One of the elements of Reclaim Video that I am most excited about is exploring what is possible through the website. We launched the website as part of the world premier at OER18, and it’s pretty awesome. We had a rough idea that we wanted when we reached out to Michael Branson Smith (MBS) based on the venerable BetaMaXmas site Scott Leslie pointed me to—could it have been more than 10 years ago now?
Zach Whalen and I partnered with MBS on UMW’s Console Living Room back in 2015, and his regular, brilliant contributions to ds106 over the years made collaborating on Reclaim Video all but a foregone conclusion. In fact, his artist-in-residence contribution to the UMW’s Console Livingroom was the rug that pulled the room together: an analog broadcast network with a full day of programming from the mid 80s. It was pure magic!
So, when Lauren, Tim, and I chatted with MBS about the Reclaim Video site, it should not have been surprising how quick and easy it was. Michael immediately understood what were looking for, and in fact had recommended we design the site around the TV and a shelve of movies, which the mobile version of the site highlights gorgeously:
In fact, that same shelf is something we picked up at our local Goodwill for $14 while he was creating it:
But MBS went well beyond that and added the animated GIF posters along with the old school menu of new arrivals and coming soon videos. But they’re not only decorative, we plan on linking the new arrivals and coming soon to recent videos we purchased as well as the release dates through Wikipedia for a given month and year. As for the animated GIF posters, we want to synch those rotating on the site to an actual LCD screen in the storefront that shows the same posters on both the webpage as you would find in person.
But the real work that just seems like sciencefiction to me, was how MBS was able to get the TV be responsive, use the pause/play buttons, and go full screen. Not to mention having the TV play the tape of the tape you click on the shelf. So awesome, and the beginnings of an interactive site—and it’s just the beginning. Hopefully sometime over the next two months we can coax MBS to come down to Fredericksburg, Virginia so that we can start the next stage of imagining, designing, and building in earnest.
So, for example, what if we take his idea for the Modern VHS generator and integrate it into the site, or sync the TV in the Reclaim Video storefront with that on the web? Or start enabling spaces where folks can quickly and easily leave movie reviews that we can sync with our database of films that folks can find when they come to the site? I don’t know, but I would settle for just knowing how he made the Domain of One’s Own vVHS tape he created for the site look so damned awesome!
So, consider the Reclaim Video site an ongoing work-in-progress that well be sharing updates around regularly for the foreseeable future. thanks MBS, you rule!