We received this email from David Tuck today and just had to share it....
It was a random You Tube search for XTC’s ‘Making plans for Nigel’ video that led me to find the Swindon Viewpoint and shockingly, footage of myself from thirty years ago. A group of friends utilised the amazing facilities to produce ‘The 18mm Show’ that appears to be the precursor of all teenage comedy offerings on You Tube now.
It’s lo-fi no budget aesthetic, full of stolen ideas and charity shop wigs, was incredible fun to make but I’m not sure how much fun to watch. Audience figures were never recorded but we did receive a couple of written complaints about content, of which we were very proud.
I remember vividly the very first time we plucked up courage and walked into the Victoria Road office. We were greeted by an long haired and bearded Canadian. I, in an attempt to look older and thus more responsible, had worn a tie. Which may have worked if it wasn’t my school tie.
He was in a t-shirt and velvet waistcoat, he kicked he feet up on to the desk and in a soft west coast drawl asked how he could help. He looked like he’d just got off the road with Lynard Skynard, although I wouldn’t have got that reference at the time. He was, at that moment, the coolest person I had ever met. He was Canadian, like people in the movies, he works in television and he lives in Swindon. Brilliant.
In an effort to try and blend in, I casually loosened my tie and blurted out something about wanting to make a show, and he signaled for us to follow him. We went upstairs to an Aladdin’s cave of cameras and recorders. I could hardly breathe as he took us through the basic steps of the reel to reel portable video recorder. Oh yes, no cassette just a single reel of open tape. And although it called itself portable, because it had carrying strap, it weighed as much as a traction engine. A few short minutes later we were standing outside with thousands of pounds worth of camera and recorder and the instruction ‘ Go and shoot some stuff, dudes.’
Well, this odd start did eventually end up with us shooting five or six ‘comedy’ shows of which an odd promo from 1979 is the only thing that is currently online. Although I’m curious to see the others, it is rather like hearing a recording of your own voice. Plus of course , a video of yourself actually speaking, with hair you’ve started to grow really long…for some reason.
I was fortunate enough to end up working in TV and I’ve even written sketches for a real comedy show the BBC’s ‘Manstrokewoman’, with Nick Frost. Without Viewpoints laidback, genuinely open community access spirit, I doubt that would have ever happened.
Yesterday's news is the day before tomorrow's chip paper. You don't want that, so we've added news to the site! You'll see the news at the bottom of many pages on the Swindon Viewpoint site. Its current, specific to Swindon and updated every minute from a range of sources across the town. Its another small step along the way to keep this site relevant and focused on your town.
Take a look on the home page where you can see a selection of these news stories at the bottom of the page. http://www.swindonviewpoint.com/
We're back posting new content after a few weeks holiday and have a few unknown acts to name. If you know who these people are then please add any information to the comments sections and we'll update the titles!
Many of the old tapes are unlabeled and working out what is on them can be a challenge at the best of times! Any help you can offer is very appreciated.
All the video with unknown details can be found tagged with 'unknown'.