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HMD Report: New Orleans, Louisiana 2008

HMD Report: New Orleans, Louisiana

Thanks to Brenda for the following report:

Event Venue: Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center

Event time: 2:00-5:00pm

Total audience: 10

Number of people bringing films: 5

Number of volunteers: 5
Organizer ? Brenda Flora
Volunteers: Dolores Hooper, Lindsey Barnes, Curtis the Projectionist, Courtney Egan

Films screened by Gauge: 8mm: 0, Super 8: 0, 16mm: 4 (unable to screen), Video: 8
DVD: 4 (plus 1, unable to screen)

The first set of films was from Melissa Smith. These were taken primarily by her father, David Smith. The ones in Liberia, especially, were incredibly interesting!

Originally Super 8 transferred to video. David Smith in Liberia circa 1960-64. Featuring construction of buildings; native peoples; killing a snake!

The rest of the video was originally 16mm transferred to video and featured family gatherings when Melissa was a baby/toddler/bump: Thanksgiving 1972, Streetcar birthday party circa 1970, Melissa as a baby walking circa 1972, Christmas circa 1974, Birthday party 1972 (mom very pregnant with Melissa), Grandparents’ 40th anniversary 1972, Melissa’s christening Summer 1972

The second set of films was brought by the Louisiana State Museum and featured jazz funerals. DVD transfer: Joe Watkins Funeral – 1969. (funeral of drummer, filmmaker unknown); Louis and Pavageau Funerals – 1978 (filmmaker unknown); Dixie Land Hall and Sweet Emma (piano) -1978, Film by Don Perry; Burgundy Street Blues – 1960’s, Film by Don Perry.

Further 16mm films by Don Perry were brought by Courtney Egan, which his widow had donated to the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. Sadly, two of these were not in good enough condition to be projected.

Unfortunately our venue was missing the take-up reel for their 16mm projector, so we had a couple of things on hand that we couldn’t watch (including a film of a jazz funeral from the Historic New Orleans Collection and another Don Perry film from NOCCA), which I felt awful about, but now I know one more thing I need to take care of for next time!

We also had another submission on DVD from local filmmaker, Matt Faust. However, the DVD would not play in our projector. We filled in the rest of the time with selections from the Living Room Cinema: Films From Home Movie Day Volume 1 DVD, which we encouraged our audience to purchase from the HMD website.

In summary, we were plagued with technical difficulties and sparse crowds, but in our cozy, informal atmosphere, it ended up being a good time anyway. And we’ve already began brainstorming on ideas for how to get a bigger crowd out next year, (preferably with some more film material, rather than transfers)!

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