Kim Horton on the shift from film to video

At what point did you switch from film to video?
At what point, that would have been in the in the 90s. It probably would have been possibly early 90s. The last thing I did on film was it was a series called God Bless America, which were great, a great series, all directed by a guy called Alan Gilsenan. They were American authors, and they would basically deal with their writing, but it would be almost like an essay of a particular thing. I did Gore Vidal, so it was everything he thought about American politics, and I did another one which had Marsha Hunt in. Anyway, that was the last thing, and then the first thing I ever did on offline, so this is on the Steenbeck, new equipment, supposed to you know, change everything for us. You didn’t need an assistant for instance, we had assistants up to that point. Along comes Lightworks, and you know, nobody uses Lightworks much any more.

Lightworks is… just explain?
Lightworks is just an offline system, so… do you want me to describe what offline is?

Yes, do.
Well, offline is, having shot the thing – and a lot of it was still being shot on film – they would have to transfer on it to tape, and we had this… and then the tape was digitised into the editing system, which was Lightworks, in the computer… it’s just like a computer. So you input all the rushes in and you would then electronically deal with it, edit it. It would all be sunk up, it would be ready to go, and you would just work as you used to work editing it. But there was a sort of a crossover, so you were still trying to kind of edit like you would on the Steenbeck… it wasn’t the easiest bit of kit to get your head around and I did have problems initially with it. But the first series I did was a thing called Ape Man: The Story of Human Evolution, which was Rod Caird’s sort of swansong, it was the last thing that he did, and it was a four-part thing about early mankind. They had four… it was destined for America and it was presented by Walter Cronkite, and they would fly Walter over to Africa to be amongst skulls and what have you, and then they had to fly out to the States to get him to narrate, to record his commentary for the thing. I think it went down quite well. That was the first thing.

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