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HMD Report: Amsterdam, Netherlands 2008

HMD Report: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Thanks to Guy Edmonds for his report on the remarkable Home Movie Day event in Amsterdam:

Event Venue: Filmmuseum, Vondelpark

Doors open: 12:00

Registration: 12:00-14:00

Screening: 13:00-17:00

Inspection: 12:00-17:00

Evening prog: 18:00-21:00

Volunteers: 29

Many thanks to our partners Supersens and all our wonderful volunteers!

Jean-Pierre Sens, Catrien Boettger, Simona Monizza, Bernhard Andre, Ferdinand Knaak, Annike Kross, Andreas Busche, Dirk Foerstner, Rixt Jonkman, Valentine Kuypers, Brigit Oele, Eva Hielscher, Anne Gant, Daniela Curro, Shyrien Abdoelhak, Ronald Simons, Onno Petersen, Jan Scholten, Raymond Liefjes, Ole Schepp, Frederique Urlings, Claudy Op den Kamp, Walter Swagemakers, Aydin Dehzad, Guy Edmonds, Johan Kalee, Ruud Molleman, Jeroen van Dijk, Bertil Pouw

We knew from our experience of HMD Amsterdam 2007 that this year’s event would be popular and response to our initial press release at the beginning of August already indicated strong interest. With only one screen at our disposal (albeit in the beautiful 80 seat art deco Parisien theatre) we decided that we would have to strictly manage the screen time allotted to our guests. Our four hour projection period provided twenty slots with films limited to a maximum length of 15 minutes.

When doors opened at midday, the formidable queue disbanded itself and our patrons surged forward en masse, dragging their broken projectors and bags of film. (Something like a reverse motion jumble sale!). Our initial line of defence, the Greeters, could offer little resistance and soon the Registrars were surrounded. (Next year we will have queuing tickets for guests as they arrive). Within half an hour our programme was full but to provide additional capacity for those who arrived later or who didn’t want to wait for their film to come up on the big screen we had a room equipped with more projectors and volunteers where films (including 9.5mm) could be projected onto a white wall. Jan Scholten, operating the dual 8/S8mm Eumig, handled 10-15 people with films alone in this role. The total number of people bringing films, having them inspected and seeing them projected was therefore much in excess of the twenty who saw them “op het grote doek” in the Parisien.

Total visitors: about 250

Number of people bringing films: 35+

Films screened by Gauge: 8mm: 12, Super 8: 6, 16mm: 2

Alternative activities:

Once through registration guests moved to the Franse zaal where they could watch their films being cleaned and inspected.

Here, too, there were areas where they could

  • Seek advice over and receive projector and camera repairs from Ruud Molleman and Johan Kalee
  • Browse amateur film handbooks and recent publications such as the magazine Small Format
  • Buy film preservation consumables

In other spaces we offered

  • Demonstration of scanning process with the MWA scanner of Supersens
  • Additional projectors for 16mm, 9.5mm, standard and super 8
  • Presentation of digitised films from regional archives
  • 2 monitors showing the DVDs “Living Room Cinema” and “Van de kolonie niets dan goeds”, a collection of home movies depicting life in the Dutch East Indies.
  • Selection of books from the Filmmuseum library presented under glass.
  • Displays of amateur film equipment provided by Supersens
  • Informative posters about small gauge film identification and preservation created by Supersens

Conservation prize (sponsored by Filmmuseum, Supersens and Haghefilm)

Those films being shown in the Parisien were eligible for a prize which would comprise the full photo-chemical preservation and subsequent digitisation of the film. The judges were the few people who had seen all twenty films: Our two presenters, Claudy Op den Kamp and Frédérique Urlings, who had throughout the screenings encouraged participants to further describe the context around their films, and our heroic projectionist, Onno Petersen. In the end they awarded not one but five (!) prizes, three digitisation only and two, equal winners, which will be photochemically preserved and added to the Filmmuseum collection.

These were a beautiful 1939 16mm Kodachrome film of a folk festival in Zeeland and a 1960 standard 8 black and white film. The boy seen in the film presented it to the HMD audience and described how the family stayed on the same farm every summer, honouring a bond established during the war between the farmer and his father who had lived there in hiding during the years of occupation. The area it depicts, Biesbosch in Noord Brabant, was a delicate environment of waterways and marshes, which in the intervening years has undergone extensive change.

Evening programme

Guests who brought films were eligible for a free ticket for our Home movie related evening programme:

Kroniek van een familie (Jos Huygen, Digibeta, 1993, 68’), Think of me first as a person (George Ingmire, 35mm, 2006, 8’), Eendjes voeren (Eugenie Jansen, Digibeta, 2005, 9’), Wat blijft beweegt (Albert Elings, Digibeta, 2007, 47’)

Many photographs were taken and can be seen here.

A 16mm film sponsored by Fuji, Haghefilm and Supersens was shot by Guy Edmonds and Raymond Liefjes, using a Canon Scoopic and Bolex H16 SBM, respectively. The intention is to have a finished film ready for projection at next year’s event.

Press (pre-event and post-event): Radio and TV reporters interviewed Jean-Pierre and Simona during the event but we are still working on a complete list of press so I will send this on next week when it’s ready. Meanwhile take a look at the cute trailer for the event made by Supersens which was used by TV stations andcan be seen on YouTube.