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Documentary Film Equipment in the 1980's-1990's


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#1 Joseph Curran_48417

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 11:58 AM

Dear Filmmakers,

 

I am hoping amongst you I would be able to glean some information about what the most likely equipment would have been used by Documentary Filmmakers during the 80's and 90's. 

 

I am looking specifically for Documentary filmmakers who would be working in micro-crews of say 2 or 3- not large production equipment, but the sort that would enable you to be mobile and still produce a broadcast quality product.

 

I am seeking camera's, sound recording equipment and anything else I might be missing. Again, to stress, I am trying to build an idea of what would have been used during the 80's and early 90's, no modern examples please!

 

Many thanks for your help.

 

Joseph 


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#2 Chris Elardo

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 12:09 PM

There were several cameras to choose from back then with most docs being shot in 16mm. I know Marty Stouffer (Wild America) used an Arriflex, and I believe Jaques Cousteau used Mitchells in the 1970's. I'm not sure what was shot with Eclairs, but I'm sure they're somewhere in the mix. As far as sound goes, Nagra was still king in the 80's giving way to DAT recorders in the 90's.


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#3 Brian Drysdale

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Posted 02 April 2014 - 12:50 PM

In film it was generally Aatons and Arri SRs being used, together with older Eclairs. On video the Sony Betacam 2/3" range was pretty universal, with DVCam coming in towards the end of that period. The 1/3" video cameras started to be used in the 1990s for observational type documentaries using Hi 8 etc.

 

Sound wise the Nagra 4.2 moving to the Nagra IV S range for stereo, DAT began taking over during the 1990s. The video cameras were usually single system.


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#4 Joseph Curran_48417

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 10:06 AM

Brian and Chris,

 

Thank you for the info, greatly appreciated. 

 

Best

Joseph


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#5 Freya Black

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Posted 03 April 2014 - 10:22 AM

I remember Betacam SP being a huge thing in the video world in the late 80's and early 90's.

 

Freya


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