SPECS

Super 8mm B/W

VHS Transfer – Digital Capture

After Effects 1080 Upscale restore

Re-timed for 18fps

Cassette Tape digital capture

Our Role

Writer, Director, Editor / Tim C. Szabics

Actor / Jeff Lanier

Actor / Michelle Valance

Music / Dan Ford / Tim C. Szabics

About

1998 doesn’t seem that long ago. 22 years ago sounds a little longer. I recently stumbled over an old VHS transfer of my 8mm college film. Oh boy, what a blast from the past. One problem, the custom made soundtrack was lost – or so I thought. A friend and fellow badass artist, Marco had what a few of us didn’t have. A computer. You see, back in the late 90’s there was a music-making program that was extremely rudimentary – possibly an early version of Cakewalk. I really can’t be for sure. Anyway, you see, we had to get creative on how to incorporate digital in a very analog world. This program only allowed something like 2-3 minutes of composition, so we had something like 3 different files of music we composed in 24 hours (deadlines and all). Well, we had to play the music on the computer – recorded from the speakers onto a 4-track I had at the time. But we also had to time it perfectly so each track would stop and start without missing a beat – and the volume had to be right.

Well, after many, many, many tries, we got it perfectly. Long story short, over the years, my beautiful dog at the time, Meenah, found this tape and ate it. And that was that.

Until…

I found an old messed up version of the soundtrack. You know, one of the ones that we couldn’t time correctly? I found a one. So, it’s not perfect, but it’s the closest you’ll ever hear to its original form.

About the film.

I was taking some film courses at Scottsdale Community College that were in the early days of the program. Most of the classes were in trailers in the back of the school, I wasn’t a fan of school and barely made it out of high school alive, so if I were to go to college, it was to do something fun. 8mm Production was one of the classes I attended. For the final, we had to make a 3-5 minute short film. At the time, Sam Rami was a significant influence on me. His ability to harness available resources and do whatever he wanted – horror, comedy, gore, slapstick – he just did it. And so did I.

I filmed it in the course of a night or 2 with a few friends. And when I received the developed film, one roll was completely black. Either the camera messed up, or I messed up. Either way, I had to rush, get another camera from school, another roll of film, filmed and sent to the lab. It came back, and editing started. I didn’t have the time to schedule a little edit bay at the school, so I cut it by hand – literally.

This film was fun – fun enough to continue the story if I remember correctly. We started to make a more extended version – not sure if I even have any of that – maybe I’ll leave that nicely tucked in the deep dark recesses of my memory.

I hope you enjoy this little trip into the past.