Making the blog rounds this morning is a 10-minute YouTube video uploaded just yesterday of the New York City subway system in 1986. It’s beautiful in its way and fascinating in both its similarities to today (sad-looking people, grimy stations, hustle, bustle) and its differences (graffiti, the K and CC trains, tokens). Full story of the footage after the jump.
The story: In 1986 I made a round trip through the USA and Canada. The starting point was New York. So I filmed some scenes in Manhattan. And was going in the underground at 43nd St & Timesquare. I filmed with a big ARRIflex 16mm camera with a 120m magazine with 7250 Kodak 16mm color reversal Tungsten 400 ASA film and a Schneider Cine Xenon 1:2/16mm lens. This equipment is good for 10 Minutes recording duration at 25 f/sec.
After I time a man comes to me and said, he´s a cameraman at ABC and filming at the subway is strictly forbidden without any permission and police is on the other end of the platform. So I was leaving the station, but I had these beautiful pics of the old times in the New York subway. At the same time I recorded the stereo sound with a SONY WM-D6C with two Sennheiser micros in stereo.
In 1986 I edited the pics to the song of the band “London Beat” — “9am at a New York subway”. About 25 years later I was uploading this movie to YouTube. But SONY Music was locking my movie because of the copyright of the song. So I deleted the audio track und was uploading the silence version. After the great response to this video of the New York subway of 1986 now I opened my archive once again with the original film and composed it with the original stereo sound to this over 10 minutes long “directors cut” of all scenes, I filmed at this day in June 1986. Enjoy it!
The clip is soothing. Someone will project this onto the wall of a Brooklyn house party this weekend, if they know how to throw a nice, hip New York party. We would like to attend that party.