Back in 1987, the Fisher-Price company came out with the PXL2000 Pixilvision camcorder. Meant for children, this black-and-white camera recorded rather grainy video onto audio cassettes. Though it was an innovative product, the three-hundred-dollar price tag for the camera and TV combo deterred many consumers from buying it for their children.
I’m sure that Fisher-Price didn’t count on a different group of consumers purchasing their products, namely film makers. The low-tech look of the PXL2000’s recordings charmed and inspired various creative people. A cult following developed from the showings of videos made with the camcorder.
I had a different reason for buying my PXL2000. It was more affordable than the colour camcorders sold at the time. I could also use readily-available chrome cassettes rather than a proprietary medium such as Video 8.
As I had composed some electronic music tunes, I decided to put video to a few of them. My hope was to submit them to Much Music, Canada’s version of MTV, but I never got around to doing that. Nevertheless, I hung on to those videos until recently.
Through various e-mail groups and web searches, I heard about a film festival which showed PixilVision videos each year. But I didn’t get around to submitting anything until last Month. After adding titles and credits to four music videos and a documentary I made of the Departures Leap Day Night live concert, I burned them to DVd-Rs and mailed them to Gerry Fialka (the sponsor of the festival). Lo and behold, he chose two music videos and the Departures video for screening at PXL This 23 , to be held on December 9th in Los Angeles.
As you can tell by the stills I’ve included with this post, the camera had poor resolution. Even so, the videos had a charm of their own. If you search YouTube, you’ll find a fair number of videos made with the toy camera. Some of them are rather artistic. I also have a channel on YouTube on which you can see all four of the PXL2000 videos along with others I’ve made with my Sony camcorder.
I also made book trailers for When a Man Loves a Rabbit, Deliverance from Jericho, and How I Was Razed but not with the PXL2000. My first two memoirs are on my Bruce Atchison’s books page. How I Was Razed: A Journey from Cultism to Christianity is available through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Virtual Bookworm Publishers.