|Notes on the films:
Shortly after my 14th birthday in 1962
your webmaster decided to move from still photography to film. I
rented an 8mm camera and shot footage at the Cotati races in April, the
Santa Barbara event in May, and Laguna Seca in June.
That was it. After Laguna Seca
I still went to many races but he never took any more photos or movies.
I forget why I stopped and I regret like hell that I did.
The Cotati films have disappeared, not
surprising after 38 years. I'm going to look further and I still
have some hope of finding them.
The Santa Barbara and Laguna Seca films,
four three-minute reels in all, languished in extremely deep storage
for decades. I found them after a full day of rummaging through my
brother Ladd's storage shed in the little desert town of Darwin, CA.
They were with some of his UCLA Film School stuff, undisturbed since at
Next, I rented an 8mm projector from
SML Camera Repair in Venice and drove to my brother Tip's home in Crestline.
We projected the long-lost films onto
a sheet of typing paper. From four feet away the image was about
6" square. We taped the scratchy old footage with Tip's pro digital
video camera -- jumping from way-old technology to almost the newest.
Then the fun part. We put the resulting
"D9" cassette into his editing deck and went to work. One full reel
from Laguna Seca was too far out of focus to use. Another reel, also
from Laguna Seca, lost its first 90 seconds to overexposure.
The rest, while definitely of "Home movie"
quality, was more or less usable.
We created 14 clips, each between 30-50
seconds long. We mixed and matched, trying to achieve some continuity:
Modified cars with modified cars, production cars with production
cars, etc. We tried not to be too redundant, but you'll still see
some of our favorites come around more than once.
We taped the films at 30 frames per second.
We used that rate because it eliminated any flicker on the tape.
When we edited them we slowed the rate to 18 frames per second for a more
natural un-sped up look.
In a few spots we slowed the rate to
10 frames per second. A good example of this is the footage of Ken
Miles in Otto Zipper's Ferrari. This footage is all we have of this
rarely-seen car and at 18 frames per second Miles zoomed by WAY too quickly.
After editing, we stored the clips on
the D9 cassette along with the raw footage. We also made a Super
VHS cassette and a regular VHS cassette.
I played the regular VHS cassette at
home to familiarize myself with what I had, to think about these text pages,
and to decide what to do next.
My next move was taking the Super VHS
cassette to "Santa Monica Video". They used it to create a CD-ROM,
encoding the clips in "Quicktime" format.
Jon Dressel said the clips were "optimized
for the web". I'm not totally sure what that means. He also said
they were "optimized for a T1 connection" in other words, for cable
modem. Slow dial-up modems may have a long wait.
Then I copied the CD-ROM files onto my
hard drive. Then I wrote the intro pages and FTP'd the clips up to
Sorry about the "Home movie" quality,
but I hope you can still enjoy them.
to Video Page 1
to Video Page 2
to Video Page 3