One Shot, Charlie, You Only Get One Shot!

This was a proof of concept, made in 1991 after Sony came out with the 8mm Handicam. I thought it could start a new era of affordable video production because people would be able to capture an hour’s worth of sync sound color footage for only $5 an hour which on film cost more than $3,000. So I bought one for about 300 bucks and screwed around with it. I actually got something aired on PBS/BBC about Pee Wee Herman.

I wanted to show how I could use it in unobtrusive and “difficult” situations. I met a doctor, Joyce Wallace, who was testing street prostitutes for HIV, driving around in a van on the worst of the “strolls” in NYC. I figured that if I could be in that van filming, it would be a great demonstration both of my skills and the equipment. 

What follows is right out of the camera, unedited. 

WARNING: Graphic content that could be upsetting.

Here is a New York Times profile of the project

The story of how Dr. Wallace started testing prostitues