Michael Costello lived in South Blackburn in Melbourne, Australia from birth to July 2018.
He is now located in Echuca, Victoria, on the Victorian / NSW border.
I have been a lifelong Transport Enthusiast with a special “soft spot” for Melbourne’s Trams and Government Buses. It was around 1987 whilst traveling on these Government Buses to school that I finally decided that I would aim to join “The Met” as a Trammie! This aim was achieved in 1993, and I spent a total of 19 months as a Tram Conductor at South Melbourne Depot. Sadly, my career in the job was not to be a long one, so after leaving the Tramways I pursued another interest area – Television and Video.
25 years of video.
I started shooting video in December 1990, starting out with a Video 8 format camera (a Sony TR50E). In the early days, my subject matter was mainly Trams and other Public Transport. As I didn’t have any facilities to edit or dub the footage, it was mainly just shot for my own enjoyment. But in 1995, I was to became involved with Community Television through the Channel 31 production group Northern Access Television. I then started making content for sharing with the Melbourne community on TV. When I started out at NAT, I became involved in the production of Northern Community News, shooting news cutaway footage on my Video 8 camera. I also learnt to use Scala on an Amiga Computer system for video titles and graphics and soon obtained an Amiga 500 and Genlock to be able to do this at home, and also to take in to other edit suites to hook up when required.
In 1996, I also became involved in Optus LocalVision (now closed), where I assisted with various productions in the studio in various crew roles, and I started shooting, editing and producing my own program, “Transit”, again using footage shot on my Video 8 camera.
I then shifted production of the program to Northern Access TV, where I edited a “special 1 hour edition” of the program in the RMIT studios using a BVU format cut edit suite using footage dubbed from my Video 8 camera. In 1998, Northern Access TV obtained a 3 chip Mini DV camera (a Panasonic EZ1) for members use, and my second series of the program was shot on this camera. The programs were edited by David McLauchlan using his non linear computer editing system, from a “rough cut” drawn up by me by doing “crash edits” between two VHS machines
1999 saw me buying various equipment, such as lapel mics, hand mics, etc. I also got a small audio mixer for the camera, and better headphones. Later in the year, I obtained my Digital 8 Sony TRV310E, which improved the quality of my footage and enabled me to take good quality copies of my edited projects home in a digital video format.
My editing on various projects for Northern Access TV was mainly using BVU and SVHS format cut edit suites and sometimes a Casablanca machine. These facilities were based in a “Member Group Building” built up by Channel 31 for the use of it’s groups. It has since closed.
As a result of the closure, I finally upgraded our computer at home to do non linear editing. I have since done all my editing at home using a Firewire DV Editing Card.
2002 saw the acquisition of a single chip Mini DV camera, a Sony TRV18E, which was used at the time for shooting, and also outputting master tapes for submission to C31.
Around 2003 I started offering my services for other video projects on a small scale basis, and a business name “Museum Link” was registered. Later in 2004, this was changed to the current registered name “VideBus”.
2007 saw the introduction of shooting on the HDV format using a single chip semi-professional camera, and the obtaining of a professional quality tripod.
Around 2009, further investment in equipment saw the arrival of a 4 channel digital vision mixer and a video projector. I also obtained a variety of basic Public Address System equipment for use in volunteer work for sporting clubs. Later, a couple of domestic HD video cameras recording onto SD memory cards were obtained, allowing longer hours of recording and easier transfer of footage to the computer for editing purposes.
After 16 years of service with Northern Access Television, I resigned in September 2011, but I have since returned to the group on a limited basis to assist with the “NAT Chat” program as of June 2015. I will also be producing one last Community TV program for broadcast – a one hour highlights package of the 2016 Stonnington Gift.
Currently my main volunteer work is Web Video for the Prahran Cricket Club. I also produce the website and YouTube Channel, “Regional TV Australia”, which is dedicated to Remembering Regional TV History. At this stage in my life, I intend to stick with doing Video and Audio productions for the Web, and in future, I would like to do some experiments in Live Video Streaming over the internet as opportunities permit.
My time in Video Production has gone through its highs and lows since 1990, but it has mostly been an enjoyable experience, working with a variety of great people and it has been great being able to help out various groups with my many skills.