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Kato Gets The Girl

Tom Ellard

Everybody starts somewhere. This is an excerpt from an overly long video piece I recorded from late 1984 into early 1985. I shot the footage on a VHS port-a-pak which I lugged around Sydney, Australia, looking for who knows what. I cut the scenes into small hypnogogic spinning a waving sections and layered up two passes on UMatic tape, using Stephen Jones' video synthesiser to create the treatments.

My first attempt at synthesis led to the more brightly coloured segments, as I learned how to use the equipment. In later attempts I got better at designing the colours, but there wasn't enough time for me to get the whole thing right, as we had to fly to London and perform it at the ICA in London to a very bemused audience. So you'll see a mixture of colour styles. One English critic described it as having a 'rise of the Orient' theme to it, which is an interesting take, but it's basically just a bunch of autism.

Later in 1985 Stephen Jones cannibalised this footage to make the video "We Have Come To Bless The House", which was a more successful piece. Fair enough.

The construction site shown here is now the Darling Harbour entertainment district. The parade was Australia Day in 1985. The escalators are still in a shopping centre called Imperial Arcade. Back then no one cared if you filmed inside, it was so rare for individuals to use video.


From Tom Ellard's Youtube channel.

Kato Gets The Girl (excerpt, 1985), – via Vimeo