Oldest cam copy / bootleg film you watched?

10  2017-12-23 by Lamecat443

I'm doing a writeup on movie piracy, specifically the bootlegging of films via a camera in the cinema or a leak, so I was wondering what's the oldest bootleg you have (with the release name if any) and if you have any screenshots of the quality of the release.

I was able to find some NFO's dating back to 2005 with camera copy releases, and also stuff like a LOTR ROTK getting leaked back in 2003. I'm sure that ET got a bootleg VHS going around at some point as well.

It's just interesting what people would go though to get this movies early, before a retail release or even if the film was never released at all (just like the Apocalypse Now Workprint).



If you're interested in old movie bootlegs you need to go back to the early-to-mid 90s, in the days of VCDs and "street silvers" - the term given to the cheap ~$2 bootleg VCDs sold throughout Asia and elsewhere. These were a mix of CAM/TS/Screener depending on the age of the movie, and possibly had hard-coded subtitles. I still have a bunch somewhere in my basement.

As for release names and old screenshots, that's a bit trickier. The scene started releasing VCDs around Christmas 1997 - at least that's the first time I remember sites making an /incoming/vcd, for Titanic TS and The 5th Element Screener - but I don't recall what groups released them. You can find some early scene VCD discussion in the old 90s scenemag NWR/Netmonkey Weekly Report. Ryche, the founder of EViLiSO, started a little VCD review section in issue #33 onwards.

I never really cared for CAM or TS releases, even when Centropy started releasing their custom "fish-eye" SVCD.TSs in the early 2000s, but I still have a couple of old VCD NFOs laying around from a 2000-era archive HDD I dug out of my collection a few weeks back:




Fuck yeah, I remember buying "DVDs" on the border to Czech of all kinds of new movies for cheap money. :D

Terminator 2, 1991. Recorded the bootleg myself on a Video 8 camcorder. The video was washed out, very blue and the brightness pulsed up and down a bit every couple of seconds. The audio was very cam like. I missed a couple of minutes about an hour in when changing the battery. Rested the camera on my leg, back row aisle seat. Did it for fun, steady enough to watch.

That weekend a group of friends and myself watched the movie and we had a great time. A comment I remember at the viewing, "Omg, he didn't even bend over, he just absorbed it into his foot.". I made VHS copies and handed out to friends and family over the next few weeks but that was the extent of my piracy network at the time.

I think it was a cam of Scary Movie back in 2001, downloaded in several parts from kazaa. Back when divx was the go to codec, and divx player was popular, was from a group called TMD movies and they took scene releases and put them on IRC.

I had a bunch of disks with burnt films on them, I'll check through them tomorrow.

was from a group called TMD movies

Haha me too. I downloaded The New Guy and Scooby Doo from Kazaa back then. They were both in 2 parts. Also there used to be a guy called MaVen who did some amazing TS's. I still remember watching his AvP release and the quality was pretty good considering it was recorded on cam.

Awesome! Did you also check the vcdquality site?

I think I had either dialup or a 1mbit connection at the time.

RIP maVen :(

Their site? I think you can still see it via the waybackmachine. I didn't dw much from them, i think those 2 were my only ones since i moved to Emule/Edonkey and used sharereactor/shareconnector for ed2k links.

I remember I got loads of those 50/100 spindles of cdr's just to burn vcds because my HD was only 12gb at the time.

How times have changed eh?

yeah, smartbuy cds? They were 3 times as cheap as TDk's, Sonys, and Verbatims. Something like 40-50cent converted in $US

Still got a bunch of those 700mb cdr's https://m.imgur.com/a/X8Lpk

I hang out at /r/datahoarder so it probably explains it a bit :p

Coyote Ugly back in 2001 , it was like a 350mb rip download from Kazaa which we watched it on a 60cm CRT TV using an s-video cable and could barely make out the actors faces.

Back in 1979, we bought a Sony Betamax (bet on the wrong horse). There was one local video store. They'd rent you 1 movie at a time for $10. You put a deposit of $60 on your account and could keep the movie for up to a month, haha.

After being a regular customer and talking to the store owner alot about the dozen Beta movies available, he told us he'd be able to copy a bootleg of Star Wars for us. I don't know how much my dad paid, but it was really worth it. The copy looked great on our 25" square TV. It was definitely not via a camera in a theater. Only problem was it was cropped Fullscreen and Greedo's subtitles were chopped off both ends!

I went from being the only kid on the block with a VCR to the only kid with Star Wars.

I think everyone grows out of cams quite quick, cos they are crap.

I ignore them. I'll grab a screener, or wait for a proper release.

I once had a cam of LOTR FOTR complete with such highlights as peeps walking in front of the screen, and Elvish subbed in Chinese...

divx of The Matrix. Like a week after it hit DVD I believe

Spider-Man 2 And fucking Garfield.

Spiderman cam from Kazaa back in 2002. I tried downloading it and when I previewed the quality, I stopped downloading because it just wasn't worth it.

My neighbours gave my parents a VHS CAM of Jurassic Park back in 1993. I was like 5 years old but I vaguely remember the horrible quality lmao.

I also remember downloading Resident Evil DVDrip on my 56k connection back in 2002, took FOREVER.

Cam of American Pie.

I remember many from the late 90's all of which I've lost due to data loss. Bootleg releases were everywhere when the first generation of P2P software took off in the late 90's and were actually much more widely distributed then than they are now.

Just found my oldest cam copy: Star Wars - The Phantom Menace from may 1999, I'm really curious about the back story of that release, movie is in two part ( 2 CD ) the first part is called SW1.mpg.

Some stats:

Input #0, mpeg, from 'SW1.MPG': Duration: 01:00:39.44, start: 0.699856, bitrate: 1411 kb/s Stream #0:0[0x1e0]: Video: mpeg1video, yuv420p(tv), 352x288 [SAR 178:163 DAR 1958:1467], 1152 kb/s, 25 fps, 25 tbr, 90k tbn, 25 tbc Stream #0:1[0x1c0]: Audio: mp2, 44100 Hz, stereo, s16p, 224 kb/s

do you think you could upload it..?

Absolutely, I will pm the link soon. Note that I'm based in Europe and those files were released 6 month before the eu release of the movie, pretty neat back in the days,

Thank you so much :) it would be great to see how the CAMs have changed with technology...