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Home Movie Day News


November 19, 2013

HMD Report: Motherwell, North Lanarkshire, Scotland

Event Venue: North Lanarkshire Heritage Centre
Event time (screening): 11am–1pm & 2–4pm
Event time (inspection): N/A

Total Audience: 18 (7 + 11)

Number of people bringing films: 4

Films screened by Gauge:
8mm: 1
Super 8: 2
16mm: 1
9.5mm: 0
Video: 1 (copied from Super 8)

Volunteers (# and names—will be acknowledged in CHM annual report unless otherwise indicated):

Chris O’Kane, Scottish Coordinator of the Projected Picture Trust

Special events/screenings:

Home Movie Memories – screening of compilation DVD of home cine footage followed by an informal discussion and screening of films brought by audience, who also had the opportunity to view and handle 9.5mm, 16mm, Standard 8 and Super 8 cine equipment provided by Chris O’Kane and CultureNL Museums Service.

Press (pre-event and post-event):

Pre-event press release and photos sent to local newspapers (appeared in Hamilton Advertiser) and the BBC (phone interview on What’s On slot on MacAulay and Co, BBC Radio Scotland). Flyers and posters distributed in CultureNL Museum and Library venues and circulated by email to local history/heritage societies.

Report submitted by Jenny Noble, Social History Curator, CultureNL

Films screened:

Compilation DVD: Home Movie Memories (16mm & 8mm transfer samples), edited by Chris O’Kane, Projected Picture Trust

  • Life in Scotland and Malaya, 1950s

    From Jennifer Lindsey, born in Dundee but now living in London

  • Farm life in Oban and Broxburn, 1948 to 1955

    By Morag Cadzow, Broxburn

  • Govan Ship launch at Alexander Stephens Yard, 1955
  • Life in Mid East and South America

    Both by Andrew Shanks, Glasgow

DVD: Bothwellhaugh – Village Life 1962–65 (copied from Standard 8mm film)

  • Filmed by Joe Griffiths; screened courtesy of Scottish Screen Archive

    Amateur film of the daily life of Bothwellhaugh, a Lanarkshire mining village evacuated to make way for a man-made loch when Strathclyde Country Park was built in 1965.

VHS video (copied from Super 8 film)

  • From Mr Kirkwood, Bellshill

    Footage of Mr Kirkwood’s wife’s family, including their emigration to Australia.

2 x Super 8 films

  • From John McRae, Coatbridge

    Footage shot during a family holiday in the Netherlands and in the back garden at home in Coatbridge.

Standard 8mm film

  • From Mr and Mrs W Robertson, Hamilton

    Short clip of the Robertson’s wedding day on 27/10/1974 – the happy couple travelled to
    Australia straight after their marriage, so although they made arrangements for the film to be developed, this was the first time they had viewed the footage!

16mm film

  • From C O’Kane on behalf of Gordon Dishington, Coatbridge (shot by Gordon’s father).

    Footage of North Yorkshire wedding, 1968


HMD Report: Pittsburgh

Event Venue: The Apartment, an event space donated by Carnegie Museum of Art
Event time (screening): 5pm-8pm
Event time (inspection): 4pm-5pm
Total Audience: about 40
Number of people bringing films: 7

ilms screened by Gauge:
8mm: 1
Super 8: 12
16mm: 2 compilation reels


Philip Leers (Carnegie Museum of Art), organizer
Lindsay Mattock (School of Information Science, University of Pittsburgh), organizer
Greg Pierce (Orgone Archive), organizer, projection, inspection
Mark Lynn Anderson (Film Studies Program, University of Pittsburgh),
organizer, notes
Diana Little (MediaPreserve), inspection, runner
Dan Bidwa and Brian Gollum (The Snack Guys), refreshments

Report submitted by: Mark Lynn Anderson

Pittsburgh’s HMD 2013 was held from 4:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Saturday, October 19, at The Apartment, an event space donated for the event by the Carnegie Museum of Art. The event was organized by Philip Leers (Carnegie Museum of Art), Lindsay Mattock (School of Information Science, University of Pittsburgh), Greg Pierce (The Orgone Archive), and myself with support from their respective institutions. Film inspection was handled by Greg and Diana Little from The Media Preserve in Cranberry Township, PA from 4:00 PM to 5:00 PM, and screenings took place from 5:15 PM until 7:50 PM. Greg and The Orgone Archive supplied 16mm, Super 8, and 8mm projectors, as well as a couple of compiled reels of 16mm home movies. Seven attendees checked material at the door, almost exclusively Super 8 material with the exception of a single 300’ reel of 8mm that I brought with me. The Snack Guys (Dan Bidwa and Brian Gollum) catered the event and brought pita bread, hummus, baba ghanoush, and four varieties of delicious puddings! There was also a case of PBR in the fridge.

We moved the couches and chairs from the front room of The Apartment into the large kitchen since the latter had the most space, the dimmest lighting for projection, the longest throw for the 16mm projector, and handy proximity to the food and the fridge. Some forty people attended the event, with most staying for the entire evening. Greg did all the projection, and commentaries were provided by those whose home movies were being screened. Here was the evening’s program. Oh, yeah … and people had a really great time before, during, and after.


  1. Point of Departure. A Super 8 film shot in 1974 on a fifty-dollar budget by Ann B. while a film student in Pittsburgh. Beginning as a cautionary tale about hitching a ride, the film quickly becomes a feminist allegory about control and manipulation. A crowd-pleasing highlight was the shot of a talismanic booklet labeled “Redeem Yourself” that, when opened, revealed itself to be filled with S & H Green Stamps.
  2. A seventeen-minute reel of 8mm film shot in the early 1970s in western Maryland by John Mariotti, a retired machinist, part-time barber, and a good friend of my parents. Mostly footage of backyard barbecues and picnics in Hagerstown, Maryland, featuring the Mariottis and the Andersons. Some interesting footage of rough seas during an all-male fishing trip to the Chesapeake Bay, with the requisite shot of a novice purging his lunch over the side of the boat.
  3. Madison narrated three very short Super-8 films of himself and his family in East Tennessee in the early to mid-1960s. The films were shot by his grandfather, and Madison had never seen these film before. While he appears as a very young boy in some of the footage, most of this wonderfully lit movie was devoted to diffused lighting and the warm pastels worn by aunts and young girls at a birthday party.
  4. Philip brought three short 100’ reels of Super 8 film from the Carnegie Museum of Art, each documenting in some way the construction of the Scaife Gallery at the museum during the fall and winter of 1973-74. The first two reels were shot by Bob Grzenda and the third by Sally Dixon. The first film detailed the enormous scaffolding erected during construction, often via striking silhouettes, while the second documented the cessation of work because of a heavy snowfall that winter, with scenes of Schindley Park and photographer Michael Chikiris walking through deep drifts in extreme long shot. The film also included an interesting shot of the snow-covered landscape that ended with a radical cant of the frame (nearly ninety-degrees) that a collective “Whoa!” from the assembled audience. Dixon’s film concentrated mostly on construction workers during warmer days – muddy, shirtless, and toiling in full shot.
  5. Noel T. narrated two Super 8 reels she inherited from her grandparents but had never seen before. They were shot in 1987, and were mostly of Noel as a toddler with her parents. The first shot elicited a “That’s me!” from Noel, and the subsequent ones showed her unflagging talent for repeatedly falling down. The second reel documented her first birthday where she received a Raggedy Ann doll, but the highlight for Noel and for the rest of us was when the one-year-old Noel, seated confidently in a highchair, demonstrated how to extinguish a lit birthday candle with your hand. Lesson learned.
  6. Will Z. brought a Super 8 reel of a parade in a suburb of San Diego that was shot in 1972. His sisters were both in the parade, one a baton-wielding “Lancerette.” Will narrated how that sister was, unbeknownst to him at that time, despised by the younger sister for all the attention and accolades lavished upon her. The film bore out this tale of discord, containing only a single, brief shot of the younger girl. Will says that the two have grown closer over the years.
  7. Josh W. brought three 400’ reels of Super 8 observational footage of himself and other children that was shot in the mid-seventies by psychoanalytic child-psychologist Judith Kestenberg. The films were part of a longitudinal study of parent-child interactions in which Josh’s parents participated throughout his pre-school years. Kestenberg was interested in gender, muscular tension, and kinetics. Josh and his family received this footage at the conclusion of the study, sometime in the 1980s. Only two of the three reels were screened at the event. The first reel was long-take footage shot immediately after the birth of Josh’s younger sister on July 4, 1976. The film documents the first moments of his mother holding the child in the delivery room. The reel also inexplicably contains extended footage of the circumcision of a newborn male child who is strapped down for the procedure.
  8. Greg screened 200’ of 16mm color, home-movie footage (1957-59) of Halloween costume parties shot by Charles Utz of Wexford, PA. That was followed by two 100’ rolls shot by unknown filmmakers: the first from 1962 depicted grown men playing games with water balloons, and then playing horseshoes and volleyball, with beer guzzling and close-ups of grilled chicken as the chaser; the second roll featured men pouring concrete and a couple water-skiing in 1970.
  9. This second reel of observational footage from Josh W. began by depicting children at play with various toys while their parents passively observe, but then moved to earlier images of Josh playing in a small pool with his parents at the house in Queens where Josh lived until he was three-and-a-half-years old. The film concluded with later footage of a reunion of sorts when Josh and his mother revisited the preschool where Dr. Kestenberg conducted her observation. This would have been when Josh is in third grade and approximately eight-years old.
  10. We finished off the evening with some gorgeous 16mm home movies supplied by Greg and shot by John Dubas, who lived on Ford Street in Pittsburgh. The footage, shot from 1972-1977, showed various moments of the family at play in both distant venues such as Disney Land and at home in Pittsburgh. There were three boys in the family and a younger sister. Much of the film depicted the three older boys attempting to play with the younger girl, though they usually only confused her or caused her mild anxiety. Dr. Kestenberg, where are you when we need you?

Folks hung around socializing for over half an hour, as Greg packed up and we replaced the furniture in the front room.


HMD Report: St Louis

Event Venue: St. Louis Central Public Library (Hosted by Washington
University Film & Media Archive and SLPL)

Event time (screening): October 26, 1pm – 3pm
Event time (inspection): Days prior to event and during

Total Audience: 38 (including volunteers). An additional 40 stopped to look at projectors, cameras, etc. that we had on display outside of the viewing space.

Number of people bringing films: 8

Films screened by Gauge:
8mm: 10
Super 8: 1
16mm: 4
9.5mm: 0
Video: 8 (3 VHS, 5 DVD)

Volunteers: 10
Alison Carrick
Kristin Flachsbart
Nadia Ghasedi
Jim Hone
Andrea Johnson
Barry Kelley
Chris Pepus
Bill Selbert
Irene Taylor
Rob Tygett

Special events/screenings: George T. Keating Home Movie Featuring Ford Madox Ford, preserved last year with funds from NFPF.

Press (pre-event and post-event): Article featured in Washington University publication, The Record.

Report submitted by Nadia Ghasedi, Head of Visual Media Research Lab, Washington
University Libraries


Films from Home Movie Day: Living Room Cinema (DVD)

Holly Weller’s home movies

(1967-68, 8mm film, color, silent, 50’) Christmas morning gift opening, 3 little kids display toys. Spring scene 2 kids ride tricycles, play with neighbor dog.

(1969-70, 8mm film, color, silent, 50’) Snowy street, kids ride tricycles in shoveled driveway and sidewalk. Sledding and laughing.

(1971, 8mm film, color, silent, 50’) Florida vacation. Little kids in swimming suits. Slide into pool. Building sandcastles on beach. Family visiting Saratoga Jungle Gardens. Plants and birds. Parrot on little boy’s arm.

Paul Preisler Home Movie, Missouri Historical Society film (1936, 16mm
film, B&W, silent)

May Day Parade 1936 from the Paul Preisler Collection. Union members marching, signs demand that Tom Mooney be freed and tout New Deal, Liberty League, and the CIO. Labor activists give vigorous speeches, one speaker is African-American.

Charmaine Scott’s home movies

(1977, 8 film, color, silent, 50’)Family members opening Christmas gifts (including CorningWare); young adults with long hair and beards, grandparents, women cooking, family dog, nativity scene on table, family gathered in living room.

(1974, 8 film, color, silent, 50’) Footage of “Field Day” gathering of shortwave radio club in park at Lindbergh and Brown Road near airport. Members include Ms. Scott’s father and brother. Shot of Ford van, tent. Men eat, drink beer, wear coats. Man setting automatic camera to take group photo.

(1967, 8 mm, color, silent, 50’) Shots of grandparent’s country house. Grandfather proudly demonstrates the pool cover he built. Shots of small pond he constructed and decorated with material left on building sites.

Nadia Ghasedi’s home movies

(1989, VHS, color, sound) Thanksgiving at Grandma’s house in Sullivan, MO. Young girl narrates, cooking, grandma stirs stuffing, Uncle Gary, turkey in oven, children play with dog, ride scooters and admire “country trees.”

(1996, DVD transfer from VHS, color, sound) 8th grade surprise birthday party. Boys and girls hang around family rec room. One boy plays guitar and some kids sing along a bit. Star Wars birthday cake.

(1977, Super 8 mm, color, silent, 50’) Family visit to Iran prior to revolution. Shots of Nadia Ghasedi’s parents, siblings, cousins and grandmother. Picnic. Boys wrestling.

Laura Henke experimental student film (16 mm film, B&W, silent, 6 min.)

Medium close-up of young woman’s face. Stays very still. Blinks.
Swallows. Sheds one tear, which rolls down cheek.

Andrea Johnson’s home movies (early 90s, VHS, color, sound)

Family on train in Connecticut. Many shots out window at passing landscape, houses, river, boats on lake, sound of wheels and train whistle. Later, the train sits still and passengers look bored.

Family gathering in back yard of University City home. Girl plays with
giant bubble wand. Adult men take over and try to make huge bubbles.

Anne Posega’s home movies

(1950s, 16 mm, color , 300’) Family members including Ms. Posega’s grandfather on trip to Mexico. Image shows dirt caught in camera lens. Many shots of people sitting around a swimming pool drinking and smoking, also restaurant and bar of hotel. Waitress rolls her eyes. Ends with footage of the drive home, desert, road, gas station, San Antonio Motel and finally the car in the driveway with sign, “Home Again, Indiana. Hasta Luegos. Finis.”

(1950s, 16 mm, B&W, 50’) Footage of a wedding, which Ms. Posega
conjectures took place in either South Bend, Ind. or Detroit. Bride
may be Ms. Posega’s aunt, and her mother may be a bridesmaid.

Erin Suelmann’s home movies (1957-58, 8 mm film, color, silent, 400’)

Footage shows Ms. Suelmann’s father as a boy sledding, and other family home movies, a baby, a family opening Christmas presents, playing at a beach, children swimming in a lake, a shiny new 1950s car, elderly relatives washing dishes at a family gathering. The home was in South St. Louis County and cousins lived next door. Christmas – dolls for girls, skates for boys – girl also plays with Nativity scene. Visit to Grant’s Farm.

Shots of unknown wedding. Colorful bridesmaid dresses. Birthday party.


Al Parker Home Movies (1939-1961, DVD transfer from 8 mm, color, silent)

Admiral riverboat on Mississippi. Smoke stacks and pollution. 1930s,
men in ties, women in dresses. Man on porch swing holding small child.
Elderly couple. Child pumps water.

Dana Brown Safari Coffee Commercials (DVD transfer, color sound, 6 min.)

held by Washington University Film & Media Archive, Mama warthog protects baby warthogs, Brown eats tiger fish dinner, Cape Buffalo herd intimidates crocodile, Lion cub afraid of rhino, baby baboons riding baby bush pigs.

George T. Keating Home Movie Featuring Ford Madox Ford (1929, 16 mm
film, B&W, 4 min.)

Held by Washington University Film & Media Archive, only existing film footage of 20th Century British Author Ford Madox Ford. He is seen playing with children, petting a dog.

Once Upon a Hill There Was a School (1963, DVD transfer from 16 mm, B&W, sound)

W.U. Promotional Film directed by Martin Lavut with Music by Billy Sleator. Financed by the Forsythe Houses Program and the Television, Radio Film Office of Washington University (Under the Directorship of Richard Hartzell) Filmed at Washington University St. Louis, Missouri, 1963. Male student wakes up in dorm, gets dressed, broods. Female students read in bed, engage in pillow fight, eat breakfast and smoke. Both students and professor smoke in class while discussing Camus. Students sit and read at various locations around campus, including library. Many shots of campus activities: basketball game, karate tournament, cheerleaders, sculpture class, student play (South Pacific?). Graffiti, cafeteria, kids climbing on the stands at football field.


HMD Report: Seattle

Event Venue: Northwest Film Forum

Event time (screening): 10am-1pm
Event time (inspection): 10am-1pm

Total Audience:30
Number of people bringing films: 4

Films screened by Gauge:

8mm: 2
Super 8: 5
16mm: 5


Hannah Palin, University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections
Phil Borgnes, Sidewalk Cinema
Matt Cunningham, Northwest Film Forum
Rachel Chabra, Northwest Film Forum
Sarah Freeman, University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections

Special events/screenings:

I worked with the Seattle Municipal Archives on a screening event earlier in the month for Archives Month. It took place at Northwest Film Forum and featured films from eight archives in the Seattle area, a number of which were home movies and amateur films. We promoted Home Movie Day at this event.

Press (pre-event and post-event):

Articles about Home Movie Day and tips to working with home movie collection in the Seattle Area Archivists quarterly newsletter

Northwest Film Forum Calendar
Facebook Event listing
Broadcast emails to the University of Washington Libraries Special Collections Staff and students, as well as, a listing in the Weekly Online News for the entire UW Library system.

I sent press releases to the local NPR and PBS stations, as well as contacts at the broadcast networks, but no one ran with the story as they had done last year.

Personal emails to everyone we’ve ever met!!

Report submitted by Hannah Palin

We only had two people bring films, both of which were 50’ reels of Super 8mm. One was a wedding shower held in the basement of a church in 1962 in Wisconsin with members of the congregation. The woman who brought in the film said it was her parent’s shower and she thought that her father was filming the event. There was a lot of waving at the camera and smiling as the church ladies poured coffee and served cake. “Pray for Eileen” was written on a chalkboard behind the couple. No word on who Eileen might have been or how she’s doing.

The other film was a claymation animated short made by the King County Archivist, Carol Shenk when she was 10. The film featured a fire-breathing dragon, a damsel in distress and a valiant knight. There were three elementary school kids in the audience at the time Carol’s film was running and, when it was over, they all said, “Play it again!!! Backwards!! Yeah, backwards!” I think we watched the film a total of 5 times backwards and forwards. I was pleased to know that kids still love to watch home movies in reverse. Because we didn’t have a lot of films brought in by Home Movie Day attendees Phil and I dug into boxes of films we’d brought with us from our own personal collections. We threw up a number of films, but some of the highlights were the last reel of Kodachrome Phil shot before our local lab, Alpha Cine, stopped processing film. It was footage of the Edmonds ferry terminal and a trip across Puget Sound. I showed an art film that my husband made in his 20s of his friend Kevin mashing potatoes, scowling at a picture of his mother, and then sitting on a plate of the potatoes…buck naked. Phil showed an orphaned reel of film that appeared to be the home movies of a tug boat captain and to end the afternoon, we put a Super8mm film of Ireland on at the same time as a 16mm film of Seattle and, for about 10 minutes, the images synched perfectly. There would be dogs on both screens, followed by lakes and signs and cars on country roads and footage families laughing. It was a little eerie but absolutely fascinating.


HMD Report: Tucson

2nd Annual Home Movie Day Tucson, Saturday, October 26, 2013, 10-12 a.m.

Participation Summary

Event Participants

  • We had a total of 35 guests for this event, 7 of whom brought films to share
  • 9 guests expressed an interest in learning more about film preservation
  • All guests requested to be added to the e-newsletter

Film Intake

A total of 10 films were brought to the event. Of the 10 films, 8 were shown (in the following order)

  • Tony Arroyo

a. Format: super 8mm

b. Description: Queen Mary / playing on the beach in Mexico / Wild Life Animal Park / Beauty School / Fencing

  • Marni Farrell

a. Format: 16mm

b. Description: Marni’s 6th birthday party with relatives in Cincinnati, OH

c. Marni heard about the event in the newspaper

  • India Spartz

a. Format: digitized

b. Description: Alaska (Deering, Juneau, Nome) 1945 – fishing / dog sledding

  • Tony Arroyo

a. Format: Super 8mm

b. Description: Graduation from Whittier College, 1973 / motorcycle rides

  • Jennifer Jenkins

a. Format: 8mm

b. Description: Lincoln Memorial / Oklahoma (film was labeled Tucson/Tombstone, broke in projector.

  • Sharlot Hart

a. Format: 16mm

b. Description: rocket flight (approx. 1967) prepared for NASA by USGS. Narrator, Don Hart (Sharlot’s father)

  • Ken Wolfgang Collection, UAL Special Collections

a. Format: digitized (16mm)

b. Description: “Who Needs You” – educational film shot in downtown Tucson in 1978

  • Bob Nichol, Ping Pong Media

a. Format: 16mm

b. Description: Bob’s film collection “movie clips” – Miami fashion show / seaplane, Caribbean Clipper / FDR inauguration / German Santa in Minn. / NY 1938 / Tucson Rodeo Parade, 1950’s / El Con Mall reopening

  • Jennifer Jenkins, not viewed

a. Format: 16mm

b. Description: April 1956, Grand Canyon vacation / Idaho

  • Trent Purdy, not viewed

a. Format: 8mm

b. Description: Sam Hughes Elementary Indian Day Parade (approx. 1950’s)

c. Trent donated the film to Special Collections

—Report compiled by Gina Baudoin
Photos at https://www.facebook.com/HMDTucson


HMD Report: Vancouver, BC

Event Venue: The Hangar at the Centre for Digital Media
Event time (screening): 12-4 pm
Event time (inspection): 12- 3:30 pm
Total Audience: 65 members of the public (plus 15 volunteers = 80 total)
Number of people bringing films: 22

Films screened by Gauge:
(Numbers are approximate)

8mm: 9
Super 8: 6
16mm: 4

Volunteers: 15

Christine Hagemoen
Jeffery Chong
Colin Preston
Marie-Helene Robitaille
Sue Bigelow
Heather Gordon
Angela Piccini
Louise Gibbons
Rob Webber
Graham Peat
Mel Leverich
Dennis Duffy
Chantaal Ryane
Michelle Smolkin
Michael Baker

Special events/screenings: none.

Press (pre-event and post-event):
“Home Movies get Star Treatment at the Hangar” feature article plus photo by Cheryl Rossi in Vancouver Courier, October 18, 2013 (both print and online)

Brief mention in the Movie Notes section of The Georgia Straight (weekly entertainment paper) print and online.

Colin Preston (CBC Archives Coordinator and HMD Volunteer) was interviewed on CBC Radio, North by Northwest program airing 7-9 am October 19.

Colin Preston (CBC Archives Coordinator and HMD Volunteer) was interviewed on Radio at CKNW – Mike Eckford show, “The Shift” aired 7-10 pm, October 18.

Various online event listings and blogs.

Report submitted by Christine Hagemoen, HMD Vancouver Event Coordinator


This was the first Home Movie Day experience for most of the volunteers at HMD Vancouver, and the first HMD event in Vancouver since 2005. Therefore, I was doubly pleased at how well things progressed in the day and for the number of people who came to the event.

Unfortunately, we didn’t assign someone to takes notes about the specific films (now I know what the “note takers” were for). But, I do recall a few highlights of the day:

  • One fellow brought in a B&W film (can’t recall gauge) he shot last year using a vintage Bolex movie camera. He had his young son with him who was the main subject of the film.
  • Someone brought in a colour 8mm film of his parents wedding in the early 1960s in Uganda. The bright tones of Kodachrome film plus the very colourful outfits of the wedding party made for a most delightful screening.
  • Family Film from the late 1950s/ early 1960s in France.
  • One reel (out of 4) of family film from 1959 trip to Europe.
  • Experimental time lapse film from late 1970s/early 1980s.
  • Wedding film from early 1960s.
  • 8mm films ca. 1964/65 of University of British Columbia School of
    Engineering (antics and activities of engineering students).


October 28, 2013

HMD Report: North Adams, Massachusetts

City: North Adams, MA

Event Venue: The Hub (back room)

Event time (screening): 8:00 pm

Event time (inspection): 7:55 pm

Total Audience: About 25, most local but we were having the annual
footage researchers retreat the same weekend, so we had three people
from New York City and one from Poughkeepsie.

Number of people bringing films: 5

Films screened by Gauge:
8mm: 1
Super 8: 0 (one brought but no projector)
16mm: 10

Volunteers (# and names—will be acknowledged in CHM annual report
unless otherwise indicated): Rich Remsberg, Grover Askins

Press (pre-event and post-event): North Adams Transcript, Facebook,
mailing list, word of mouth (including two people from out of town who
heard about it at a yoga class that morning).

Report submitted by: Rich Remsberg


Four 50’ reels from a box (of about 15) bought by Michael Dolan at a
junk shop that week: Primarily Long Island in the 1930s and 1940s.

Lewanne Jones’ home movies, shot by her father in West Africa in
1963-65, while her family was living there for a project with Cornell

Two reels featuring pageants, football games, student life, etc. from
the Hoosac School (in Hoosick, NY), where presenter Tom Cochran is
currently the Dean of Students (and once was a student). The two shown
were from the five or so in the batch.

Rich Remsberg’s found home movies of France in the 1920s.

Two reels of a three-decade collection of Grover Askins’ found home
movies of a family in Connecticut.


HMD Report: Portland, Oregon

Event Venue: Northwest Film Center (downtown Portland) in collaboration with the Oregon Historical Society.
Event time (screening): noon-5
Event time (inspection): same
Total Audience: 35
Number of people bringing films: 6 (not including films from the Oregon Historical Society)

Films screened by Gauge (estimated):
8mm: 10
Super 8: 6
16mm: 8

9 Volunteers:
Jennifer Keyser
Mia Ferm
Kristin Hole
Thomas Matlock
Tom Robinson
Chelsea Mohr
Veronica Vichit-Vadakan
Melinda Kowalska
Matthew Cowan

Press (pre-event and post-event):

  • Small posts in events section of Oregon Herald and the Oregonian.
  • Blogs, Facebook, and email lists.
  • Website: homemoviedaypdx.tumblr.com
  • Brief mention in conjunction with a KATU news story on 8mm film reels.
  • Camera crew (of one) on site day of from KATU News Portland (no sign of story as of Monday 27th)

Report submitted by:
Matthew Cowan

HMD Portland 2013 was a success with 35 people throughout the afternoon with most of them staying for the full 4.5+ hours of screening. If anything, some nice weather kept the turn out slightly less than could be expected. Cookies, brownies and donated Stumptown coffee were all enjoyed along with looped video footage of a recent NFPF preservation of Raymond Rogers 35mm home movies in the lobby near inspection tables. We had three projectors set up in the screening room and they were either running or being threaded at any given time. The majority of film shown was on 8mm – with a surprising amount of 16mm brought in and a surprisingly little amount of super 8mm. Of the six to seven people who brought in film most brought in 5-10+ reels. In one instance a couple of folks drove up an hour plus from Salem with a whole crate full of films. In addition to the films brought in by the public we also showed a variety of home movies from the permanent collection of the Oregon Historical Society – to start things off as well as fill in as we went along. For the most part, from 12:15 until 5:00pm we were continuously projecting films to an engaged audience. Most films brought in were projectable with the most common issue being a lack of head leader. Bingo was played, tears were shed and fists were pumped. Prizes included Stumptown coffee, movie passes to local theaters and historic prints from the OHS collection. I would say we had, roughly, 10 bingos throughout the afternoon. There was also a news camera man on site for the first 2 hours of the day from a local station. He was able to shoot some footage off the screen and conducted a few interviews. No indication of when (or if) the story would run (but he did seem to enjoy himself).

Films came from all over (many from outside of Oregon), including:

  • amazing 16mm silent footage of 1930’s Indiana farmers – including one segment in particular of rocking musicians and a jiving lady dancer. Also includes train travel, with stops, presumably to visit these Indiana relations. In fact the whole 400’ reel is quite good. Definitely an audience favorite. Worth considering, in whole or part, for future HMD compilations or use.
  • a 16mm Vancouver Amateur Ham Radio club production.
  • Making Whoopee – a 1930s amateur home production – including inter-titles – of one man’s trip in to the big city and his lady relations.
  • minstrel show from 1950’s Minnesota.
  • pretty good 8mm kids film from from 1960s – graveyard stop motion animation involving skeletons, graves and ghouls (just in time for Halloween).
  • ca. 1960s super 8mm from coastal NJ family footage – brought in by a mother who wanted to screen it for her daughter also in the audience.
  • various footage of Rose parade, downtown portland, oregon coast, Columbia river gorge, Yellowstone, golf, etc.
  • 8mm footage of 1960s stock car racing in Alabama (Montgomery).
  • one volunteer’s first birthday as well as a Halloween at age 3.
  • Jantzen swimwear promotional film (the history of the swimsuit).
  • beautiful 16mm color reversal of the Seattle expo – including space needle, pavilion and rides (this gentleman has 25 400’ cans of 16mm and the 4-5 we watched were all well shot and of interest).
  • many more, good and bad and boring…


October 26, 2013

HMD Report:Wellington, Ontario

From Brian Kleinsteuber:

This was our first year for a home movie day event in the community, but we feel it was extremely successful. Many locals stated an interest in attending and bringing films in next year.

Location – Wellington Legion Br. 160
Date – Saturday October 19
Time – 7:30 -9:45pm
Approx. Attendance – 20
Number of films/format –
~ 16mm : 2 (1 b&w, 1 colour)
~ 8mm : 4 (2 b&w, 2 colour)
~ super 8 : 2 (1 b&w, 1 coulour)
Number of Projectionists – 2
Number of volunteers – 3 (total including projectionists)
Number of people who brought in films – 3

Some highlights of the event include

  • 16mm home movies shot in the late 1920s at Princeton U.
  • Contemporary super 8 shot locally earlier this summer
  • A Frosty the Snowman cartoon made in Czechoslovakia during the late 30’s. With a delightfuly sinister ending! The audience loved this one!
  • Fresh popped popcorn


HMD Report: Lexington, Kentucky

Event Venue: Brian L. Frye’s house, Lexington, KY

Event date: Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Event time (screening): 7-9pm

Event time (inspection): N/A

Total Audience: 10

Number of people bringing films: 3

Films screened by Gauge:

8mm: 0

Super 8: 1

16mm: 5

Video: 2

Volunteers: 3

Brian L. Frye, Lucy Jones, Randall Ioder, Jr.

Special events/screenings: N/A

Press (pre-event and post-event): None

Report submitted by: Brian L. Frye

This was the first HMD in Lexington, KY. It was held in a large room in Brian L. Frye’s house, which he is planning to use as a venue for an ongoing film screening series in the near future.

Brian L. Frye presented a 100’ 16mm b&w film from about 1940, which was filmed in New York by the reservoir in Central Park and on the Upper West Side, which featured several twenty-something couples clowning & mugging for the camera.

BLF presented a 100’ color film from the 1950s of a tractor race in rural Illinois.

BLF presented a 100’ b&w film he shot in Coney Island in 2004, during a rainstorm.

BLF presented a 400’ color film titled “Miscellaneous 2” which was filmed in 1960 in Massachusetts.

BLF presented a 3 minute excerpt from the Kinetta scan of the Nixon Staff Super-8 collection, from the China trip.

Lucy Jones presented a digital file of a video of her family that she shot on VHS when she was 12 in the 1980s.

Randall Ioder Jr. presented a 400’ Super-8 color film of himself as infant and a toddler

He also presented a 600’ color film made in the 1960s by a Kentucky
family that traveled to Florida.


HMD Report: Boulder, Colorado

Event Venue: Boulder Public Library
Event time (screening): 1pm-4pm
Event time (inspection): 1pm-4pm

Total Audience: approx 15-20

Number of people bringing films: 8

Films screened by Gauge:

8mm: 3, 2 color and 1 b&w
Super 8: 5 color
16mm: 2 b&w (Mighty Mouse and Abbot &Costello brought by volunteers)


Jeanne Liotta, MC

Joel Haertling, theater manager

Tony Hernandez, Projectionist

CU grad students Taylor Dunne and Eric Stewart, lead organizers

CU students film inspectors were Michael and Luke, local filmmaker Anthony Buchanan took notes, and library intern Bianca as receptionist.

Special events/screenings:

Press (pre-event and post-event): mention in the Boulder Daily Camera

Report submitted by: Jeanne Liotta

8 people showed up to screen home movies. One had attended last year, the rest were new attendees.

We had 2 16mm projectors, a Pageant and an Eiki, 2 dual 8 projectors, Eumigs, and one Minolta super 8. And organic Halloween lollipops

In addition to our volunteer staff of CU Boulder film students, we also invited 2 local business women—Gwen from Memories to Digital, who spoke about transferring home movies and specifically about water damage to films due to flooding (since Boulder just experienced some major flooding earlier in the fall). Gwen also donated a 25$ gift certificate for services and did a drawing for the winner.

Arielle from Legacy Connections Films also spoke about her company which makes family film compilations from home movies, interviews with family members etc.

Howard (returning participant) brought his 1975 color super 8 movie of the first year he moved to Boulder, the new rec center, the new elementary school, the new subdivision with gorgeous mountain view (he says now you cant see a damn thing anymore from his backyard), making a vegatable garden, some footage of old mines and Cripple Creek, all perfectly exposed, nicely shot, steady pans. Film was a bit purplish, fading Ektachrome?

Regular 8mm reel, also Howard’s, said “Univ Cincinnati Basketball 1959” but it was very shrunken and we couldn’t get it through the projector, some accordioned leader. -Took this moment to explain to audience what shrunken film is and how to avoid it.

Wayne, 8mm color early 60’s Alaska vacation with(ex-) wife, kids. Gorgeous nature woods, camping.

Wayne’s wife brought a 8mm b&w film circa 1939, stunning photography of kids playing, at a parade, a blimp, a waterfall, a lawnmower, a sandbox, a beach, some archery, doing headstands in the sprinkler, Lots of hijinks, high energy fun. Paralllax viewfinder apparently, since there were homemade interittles often cut off. One of the titles said “16 mos old” then a baby appears, Waynes wifes first husband as a baby, she said he was born in 1938 so we are guessing 1939. (Waynes wife won the Memories to Digital raffle!)

THE VIETNAM FILM!! (second year in a row for Vietnam films!) Bill was a Marine air pilot during Vietnam, 1965. He spoke at length and with excruciating detail during his film, a 20 minute reel of several Super 8 color films spliced together, starting with the tents, the trnches, the chow hall, soldiers fooling around a beach. Then a lot of footage shot at the airstrip, mostly of test runs for Phantoms—one blew up due to a bird getting sucked into it.—crash and plumes of black smoke “pilot was ok.” Several plane take offs from same angle. Footage of “ordnance” (bombs)

Then we switch to plane interior and going airborne—Bill has now wedged his s8 camera into the controls with a view from his perspective –amazing aerial shots fo N and S Vietnam, over rice paddies, the DMZ, the river separting North and South. A volcano like island, flying over a river very low, between mts, he thinks Cambodia.. Shots of airborne re-fueling. Shots of missiles, other planes flying alongside him, loop de loo. Then shots of dropping ordinace, we see the bombs hit. Birds eye views, and back down on runway. SO AMAZING and Bills narration especially. The audience was enthralled, somewhat horrified, and full of questions.

More Alaskas8 color footage from Wayne, this time we begin with road kill. McKinely, Homer, on a ferry in the blue tinged GLACIERS! People panning for gold int eh mud. Fishing in extremely beautiful river “the streams were thick with salmon”

Patty, super 8 around ’78, She was training for state gymnastics, maybe 10 -11 yrs old, her team had each girl photographed doing their gym routines so they could study their form. Camera on tripod. She was so mortified watching her former self on the parallel bars; “it was my worst event”

Maria shows up at the end of the day with a super 8 reel that just says ’77 on it, she has no idea what it is but she shot all the movies in the family. Its 20 minutes of grandchildren, very long shots of them, playing, posing, swinging. Then some individual birds, then mountain trails in the snow. She was from Germany and moved to Boulder for the nature, couldn’t stop apologizing for her boring movie while everyone sat rapt. She was just crying and apologizing.

All films were inspected, labeled, and returned to their owners. Many questions were asked and many asnswered. Bingo was played and there were 3 winners, one got a roll of Super 8 film, one got a package of Viewmaster slides, and one got a HMD calendar. All volunteers got HMD fridge magnets. HOORAY!!!


HMD Report: Los Angeles

Event Venue: Linwood Dunn Theater, Pickford Center for Motion Picture Study, Hollywood

Event date: Saturday, October 12, 2013

Event time (screening): Noon-4:00

Event time (inspection): 11:00-4:00

Total Audience: 50+

Number of people bringing films: 17

Films screened by Gauge:

8mm: 11

Super 8: 5

16mm: 10

Volunteers: 21

Kelle Anzalone, Francesca Baird, Snowden Becker, Cassie Blake, Brian Drischell, Dino Everett, Jere Guldin, Fritz Herzog, Staci Hogsett, Tessa Idlewine, Malin Kan, Kelly Kreft, Trisha Lendo, Kim Luperi, Jon Marquis, Genevieve Maxwell, Esther Nam, Sean Savage, Jessica Storm, Leah Wagner, Steve Wright

Special events/screenings: “HOLLYWOOD HOME MOVIES IV” – the biennial evening program curated from the Academy’s collections.

Prize sponsors: Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, American Cinematheque, Cinefamily, Downtown Independent, Los Angeles Conservancy, Skylight Books, Stella Barra

Press (pre-event and post-event): Made some calendar listings, but no feature stories. The Echo Park Film Center youth workshop “Free Time and Sunshine” documented the event on Super 8 Ektachrome and conducted audio interviews with volunteers and participants.

Report submitted by Trisha Lendo, Sean Savage

This HMD was distinguished by more people bringing films, with five participants (not including volunteers) returning from recent years. HMD co-founder Snowden Becker was double-booked for the day, so we began with her doing a short stint as our emcee, and the first thing we rolled was a 8mm she had recently acquired from eBay. It included glimpses of Wittenberg University (Ohio) and adorable bear cubs, likely in the Great Smoky Mountains.

Susan Etheridge was up next, with some B/W 16mm she shot this past summer in France. Views included the medieval town of Provins, Versailles, the Eiffel Tower (naturally) and the Cinematheque Francais.

HMD-LA co-organizer and emcee Trisha Lendo shared a recent acquisition from the Pasadena flea market: a reel from an unknown family in Beverly Hills c. 1938. We learned upon inspection that is was Kodacolor – had we known Dino could have packed the necessary projection gear, but we were also happy to view it in black and white (we’ll plan ahead for a color encore presentation next year).

The reports of film’s demise have been greatly exaggerated, as Eric Cheevers brought some stuff from the current century as well. He’s been shooting color film diaries, in part to be incorporated into light shows for friends’ rock bands. He likes to use outdated stock and employ many in-camera effects like double exposure and prism-like optics. Ocean waves, bongos and fireworks…

Daniel Chaffey recently acquired a lot of 8mm from the Cypress Swap Meet that he hadn’t viewed until today. The film was titled onscreen as “A Star Is Born” and included the antics of a young “Patrick Hoffman” who tests the patience of the family’s black Labrador. A woman in a dress throws a baseball—in slow-motion. He intends to check the date code but looks like the 40s.

HMD projectionist Fritz Herzog shared some of his family’s 16mm: Syracuse NY in the 30s, with his aunt’s 1st birthday and lots of winter fun in the snow.

Returning HMDer Debbie Ringo showed some colorful 8mm of Vancouver Island in the 70s. Also included was footage from a San Pedro whale-watching trip (c.1964 – when she was 12) with some great whale action shots. From around the same time was her birthday party at Huntington Beach, with teenage girls running and jumping, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows with the sad image of of a plastic fork melting in the fire pit.

Another HMD regular, Bill Jenkins, who usually brings reels he’s collected, this year decided to also show something he shot. This was B/W footage of a Santa Monica Hapkido/Karate school in the late 90s, and Bill described all the martial arts maneuvers to us as it happened.

Fred Kuhlberg too was back to HMD from the previous year, sharing more Super 8 footage of Las Vegas signage (day and night), as well as shots of the Larry Holmes v. Tim Witherspoon fight (must be 1983). Fred also had some good access to a celebrity golf tournament in 1975, with nice glimpses of Jerry Lewis, Donald O’Connor, Jack Lemmon, Glen Campbell, Harvey Korman and others.

Sharianne Greer showed some Kodachrome shot by her grandparents in 1945, with some excellent titles written on a hunk of wood floating in a stream. Hunting, fishing, skipping stones, chopping wood and panning for gold. The reel concluded with some behind-the-scenes footage of an unidentified Hollywood swashbuckler, probably with Cornel Wilde. More investigation needed on this one…

HMD-LA film prepper Genevieve Maxwell showed some sound Super 8 of her adorable younger self from about 1983: playing in a lawn sprinkler, riding a small bike and rocking horse, and relaxing in a wheel barrow with the family cat.

After a several-year break, master showman Rich Borowy returns to HMD with more found films… This one being the August 18, 1957 Bar Mitzvah reception of a William Greenberg, apparently shot on Kodachrome by a professional film company with intertitles and some impressive iris effects.

Eric Cheevers shared more film diaries, featuring actress Sally Kirkland watering her plants in Hollywood in 2010. We also get glimpses of Kirkland’s paintings, and some very nice hummingbird shots, taken at 64fps.

Ed Carter showed some 8mm of him and his little brother taking in the wonder of the now-defunct Santa’s Village at Lake Arrowhead. The fun included burro rides, real reindeer and aerial views from the tramway.

Just in time for Halloween, Fritz screened the trailer (with sound) for one of his small-gauge horror epics— “To Grandma’s House We Go” (1976)—made from the outtakes. Some kinda nonsense revenge thriller, but very effectively cut together!

Robert Ell brought some amazing footage of China in the early 1920s. His great uncle Fred Barton, subject of a recent book entitled “Warlord Cowboys in China,” was asked to build a ranch, bringing to that country its first dairy cow (only with the U.S. gov’t approval). Fred wanted to be a movie cowboy, but in this film a real-life young calf gets roped and an older steer is slaughtered and skinned. Unfortunately, this was the one film that broke during projection, but Robert was easygoing about it.

In 1976, Larry Travis shot silent Super 8 footage of The Band’s concert at the Memorial Coliseum in Lexington, Kentucky – the same tour as the one documented in The Last Waltz. Though Larry apologized for his focus, it was exciting stuff, in close proximity to the stage, also including opening act Roger McGuinn (of The Byrds).

Ed Carter was up again with early 70s footage of the Universal Studios tour – chock full of cheesy attractions like a trained animal show, simulated flood, Wild West shootout and a flying gorilla(?!). Back home in San Jose, Julie the beagle plays with a dead squirrel.

Debbie Ringo’s daughters were restless and kept coming and going, but once they were both settled in we proceeded with films of their mom’s family that they had never seen before. A Christmas morning thereabouts 1950, before Debbie was born, her older brother is seen donning sharp Hopalong Cassidy cowboy duds. On the same reel, almost a decade later we see preparations for another Christmas, including trimming the tree, hanging stockings, and wrapping gifts. Debbie opens a life-size Patti Play Pal doll! The reel continues with a trip to Death Valley, Las Vegas and the Hoover Dam…

More mid-70s hijinks from Larry Travis, beginning with a canoe trip on the Kentucky River with friends and his girlfriend Vicky. One of our film preppers warned us that there might be some skin in this one, and we were treated to a parade of close-shots of his friends’ eyes, tongues, noses and Travis’s own literal navel-gazing. A hairy pal strips down to his whitey-tighties… with a hole in the seat. The random reel concluded with outtakes from a paper cutout animation project that Larry barely remembered.

From the same era Fritz showed his own paper cutout animation—a parody of a detergent commercial entitled “Day of the Enzymes.” The little buggers chomp everything in sight—people, buildings, trees—eventually taking their reign of terror into space, eating Earth, all of the other planets and stars, the entire cosmos, and finally the film itself! Some great mastication sound effects were post-dubbed onto the Super 8 mag stripe.

Collector Bill Jenkins told us he saves up his 16mm for the Dunn Theater (our HMD home every other year) for the large projected image. This batch included found movies of an unknown family in the 30s and 40s, mostly Kodachrome. Possibly Southern California, we see the Thanksgiving feast of a well-to-do family. Later, a female soldier arrives in a car, the commencement of an all-girls Catholic school, and two different wedding ceremonies.

First-time participant Karen Massey arrived towards the end of the day, with some of her family’s 8mm from the early 60s in Windsor Hills, California. African American families seem to be regrettably underrepresented in our region (on film anyway), and here we see her brothers Keith and Carl playing on their backyard swingset. She had 7 more rolls and we’ll make a point of inviting her back next HMD.

We wrapped up the day with some B/W 16mm of Shiraz Bhathena’s old college days—way back in 2005-6. A student at UW Milwaukee, this was a roll he shot for a class on a river near Waukesha, Wisconsin.


HMD Report: Raleigh, North Carolina

Event Venue: The fabulous auditorium at the North Carolina State Archives, downtown Raleigh.

Event time (screening): 1-4

Event time (inspection): same

Total Audience: 175 & 18 volunteers—193! Our biggest attendance ever!

Number of people bringing films: 67—we only had time to show 45!

Films screened by Gauge (although we lost count at some point but
the vast majority were 8mm, then super8)

8mm: 13
Super 8: 8
16mm: 2
9.5mm: 0
Video: 3

18 Volunteers:

Skip Elsheimer—A/V Geeks—telecine
Marsha Gordon—NCSU—emcee
Kim Cumber—NC State Archives—welcome table
Devin Orgeron—NCSU—video station and inspection
Melissa Dollman—video station and inspection
K. Sean Finch—A/V Geeks—projection and inspection
irsten Purvis—NCSU—projection
Molly Bragg-Duke U—front of house/liaison/runner
Stephen Salisbury— front of house/liaison/runner
Mark Koyangi—scribe
Martin Johnson—Catholic U—scribe
Katrina Lamberto—A/V Geeks—everything, including making DVDs of telecined movies
Charles Story—videographer
Louis Cherry—photographer
Hobert Thompson—inspection station
Sarah Hutt—inspection station
Eric Kinsey—misc!

Press (pre-event and post-event):

  • Front page story in daily newspaper, Raleigh N&O, the week prior to
    HMD. This accounts for the turnout.
  • Small mention with image in Independent Weekly (free weekly), 8 Days
    a Week column.
  • Marsha Gordon, Skip Elsheimer, & Devin Orgeron on NPR’s The State of
    on Weds 10/17,
  • Hit the blogs, Facebook, and email lists.

Report submitted by Marsha Gordon

We had our biggest Home Movie Day ever! 175 people came through our doors, and we had 18 volunteers (some repeats, some new). We have a rockin’ projection set-up with regular 8, super8, and 16mm telecines wired to a single laptop, wired to a single projector that allowed us to project all of our gauges with consistent brightness and in a larger size than the smallest gauges would normally permit. We also experimented with a video projection and telecine setup for the first time this year [skip—can you comment on this? I know that you indicated we probably wouldn’t do this again] We produced DVDs on site for each guest whose film we projected, and handed them out to those who waited long enough; those who left will get a DVD copy mailed to them in the near future (the rest mailed out on Monday the 21st) . This work was courtesy Skip Elsheimer & A/V Geeks.

We had a welcome table and an inspection station (which was very understaffed given our traffic) outside of the auditorium. Runners brought the film in labeled (by last name) Ziploc bags to the proper projection station. Inside the auditorium, Marsha emceed—the projectionist told her the name of the owner of the next film, she called their names on the mic and found them in the auditorium, and then handed them a second mic so that they could talk through their films. She asked them what they knew about the reel prior to projection, and most of the time they had no idea beyond what the label was on the box. We had a scribe taking notes on the film content and owner’s comments for our records. People’s narrations helped explain what we were seeing and made the event feel lively and fun.

We screened a whopping 45 films/videos over the course of 3 hours—that’s a record, beating our last top # of 35 [people started arriving an hour early at noon this year with films in hand!]. We limited screening times to 5 minutes in order to increase efficiency, and this worked out fairly well [some films, of course, were shorter than others]. We had such demand at the event that 22 people didn’t get to see their films screened, and still others were turned away who did not even make it onto a waiting list. We decided and then announced that we would do a follow up event in early 2014 to give these folks a chance to screen their films, so we collected contact information to be sure we could reach them.

Three operators manned projectors and “runners” delivered films to them. Projectionists screened on rotation (whenever possible), so there was rarely a moment without film being projected from the start of the event to the end (8 and super8 dominated). We had a ton of HMD bingo prizes and winner this year, thanks to Charlotte Walton (who couldn’t make it to the event itself to volunteer, but who stocked us up with items from Merge & Cameron’s Gift Shop) and A/V Geeks. We also did raffle tickets as a way to get a good head count in case some folks didn’t fill out paperwork, so if things felt a bit slow we’d call out a number and we had lots of prize winners over the course of the day.

North Carolina’s Our State magazine sent a reporter, who will write a story that will run next October in advance of the event, so we’ve got a head start on publicity for next year.


Our oldest footage was from 1945 this year, and our most recent footage was video from a little over a decade ago.

Highlights of HMD screenings included footage taken in 1953-4 Tokyo by the father of a young man (who was in the audience) whose family was stationed there during the post-war occupation. The owner talked about how the army housed soldiers and their families in private rentals right in the middle of Japanese communities, so they really got to know the culture.

One reel of color Super 8 shot ca. 1969 in Honolulu depicted a Vietnam soldier on R&R meeting his 9 month old son for the first time. As the woman who brought the film explained, “I had been training him to say Dada for months and he said it the first time he saw him!” She also explained that the Army paid for R&R family reunions in Hawaii and even provided baby sitters for families. When their baby got sick in Hawaii and ended up in the hospital, the Army took care of him and paid for them to stay while the husband went back to Vietnam. She shared with the audience that her husband recently passed away from complications due to exposure to Agent Orange.

One couple watched their Sept 11, 1955 Norfolk, VA wedding on film for the first time. It was a very good, funny, and touching film—starting with a shot of a sign (“Last supper at home”) and footage of the family praying at the dinner table and mock crying; there were lots of wedding cake shots (the husband commented, from the audience, that “she would not quit feeding me the cake!”) and a big kiss. Another wedding film solicited the following remark from the bride: “I can’t believe my waistline!” It also included footage taken at their honeymoon cabins, with a chipmunk in a cage.

Local or state-related films of interest including a 1960 parade down Main street celebrating the bi-centennial of Tarboro, including recognizable figures like the Sheriff and Mayor (the person who explained the films to use recognized his father in the back seat of a car in the parade); footage from western NC of Brookford brough in by a man whose father built a dark room to develop his film under the porch (which we got to see from the outside in the film); a 1972 Greensboro, NC film of a wedding reception replete with beehive hairdos and a trio of poodles; footage shot by a man who was a poultry science professor at NCSU when he took his family on a trip to South Dakota, including lots of cornfields (“more cornfields!”). There was also some 1959/1960 footage of a house being built by the attendees grandfather, not far outside of Asheville. Someone brought in footage of Halloween in Fayetteville, ca., 1958, with great homemade costumes. Some 8mm footage from Rocky Mount shot in 1959 showed the downtown area; the man’s grandfather worked at the bank that would eventually become BB&T.

We had mid-1960s 8mm footage shot in Rochester, NY by a man who worked at Kodak and got lots of free, experimental film over the years. According to his son the man who shot the footage made projectors, cameras, and film cases for Kodak. We saw footage of a huge Sunday dinner, a birthday pie (!), and Catholic nuns at the house on Christmas playing a game that involved cotton balls.

There was a film shot at Louisiana State University in 1969 or 1970 including footage of a Vietnam protest and a rock band playing. There was time lapse footage taken in Anchorage, Alaska, with shots of Mount McKinley, which was visible from the family’s backyard, and of Elmendorf Air Force Base. One woman brought a reel that she purchased at an antique store in Raleigh that showed some incredible scenes from a trip to Havana, Cuba in 1959 (according to the label on the box).

We also got to see:

  • an adult in a bunny suit at an Easter egg hunt
  • a police officer in a parade in a tiny red car
  • a baby spitting up
  • a video of two toddlers drinking champagne at a wedding (we seem to always get images of kids drinking at HMD Raleigh!). The video had sound, so what we got to hear was: “What are you drinking?” Child: “Champagne”; followed by a later shot of a baby taking a swig of champagne: “You want to drink champagne for daddy?”
  • a good number of Halloween costumes and pumpkins
  • someone’s grandmother proudly holding a bottle of Cold Duck with a ribbon around it, shot for an inordinately long period of time
  • skateboarding, go karting, and diving in a diving suit in a lake—all in one film (“We have about 100 unlabelled reels”)!
  • 3 kids riding a miniature pony in Glendale, NC (“His name was Lil’ Bit”)
  • archery!


HMD Report: Columbia, South Carolina

Thanks to Amy Ciesielski for this report, which you can read online, with photos, here.

Columbia’s Home Movie Day event, hosted by Moving Image Research Collections and the Nickelodeon Theatre this past Saturday, was a great success. Over fifty people attended the screening, MIRC staff answered numerous questions about the proper care and storage of film and video, and there was even an onsite donation of 8mm films to the archive. The Nickelodeon supplied awards and door prizes.

During the morning screening, where guests were welcome to come and go at their leisure, home movies from the MIRC collections were shown. There was an assortment of films from multiple families, shot across the United States and abroad.

The afternoon brought a juried program of local submissions, with the winning film earning preservation in the MIRC vaults. The three jurors, University of South Carolina professor of Film and Media Studies Mark Cooper, PhD candidate in Public History Jen Taylor, and Nickelodeon programming director Janell Rohan selected a home movie depicting the 1962 forced integration of the University of Mississippi for its historical value. SLIS student Jennifer Gunter submitted the footage on behalf of family friends.

The Childers family won the audience favorite award for their submission of the VHS home movie, “Rhubarb Pie,” in which a young man questions his family about their dessert choices, and asks his sibling rather more existential questions such as, “why are you the way you are?”

MIRC staff inspected films in the theater lobby and answered questions about home movie preservation. One attendee brought in a small collection of her father’s 8mm home movies and donated the films to MIRC on the spot. The donor says she looks forward to receiving the transfer of the materials that MIRC offers in exchange for donation. A lack of necessary equipment has prevented her from viewing any of the films, at least one of which contains images of her as a child.

A table run by MIRC employees in the nearby Soda City Farmers Market hosted activities for children and informed people about the screenings, drawing in passersby with a sandwich board asking, “What’s Your Edge Code?” Visitors were then encouraged to identify their corresponding edge codes—the symbols on the margins of film that indicate when it was produced—based on their birth year.

Home Movie Day is popular across the nation because it offers people the opportunity to view and share the footage they have been holding onto, often unseen, for years. The audience filled the theater with laughter and commentary throughout the screenings, lending to the atmosphere the relaxed feeling of watching these films at home with family.

Susan Rathbun-Grubb, an assistant professor in the School of Library and Information Science, was one of the participants who submitted a home movie. “It is hard to explain the sense of wonder you feel when looking at the lives of family members at a time before you were born—seeing them in motion and in color, especially when all you have seen of the time period has been in still, black and white photographs,” Rathbun-Grubb says. “In some ways, Home Movie Day rekindled in me that awe of technology, taking me back in time and giving me that feeling people must have had back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries—as sound and image technologies emerged as mainstream entertainment.”

MIRC would like to thank the Nickelodeon Theatre for their generosity in hosting Home Movie Day and providing the prize packs. The Nickelodeon’s participation was an integral part in the success of this year’s event, and MIRC looks forward to continuing the tradition next year.


HMD Report:San Francisco

Stephen Parr’s report from HMD San Francisco.

Event Venue: San Francisco Media Archive/SF Exploratorium

Event time (screening): 2PM/8PM

Event time (inspection):6-8PM

Total Audience:50 (both venues) plus passersby outside the venue

*Number of people bringing films: 4

Films screened by Gauge:

16mm: *multiple collections

Video: 1

Volunteers: Josephine Torio, Stephen Parr

Special events/screenings: A screening of silent home movies from the SFMA

took place outside of the Exploratorium in SF during the day and a formal screening took place inside the theater at 2PM

Press (pre-event and post-event): Facebook, our SFMA and Oddball Films mailing list, SF Press list and other social media

*Note: One person brought a link to Youtube to a home movie he has shot about
Christmas. Other people brought in films after the clinic had officially closed. We
are setting up a time to review their 16mm collections which look quite promising.

Another person who was visiting mentioned a Grouch Marx home movie he has and we have plans to view that the next time he is in San Francisco.


Screening of Vintage San Francisco Home Movies. These homegrown rarities included a Halloween treasure The Witches’ Sabbath (1961); Farewell to the Fox Theatre (1963); Ken Kesey’s Further Bus Visits the Panhandle (1966); Frank Savage’s San Francisco Summer of Love (1967); the SFSU Student Strike (1968); Black Sabbath Float at Folsom Street Parade (1970); Warren Weinstock’s Shades of San Francisco, and recently discovered films of San Francisco shot in Cinemascope (1961) by Dr Frank S Zach).

The audience stayed for the entire screening and particularly enjoyed the San Francisco –based home movie theme; Shot in San Francisco plus more-we screened home movies from India, Kashmir, Iran and other countries and talked extensively about home movies. Several audience members have contacted us regarding home movies they have found or would like us to inspect by appointment.

While not much was brought in on HMD we have several unique collections to inspect soon and feel we are building a strong awareness of home and amateur films.

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