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Nostalgia Via Handbrake

Nostalgia Via Handbrake

So last fall when my mother sold my childhood home, I came across like 100 old homevideos.. One of my projects this past year was converting them all to DVD at my university’s dubbing center, and recently I finally finished them all.

I downloaded the program Handbrake to try and convert some to AVI or MP4 so I could play with some clips just for fun. But for some reason, Handbrake will only encode random portions of the DVDs, which results in 2 or 3 hours of footage being turned into a 2 minute “preview.” Does anyone out there know what I’m doing wrong or if there is a better program for this kind of encoding? Either way, though, I spent an entire day playing around with the disfunctional encoding, as each time it produced a different result. As annoying as it was to not get the full clips, I ended up having a lot of fun.

And I’m posting two of my favourites, mostly for the pleasure of the people in them. The first is a night in 1987 with my parents, my grandmother and my all of my mother’s siblings which I had no part of but am fascinated by (theres 4 hours of rather high-quality footage all together, involving everything from political conversations to charades, here edited randomly down to about 2 minutes). The most annoying part is that it squeaks in between the cuts, and is likely not entertaining to anyone who doesn’t know these people.

The second is a ton of really embarrassing “short videos” I made from 1998-2001 or so, with my parents’ super-crappy camcorder. Some of them are improv comedy-style, some are assignments for school (hand in a video, you get an “A”, even if you made it 30 minutes.. for a book report on the book “1984” 6 of us just made a 20 minute clip about what “the real 1984 was like” and my teacher ate it up despite it having no relevance to class material), and some are just a bunch of us sitting around stoned. As a whole, I would never post them due to the extreme cringeworthyness of my “performances” (characters I played included a misogynist small-town thug; a virgin who hires 3 prostitutes to take his virginity; and a not-so-butch lesbian with enormous breasts and a killer wig), but condensed into a minute or two, its not so bad.

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