Sep 16, 2015


This program made in 1995 looks at "non-linear" editing when it was a brand new technology.

Aug 17, 2015

Evening/PM Magazine

"Evening/PM Magazine" was a half-hour local program that was in production at many stations from the late 1970s through the early '90s. The show pioneered the use of small-format videotape field equipment and electronic editing to tell stories about local people, places and things. The program was known as "Evening Magazine" at the five Group W stations (Baltimore, Boston, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and San Francisco) and "PM Magazine" on other stations where it was franchised. "Evening/PM" was seen on over 100 stations at it peak, and usually aired at either 7:00 or 7:30 P.M. This 1981 segment from WBZ-TV's "Evening" illustrates how a typical story was produced using the television technology of the era: Sony 3/4-inch videotape decks, Ikegami HL-79 field camera, Datatron edit controller, Grass Valley Group 1600 switcher, and RCA TR-600 quadruplex VTRs.

Jul 10, 2015



Consolidated Visual Center Animation, Motion Graphics and Effects Show Reel circa 1982.

May 17, 2015

Apr 25, 2015

Loading and lining up an Ampex VR2000 videotape machine

Loading and lining up an Ampex VR2000 videotape machine.

Apr 23, 2015


Chock-A-Block was a BBC children's television programme, created by Michael Cole. It was first shown in 1981 and repeated through to 1989 and shown as part of the children's programme cycle See-Saw (the "new" name for the cycle originally known as Watch with Mother). "Chock-A-Block" was an extremely large yellow computer, modelled to resemble a mainframe of the time; it filled the entire studio and provided the entire backdrop for the show. The presenter of the show played the part of a technician maintaining the computer. There were two presenters, Fred Harris ("Chock-A-Bloke") and Carol Leader ("Chock-A-Girl"), but only one appeared in each episode. At the start of the show, the presenter would drive around the studio towards the machine in a small yellow electric car, before saying the catchphrase "Chock-A-Bloke (or Girl), checking in!").

The presenter would then use the machine to find out about a particular topic. The name "chock-a-block" was derived from the machine's ability to read data from "blocks" - which were just that, physical blocks painted different colours. A typical show would include dialogue from the presenter, a brief clip played on Chock-a-block's video screen, and the presenter recording a song on Chock-a-block's audio recorder (which resembled the reel-to-reel tape drives used on actual mainframes, but with a design below to cause the reels to resemble the eyes of a smiling face).

According to the Kaleidoscope 'Lost Shows' database, eight out of thirteen episodes are no longer in the BBC archives.

The story of Chockablock :