In 1995, Sony released a camera that would go on to dominate skateboarding videos for the next 15 years, revolutionizing the culture in its wake.
Note: Video contains some swearing and brief sexually suggestive scenes for historical context.
In this video essay from Jenkem Magazine, they examine the history and impact made by the iconic Sony VX1000. Designed to shrink the bulk of news production cameras of the time, the run-and-gun camcorder eventually found its way into several niche filmmaking categories where it not only made things easier due to a smaller size, it facilitated their growth exponentially.
While I didn’t skate, I started riding bmx bikes at the beginning of the 2000s right in the heyday of VX1000 dominance and its importance to both cultures cannot be understated. Though this video focuses on skateboarding, all of the bmx tapes I owned in that era were VX1000 productions as well. There’s a look and quality to these videos that can never be mimicked, though Wooden Camera is giving it a shot with their $299 VX microphone (yes, that’s right: a pricey external microphone that is trying its best to sound like an internal microphone from a 1995 camcorder — because it’s that important).
As I share this, I can’t help but wonder how many readers had never even heard of the Sony VX1000 before. It’s a camera that meant everything in certain groups of filmmaking, yet outside of that I’ve never really heard other people mention it. To that, I wanted to ask if there’s a similar piece of gear in your own genre that is unquestionably iconic and for a period of time was the only thing anybody used or aspired to use? Let us know in the comments.