Lo-Fi: Mark Szaszy

by Alice Rawsthorn .

You look at yourself and think 'what a twat'. Then you look again and it doesn't seem so bad. I think it's really great to capture moments like this.

The Crew
Director, Mark Szaszy
Editor, James Whitehorn

The Cast
Percussion, Corinne
Guitar, Richard
Vocals, Elizabeth

The Kit
Hi 8 Camera

Where?
Corinne and Mark's living room, London.

When?
Thursday night, after supper.

What?
Mark and some friends, Richard and Elizabeth, came round. I got out this steel guitar that I'd bought Corinne for her birthday. Richard decided to play it and everyone else joined in, like you do when the vodka comes out. I picked up a camera and started filming. It was completely spontaneous - just a little jam. Corinne: 'we didn't plan it at all. It just happened. We were all really pissed - off our heads - and started playing. At the time, it seemed as though we were playing very serious music. Of course, we weren't, because we were really, really drunk'.

Alice Rawsthorn: And then?

Mark Szaszy: 'I made a master copy of a rough cut on Beta, then lost the Beta. All I had was a VHS copy of the Beta master. Nick (Knight) sent someone round to make a Beta copy from the VHS. That's why it looks so degraded. Beta is the top format, so you always dub down from it. I did the opposite, it's like a band making a master recording of an album, but making the CD on an audio cassette copy of it. Technically it's called generation loss. This is like mega-generation loss'.

Alice Rawsthorn: Why call it The Lo-Fi Test?

Mark Szaszy: 'Because I was filming with a very old Hi 8 camera, which is as lo-fi as you can go. I love Hi 8 because it's so spontaneous - that's the lo-fi philosophy. And it's called a test because, originally, I thought that MTV might show it, but they were just confused. It was a test to see if MTV got it and they didn't'.

Alice Rawsthorn: What do they think of it now?

Corinne Day: 'You look at yourself and think 'what a twat'. Then you look again and it doesn't seem so bad. I think it's really great to capture moments like this'.

Alice Rawsthorn: Enjoyed this? Why not try?

Mark Szaszy: 'I love Thomas Vinterberg's film, Festen. Music? Anything by the 11th Floor Elevators, Pusherman or Can, especially Monster Movie'.