Shooting Special Visual Effects for B&W Video Tape in 1974

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Chuck Cirino - Television Producer, Director, Music Composer

Chuck Cirino and George Guida shoot effects for Chuck’s production, TALES FROM THE EARTHFATHER
at Blue Ridge Cable TV in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania.


TALES FROM THE EARTHFATHER was a six part science fiction TV series shot entirely at Blue Ridge Cable TV in Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania between the years of 1974 and 1976. The show was recorded on Sony video equipment and cablecast in a regular time slot on the BRC public access
channel, TV-13.

TFTE is highlighted with a good amount of visual effects work, but it was produced for little or no money.

TFTE’s producer-director, Chuck Cirino says in today’s big-budget movies digital effects technicians layer hundreds of  CG elements resulting in one spectacular visual shot. And it costs a small fortune.

“Back in the low-tech no budget days I had two effects layers to work with,” says Chuck, “Most of the outer space material with space ships and planets I achieved with simple double exposures – two video cameras wired through a primitive video switcher.”

Using two video cameras in the comfort of a TV studio was a given…. but how did Chuck do the exterior visual effects work?

For exterior space ship landing scenes Chuck used glass mattes with cut-out photographs of the space ships – and he shot it all on a reel-to-reel Sony PortaPack!

George Guida, (pictured above operating the camera) wasn’t on the BRC payroll, but he gave Chuck a helping hand on TFTE and he even appeared as the super-villain, Cornelius O. Bredd.

Chuck recently digitized the remnants of the show onto hard drives. He says portions of the video survived the march of time but most of the content is now oxide dust.

© 2014 by Chuck Cirino. All rights reserved.

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Chuck Cirino

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