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HMD Report: San Diego, California 2008

HMD Report: San Diego, California

Report by Friedman & Savage:

UCSD Geisel Library, Seuss Room, 2-5pm, Approx. 30 attendees, 6 from the general public brought films: (12) 8mm / (7) Super-8

Volunteers: Lia Friedman, Stephen O’ Riordan, Sean Savage, Kelly Anzalone, Jim Smith

The best SD HMD yet! All of the organizers and volunteers brought films, shown throughout the afternoon alongside those of the general public. The multi-screen environment provided a relaxed, installation-like atmosphere, allowing folks to focus their attention wherever they liked. Items from UCSD’s Strode collection were shown on the largest screen, while another station in the corner allowed 8mm and/or Super-8 to be shown side-by-side. Finally, a TV monitor looped DVDs of home movie transfers both in the screening room and in the display cases.

Kelly brought her parents, who screened movies of their younger and early-parenting days. One attendee brought films of his days as a commercial fisherman in San Diego, and Stephen, one of our projectionists, recognized the boat and then the man’s name. Stephen’s father-in-law was a tuna fisherman, and just happened to have a DVD of some of his films, so they were able to share movies and stories. And whenever there was a lull in active narration, we put on a sound S-8 of Kodak’s 1977 Christmas sales campaign, with appearances by pitchmen Michael Landon, Dick van Dyke, Burl Ives and Ed Asner.

The day timed just perfectly, with a steady crowd and participants able to see most everything they brought. We had to break it to one lady that 3 of her 8mm reels will require pricey replasticizing to salvage the content. Everyone was very enthusiastic and just a bit sad that it was only once a year.

While the room itself is perfect for the event, we suspect that navigating and parking on a sprawling campus may have kept some people away. Notably, a pair of students sat silently enthralled for the duration, though we intend to get more proactive in courting (and possibly transporting) older audiences next year.

And a tip to other sites: Cracker Jacks are the perfect HMD superfood!