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Gear Required to Create 1980's Instructional Video Look
Old 30th December 2018
  #1
Here for the gear
 

Gear Required to Create 1980's Instructional Video Look

Hello All,

I apologize if this is not the appropriate forum to post general video related gear purchasing advice; however, I haven't found a forum on the web wherein others have posed a similar question.

I would like to create a video for a project I'm working on that recreates the appearance and vibe of a 1980's Instructional Video - examples:





I have a newer model MacBook with Final Cut Pro, and will be buying either HitFilm 4 Pro, or a subscription to Adobe After Effects for this project. I assume that I at least have the editing part squared away?

Deciding what type of video camera to purchase, however, has left me undecided - this being where I need the most advice.

I am considering the following options - hoping to spend less than $500. I would greatly appreciate everyone's input and/or alternate suggestions:

Option 1: Buy a vintage VHS camcorder on eBay or Craigslist.

Pros of Option 1: Many on eBay/Craigslist are under $100.

Cons of Option 1: I do not know anything about vintage camcorder maintenance, nor is there a facility close to my location that offers repair services. Also, it appears that transferring VHS recordings to a computer for editing requires buying an adaptor, with possible unforeseen issues relating to compatibility.

Option 2: Buy a new consumer grade camcorder.

Pros of Option 2: I know it will work, have a warranty, and be compatible with my computer/software.

Cons of Option 2: May require a lot more work to obtain that true "80's" look?
Old 31st October 2019
  #2
Here's my idea. It's just an opinion, I haven't actually used a VHS the last 15 years.
You'll need a VHS camcorder. S-VHS is too good. It's not as detailed as digital, but not a bad image.
You'll need some converter to record your composite signals streaming. (Elgato cheapest?) I'd grab it straight from the camcorder, if possible.
IMO don't get a modern camcorder. The new consumer grade ones have a very different look. Much more polished and sharpness.

If there's no budget, then maybe soften up the image? Add some noise, mess around with color fringe?
upscaling to some larger size, then downscaling might give you some interesting noise. But IMO avoid looking too "digital".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P00QS3lXJeI

If someone has a better idea, I'm interested!
Old 15th December 2019
  #3
Here for the gear
 

Quote:
Originally Posted by Reptil View Post
Here's my idea. It's just an opinion, I haven't actually used a VHS the last 15 years.
You'll need a VHS camcorder. S-VHS is too good. It's not as detailed as digital, but not a bad image.
You'll need some converter to record your composite signals streaming. (Elgato cheapest?) I'd grab it straight from the camcorder, if possible.
IMO don't get a modern camcorder. The new consumer grade ones have a very different look. Much more polished and sharpness.

If there's no budget, then maybe soften up the image? Add some noise, mess around with color fringe?
upscaling to some larger size, then downscaling might give you some interesting noise. But IMO avoid looking too "digital".
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P00QS3lXJeI

If someone has a better idea, I'm interested!
Thank you for responding Reptil. I purchased a mint condition VHS (not S-VHS) camcorder locally from a seller on Craigslist for less than $100. The previous owner won it at a Christmas party raffle in the early 90s, but stated that he never had the time to learn how to use it. Bonus feature: now I can watch old VHS movies found at garage sales...

Only problem is that the original battery won't hold a charge, and finding a replacement will take some time. I've been using a 50 ft. extension cord for the time being.

I purchased the item shown in the link per your reference as it is inexpensive enough to try. I'll let you know how it turns out! Thank you again Reptil!

https://www.elgato.com/en/video-capture
Old 24th December 2019
  #4
Lives for gear
 
TVPostSound's Avatar
You know, these videos didn't look like that in the 80s.
What you're seeing is the result of someone recording them off air on VHS back then through a composite cable , and going through multiple incarnations of conversion and compression.
Old 24th December 2019
  #5
Lives for gear
 
lovekrafty's Avatar
Get yourself a JVC GR C1 handheld camcorder
Old 25th December 2019
  #6
Gear Addict
 

I would do it in post with AE. So many more options, you can exaggerate where you want.. Just shoot it with a 4:3 aspect ratio in mind, maybe with a longer lens to get it more shaky, and don't forget the crash zoom! There are 100's of AE templates & plugins to achieve a vintage look, here are a few:

https://www.rocketstock.com/free-aft...after-effects/
https://www.rocketstock.com/video-pa...tion-elements/
https://www.redgiant.com/products/magic-bullet-suite/
https://cineblur.com/downloads/vintage-fx/

Here's your kindergarten for everything video:
https://forums.creativecow.net
Old 25th December 2019
  #7
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TVPostSound View Post
You know, these videos didn't look like that in the 80s.
What you're seeing is the result of someone recording them off air on VHS back then through a composite cable , and going through multiple incarnations of conversion and compression.
True, but he could do the video equivalent of what, in audio, we'd call a futz.

Shoot with the old camcorder, convert and edit, then back out to the camcorder. Play it back through a CRT TV. Shoot the CRT screen with a modern camera. For extra credit, hit it with some nasty outdoor light through dusty miniblinds.
Old 25th December 2019
  #8
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TVPostSound's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brent Hahn View Post
. For extra credit, hit it with some nasty outdoor light through dusty miniblinds.
That would be 80s porn.
Old 25th December 2019
  #9
Gear Guru
 
Brent Hahn's Avatar
Quote:
Originally Posted by TVPostSound View Post
That would be 80s porn.
Which was also, in its own way, Instructional Video.
Old 25th December 2019
  #10
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TVPostSound's Avatar
Heres one closer to real 80s
https://youtu.be/GARWowi0QXI
Old 25th December 2019
  #11
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huub's Avatar
We've done this before. It actually took 3 runs through a VHS to make it look 80ies

Audio needed pitch wobble.
Old 29th December 2019
  #12
Gear Guru
 

Davinci Resolve has some included VFX for older imaging, including "nice" VHS and "bad" VHS. I think it's starting with v16 or 16.1 that it's included. Not sure if it's in the free version or just the paid one. I'm guessing both.
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