Due to the global disruption caused by COVID-19, Home Movie Day 2020 will be held primarily online this October rather than inside theaters and spaces around the world. We at the Center for Home Movies (CHM) are embracing the motto “Every day is Home Movie Day” and are excited about the many creative ways we can expand the possibilities in this new virtual format, where local events can be held literally any time and be shared with a global audience! Just as Home Movie Day is not one event, but rather a coordinated group of activities organized by local hosts around the world, so too this Home Movie Day will be whatever format each organizer wishes it to be – virtual or in person.
The third Saturday in October has traditionally been the focus of many Home Movie Day events. But this year, we really want to encourage you to stagger your events throughout the whole month of October, so that people can visit (virtually and safely!) as many different Home Movie Days as possible. Think of it as Home Movie Month!
The overarching theme of HMD2020 is “New ways of connecting.” To assist, CHM is available to consult with you on the technical skills and requirements for making your event possible. We also encourage you to sign up for the Home Movie Day Google Group, which will connect you with hosts all over the world via an active listserv where you can post questions and ideas, and exchange ideas and expertise. Email firstname.lastname@example.org to request an invitation to the group.
I’ve never hosted before, where do I start?
Congratulations! The best thing to do first is to take a look at the centerforhomemovies.org page on Hosting a Home Movie Day event. While this year’s events may look a little different, much of the advice still holds true and the spirit of the events will remain the same.
Everyone who has held a Home Movie Day event in the past will tell you the same thing: Hard work is involved, but the outcome makes it all worthwhile. You’ll be helping people connect with their families’ histories, their own past, and their communities, and you’ll also contribute to the rescue of an important part of our cultural record, one which might otherwise be destroyed through neglect.
How do I decide what type of event to host this year?
This depends on a few factors including your level of technical expertise and your ultimate goals for the events. A few questions to consider to get you started:
- -Is your primary goal to share content from a local archive or collection?
- -To engage an audience with content?
- -Or to share educational information about caring for home movies?
- -Have you or anyone in your group hosted a live online event before?
- -Is someone in your group comfortable with editing and uploading digital video files?
Some ideas for types of programs are listed below, many with accompanying examples. Do not be limited by these! Make HMD2020 your own!
- –Pre-recorded programs
- Curate a selection of home movies from your community! Cull these from your local archives, past home movie days, or use your own. Edit them into an hour-long program, using our logos and trailer to punch it up! Host these on your own website, youtube channel, vimeo channel, facebook page, etc., or we will help you by posting it on our own Vimeo site!
- Curate a selection of home movies from the Home Movie Registry or the Internet Archive!
- Here’s an example of a trailer for the Arthur H. Smith program that CHM will be hosting in October.
- –Pre-recorded screenings combined with live online chats, commentaries, introductions, or question & answer session
- Consider making a program available all month, then hosting a live q/a at a specific time
- This is a nice example of a program that was recorded live and then has remained available online, Ina Archer and Candace Ming’s Orphans 2020 program titled “The Great Migration Project, NMAAHC: Highland Beach home movies (1950s-60s); Trip and Ariel (Zora Lathan, 1975)
- Consider making a program available all month, then hosting a live q/a at a specific time
- –Pre-recorded conversations with home movie makers over their home movies, then play it back during a set time with a live audience and encourage the donor to be there for the chat
- –Livestreams of in-person programs
- –Informational sessions on home movie history and preservation
I still don’t know where to start. Can CHM help me?
Yes! Please email us at email@example.com and we can answer your questions and add you to the Home Movie Day google group for more support. CHM has been hosting HMD office hours throughout the late Summer and Fall and will schedule additional sessions as needed.
I’ve decided to host an event. What does the Center for Home Movies need from me, and by when?
To facilitate this year’s events, CHM created this events portal to advertise and connect to live and pre-recorded home movie programs from around the world. [a link and instructions for entering your event on this page are below] CHM envisions this portal as a landing page for people inside and outside of your community to engage with your content on the day of your event – this will be one of the unique new features of HMD 2020 online.
We ask that you post your event at least 2 weeks in advance. And remember, every day is Home Movie Day! This year especially we are encouraging events throughout the month of October and beyond.
When should I hold my event?
Anytime throughout the month of October! One thing to keep in mind when you’re scheduling your event is to coordinate your event based on when other cities have scheduled theirs. This way, if you’re aiming to attract an audience outside your community you can avoid conflicting with a number of other HMDs. Since we are encouraging hosts to celebrate Home Movie Day the entire month of October this year, scheduling overlaps should be easily avoidable.
This is not a problem if your program is aimed primarily at your local community – but if you are hoping to capture the attention of audiences beyond your city, conflicting events might be an issue for you. We suggest checking on the official events page first to see who else has already scheduled their events: https://www.centerforhomemovies.org/events/
How do I submit an event to the HMD 2020 events page?
When you are ready to submit information about your event for the public website, go to:
For instructions on how to fill out the Submission Form go to:
Submitting Events for the Home Movie Day 2020 Event Listings Page
It is possible to do Home Movie Day Bingo online?
Yes! Let us introduce you to Home Movie Day Bingo – virtual edition! Skip Elsheimer created a simple and free online version of this classic Home Movie Day activity: https://bingobaker.com/play/1120230a2704338d.
You can share the link with attendees at many of the types of events listed above, simply by including it in the event description or sharing it in the chat function, or both.
Home Movie Day Bingo gets people involved in watching for details in the films. Each player gets a unique Bingo card. On each card are 5 columns of items – things or activities that you might see in a home movie (e.g. “mustache”; “sledding”; “fishing rod”). Whenever a player sees an item on their card in the home movie they are watching, they mark it by clicking on that square. When someone gets five in a row across, down, or diagonally, they type out “Bingo!” in the chat. Then they must name the items they saw in the films. Get creative about how to award virtual prizes to winners!
More information and a PDF version of cards if you prefer to print them out: https://www.centerforhomemovies.org/wp-content/uploads/HMD-Bingo.pdf
Where can I find the HMD 2020 Online trailers and promotional images?
The official Home Movie Day 2020 logo was designed by Beth Wood. It’s available in two versions on our promotional images page.
The full trailer (runtime 1:30) is available in two versions:
And as a 15 second logo animation:
I am interested in creating a pre-recorded program of home movies but do not know where or how to post this online. Can CHM help me?
Yes! CHM is committed to assisting archives in hosting videos through our Vimeo platform. If you are interested in this option, please email firstname.lastname@example.org in the early stages of your planning so we can communicate the parameters of what we can offer. Any digital files should be submitted at least a month prior to the event with the video specifications outlined below.
What file size & details work best for uploading to Vimeo/youtube/facebook etc for streaming?
We suggest working with files with the following specs, which are most compatible for web and media players:
- -mp4 files with an h.264 codec, which is about the most compatible format for the web and media players
- -1920 x1080 with a 2 ch stereo mix (if your files have audio)
- -for frame rates, avoid non-traditional speeds and use one of the following – 23.98, 24, 25, 29,98 or 30
- -bit rate in the 5000-8000 kbps range
What if my files are larger than the recommendations?
Larger files may work, though they could be more cumbersome to deal with. You can compress your video files using Adobe software such as Encoder or Premiere, Apple Quicktime, or the free software Handbrake.
I have video files ready, but I need to send them to a collaborator for uploading. What’s the best way to send a large video file to someone over the internet?
If your files are too large to transfer via email, we suggest setting up a free Dropbox account or transferring files via Wetransfer.
I am new to Vimeo. How do I ensure my files will not only look great but will also be secure?
Stick to the file specs outlined above, and be sure to mark your files for the proper privacy settings. We recommend:
- -decide if you want your files to be public (available at anytime to anyone); available only for a certain window of time; or available via a private link that you share with viewers. This will determine whether you put a password on your video or not, and whether you create a private link. This setting can be found under the “General Settings – Privacy” section of your Vimeo video page.
- -do you want viewers to be able to download your video? In most cases the answer will be NO. This setting can be found under the “General Settings – Privacy” section as well.
- -do you want viewers to be able to embed your video on their own website? In most cases, this answer is no. BUT, you may want to be able to embed the video on your own website, which you can specify for each video. This setting can be changed on the “General Settings – Embed” section of your Vimeo video page.
- -there are some other important settings on the “General Settings-Embed” section – such as, do you want viewers to be able to share your video? Like your video? Be sure to look at these options closely.
- -It is also possible to add a watermark automatically on Vimeo – you can use a logo or text. You can find this option on the “Embed – customization” section. Mark the tab labeled “Display Custom Logo” and upload a logo of your choice – it will display in the bottom right corner of your video.
Will the Center for Home Movies be providing event URL redirects this year?
Yes! We will be providing web redirects when they are requested by hosts. Your redirect will be based on the title you give to the event you submit on our events page.
I have technical questions beyond what is covered here. For instance, can you help me set up an event with livestreaming and live chat components?
Sounds like you’re planning an ambitious event, kudos! Please email email@example.com with your questions, or better yet, post them to the Home Movie Day Google Group list, and we will connect you with a host who can help!