided to make a video from the point of view of a monster: Bigfoot.  I attempted my own sound effects by growling into the camera.  I tried out my own special effects by shaking the camera, then using small rocks and gravel as props to stage a "rockslide."  It was brief and simple, but for years I enjoyed watching and rewinding my cinematic endeavor.  No budget, no problem.
From then on, even without my father’s permission, I used that camera over and over until we dropped it one day and broke it.  This made my father furious.  We were attempting to create a video of our dog for "Americas Funniest Home Videos," and the camera went toppling over.  That put an end to my video making career… Until I bought my own camera.

-Michael R
Posted on September 17, 2013 and filed under "Michael R", "fond memories", "storytelling".