[vcf-midatlantic] A lot of old computers in Stranger things

Michael Thompson michael.99.thompson at gmail.com
Sun May 29 13:55:27 UTC 2022

> From: Dave Shevett <shevett at pobox.com>
> I've always wanted to be in the business of providing these old machines to
> movies and tv shows.  I've sort of half-started putting something together
> for this, but I have NO CLUE how to get onto the 'i can get this stuff for
> you and make it work' radar of studios.
> --
> Dave Shevett
> shevett at pobox.com

Getting known to movie and video people is a challenge. A lot of the set
designers keep their equipment sources secret so competitive movie
companies are at a disadvantage. They are also very reluctant to put
"Thanks to" in the credits for the same reason. Getting your name spread in
the industry is difficult.

Many of the set designers just use search engines to find the equipment
that they need. Some just buy what they want and sell or dispose of it when
they are finished. You could create a Movie Props WWW page with pictures
and descriptions of what you have. The listings need to include the year
they were manufactured, the years that they were in use, and where they
were used.

Very little of the equipment used in movies/videos actually works. If you
video a CRT you will see black bars on the screen because of the difference
in the scan rate of the camera and the CRT. Usually the movie prop people
disconnect the electronics in the CRT and replace the power supply and
electronics with parts designed for the movie industry. The replacement
electronics can synchronize the CRT scan rate to the same external source
used for the cameras, so no black bars. That also lets them use modern
electronics to make the images they need on the CRT.

I have also seen them paste chromakey green film over the CRT, and just
overlay the desired image during editing.

One of my SparcStation 10 systems was used in Halt And Catch Fire. They
needed a Sun workstation, and someone told them that I had a bunch of them.

Michael Thompson

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