With many of our researchers working hard to compile footage for Car Crash Britain, we have seen a diverse of dashcam content coming onto our site. From the dramatic to the absurd, our team are leaving no motorway or avenue untravelled in their quest for TV worthy footage.
But this week’s blog features a type of content that we don’t usually come across. While a lot of the footage we sell tends to be fairly recent, a remarkable video was uploaded to us late last year that dates all the way back to 1981. In that same year, Muhammad Ali retired from professional boxing, Lady Diana married Prince Charles, and the great Phil Collins released his heart-rending debut single ‘In The Air Tonight’.
The video was captured by Rod Bean – a keen videographer who has over the years compiled a huge range of archive footage dating back to the late 50s. Back when cameras were hefty units that needed to be carried on your shoulder, Rod was out capturing footage in and around his hometown of Worksop.
Shooting tonnes of driving footage, Rod’s material provides a remarkable snapshot into how the locality has changed over the years. But with few cars on the road, and a network of sleepy looking streets, it is difficult to imagine anything approaching the drama and excitement of some of our other Car Crash Britain contributions. It therefore came as quite a shock when we discovered the following video, uploaded in March 2014:
OK, maybe it isn’t quite as crazy as a lot of other Youtube videos; the van hits a wall and skids down the road with a missing wheel, looking like a comical Italian Job scene. But the date of its recording marks it as the oldest piece of content currently on our website. Whether it also counts as the oldest dashcam crash recorded is yet to be determined, but we like our chances.
So how was it recorded?
We got in touch with Rod and asked him a few questions about how his amazing footage was recorded.
“I bought the camera at the end of 1980 and having previously used cine cameras using films which only lasted 4 minutes. It seemed amazing to be able to use a tape that lasted 3 hours. So I drove round Bournemouth and did some filming and when I went back to Worksop to visit my mother in 1981, I thought it would be a good idea to drive round and do some filming there to remind me what the place was like. A friend said he would drive while I did the filming. We were only a few hundred yards from his house when the accident happened. No one was hurt in the accident so we just carried on to his house and had a look at the video.”
But Rod’s interest in filming his environment began long before that. As a child he took a strong interest in his father’s new camera equipment.
“I started filming in 1957 with a cine camera. A friend of my dad had one and he let me borrow it; they were very rare and it seemed amazing back then!”
When I was a kid, there was very little technology. Hardly anyone had a TV and they were black and white, so seeing a cine camera that could take colour film was amazing! that’s what started me off, nowadays everything is taken for granted.
There was no special purpose, it was mainly for filming family, and anything I thought may be of interest, things like Facebook and YouTube would never have been dreamed of.”
Asked what he thinks about the huge proliferation of recording equipment available nowadays, and how it affects the nature of videography, Rod gave us a frank assessment.
“I think now everything is so accessible that the magic has gone, even though the quality and size of the latest cameras are far better.”
If you think your video has the requisite magic to be used by one of our clients, please don’t be afraid to upload it to our website. And don’t forget about our Car Crash Global production – we’re still looking for your clips!