header image

HMD in the news: Orland Park press

HMD in the news: Orland Park press

Home movies aren’t just for the family

Sunday, August 6, 2006

By Michael Drakulich
Staff writer

Home movies aren’t just memories put on celluloid. Film archivists say they’re history.

Orland Park will take part in the annual Home Movie Day next weekend, in which film archivists and amateur moviemakers worldwide celebrate the value of home movies from decades gone by. The movies were shot with 8 or 16 mm film.

The event will be hosted locally by film archivists Larry Urbanski and his wife, Nancy, of Moviecraft/Urbanski Film.

The Urbanskis have cataloged more than 150,000 films, including home movies, television shows, educational films and movie outtakes.

The couple also help agencies properly store and preserve their own films. Larry Urbanski said Home Movie Day was initiated in 2002 by a group of film archivists who were concerned about what was happening to home movies shot on film during the 20th century.

Many feared they were being discarded because people no longer had projectors or thought they eventually would become too fragile to view.

So archivists created the day, which is celebrated every Aug. 12, to convince people there is still value to those old home movies.

Home Movie Day encourages people to get out their home movies shot on 8 mm, Super 8 and 16 mm film and make them available for viewing.

“Archivists have been surprised by the success and participation,” Urbanski said. “It’s grown in numbers each year and has even caught on in Japan and the United Kingdom.”

The day isn’t just about viewing home movies, he said. It’s a chance for people to learn more about preserving them and perhaps transferring them to other common forms of media such as DVD.

“Everyone has that stash of movies in the attic or a shoebox,” Urbanski said. “If you have something historically relevant to your family and actually to history in general, they should be preserved.”

Urbanski says anyone interested in dusting off their movies can bring them to the Orland Park Public Library at 11 a.m. Saturday.

Archivists can check the films for damage and make them ready to beshown in a projector.

Or, people can arrive just to learn about transferring to other media and preservation.

Film screenings will run from 12:30 to 4 p.m.


Home movies transport viewers back in time

Sunday, August 13, 2006

By Kristen Schorsch
Staff writer

During a beauty pageant in the 1950s, red sashes and white underwear were the only items covering a handful of Diane Aalders’ 12 siblings.

One by one they posed for the video camera, hoping to be crowned the next beauty queen or king ? at least of their Chicago home.

When out on the town, her sisters donned dresses, hats and white gloves, a staple of that era. Her brothers sported suits.

The silent 16 mm film that captured these memories and more brought a smile to Aalders’ face. She hadn’t seen her family’s home movies since she was a child.

“It’s just pretty neat,” said Aalders, 43, of Evergreen Park.

People worldwide gathered Saturday to celebrate Home Movie Day, a tradition that began in 2003 to save the countless amount of reels of home video shot during the 20th century, film archivist Larry Urbanski said.

At the Orland Park Public Library, about 10 people transported back in time to watch the silent stories of their families and friends. The scene was like a movie theater, with plenty of popcorn and Milk Duds to go around as the crowd watched their memories on the big screen.

Before the viewings, Urbanski offered tips on how to preserve films, such as storing them in canisters with holes to allow air to flow
through.

An 8 mm film helped Stan and Teresa Barnat, of Summit, retrace the steps
of their wedding day ? the snowy morning of Nov. 26, 1949.

“There’s my old Nash, wow!” said Stan Barnat, 85, referring to his 1949 green car.

The couple drove the vehicle to Key West for their honeymoon. Teresa Barnat, 78, remembered the backseat converted to a bed.

Clip after clip, the Barnat’s relatives and friends came to life as the
projector gargled in the background.

“My mother and father, oh boy,” Stan Barnat said.

“My sister,” his wife said.

Moments later, a small child popped up.

“That little girl is a grandmother herself now,” Teresa Barnat said.

As the group watched several films, they asked questions about particularly scenes or made comments about how times have changed.

The event was a first for the Southland, said Urbanski, of Orland Park-based Moviecraft and Urbanski Film.

“It’s funny how everybody gets into each other’s movies,” he said. “It’s like it becomes a community event.”

Kristen Schorsch may be reached at kschorsch@dailysouthtown.com or (708)
633-5992.