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Home Movie Day News: October 2007 Archives

October 2007 Archives

October 4, 2007


HMD Japan mega-report

Kae Ishihara reports:

In the 5th year of Japanese HMD, the number of reps doubled to 12. We have no regional film archives in Japan but recently some people are realising the importance of saving films in the area in their original form, not only by telecine-ing them.

So, for FPS, HMD is the best way to meet other people or groups who think in the same way as us about our regional film heritage. We still have nowhere we can donate amateur footage, home movies or small gauges, unless they have extreme rarity or historical importance, but we hope that this HMD movement will make a change in Japan in the future.

We hold a film projection workshop in April, and a HMD Japan reps meeting two months before and two months after HMD, and try to get funding to partly cover the travel costs for the reps outside of Tokyo. On the same day, we provide film inspection and telecine workshops so that each rep can develop their knowledge and skills and hopefully be a regional film archivist or equivalent someday.

We also provide the questionnaire for each rep, flyer prototypes and HMD Japan logo, postcards from CHM and film registration forms and so on, so that every rep can share them, and we are building up a HMD database every year. Also we maintain Best HMD Japan Screenings again this year, which will be on 13th of October.

We’ll make a Best HMD Japan DVD this year, too, which will have a more varied range than last year’s. We prepared a sort of “Letter of Agreement” between the film owner, the rep and FPS, so that in case CHM takes one or two for compilation DVD vol. 2, the letter of agreement can be exchanged between CHM and FPS only.

Honestly, it’s extremely difficult and time consuming to follow all the 12 reps and deal with their questions and problems etc. I’m trying to think of a much more reasonable and easier way to summarise their reports from next year.

One thing I realise is that it seems the reps’ purposes are (roughly) separated into two:

FPS members focus on films which major film archives ignore or are not taking seriously. As we are a very small group, we decided to concentrate only on films as a HMD media. This policy might contradict CHM’s as saving later media is equally crucial.

At the moment, however, we just stick to films, which is the best we can do. If the rep is an FPS member, it tends to be a film preservation-like event. We learn how to deal with films by ourselves. The Home Film Preservation Guide [Japanese version] is still the most useful textbook.

But others are thinking of the content, not the carrier. For them the difference of media (DVD or 8mm, for example) is not that important. Naturally, they think DVD is easier. They do not operate the film projector by themselves, but pay a projectionist and rent the equipment.

Even though such differences occur, I think this is also an interesting way to spread the HMD event in Japan. The average cost of each HMD site is 20,000 yen. The most expensive thing for them seems to be the projector’s lamp. A lot of reps succeeded in finding a venue free of charge.

We all agree that HMD is good fun, and everybody would like to continue it next year.

More reps will be taking part in HMD from 2008, that’s for sure. We are already getting emails from people who are interested.

Summary of reports from HMD events across Japan:

  • Hirosaki rep. Asako Takemori

Event Venue: Bokura no Ie, YupanQui
Event time (screening): open 17:00, from 18:00 to 20:45
Event time (inspection): in advance

Total Audience: 16
Number of people bringing films: 5

Films screened by Gauge:
Single 8 or Super 8 : 10

Volunteers: 3
They were: Kentaro Oishi, Hikaru Tsuneta, Hiromi Osaka

Special events/screenings: A week in advance, HMD Hirosaki had a
“Living Room Cinema” DVD show in the same venue.
Press (pre-event and post-event):
Newspaper: Two different local papers showed a fairly big article, one pre- and one post-HMD.

The three volunteers were young students from the Film Club at Hirosaki University. There was an 8mm expert in the audience so he supported the students doing projection. The venue was a cafe up until last year, and was reopened as a regular running cafe this year. They served food and drinks including a special “HMD drink” whose base is apple juice, as apples are Hirosaki’s speciality. Asako joined FPS’ film inspection workshop this year, and inspected 20 reels in advance all by herself and chose 10 out of 20 for the screenings.

The best home movie went to “Shinobu 11 Months, Seven Cups of Rice/12 Months, a Piece of Rice Cake”, which shows the tradition for babies when they just start standing or walking.

  • Tokyo – Yanesen rep. Keiichi Shima (FPS supporter)

Event Venue: Nezu Church
Event time (screening): open 18:00, from dusk to 20:45
Event time (inspection): in advance

Total Audience: 45
Number of people bringing films: 7

Films screened by Gauge:
Single 8 or Super 8 : 7
Double (Regular) 8: 3

Volunteers: 11
They were: Momoe Matsusaki (FPS member), Sadanobu Iida (FPS member), Aya Hisamatsu, Yuki Tsukada, Nao Kanauchi, Kae Ishihara (FPS member), Mariko Sasanuma (FPS supporter), Mami Kanda (FPS supporter), Mariko Goda (FPS member), Kenichi & Junko Nabetani, Ryuji Nakayama

Special events/screenings: One Box Used Book Fair

Including volunteers, nearly 60 people took part in this event this year in an old wooden church in downtown Tokyo. Compared with last year, the whole operation was very smooth and people talked a lot over the films. Akio Hata, a film historian and Steam Locomotive expert, has shot SLs from all over the world but this year he showed a super 8 film he took during the Gold Rush in the Philippines in the early 80s. His attention was drawn away from the trains by it and his talk was so vivid. There was also some footage of tram lines shot in our own Shinobazu St. by some other people in various years. We all sighed nostalgically at these scenes, which are sadly gone forever.

The best home movie went to “Keiko, Six years old” brought by two sisters and taken by their late father in the 1960s. According to them their father decided the color of their outfits when the family went out somewhere with a 8mm camera.

  • Tokyo – Setagaya rep. Yasuhiro Hayata

Event Venue: Taishido Kumin Center
Event time (screening): 13:10 start
Event time (inspection): unknown

Total Audience: unknown
Number of people bringing films: unknown

Films screened by Gauge:
HMD Setagaya screened five 8mm films, and some videos and DVDs. Yasuhiro might choose his own 8mm for the best home movie but it’s not yet decided.

Volunteers: 1
They were:Sadanobu Iida (FPS member)

Tokyo – Kodaira rep. Nozomi Nakagawa (FPS member)

Event Venue: Gas Museum
Event time (screening): 14:00 – 16:20
Event time (inspection): in advance

Total Audience: 9
Number of people bringing films: 6

Films screened by Gauge:
Single 8 or Super 8 : 5
Double (Regular) 8: 1

Volunteers: 3
They were: Daisuke Yamada, Sonoko Amano (FPS member), Mami Kanda (FPS supporter)

Nozomi used to be helping with HMD Yanesen but this year she decided to have one in her neighborhood, Kodaira. She was invited by the local radio station in advance to talk about HMD. The Gas Museum was quite helpful in supporting this event, so even if it was rather small-scale the atmosphere was good and and she’s already thinking of next year. Best home movie went to “Okutamaen and Kodaira 6th Elementary School Sports Festival”.

  • Tokyo – Hachioji rep. Kazuhiro Saito

Event Venue: Hachioji city Shogai Gakushu Center
Event time (screening): 13:30
Event time (inspection): in advance

Total Audience: 10
Number of people bringing films: 4

Films screened by Gauge: HMD Hachioji showed eight 8mm films

Kazuhiro has been doing screenings in Tokyo for a long time, but mainly for newly made independent videos or dvds, not home movies or films, so this year was his first home movie experience. There was some mechanical trouble at the end of the show. Everyone has had this
kind of projector trouble in the first year and realises how important it is to do regular equipment maintenance.

  • Nagoya rep. Satoe Tamura (FPS member)

Event Venue: Sasuke Toyoda Residence
Event time (screening): 18:30 – 20:10
Event time (inspection): in advance

Total Audience: 30
Number of people bringing films: 7

Films screened by Gauge:
HMD Nagoya showed eight 8mm films and all of them were single or super 8.

Volunteers: 8
They were: Yasuki Kanamori, Takeshi & Yuko Fujitsuka, Miyuki Takeda, Masako Kitamura, Yoji Hasegawa, Yasuhiro Kawamura.

Press (pre-event and post-event):
Newspaper: Two small articles in the local paper in July and August. And after HMD, Satoe wrote an article for the local cinematheque’s journal.

HMD Nagoya had to change the venue from “Shumoku Club” as it has gained cultural heritage status and its use is limited now, but this year’s venue is not far from it and is another historical building. Some films were shown with music (CDs), for example the tune which was a big hit when the film was shot, which was successful. And Satoe was moved by an 83 year old woman who contributed one film although her town is a bit far, and it wasn’t certain that she would really show up. She treasures her late husband’s film collection and her film, “My Town Nakacho”, was this years best home movie. This woman is actually coming to Tokyo(!) for best home movie screenings in October.

After HMD, Satoe sent a thanks you card to everybody who came to the venue to tell them the total amount of donations from the audience (it was over 15,000 yen this year) and the film titles she showed, and which one got Best Home Movie and why, and when the date for the next HMD is.

  • Nagano rep. Kenji Emori (FPS supporter)

Event Venue: Lautrec (Cafe)
Event time (screening): 19:30 – 20:45
Event time (inspection): in advance

Total Audience: 13
Number of people bringing films: ?

Films screened by Gauge:
HMD Nagano showed eight 8mm films and the gauge is unknown.

The venue was the cafe used as a location for a feature film which was released this summer. They served beer, cream soda and so on. Kenji could not spend enough time on publicity this year, but is thinking of looking for films in the area annually.

Volunteers: 1
They were: Mariko Ogawa (FPS supporter)

  • Kyoto, held on 10th August – Satoshi Umeda (Osaka Artpolis)

Total Audience: about 50
Number of people bringing films: 3

Films screened by Gauge:Unknown

Volunteers: ?
They were: Unknown

Press (pre-event and post-event):
Newspaper: One article was shown in Kyoto Newspaper beforehand, and HMD was reported on NHK radio and local TV (the DVD is going to be sent to CHM).

Sponsors:The Museum of Kyoto, Shimadzu Corporation, The Kansai Electric Power Co. Ltd., Inabata & Co., Ltd. In cooperation with NPO Kyoto no bunka wo eizo de kiroku suru kai, Kyoto Sanjo Radio Cafe

The venue was a historical place because this is the first place the cinematograph was shown in Japan. The film shown in Kyoto was also quite historical footage showing the old streets and buildings in Kyoto. The best home movie went to “Spring has come” which shows an amusement park in Kyoto, which is set in a cinema studio.

  • Osaka – Abeno rep. Atsushi Matsumoto

Held on 18th of August

Event Venue: Abenoji Nishinagaya Teranishi Koichi Tei
Event time (screening): 18:00 – 20:00
Event time (inspection): in advance

report not yet submitted.

  • Osaka – Hirano rep. Ieyasu Kimura (OAP)

Event Venue: Senkoji Temple
Event time (screening): 19:00 – 21:00
Event time (inspection): in advance

Total Audience: ?
Number of people bringing films: 1

Films screened by Gauge:

Volunteers: ?
They were: Unknown

Press (pre-event and post-event):
Newspaper: One article was shown in an Osaka local paper after HMD.

After HMD, Ieyasu was asked to show some old 8mm films to elderly people suffering from dementia, who rarely talk to each other or show any emotions. They suddenly started talking about their childhood memories and the films made them animated, which surprised their families. There are some other people doing similar activities, which is a sort of therapy using old home movies.

  • Osaka – Minato rep. Akinori Kaneko (OAP)

Held for two days (11th and 12th), two programs a day=four programs in total

Event Venue: Osaka-shi Minato Kinrin Center
Event time (screening): 14:00-16:00/18:00-20:00
Event time (inspection): in advance

Total Audience: 36
Number of people bringing films: 1

report not yet submitted.

  • Kobe rep. Ayuno Okamura (FPS)

Admission 1,000 yen

Event Venue: Kobe Planet Film Archive
Event time (screening): open 15:30-
Event time (inspection): in advance

Total Audience: about 30
Number of people bringing films: 10

Films screened by Gauge:
Single 8 or Super 8 : 5
Double 8: 5
16mm: 2

Volunteers: 3
They were: Yoshio Yasui, Kanta Shibata, Toshihiko Takeichi

Press (pre-event and post-event):
Newspaper: Two major articles pre-event in the local paper.

Kobe attracted more than 100 films because of the newspaper articles, and they inspected all of them and chose 10 films to show. The best home movie went to “Illuminated train” which was footage of the tram line shot in the evening.


October 10, 2007


Hartford Courant on home movies

courant_box.jpgThe Hartford Courant has published a lengthy piece titled “Preserving Home Movies” this week, featuring interviews with HMD CT’s Molly Wheeler, Bruce Manke of the transfer company Video Imagination, Mike Mashon of the Library of Congress, and the “patriarch” of home movies in Connecticut, Robbins Barstow. The piece is more in-depth than the typical news piece that focuses on home movies around Home Movie Day each year, and examines the significance of home movies and the history and future of the Center for Home Movies itself.

Whether the focus is family or national history, a backyard party or winding highway, home movies are time capsules of American life and must be preserved, advocates say.

“Everyone’s home movie is relevant to everyone else because it just shows how we lived,” Wheeler said.

On a national level, the Center for Home Movies is ramping up efforts to educate people about preserving their 16mm and 8mm scrapbooks. The nonprofit organization also wants to save home movies that have no home and to act as a clearinghouse to direct films to regional libraries and other historic preservation centers.

The article is accompanied by a short video clip of assorted home movies.


October 15, 2007


Home Movie: An American Folk Art

folkstreams.jpgBefore Home Movie Day, there was the Festival of American Folklife, which in 1974 put out a call for home movies and used the films that were contributed to make a documentary titled “Home Movie: An American Folk Art.”

Thanks to the people at Folkstreams.net, you can now watch the film in Real or MPEG-4 format.

A little more about the film:

In 1974, as part of the Family Folklore Program of the Festival of American Folklife, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., put out a call for families to bring in their home movies and have portions of them copied for a documentary film. More than 100 families responded to the call, bringing in 16 mm and 8mm home movies, as well as photo albums. The result was the documentary, Home Movie: An American Folk Art by Ernst Star, then a student in the film department at Temple University, and Steve Zeitlin, a student in the Department of Folklore and Folklife at the University of Pennsylvania.

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