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Greene County's pirate TV Videofreex return

Jun 06, 2012 6:36 am
Filmmaker Jon Nealon has a Kickstarter campaign to finish a documentary about the group Videofreex. The group was first based in Manhattan, and funded by both corporate CBS television and Abbie Hoffman. Then, en masse, the video collective moved to Lanesville (in the Town of Hunter, near the Ulster County border) in Greene County in the early 1970s. There, they started "Lanesville TV," what they claim is the first pirate television station. The group included Parry Teasdale, now the editor of The Columbia Paper, and formerly of The Independent. Nolan says the group plans a fall reunion, when the film may be completed. Click here to listen to the complete interview with Jon Nealon, conducted by Tom Roe.

Click here to listen to a brief report, introduced by Tom Roe, with a short clip from the Videofreex documentary movie trailer, and an excerpt of the interview with Jon Nealon.

From Wikipedia:
The Videofreex were a pioneering video collective who used the Sony Portapak for counter-cultural video projects from 1969 to 1978. They were founded in 1969 by David Cort, Curtis Ratcliff and Parry Teasdale, after Cort and Teasdale met each other at the Woodstock Music Festival. They were based out of a 17 bedroom house in the Catskill Mountains named the Maple Tree Farm. Michael Shamberg, author of Guerrilla Television and founding member of TVTV remarked that “The Freex are the most production oriented of the video groups […] in terms of finished, cleanly edited, high quality tape, which is generally quite entertaining, the Videofreex are clearly the best.” Mirroring the beliefs outlined in Guerrilla Television they believed they could turn the medium of television, at the time dominated by The "Big Three" Television Networks, into a more democratic medium and in 1972 they launched the first pirate TV station, Lanesville TV, using a transmitter given to them by Abbie Hoffman. The Videofreex Archive, containing more than 1,500 original tapes, is housed at the Video Data Bank (http://vdb.org). Work is underway to preserve important titles from the Archive and make them available through distribution. Samples of the group's work is available on the Videofreex YouTube channel (http://www.youtube.com/videofreex)
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