Three Quarter Inch Productions: Soho, Southwark, Kensington and Brixton: 1980-1988
After completing a short teaching fellowship at the London College of Printing, which gave me access to video production facilities, including the Videokalos Image Processor, I sought new strategies to continue my video work. Convinced that video had the potential to become a medium distinct from broadcast television, and aware that I required regular and direct access to basic production technology, I decided to establish my own studio.
For the most part, artists’ video in England in the late 1970’s was tied into the art school system and to production funding from the Arts Council of Great Britain. London Video Arts was at this time solely a distribution organisation, and there was no video equivalent of the London Film-makers Co-op with its tradition of accessible workshop resources. The only subsidised video post-production facility was “Fantasy Factory”, run by John (‘Hoppy’) Hopkins and Sue Hall, funded by Greater London Arts, which, although used by a number of video artists, had a distinctly community video bias.
Learning of the availability of a second-hand ‘U-matic’ edit suite, I approached two LVA colleagues (Pete Livingston and Alex Meigh), proposing the formation of a partnership to purchase of this equipment.”Three-Quarter Inch Video”, duly registered as a company on September 4th 1980, and set up in two vacant rooms adjacent to London Video Arts at 79A Wardour Street in Soho, London. The plan was to hire the equipment to artists, covering our costs, maintenance and the operation of the facility, and to have access to the equipment for the production of our own work.
After this initial equipment purchase, the nature of the facilities developed considerably, reflecting changes in the technology, the budget, and technical requirements. Although the partnership was dissolved in 1981-82, the enterprise continued. After moving premises a number of times, from Soho to Lavington St in SE1 and Queen’s Gate Terrace in Kensington the equipment was finally installed at my home off Acre Lane in Brixton in 1982. With the addition of the prototype Videokalos Image Processor in 1982-83 and a CEL time base corrector a year later, these facilities formed the core of my studio for the next six years.
Videotapes produced using these facilities include: The Chance Meeting, The Room With A View, Time Travelling/A True Story, Interlude (Homage to Bugs Bunny), On Being, An Imaginary Landscape and The Stream.