These superb Canon 5D and 7D cameras are finding their way into all sorts of video applications these days.

Prime Time TV programmes are being shot on them.  Here’s a new idea though.  I like this not only for the pictures it creates and the camera it uses but also for the electric ‘model’ helicopter flying platform.  I want one!  :)

Aerial video with a Canon 5D , 7D helivideo.com from Eric AUSTIN on Vimeo.


30 years ago this month

That's me . . .

That's me, shooting in Cornwall in 1980. (Spot the U-Matic!)

Long time friend and former colleague Colin Grimshaw (the very same man who looked out the videos of Guy Kewney – see below) has just written a Blog post about some video we were shooting exactly 30 years ago this month.

We were down underground and around Tywarnhale Mine – a Cornish tin (or was it copper?) mine, which belonged at the time to Imperial College of Science and Technology for which we both were working at the time (Colin still does).

Read Colin’s Blog post here.

Colin’s words take me back a bit but I remember it well.

He  neglects to mention however, this was not a project for anyone suffering from claustrophobia. The underground passage to the working area was not high enough to stand straight, it was a long walk and about 18 inches deep in water. Of course, apart from the helmet lamps, it was also dark!

All the equipment Colin mentions had to be carried a considerable distance underground whilst bent almost double and wading through water. It was hot, humid, wet and everyone and everything came out of the mine stained orange.

Yes, we suffered for our art in those days, but it was fascinating and I wouldn’t have missed the experience.  I remember having the thought as we first turned on the battery lights for the video, it was certain that area had never seen as much light since the dawn of time!

RIP Guy Kewney

Guy KewneyAround a year or so ago, a chat popped up on my screen from Guy Kewney.  “…Thought you ought to know, I’m pretty ill…” and a link to his personal blog where he’s been writing about it.

Every couple of weeks since, I’ve visited his blog to read his increasingly graphic descriptions of dying from Cancer. It hasn’t been pleasant, but it’s been an eye opener. He wrote about the last months of his life in merciless detail, amazing truth, incredible bravery and wit.

Guy was of course, an author – it was how he made his living, being ‘Editorial Fellow’ (a title he chose himself) for Ziff Davies’ Personal Computer World Magazine, Editor of PC Dealer and many others.  There was nobody in the high tech world Guy didn’t know.

As John Lettice co-‘Editorial Fellow’ and friend writes, “I remember an awe-struck staffer returning from a visit to Guy’s terraced house in Hackney, babbling that he didn’t have any carpets but that he did have his own PBX system, which in 1983 was non-trivial . . . and not a lot of IT writers were chums with the late Douglas Adams, author of the “Hitchiker’s Guide” either!

Christmas 1977

Christmas 1997 at Imperial College TV Studio

Guy and I met when we made some videos together.  Truth to tell, I was a tad envious of his encyclopaedic knowledge of modern technology; and of course, he knew everybody of any importance and what’s more, they knew him.

In this obituary, Manek Dubash says, “Described as the man who made Britain love computers, Guy got it right more often than not. He predicted that microcomputers would become a huge market. He called the future dominance of Google correctly as soon as its first, minimalist website appeared. And he correctly said in 2002 that mobile video would be limited not by bandwidth but by power consumption.”

One of my personal recollections was Guy telling me about a system he’d had a preview of, that would allow you to put your whole music collection on a single CD.  He said “This will change the world of music”.  He was talking about MP3s of course – and he was right.  Listening to Guy was always a pleasure and if I had a pound for every time I’ve quoted him, I’d be able to buy that new Superphone I want!

Guy died a few days ago.

I asked Colin Grimshaw, Media Director at Imperial College where we made the videos, to look out a couple and we’ve put them on YouTube.  The only videos on YouTube featuring Guy’s name were from the famous incident when the BBC interviewed a Taxi Driver, believing he was Guy – and that’s not fair at all.

Guy, interviewed just before Christmas 1997 – 2 years before Y2K.

Rest in Peace Guy and sincere condolences to Mary, his wife and Lucy, his daughter.

Searching for John Taylor from Ravensbourne RCAD

A few posts back I mentioned Ellie.

She and I are now in communication and in some respects the intervening years have dropped away.  Whilst at Ravensbourne College of Art and Design in Bromley,  She, I, Stephen Hitchins, Anne Alexander and John Taylor were a great team.  We produced some superb multimedia shows – and remember – this was back in the 70s when Multimedia was ground-breaking.

“Search for a Hero” won such critical acclaim that the Royal Court Theatre Upstairs in Sloane Square , London, took us on for a short season.  The following year “The Ring”, a show about marriage, won critical acclaim as did “No Clock in the Forest” the year after.

Messrs, Bell, Frost and Hitchins are now back in contact.  Where are you John Taylor?  Get in touch, Pal we need you to help give that young upstart Lloyd Webber a run for his money!   :-)