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COMMENT Back in the Day A cut is still a cut C ongratulations, TV-Bay, on your tenth anniversary; as well as the 100th issue of TV-Bay/KitPlus magazine. Very cool! Ten years ago seems like forever. Some of us were editing with Final Cut Pro 5. LiveType was still with us. Others were using Adobe Premiere Pro 1.5 (CS3 was still two years in the future). Still others were editing on Avid Media Composer 1.5 on the Mac, while their Windows colleagues were up to version 2.1. Today, we look back at that primitive software and wonder how any professional work got done. Time passes and technology doesn’t stand still. Twenty years ago we were slamming 3/4” Sony U-Matic cassettes into 40-pound “portable” cameras and considering ourselves darn lucky that production tools were so small. We used portable video recorders - which weighed more than could be checked as luggage on today’s airlines - which revolutionized news gathering. If you had shown us the camera on an iPhone, we would have laughed in your face. Thirty years ago, we were threading one-inch video tape through Ampex tape machines the size of a kitchen table. But the pictures — oh, my! They were just to die for. 720 x 486 pixel images that showed every possible detail you could ever want. Well, I mean, it wasn’t film, but you could record live and play it back as fast as you could rewind the tape. by Larry Jordan Forty years ago, we were wrestling 20-pound 2” inch quad video tape on to Ampex and RCA tape decks that weighed hundreds of pounds, required their own air conditioning and took eight seconds from the time you pressed play to get that mass of iron rolling at full speed. A one-hour reel of tape could cost a couple hundred dollars. And don’t even talk about lifting a 90-minute reel of tape. That required a small derrick and a truss. I still clearly remember taking one camera live on location for a local news show. It required an 18-foot bread truck crammed with gear, a three-man technical crew, a 1”-thick cable connecting the camera to the truck (there was no wireless then), and a microwave dish to beam the picture back to the station. Compared to shooting in the studio, we thought we were in heaven. Ah, yes. The “Good Old Days.” Time passes and technology doesn’t stand still. 50 | KITPLUS - THE TV-BAY MAGAZINE: ISSUE 100 APRIL 2015