I grew up in the areas of Nikea and Korydallos. That’s where I played, that’s where I went to school.
It was there, when a photo camera… captivated me! It was a small, tiny photo camera, a bit bigger than a matchbox. It had no settings! It would only take photos if there was only enough natural light around, whether it was sunny or cloudy, but not too cloudy! Spyros, my father, had bought it for the family.
Later, when I went to high school, Spyros bought another one. For me! It was exclusively mine! It was called “Lubitel 2”. With this one, I took loads of good photos. I also got to know “ΖΕΝΙΤ”. But I didn’t like it much.
Then I got to know a motion camera, an “8 mm” one. I had asked my cousin, Yiannis, to bring me one from abroad. He was in the merchant navy.
One day, at Academias street, at a shop with camera gear… it slipped from the counter where I had put it and… it smashed on the floor. What a grief!
In senior high school, I owned another, more advanced one. With this one, I shot the “sample” footage shown here, of course, without using montage tools like a moviola or a film splicer.
I now remember my worrying, until the film with the footage was returned from Germany, West Germany it was called at the time. We used to send them there to have them developed. And it took days to return. All this anxiety! Would they ever return? Could they have been lost at the post? And if they returned, what state would they be in? Underexposed, overexposed, or what...?
I also remember my impatience until I got on my hands the next issue of a small cinematography magazine published back then. Through its pages, I learned some basic techniques. In this magazine, I came across topics and issues that Koundouros (1) and other experienced cinematographists raised.
I am still overwhelmingly touched when I bump into a small grey reel… even if it is without film!
I remember… I remember…! How thrilled I was with all these things …!
Even if I didn't have a... cell phone!
1. Nikos Koundouros was a distinguished Greek film director