All a big swindle? CONCEPT BY KATY SCOTT
Prototype for a t-shirt demonstrating a hidden motivation behind marketing a product as ‘special edition’ where extra material of some kind is often included. u
u In reality the extra material included with this t-shirt prototype is worthless and unnecessary. We are not even getting more for our money as, at closer inspection , the material that appears to be ‘extra’ (fig.2) has in fact been taken away at the back. (fig. 2) Like some other products on the market at the moment, it has been ‘edited to look better.’ (fig.1) n
Unlimited ARTICLE BY KATY SCOTT
If the investment of time, effort and money were indicative of a ‘limited edition’ product, unlike any Jimmy Choo bag, ‘Babylon’ would definitely come under this category. Despite being more worthy of this exclusive title than a lot of other products on the market, this DVD is in fact, completely ‘unlimited.’ u
^ Still from the film . ‘Beefy’ is filming his crew with a Super 8 camera, stolen from a nearby school along with a tannoy system.
u Babylon (1980, Franco Rosso) presents a portrait of British society’s attitude towards black culture in 1980’s London. A year after it’s release into UK cinemas it was sold on VHS in 1981. Although it was not marketed in this way, the Babylon VHS was technically but unintentionally ‘limited edition.’ The radical subject matter for that time coupled with it’s unconventional documentary style meant that it was easy for the public to reject. For that reason, very few copies were made. It was circulated at the time only by bad quality pirate video. It is interesting to think that a term we would usually associate with exclusive, high quality products perfectly describes the grainy VHS that was being sold on the black market. It is logical for a product to be labelled or sold as ‘limited edition’ when it’s production numbers have been physically restrained by social, political or even environmental factors. With this in mind a lot of ‘limited edition’ products on the market at the moment do not seem to warrant this status. u
^ Still from the poor quality original film
As Babylon starts to get more recognition over the years, a twist in the tale arises when the film gets released onto DVD...
^ The same still from the restored digital version
u In 2008, the film underwent a complete digital restoration. This was a complex, time consuming and expensive process whereby dirt, dust and damaged sections were digitally removed frame by frame to create an unblemished digital version. A new â€˜colour gradeâ€™ was also added to make the picture more vivid. It is fascinating when you watch the film to think that a film made almost thirty years ago can look like a film made yesterday, albeit with the help of a lot of expensive technological equipment . u
The dog in this still from the old original footage is barely decipherable >
the quality of the picture is improved hugely by digitalising the old footage at high resolution >
u Now that the story of Babylon has been encapsulated digitally, it can technically be reproduced millions of times thus classifying it ‘unlimited.’ It is pleasing to think that a film that was barely in existence for twenty eight years has been well and truly revived along with the piece of history it documents. For this reason, even though the DVD is not promoted as an exclusive commodity , it is, in my opinion, more worthy of this status than any ‘limited edition’ product on the market at the moment. n
ARTICLE BY KATY SCOTT
Unlimited part II Reviving history with my very own hands (and a little help from the internet... and Adobe Illustrator) ‘Roller City’ was the weekend haunt for hundreds of Southend dwelling teenagers throughout the 80’s. At that time, leggings and huge sweatshirts were all the rage. However, when looking through old photos of the skate rink on a ‘facebook group’ , what becomes apparent is just how many people sported the “Roller City” own brand clothing. These sweatshirts and T-shirts were not just confined to the walls of the skate rink. They were worn around the home, out to the pub, in bed, everywhere. They indicated social status and in retrospect, symbolise a significant point in popular culture. u
The music was also a large part of the ‘roller’ lifestyle. Here are some playlists typical of a Friday night at the rink: 1. 45 KING - 900 NUMBER 2. BIG DADDY KANE - WRATH OF KANE 3. DE LA SOUL - SAY NO GO 4. DOUGE FRESH - THE SHOW 5. ERIC B - I KNOW YOU GOT SOUL 6. FULL FORCE - ALICE 7. KID N PLAY - DO THIS MY WAY 8. KING BEE - BACK BY DOPE DEMAND 9. LISA LISA & CULT JAM - I WONDER IF I TAKE YOU HOME 10. MANTRONIX - LADIES 11. MANTRONIX - GOT TO HAVE YOUR LOVE 12. NWA - EXPRESS YOURSELF 13. ROB BASE - IT TAKES 2 14. RUN DMC - MARY MARY 15. STETSASONIC - TALKIN ALL THAT JAZZ 16. SUGAR BEAR - DON’T SCANDALIZE MINE 17. YOUNG MC - BUSTA MOVE 18. YOUNG MC - I KNOW HOW 1. CHRIS PAUL - EXPANSIONS 2. DAVID SEMBELLO - MANIAC 3. FRANK STALLONE - FAR FROM OVER 4. FRANKIE GOES TO HOLLYWOOD - TWO TRIBES 5. FREEZE - I.O.U 6. GLENN FRY - HEAT IS ON 7. GREASE - BORN TO HAND JIVE 8. HASHIM - AL NAYFISH 9. HERBIE HANCOCK - ROCKIT 10. HUEY LEWIS - POWER OF LOVE 11. KATRINA & WAVES - WALKING ON SUNSHINE 12. MARY CLAYTON - YES 13. PATTI LA BELLE - STIR IT UP 14. POINTER SISTERS - IM SO EXCITED 15. RONI GRIFFITHS - BEST PART OF BREAKIN’ UP 16. SIGUE SIGUE SPUTNIK - LOVE MISSILE 17. TYRONE BRUNSON - THE SMURF 18. XPANSIONS - MOVE YOUR BODY 19. YELLOW - OH YEAH
^ Wearing a Roller City sweatshirt ,eating a sandwich
^ Roller City t-shirts and sweatshirts at the rink, at the bar, and larking around at home
u Surprisingly, there is no Roller City memorabilia on the internet. I have posted messages on forums enquiring about where I can get hold of such items, but the only responses came from people also looking for the same thing. It seems Roller City merchandise has become extinct. That is until, of course, technology is introduced. With the help of the image below, â€˜Adobe Illustratorâ€™ and some screen printing facilities I can re-create millions of the roller city jumpers and sweatshirts... u
^ The Roller City logo as a vector file < Using this Roller City flyer as a template, the logo can be turned into a vector file using Adobe illustrator. The layers can then be separated so the correct colour combinations can be printed multiple times onto sweatshirts and t-shirts.
u The ease with which these t-shirts can be reproduced leaves me wishing such methods could be applied to the things that are really important. Wouldnâ€™t it be good if a full ozone layer could be recreated and fossil fuels were unlimited? n