I regret losing my very first documentary, Portrait of an Adventurer. I made it in ’61 on spec. It was about Ron Flockhart, who was in Australia to fly his plane solo from Sydney to London. Crazy Guinness Book of World Records stuff. I filmed his preparations and his fears. “I couldn’t look myself in the face if I backed out.” Sadly, Flockhart died in the risky venture.
Ron Flockhart and Mustang, ready for the record attempt.
I sold the doc for £15 to Australia’s TCN9. It was broadcast and then junked. “Oh, did you want it back?” Why didn’t I buy another copy? I don’t know. I suspect I thought the lab would always have it. Wrong. Come back, Kinelab.
Video: The Billion Dollar Battle
That’s the name of a TV documentary from producer Julian Aston. It’s about my company, Molinare. Like my Flockhart film, it’s lost too.
One night, before bed, I mused: Where is it? I’d love a copy. I did nothing and fell asleep. Maybe I dreamt about it.
Friends, trust me, this 100 percent true. The next morning an out-of-the-blue e-mail from Julian, “Just thinking about you, it must be 30 or 40 years since we last met.”
Quick, play the theme from The Twilight Zone. Do-dee-do-dee…
We do good e-mail. Julian finds a copy in his woodshed and pops it onto Dropbox.
Curiouser and Curiouser
Go grab your anaglyph 3D (red and cyan) glasses. I’m far left with Sony Action Cams. Vicki is on the right.
I watch Julian’s 1979 TV program. There I am, 35 years younger. There’s Bob Parsons, Phil Stone, Roger De Freitas and many more. I find e-mail addresses for both Roger and Bob.
Roger replies from London: “Vicki and I are going to a wedding in SLC. Can we stay with you in SF after?”
Whoosh! They arrive at Chez Sargent and begin the guided tour.
My Man Cave
Pride of place is my Sony 65” 4K 3D monitor. Why 4K? Easy: 3D on a regular 1080 HD monitor with passive glasses is really only half res. The interlaced lines are split left and right. You’re watching 540 lines. Why, it’s almost SD. With 4K, you’re back to HD.
Roger and Vicki watch The Life of Pi in 3D scaled up to 4K and are blown away.
Next day I take them to Sausalito, where a brigantine tall ship is being built.
Neither Roger nor Vicki has ever shot video, let alone 3D. I give them each a Sony HXR-NX3D1U. Roger climbs a ladder for a top shot. Vicki starts shooting. I can see she’s framing up, shooting and hitting the stop button.
My new Sony POV Action Cams (HDR-AS100V). They send their video feeds to a watch-type monitor on my wrist.
“No, Vicki, no. Keep the camera running. Stay wide, get in as close as possible.”
End of a Perfect Day
We come home, pour the wine, open the popcorn and watch today’s shoot in glorious 3D 4K (kind of). Their rushes are brilliant.
An old movie found, reunited with lost friends, 4K and 3D.
Life can hold no more.