Actually, there is no such thing. Unless you’re me. A week ago I picked up a case of factory-sealed VHS tapes for $5. I have a couple of working VHS units, plus a less than a year old VHS/DVD unit that I also got for $5 at a garage sale over the Summer. The girl who owned it had no use for it, as it became incompatible with her cable TV set-up, which comes with a DVR. But I simply love the machine, as it can record DVD to VHS and vice-versa!

After obtaining DVDs from the local public library system, I selected my favorite episodes of Portlandia, two from Season One + a skit, along with three from Season Two (well actually 3 and a quarter – I ran into an extra ep just to fill up the tape) . I call my creation “L’essence de Portlandia.”

I recommend fooling around with VHS units, which are cheap and plentiful, and should be available at tag sales and curbside on trash night. After all, filmmaker Robert Rodriguez got his first taste of production with a couple of tape machines. That’s how he acquired and perfected his unique style of basic editing and directing…  Be creative!

My favorite episodes from Season One: “Aimee” and “Mayor is Missing” — Season Two: “Cat Nap,” “Feminist Bookstore’s 10th Anniversary” and “No Olympics.”

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