From HMD Rhode Island’s Liz Coffey:
The event was set up through the RI Historical Society, where I used to work. This was our second event there. The historical society did the promo work and had the room set up for us (shades drawn, chairs set up). They had also taken in some films prior to the day of the show and provided popcorn!
I did some film inspecting and Albert set up the projection equipment. RIHS provided a couple of volunteers to check people in.
We started the day with about 20 people all told. We began with the HMD dvd while I was finishing up the film prep work. RIHS started the show with a dvd copy of a local film they had recently preserved, which may or may not have been amateur, from Brown University in the ‘teens.
3 RIHS employees brought their films, and we had submissions from two strangers. The oldest films were from the 1920s, which were a little shrunken, but ran without any problem. The granddaughter of the filmmakers promised to bring the films she made in the 1970s as a kid, Super 8 re-enactments of such classics as Earthquake! She didn’t know she could bring “funny films.”
The newest films were from the 1990s (super 8). One was shot in Rochester during a trip as a prospective student. How he could have decided to live in Rochester for 4 years after seeing that bleak bleak film is beyond me, but it was a very pretty film, none the less.
Of the five submissions, only one set of films was local, from Providence in the 1980s. They depicted a street where the filmmaker worked, and had a lot of nice shots of African American kids playing and various store fronts.
Although the turnout was small, Karen from RIHS managed to attract media in the form of someone from the AP and a local TV station. Karen & I were interviewed for the local news. According to Karen, a “RIHS employee reported seeing the report on ABC 6 on Sunday morning. She said we looked and sounded great and that the whole report was a nice plug for the RIHS and for Home Movie Day.”