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HMD Report: Culpeper, Virginia 2006

HMD Report: Culpeper, Virginia

Lynanne Schweighofer and Liz Stanley report on the goings on at Home Movie Day Culpeper:

Culpeper’s first ever Home Movie Day was a great success!

51 people showed up for our afternoon inspection period carrying a total of 372 reels of film, 3 projectors, and one Cine Kodak Model B camera! Needless to say we did not get to examine every reel of film but we were able to inspect and advise on a representative sample from each guest. We were quite surprised that about 75% of what we saw was 16mm (much of it Kodachrome), followed by 8mm. Super 8 was the least represented format. The only reel of 35mm turned out to be a pristine roll of Nitrate film! Talks are in the works to find the nitrate a good home.

Only one guest had film that appeared beyond all salvage- extreme warping, shrinkage, and chrystalized emulsion. The vinegar could be smelled from the door. We were quite sad as it was Civilian Conservation Core footage shot in the Blue Ridge and Piedmont areas of Virginia. The father of the man who now has this footage was a CCC camp director and shot over 200 reels of 16mm. If any of this footage could be salvaged it would be beyond the means of our guest. I am not sure any archive would take on the burden knowing up front of the expense involved in trying to retrieve the images. If anyone has ideas, please contact me!

Our evening screening was a smaller event with 18 participants, not including event staff. Many who came to the inspection period had driven over an hour to get to us and felt they didn’t want to stay until after dark. Those who stayed had much fun. Folks felt comfortable describing the films and we were treated to such images as a bear “attacking” the filmmaker’s car (shot from inside the car!), a comical parade of 1940’s easter fashions, and toddlers in Wisconsin drinking home brewed beer from glass bottles!

We can’t wait to do this again. Special thanks go to the volunteers: Lillie Lee, John Snelson, Laura Maddox, and Peter Schweighofer.