I’m delighted that my short documentary “VMC vs. the Radio Star” is screening as part of the Documentary Shorts 2 program of this year’s Atlanta Film Festival this Wednesday night at 9:45 at the Landmark Midtown Theater. If you can, come check the VMC film out on the big screen, along with some other great short docs. If you can’t make it, here it is again:
Archive for the ‘Television’ Category
Back in December I posted a video I put together about Atlanta’s old Video Music Channel. The interview subject in the segment is Tom Roche, who is now an editor at Crawford Post Production. Tom asked whether he could take a crack at the video and add some more of the great old footage of the VMC. Tom is a pro editor, so I was more than happy to let him work on it. He crafted an amazing re-edit: he added lots of new footage and titles and generally smoothed things out. It now feels more like a documentary and less like an extended oral history. It’s a great testament to the heady days of the VMC.
To view the video in a larger size, click here.
The Video Music Channel was added to Atlanta’s cable system on July 4, 1982. The VMC studio was located in the basement of the Center Stage Theater, which was exclusively a venue for plays back then. The VMC operated on a shoestring budget and its production value was often raw, but its producers and VJ’s were clever music lovers who seized the opportunity and created some really amazing television. The channel developed a loyal following—including me and my two brothers—but its weak ad revenue could hardly keep the station in the black. When the VMC was offered the chance to shift to broadcast channel 69 in 1984, they happily agreed. Despite gaining a broader potential audience and a more high-tech studio, the ratings for the VMC at channel 69 weren’t great and management began to phase out music video programming in 1985.
Tom Roche arrived at the VMC in 1983 and served as its Production Manager until 1985. In this segment he shares some of his memories of working at the channel. Big thanks to Tom for providing some great archival footage for this segment.
If you lived in Atlanta between 1982 and 1986 and were of a certain age, you undoubtedly remember the Video Music Channel. The weird videos and wacky VJ’s on the VMC warped my impressionable adolescent mind. Unlike the placelessness of MTV, the VMC was firmly rooted in Atlanta and all its musical happenings.
I recently interviewed Tom Roche, who was the Production Manager for the VMC, and I’ll share some of his comments in a subsequent post. For now I’ll pass along a VMC commercial which promoted four of their special shows.
There are a ton of old tv commercials on YouTube, but they’re generally not locally specific. I’d like to start assembling vintage Atlanta tv commercials in a series for this blog. Vintage is an arbitrary term, but let’s just say anything produced before 1990. I certainly need help locating these commercials. If there’s an old Atlanta tv spot on YouTube (or some other video sharing site), please post the URL in the comments section and I’ll embed it on the site. If you have a copy of a commercial on disc, tape, or film and need some help digitizing and uploading it to the web, I’d be willing to assist.
The first video in this series is a commercial for the old Plaza Drugs on Ponce de Leon Avenue (in the first post of this blog, George Mitchell discussed Plaza Drugs). From the clothing and the look of the film stock, I’m guessing this commercial was produced in the late 60s or early 70s.