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Center for Home Movies Collaborating with HBO Documentary on Call for American Home Videos from 12/31/99

Posted by June 23rd, 2022

The Center for Home Movies is excited to support the work of HBO Documentary Films and filmmakers Brian Becker and Marley McDonald, with whom CHM is consulting on a project to discover home videos for inclusion in an upcoming feature documentary. Read on to hear a statement from the filmmakers and find out how you can get involved.  

Video still courtesy of Brian Langley

To sign up to submit your home video, please fill out the following Google Form:  

LINK

The first feature documentary to take an in-depth look at Y2K is in production and is seeking your home video footage from December 31, 1999 – kazoos, confetti, questionable fashions, quiet nights at home, huge parties, canned food stashes, the ball drop on TV, and New Year’s kisses.

For a major, standalone scene in the film, we intend to create a montage of everyday home videos showcasing the breadth of American experience at the dawn of the 21st century. We’re interested in diverse personal experiences of the final night of the last millennium, no matter how mundane. Did you take major precautions or did you party like it’s 1999? Using your videos, our film will spend the final moments of the last millennium counting down the seconds in the basements and living rooms across America. 

Our documentary focuses on stories ranging from the global to intensely personal. Throughout the film, we investigate the means through which a technical problem transformed into a large-scale, society-wide issue. We explore the many ways that people responded to the threat of the millennium bug: from survivalists who prepared for apocalypse to computer programmers who diligently solved the problem, and every experience in between. We’re telling the story entirely through archival footage by diving into news, documentaries, movies, culture, and personal videos from the ‘90s. Through this patchwork of characters and styles, we highlight the lessons to be learned from the different methods by which Americans grappled with potential disaster. More information about the film can be found here.

We’re thrilled to collaborate with the Center for Home Movies on this mission to discover, digitize, and preserve home videos from a completely unique moment in American history. We’re welcoming all formats including MiniDV, VHS, and DVD. All respondents will receive information about home video preservation from CHM and the option to join the Home Movie Registry. Participants whose footage is selected for the final cut of the film will receive professionally digitized high-quality versions of their home videos in addition to compensation. 

The Center for Home Movies is a volunteer-run nonprofit organization whose mission is to share, preserve, and celebrate the personal moving images of diverse communities and individuals in ways that are equitable and inclusive. 

Brian Becker and Marley McDonald are archival filmmakers and first-time directors whose previous credits include MLK/FBI, Listening to Kenny G, Spaceship Earth, and O.J.: Made in America

FAQ

What formats are you accepting?

We accept all video formats and can transfer almost all video formats including, but not limited to: MiniDV, Hi-8, VHS, BetaSP, S-VHS, etc.

Will you be digitizing all submissions?

Our team cannot digitize every submission, but we will attempt to digitize as many as possible. All tapes will be returned, including non-digitized tapes.

To participate, must I be willing to give permission for usage in the film?

Yes – we can only accept tapes from participants who are willing to grant us permission to use their footage in the film. If your video contains any potentially sensitive sections, we will contact you to discuss before utilizing any of this footage. Permission must be exclusive (i.e. the video cannot be posted online or shared with other productions) until the release of the film. 

Can I share before the film comes out?

We apologize, but the digitized video cannot be posted online or shared publicly until the release of the documentary. You will retain complete ownership of your footage, and after the release you may post the video to youtube/vimeo/etc. and show it to whomever you please.

If digitized, will my home video appear in the film?

We do not know the composition of our film until our editing process is finished. We cannot guarantee that your home video will appear in the finished film if selected for digitization. All featured home video-makers will receive a credit and $250.

Will you fund shipping of the tapes?

We will fund round-trip shipping via Fedex for the first 30 respondents.

What will happen to my video if selected?

Once the video is received, producers will digitize your material at one of the top digitization houses in the country. Upon completion, producers will return the tapes and will send a secure downloadable link to preservation quality, uncompressed digitized video. 

What will happen to my video if not selected?

If producers review your video and it is not selected for digitization, we will return your tapes as quickly as possible. 

How long will it take?

We expect our review and digitization process to take 3-4 months.

If you already have digitized home movies, can I submit these?

Yes, we’d love to see these!

Is any non-12/31 Y2K-related material helpful to your project?

We are primarily interested in footage from 12/31, but if you have great additional footage relating to Y2K, please e-mail Y2K@hboprod.com 

When will the film come out?

The documentary will be released in 2023.

What is the deadline for submitting videos?

We hope to receive these ASAP, but we’ll accept submissions until 9/2/22.

Any other questions?

E-mail us at Y2K@hboprod.com

To sign up to submit your home video, please fill out the following Google Form:  

LINK


Meet Our New Board Members!

Posted by February 15th, 2022

Warm greetings for the new year from the Center for Home Movies! The past two years have been especially difficult ones for so many people all over the world, but we are grateful for the window onto both our collective past and the possibilities for brighter days ahead that the new year can open, and we hope you are feeling this too.

Speaking of possibilities, we are thrilled to kick off 2022 by announcing the addition of two new members to our Board of Directors: C. Díaz and Justin D. Williams. Justin and C. bring unique and invaluable perspectives to CHM, each in their own way, combining creative media-making and education with a participatory approach to archiving and preservation rooted in their local communities of Chicago and Texas’s Rio Grande Valley. We are so happy to welcome them to CHM and to introduce them to you!

C. Díaz

C. Díaz is an artist and archivist from the Rio Grande Valley, Texas. Working primarily with film and video, their work explores the relationship between our cerebral landscapes and the natural environment. As an archivist, C.’s current focus is on the collection and preservation of home movies and oral histories from the Rio Grande Valley region. In 2021, they co-founded ENTRE, an artist-run film center and regional archive in the RGV. ENTRE’s mission is to provide access, support, and resources for the community to make films, and document and archive their experience of life in the Valley. Since 2014, C. has been working as a film colorist on various projects such as feature and short films, music videos, commercials, documentaries, and art installations. Their color work has been exhibited in various festivals and art shows such as Locarno, Berlinale, The Shed, and The Hammer Museum. C.’s color remastering experience spans feature film restorations to small gauge home movies and amateur films. They have facilitated workshops and webinars on color correction and color remastering for the Echo Park Film Center and the Association of Moving Image Archivists.

Justin D. Williams

Justin D. Williams is a steward of culture and memory and a facilitator of multimedia projects that study personal and communal narratives in order to preserve and elevate their importance in our society. He is the Project Archivist & Manager of the South Side Home Movie Project (SSHMP). Prior to joining SSHMP he designed and led the Digital Storytelling Initiative on behalf of the Logan Center for the Arts, where he designed and co-founded the Production Institute, a program that trains South Side filmmakers in the essential tools and skills needed to tell their stories. Justin has also worked for award-winning companies Kartemquin Films, StoryCorps, City Bureau, and has partnered with dozens of organizations to design and produce digital storytelling projects.


Home Movie Day 2021 Planning is Underway!

Posted by August 30th, 2021

Hand-drawn image featuring the text "Home Movie Day 2021" next to two frames of 16mm film featuring a computer desk with an empty chair and sleeping dog. Drawing by Chris Cohen.
Drawing by Chris Cohen

The “official” Home Movie Day date for 2021 is Saturday, October 16th, but like last year we welcome events throughout October and beyond – any day can be Home Movie Day! With the continuing global COVID-19 pandemic, we expect many virtual events again this year, but also look forward to the return of some in-person or hybrid gatherings when and where they are safe.

We witnessed an incredible amount of innovation and dedication from Home Movie Day hosts around the world last year and the Center for Home Movies encourages both new and returning hosts to look to these examples for inspiration in planning your 2021 events. HMD events were held in over 40 locations in 2020, from Tokyo to Bogotá to Bucksport, Maine and Los Angeles, California. A successful outdoor, socially distanced in-person Home Movie Day took place in Providence, Rhode Island, and a wide array of virtual programs were held, including small gatherings over zoom with live commentary heard over the films – for the closest approximation of the communal feeling of an in-person event – to curated and pre-recorded programs that were made available on Vimeo and Youtube for the entire month of October. Events in Los Angeles and San Francisco successfully merged the best of both in-person and virtual events by offering pre-curated home movie finds on twitch and youtube and engaging the virtual audience with commentary, questions, and even bingo over the accompanying chat feature of each platform. 

We expect to see equal amounts of innovation and creativity this time around from our group of dedicated volunteer hosts. The Elmont Memorial Library in New York, embracing the motto that every day is home movie day has a virtual event planned on September 14th, “National Film Registry Home Movies & Independent Films”, as part of a series on the National Film Registry that will feature commentary from current CHM board member CK Ming.

For any hosts looking for advice on how to get started, we encourage you to check out the “How-to Home Movie Day” resources on the CHM website and to sign up for the Home Movie Day google group! For in-person events, all of the great resources from years past are still available in the About Home Movie Day and Host Home Movie Day sections. Please sign up for the google group for details on Home Movie day office hours, or email info@centerforhomemovies.org if you have any questions. Happy planning!



5th Annual Home Movie Day GIF Contest

Posted by October 17th, 2020

UPDATE–This year we are extending the GIF-making madness through November 22nd! Get your submissions in and win $200!

It’s that time of year again! The 5th Annual Home Movie Day GIF Contest begins today.

Submit your GIFs to our tumblr. Winner takes $200!

Need help making a GIF? See instructions HERE!

This year we are excited to have three judges who are all home movie day legends: Ina Archer, Louisa Trott and Patricia Villon!


Happy Home Movie Day 2020!

Posted by October 17th, 2020

With numerous virtual events occurring throughout the day on October 17th, you may be wondering how you’ll be able to tune in for them all. CHM has your solution! Starting at 3pm Eastern Daylight Time (GMT -4), your HMD Boston hosts will be hosting a live broadcast switching between events happening in Montana, Vienna, Belfast, North Vancouver, NYC, New Hampshire, Bogota, and more! This live feed can be found on homemovieday.com, where you can also browse and visit events from the map and the calendar. We’re so grateful to be able to celebrate Home Movie Day in virtual space with you!