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Home Movie Day News: October 2012 Archives

October 2012 Archives

October 24, 2012


HMD Report: Raleigh

Total Audience: around 75 & 14 volunteers—89
Number of people bringing films: 19
Number of films screened by Gauge: 36 total
8mm: 15
Super 8: 15
16mm: 6
9.5mm: 0
Video: 0

Press (pre-event and post-event):
*Small mention in Independent Weekly (free weekly) by Chris Vitiello.
*Small mentions the previous week in daily newspaper, Raleigh N&O.
*Marsha Orgeron and Skip Elsheimer on NPR’s The State of Things on Friday 10/21
*Hit the blogs, Facebook, and email lists.

Our event started off with a bang: a woman brought in her family films (which she could
not remember ever having seen) and one of the reels was labeled “Spacewalk” on the
box. It begins with some family footage in Kinston, NC and then some footage of all of
these people in a field with cars. You see glimpses of a big cross and a man in a hood.
The woman who brought the film, somewhat mortified, told us that her parents always
talked about going on a road trip and seeing all of these folks on the side of the road in
Smithfield, NC, and stopping to see what fun was being had—it turned out to be a Klan
rally, and they were too afraid to just drive away, so they stayed a while and filmed a
very short segment while they were there. The next shot is of a television broadcast of
the first ever spacewalk, Alexi Leonov (March 18, 1965)—Soveit, comrades! Not much
American historical memory of that one. An amazing time capsule and testament to the
value of home movies—we couldn’t have planned it better ourselves.

Other highlights:

  • Awesome 16mm film from the 1960s of an astronaut in a “total body exerciser,”
    intended to be used by astronauts in space. Film was donated by William Thornton.
  • An 8mm amateur educational film brought by a woman who worked for the Toledo,
    Ohio, library, shot in 1972. “I made this movie when I worked at the Toledo, Ohio,
    public library (in the Young Adult division) and wanted to show how things have
    changed”—it was shown to library staff all over Ohio. The film starts in black and white,
    with unfriendly libraries, all reading a book titled “Revolting Librarians.” Greaser comes
    up to one librarian, looking for “anything on Motorcycles,” but can’t find anything on
    the subject in the card catalog. The film switches to color, showing how libraries have
    become more open (they roll out the red carpet). Young adults rush the library, checking
    out hundreds of books. The film ends by showing how books can be practical, showing
    people how to do everything from Yoga to auto repair to playing the guitar. A poster
    reads: “We’re more than a library, we’re ideas.”
  • Incredible Super 8 film shot in 1972 at the Republican convention in Miami Beach.
    Footage of camp Nixon, protestors, people in big Nixon masks, barricades, followed by
    footage of his grandmother, glass bottom boat with snorklers.
  • Great 1947 8mm footage shot at 1323 Canterbury Road, Raleigh—the woman who
    brought it described it as feeling like it was out in the country back then. The home is
    now engulfed by a mansion and is very much in the heart of Raleigh.
  • Neat 1970s 16mm footage shot in New Jersey of a family owned factory, accompanied
    by stories by the son of the family about the mob.
  • Super 8 footage from November 1982 of a trip the woman who brought the film took
    with her two sons to New York City: shots from the Ferry, Battery Park, Twin Towers,
    Statue of Liberty, accompanied by a great story of how she sent one of her sons down
    to the hotel restaurant to get her a coke and he ended up getting lost and the chaos that
  • 8mm reel from 1963 shot in Great Falls Montana at a Kennedy Speech a few days
    before he was killed: gathering people, different angles. The woman who brought it
    described an extra sense of personal devastation at the Kennedy assassination because
    they saw him just a few days before. Part 2 is backyard with husband, wife and son, son
    riding tricycle.
  • Lots of nudie shots of baby Katrina Lamberto as she was either eating her own feet or learning to walk—and using a black lab to help hold herself up—worth the price of admission, folks!
  • 8mm reel purchased from a thrift store of a beauty queen parade in California—ca.
    1950s—amazing stuff! Beauty queens in dresses in cars, beauty queens in bathing suits
    walking and posing. People commented on the fact that their bodies looked normal!!!!
    Different times…
  • Several different movies with babies eating grass and pine needles!
  • Super 8 footage of a St. Patrick’s Day parade in Savannah Georgia, with Shriners-o-
  • Two different experimental films shot by two of our volunteers in the 1980s—Skip
    Elsheimer and Grant Samuelson

Lots of folks won HMD Bingo, with prizes courtesy of volunteer Charlotte Walton,
Merge Records, the State Archives, A/V Geeks, and Cameron’s gift shop in Chapel
Hill. Our HMD runs almost on autopilot now thanks to a pretty well-oiled protocol and
seasoned volunteers—we’re happy to share tips and resources with anyone wanting to
start a HMD of their own and we hope to have more up and running in the state next year.
Thanks to all of our amazing volunteers!



HMD Report: New York City

2012 Event Report – HMD New York City

Event Venue: Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Event time (screening): 1-5pm

Event time (inspection): 1-5pm

Total audience: 35 throughout the 1-5 time frame

Number of people bringing films: 12 (Ashley, Walter, Emily, Erik, Robert, Andrea, Greg, Katie/MoMA, Marie, Sylvia, Sue, Ashley S.)

No. of films screened by gauge: 14 media total

8mm: 4
Super8: 4
16mm: 4
9.5mm: 0
Video: 0
Other: 2 carousel trays of 35mm (still) slides

Volunteers: 21 total (Katie Trainor, Walter Forsberg, John Klacsmann, Greg Sargent (projectionist), Erik Piil, Shira Peltzman, Kathryn Gronsbell, Dewitt Davis, Ashley Swinnerton, Justin LaLiberty, Dan Finn, Kristen MacDonough, Rebecca Fraimow, Erica Titkemeyer, Rebecca Hernandez-Gerber, Athena Holbrook, Emily Natsany, Juana Suarez, Pamela Vizner, Benjamin Peeples, Dan Erdman)

Short description of films screened:

  1. An 8mm film of St. Louis Zoo, March 13th, 1960. Includes Forest Park, St. Louis, the Webster Groves neighborhood, and Father’s Day 1960 (Ashley).
  2. Super8 footage shot in 2011 in Mexico featuring Torre Americano and old movie theatres (Walter).
  3. 16mm footage of various landmarks in Washington DC: White House, Washington Monument, etc.
  4. An 8mm film of an aunt’s birthday and Easter in Westfield, NJ ca. 1959 (Emily).
  5. 16mm B/W footage of pre-WWII family life in Providence, RI. This mailer was lost in transit for 70 years and was re-discovered by an NYC lab in 2011 (Erik/DuArt).
  6. 16mm footage of 1939 World’s Fair in Kodachrome. Titles were spliced in around 1964 (Robert Martins). Robert remarks of the filming of the World’s Fair flower gardens by his grandfather, “you have to film the flower gardens so as to not upset the wife.”
  7. Super8 footage of canoeing with a friend in the Gowanus canal ca. 2011 (Walter).
  8. 8mm footage of College Point, Queens ca. 1931 – The first reformed Church on Easter Sunday heads to campgrounds on Bellmont Park, Long Island (Robert). Also includes footage of an underdeveloped East River waterfront, as well as a relative “born in 1868.”
  9. Super8mm footage (with sound) of travels on Route 60 in Florida ca. 1970 (Andrea Callard).
  10. A 35mm slide show of family moments set to a chorus of rural school children singing tunes by the Beach Boys (Greg Sargent).
  11. 8mm footage of San Francisco Wharf and various SF sites, ca. 1970 (Katie/MoMA).
  12. Super8 footage of a Romanian civil ceremony shot in 1981 (Marie).
  13. 16mm footage of a Venezuelan movie maker traveling through Europe ca. 1960’s (Sylvia). Includes footage of Buckingham Palace, as well as a bullfight in Spain ca. 1969 (Sylvia).
  14. A 35mm slide show of orphaned assorted still slides found in an antique store in Brooklyn, NY in 2012 (Ashley S.).


October 27, 2012


HMD Report: Washington, DC

2012 Event Report
City: Washington D.C.
Event Venue: National Building Museum
Event time (screening): 11-2
Event time (inspection): same
Total Audience: 38
Number of people bringing films: 10
Films screened by Gauge:

8mm: 6
Super 8: 4
16mm: 4

Video: We had a TV on one side of the room showing a compilation of amateur films from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, showing films from before WWII, during occupation, and then during the liberation.

Volunteers: 11 total

Laura Major, Osheen Keshishian, Rebecca Reynolds, and Scott Mueller (ColorLab), Andrew Cassidy-Amstutz, Christina Meninger, Ameena Mohammed (MARAC), Lindsay Zarwell (USHMM), Deborah Sorensen (NBM), Brian Real (UMD, College Park)

Special events/screenings: (just the screening on the monitor of the USHMM material)

Press (pre-event and post-event): Beforehand we were mentioned in The Washingtonian and afterward we got a write-up in the MD student writer’s blog

Report submitted by Caitlin McGrath

We had a great selection of films this year, including footage of our very own Dwight Swanson! (there was a big cheer when he appeared on screen!)

We started with a 16mm b/w film Laura brought of the 2004 Orphans Film Festival, where Dwight was spotted, along with a whole host of other film folks. It was a great way to kick off the event – to see all these people responsible for making Home Movie Day happen, as if they were joining us.

Then we watched a snippet of a film by H. Lee Waters (Laura)

I brought three home movies from 1975 of my parents before they were parents and my great-grandparents. We just recently got these transferred, not knowing what was on them, and I got to share them with my grandmother last month. It was the first time she’d ever seen her parents on film.

Eli brought some fantastic films his father had made, from the 1950s, including a great cruise to San Juan, Martinique, and Grenada. The cruise was taken by his parents, Morton and Lila Savada.

2nd reel was thanksgiving dinner, Nov. 22, 1973 at his family home in Harrison NY, followed by the Dec. 19, 1973 50th wedding anniversary of his grandparents, David and Celia Perless, at Keen’s Restaurant, NYC.

Osheen’s parents’ wedding in 1956 in Beirut, Lebanon. Very cool – she had an amazingly wide-skirted gorgeous wedding dress!

Pam Wintle brought some 8mm (in 9.5 cans, curiously) that she’d never seen projected before. They turned out to be some beautiful snowy scenes from Skowhegan, Maine.

Lindsay Zarwell shared some great amateur films from the USHMM as well as one of her own – a 1975 family film with her baby brother wearing a cute IZOD outfit that her mother (Lindsay’s) had just passed on to Lindsay for her own kids to wear. (Which she didn’t realize until seeing the film! She says the outfit is a bit more faded now than on the film J)

There was a trip on the Silver Meteor train from Philadelphia to Sarasota. (Caitlin)

Osheen shared some screen tests he made on B/W reversal in 2011 of some friends. Great to have some “newer” home movies in the mix.

One of our visitors from last year brought his films again, including the fantastic Guitar at the Bottom of the Sea, about a possessed guitar that attacks a hapless youth on the beach.

Then we finished up with a real treat – a 16mmof the 1939 San Francisco World’s Fair. Rebecca brought it, and wasn’t sure if we should screen it, but Deborah Sorensen (who curated a show at the National Building Museum last year on the 30s world’s fairs) and I jumped up and down when it started. Deborah was able to narrate the whole thing, which was fantastic and the color was amazing – especially in the night sequences. Complete with fireworks – couldn’t have asked for a better ending.

Thanks so much to everyone who volunteered! We were thrilled with such a great turn-out and such fabulous films!

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