ARRI Alexa Retro 480i Cinema Camera
As retro shows grow in popularity, Netflix updates their shooting requirements
I took the janky time machine for a rip a couple decades away, driven by a burning desire to devour Season 25 of Stranger Things. I was instantly captivated by the unerring authenticity of the cinematic quality. Initially, I was convinced that the creators had applied a state-of-the-art retro filter using the ubiquitous motion picture editing software of the time, Windows Movie Maker. However, I soon discovered it was, in fact,
filmed taped on a not-so-new-fangled, new-fangled device – the ARRI Alexa Retro 480i VHS cinema camera.
In the ever-cyclical world of fashion and culture, the 80s seem to have found a persistent echo. Indeed, they have staged a comeback every half-decade since their sunset, creating a safe and profitable avenue for creative and nostalgic investments alike. From the noughties through the roaring twenties, we were caught in an intense 80s nostalgia. The 2030s flirted briefly with the 90s before taking a U-turn back into the warm embrace of the 80s. Now, as I gaze into the future, I can confidently predict the enduring reign of the 80s for at least another century and a half.
I have often pondered the roots of this enduring 80s nostalgia. Upon reflection, it appears that our collective memory of the 80s might be intertwined with the narrative of cell phones. The 80s, after all, was the last decade to stand on the threshold of the technology revolution, a time before the widespread adoption of mobile devices. It represents the final frontier of a modern timeline wherein a plot twist cannot be resolved with a quick swipe on a smartphone – simply because, back then, no one had one.
The (re)introduction of the VHS cinema camera is a tangible embodiment of this sentiment – an anachronistic piece of technology that marries vintage aesthetics with modern cinematic sensibilities, all the while telling stories from a time when life's problems couldn't be solved with a phone call or an app.
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So right on - nailed the the time warp for me. What was it about the 80's? ... GenX coming of age perhaps in combination with heights of industry and promise of good times ahead - a consolidation perhaps as well from the turmoil of WWII up to Bobby Kennedy's assassination & Vietnam loss, plus breaking free from "disco : (" into a whole new era of music combined with technology (mostly in a good way) ... on the verge of what was to come next ... yet a bubble unto itself perhaps that is easy to see from any time point vantage... thx a connection made.