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Home Movie Day News: Field Report Archives

Field Report Archives

August 12, 2006


The fourth Home Movie Day is in the books

HMD 2006 is a wrap, and we look forward to hearing reports from around the country. Also, be sure to check out the Home Movie Day group on Flickr, and if you’re a Flickr user and have photos of your event, become a member of the group and add your pics to the pool!

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August 13, 2006


HMD UK Report and photos

The reports from Home Movie Day events around the world are starting to come in, including a recap in words and pictures from Leo Enticknap and the Northern Region Film & Television Archive HMD at the University of Teesside. Leo writes that the event had a total of 23 visitors, who were treated to screenings of every format from 8mm to 35mm.

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HMD Report: Little Rock, Arkansas

Kathleen Fairweather, Chris Stewart, Cary Cox, JaJuan Johnson, “and all the fine staff at the Butler Center and Central Arkansas Library System” write in to report on Home Movie Day in Little Rock, Arkansas:

Greetings From The Natural State!

What A HMD turnout we had today! More than 80 people showed up on a sunny Saturday afternoon in downtown Little Rock to watch a full two and one half hours of Arkansas’ finest home movies. Most of the footage was from the 30s, 40s and 50s and we even had a few celebrities on screen as Ellie May, Jethro and Granny from the Beverly Hillbillies were caught on camera in Batesville, Arkansas, sometime in the 1960s.

I gave a talk on home movie care and preservation and the importance of donating to your friendly, neighborhood archive and the whole thing was picked up by two television stations, our local channels and affiliates for ABC and CBS, as well as NPR. A Few print reporters were there as well, so there should be some good coverage tomorrow.

The folks at the Butler Center and Encyclopedia of Arkansas at the Central Arkansas Library have decided to build a Home Movie Archive from this collection, and will carry the preservation torch forward to Home Movie Day 2007.

And we couldn’t have done it without your support! You’re creating a lasting legacy of movies that folks here really care about.

Thanks Home Movie Day People!

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HMD Report: Austin, Texas

Snowden sends word of the Austin HMD event on behalf of Anne Shelton, the official HMD coordinator, and deems it a great success.


The first-ever Austin Home Movie Day was an unqualified success. We had about 50 people show up during our two-hour screening window, and nearly a dozen people brought films to show. The local NPR affiliate, KUT, ran a nice spot on us this morning (great soundbite from Caroline Frick there, citing the Zapruder film as a “Texas home movie”!). Listen online.

And we also got a blurb on the popular local-scene blog, www.austinist.com. Headline: “Hey Bobby! Film my butt!” Guess they took the spirit of that John Waters quote to heart…and fortunately we didn’t have any Beavis and Butthead types show up on the strength of it.

Highlights of the films we showed: Footage of the UT campus in 1946, including shots of girls dashing for the campus boundaries, stripping off their coats to reveal the shorts that coeds weren’t allowed to wear on university grounds back in those days; several years’ worth of local parades, family Christmases and Easters brought by Austin filmmaker and artist Luke Savisky and his brother, in which their older sisters (who were NOT twins) could be seen wearing identical outfits and unwrapping identical dollies under the tree year after year; shots of the aftermath of a flood in Lampasas, TX, in 1957, which was one of those natural disasters that never made the national newsreels, but devastated the local community and lives on in regional memory; and another reel from the collection of the woman who took the UT-campus footage—one which she shot in November of 1963. That reel came back from processing with a note from Kodak saying that if the film included footage of President Kennedy’s assassination, the owner should contact the FBI immediately. Caroline Frick made a photocopy of the letter for the Texas Archive of the Moving Image’s files, and I’ll try to get a scan of that up for everyone to see this week…

The films that were brought were predominantly 8mm, with a little bit of Super8 and one or two reels of 16mm. No novelty formats for us this year, but perhaps
the greatest part of doing a first-time HMD in Austin is that the local crew were already planning for NEXT year’s event before we’d even had this year’s. We’re thinking of things like a week of feature-film screenings relating to home movies, lectures, workshops, the whole nine yards.

This year I ended up being the primary projectionist, which was a new experience for me—having always been running around too much at the LA events to be in
charge of a machine. Fortunately, we had NO technical difficulties this year (aside from a lack of regular 8mm splicing tape, which made things a difficult for the prep folks, who coped with the problem manfully!). It was truly cool to experience the magic of making pictures appear out of thin air, I have to say. And I realized that the projectionist gets the luxury of SEEING almost every film that gets shown, which is a

All in all, this was one of the best Home Movie Days I’ve participated in, and I can’t wait for next year (but I guess I say that every year)…

Check out volunteer Bratten Thomason’s pictures of the event.

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August 14, 2006


HMD Report: Eugene, Oregon

Tom Robinson reports on the busy Home Movie Day in Eugene, Oregon.

About 200 people showed up at the University of Oregon’s first HMD yesterday, many carrying collections of film. We attribute the big turnout to the heavy media coverage; both local television stations sent film crews in advance and gave us coverage on all Friday newscasts, complete with old home movie samples. The newspaper put us on the cover of the living section and the top of the front page. The posters helped too.

We had three screens simultaneously showing films, three intake tables and an army of helpers. The projectors were arranged in the center of a screening room, with screens on three different walls. One screen had two 16mm Eiki SSL projectors, the other two screens each had both regular 8mm & super 8mm projectors. We were loading film on one projector while the other was playing movies. For most of the afternoon we were able to have all three screens going at the same time. Two of the three super 8 projectors failed in the first hour, one burned up a motor, a clutch failed on another. Other than that everything worked well.

We did not have advance intake. Patrons checked in with a receptionist, who directed them to the proper intake table (different film gauges). Intake would put a stickie on each film reel, can or box labeled with the family name. The intake person would then give the films back to the patron and a “patron relation liaison” would escort the patron to the projection room, where there was a second intake table next to the projectors. Patrons would put a few films in the “inbox”. As projectors became available for loading, projectionists would ask the projection intake person for a new reel of whatever gauge film. Each projectionist would announce the family name on the film at the point of loading the projector, saying which screen the film would be on, so the family could get to the area near the screen that was going to show their film. The projectionist would again announce the family name at the beginning of each film, so people would know when their films were starting. Patrons were always in possession of their film and the only time we had it was when we were projecting it. There were no claims of lost film, etc.

Next year we will do a more thorough job of examining film at intake to determine whether it is wound on the patron’s reels properly, that it is heads out, emulsion out, that regular/super 8 is on the correct spindle size reel, leader (if any) is securely fastened and that the film is not broken in the middle. Our top problem (aside from being mobbed) was old splices falling apart during projection; we had to have splicing blocks at the projectors and used them quite a bit. Our projectionists (including yours truly) worked non-stop. next year we want to have to have matched sets of four projectors, dedicated regular 8 and dedicated super 8, and two extra projectors for motorized rewinding. We want four screens next year, with a set of small gauge projectors for each of the 4 screens. And we want more of those little gooseneck clamp-on lights to thread projectors with. and a string of xmas tree lights around the perimeter of the projector area, since patrons coming in from the street have to take time to adjust to the dark of the screening room and a few couldn’t see very well.

Probably the oldest HM was 1927, a double sprocket 16mm with vs, brought in by a very elderly lady, showing her as a little girl. We probably screened about 50 movies, the vast majority being evenly divided between regular 8 and super 8, reel sizes from 3” to 7”, and there was a surprising amount of 16mm. We had people crying, whole families came in together, a tv crew filmed inside the event for the evening news, it was a full house and our hands were full from beginning to end.

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Preservation Project reports on HMD Richmond

Ashley Maynor gives an in-depth report on HMD Richmond and on her own home movie preservation efforts in her blog, Preservation Project. Organizers Jere Kittle and James Parrish get her kudos for running the event and providing advice.

About a dozen or so individuals came by between 10am and 1pm with their home movies in tow. One individual had films from the 1940s that she had inherited but never seen, another had several “found” 8mm reels with no idea what was on them. Yet another brought in a 16mm film she had completed in art school, but couldn’t remember what she had shot. Jere and James meticulously inspected a reel from each person in order to detect any damage, repair splices, add leader and prepare for projecting that afternoon in the library auditorium.

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August 15, 2006


HMD Report: San Diego, California

Lia Friedman sends news from San Diego, where she and Steven O’Riordan hosted their first Home Movie Day at the Geisel Library’s Seuss Room on the campus of the University of California, San Diego.

We received almost exclusively 8mm from the public the day of the event. We had articles
in a couple of small community papers, and listings in the large weekly and daily. We had two dedicated projectionists and two other librarians doing intake and talking to people about preservation/transfer/storage issues. We screened 16 and super 8 films from our collection in between films and saw around 35 people throughout the day (our event ran from 2-5:30). We had all of the projectors going at once on one giant wall and screen, while we watched we ate cracker jack & drank apple juice. The highlight was probably the gentleman who brought in his front line footage from Korea. We all gathered around him as he narrated what was going on, pointing out people and places—“those hills were full of commies…” Pretty amazing…We can’t wait for next year!

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August 16, 2006


HMD Report: Chicago, Illinois

Home Movie Day Chicago 2006 was relatively slow as far
as home movie submissions, but come show time, the
room filled up. Although I thought that we may have
not gotten the word out well enough, there was a
healthy audience (70-75) for the show who came without
films. We started out with an EBE 16mm film called
“The City,” an early 1960s film that showcased Chicago
by following a white guy with a deep voice as he sped
around the city in his convertible. Always the
profile shot of the guy with a strong jawline whipping
along Lake Shore Drive. From there we went into all
home movies. Someone submitted some travel New
Orleans and New York footage circa 1950s? Jeffrey
Martin came in with footage of an intimate party of
geriatrics in someone’s living room, complete with
cocktails and explicit sexual groping. There was a
baby with a cigarette in another home movie, but the
highlight of the evening was the Vietnam footage that
one Chicagoan vet had brought to the archive at an
earlier date. He was never in combat, but was able to
capture the R&R climate. Very reminiscent of MASH
actually. BarBQs, beautiful native women, and there
was a sequence almost in real time of the donor and
several of his buddies plowing through a large Ritz
Cracker tin of marijuana. We slowly saw the
deterioration of the party go from winks and grins to
a couple of the vets wrestling each other in this
small room where there are maybe 6 guys slowly getting
fried out of their minds. Tim, the donor, gave a dry
and hilarious commentary throughout the film.

Bingo as always was a success and the music that was
played along with the movies was a crowd pleaser.
What I took away this year is that this is a concept
that is beginning to resonate among the Chicago group
that came. There were many repeaters from last year
and everyone was genuinely thankful that we put on the

Our volunteer crew that ran it are for the most part
repeaters as well and totally make the event rock.

Signing off from Chicago
Nancy Watrous
Chicago Film Archives

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HMD Report: Ashland, Missouri

Even though our business runs on a world wide customer base, the town
that we call home is as small-town America as it comes. The rural
community of Ashland, Missouri has a population of 3,000. There quite
possible may be a gas station, bank, or nail salon for nearly every
person, and the “four way” represents to the hub of town. Thus, our Home
Movie Day is much different than those held in large metropolis areas
with a higher audience. Our Home Movie Day relied on the support of a
small, but eager, community.

Twenty Home Movie Depot employees gave their time to showcase their
craft. Technicians who work with 8mm film, super8 film, 16mm film, 35mm
slides, and video tapes all had stations set up in the building. We had
home movies playing on every station through the entire afternoon,
including super8 film that our mechanical engineer shot last week of a
local park. Additionally, we had tables with examples of proper storage
containers and labeling devices. I also had print materials containing
names and phone numbers of professional labs.

Additionally, we had a children’s corner where we showed old Bugs Bunny
and Disney cartoons. One of our employees created a cartoon drawing of
“Vinnie” the film reel, for kids to color. Vinnie was a smashing success.

We had several computers set up to view the Home Movie Depot Archive, a
streaming video collection of home movies, donated by Home Movie Depot
customers. The archive is fully searchable and includes a comment
function. Thanks to the search function, a few savvy guests figured an
easy way to win at Bingo.

Finally, we rented an old time popcorn machine and gave away free
popcorn and soda. I stand hardily by my belief that the best way to
capture an audience is to feed them. As of Saturday, I see no evidence
to the contrary.

The day brought a respectable number of guests, but more importantly, it
certainly brought the feeling. Towards the end of the day one of our
employee’s elderly mother brought in a box of her films to view. We all
enjoyed seeing Kenny as a young boy. And while it may take him some time
to live down his Halloween costume, all the teasing is in good fun.
While I know of a few things to change next year, I’m thankful for the
family element that came with this Home Movie Day. Home Movie Day at
Home Movie Depot seemed to bring an intriguing blend of old and new,
where modern day technology mingled with nearly forgotten traditions.

Laurisa Hinkle
Home Movie Depot

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HMD Report: New Orleans, Louisiana

Home Movie Day New Orleans 2006 featured the first ever HMD road trip. Dwight Swanson (Appalshop) and Lauren Sorenson (NYU Moving Image Archiving Program) drove down from Kentucky, met up with Kelli Hicks (Country Music Hall of Fame) in Nashville and they all picked up Brian Graney (UCLA) at the New Orleans airport.

Since we were coming all this way we figured we should do more than
one event, and we really wanted to get the New Orleans filmmaking community involved. So the Friday night event was held at the
Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center
, a great place just outside of downtown. We termed the program “Personal films by local independent filmmakers” since we didn’t want to restrict them to showing their home movies (though some did). The program was curated by Helen Hill,
a New Orleans animator who had screened her flood damaged home movies at the recent Orphan Film Symposium. She has been displaced and living in Columbia, SC since Katrina so this was her first time back since she returned last October to save her things from her flooded
home. It was a great program and well attended. Highlights included Helen’s home movies and a video made from them by Courtney Egan, weaving Helen’s water-damaged, pre-Katrina footage with video shot from the same POV after the storm; George Ingmire’s incredible video assembled from recent transfers from his grandfather’s home movie collection—footage of his son, born with Down Syndrome, shot from infancy into teens, with a voiceover left behind by his grandfather; a video diary by a 10-year-old girl named Kalypso (available online here), and Zeigeist owner Rene Broussard’s raw video footage shot from the window of his car, radio turned up loud, of the plethora of advertising signs from the insurance companies, contractors, real estate companies, and sign makers, already in place to welcome back NO residents on the first day
authorized for their return.

On Saturday afternoon we headed to the French Quarter for HMD proper. The venue was the “Counting Room” of the Historic New Orleans
, a gorgeous room in a structure originally built by a prosperous merchant and trader named Jean François Merieult in 1794-95. Attendance was modest and not all contributions were in condition to be projected—not because of any Katrina-related damage,
but because of more common types of deterioration. Two projector-ready collections included one man’s footage of his son’s jazz band playing at the 1984 New Orleans World’s Fair and Eisenhower’s visit to the city on the sesquicentennial of the Louisiana Purchase. We also had the opportunity to screen the many films that were submitted for the occasion by archives in New Orleans and around the nation. From the Academy Film Archive, a clip from the Newcomb Condee Home Movie Collection was screened, shot on a 1927 visit to New Orleans shortly after
the Great Mississippi Flood of that year. David Weiss of Northeast Historic Film generously donated to the Historic New Orleans Collection a reel of 1952 Mardi Gras Kodachrome footage. And the Historic NO Collection and Louisiana State Museum screened recent preservation work from their collections, including a gorgeous jazz funeral and footage of 1965’s Hurricane Betsy. Colorlab had also put us in touch with a woman from the Mississippi coast whose home movies had been partially destroyed during her house’s flooding. George Ingmire returned from the previous night with another reel from his
grandfather’s collection, showing silkworms at work—unfortunately in no condition to be rojected, to our collective disappointment. Helen Hill premiered a new Super8 home movie of her pre-verbal son demonstrating his skill with sign language.

Through it all, the legendary London-born New Orleans jazz drummer/singer Barry Martyn and his combo accompanied the films, most often with music (“Stormy Weather” for hurricane footage!), but also by chiming in to identify old friends they spotted among the musicians on parade in the footage on screen.

The crowd size was a disappointment (and probably due to the difficulty of parking in the French Quarter, a problem which we knew about but decided to risk anyway), but there were many, many wonderful things beyond the few hours of the screening for those of us who made the trip. Being able to spend time with the local people and hearing their stories was very moving (especially having a breakfast picnic on the porch of Helen Hill’s destroyed house). Every single person we dealt with was unbelievably friendly and giving and they kept thanking us over and over for coming down. Ultimately I think the best result of the weekend for HMD was the contacts we made with the filmmakers and the archives. It feels very likely that they’ll continue with Home Movie Days in the future, and we’ll really get a handle on how much of the city’s home movie legacy is still in existence.

Many thanks due: John Lawrence and Stasia Wolfe of the Historic New Orleans Collection, Courtney Egan, Helen Hill, Rene Broussard, and the Louisiana State Museum.

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HMD Report: San Gimignano, Italy

Since in Italy August is the time of vacation and the big cities are completely empty, every year we tend to change the HMD location and move from Bologna to other places (little town or villages in areas quite crowdy in the Summer), and everytime we organize the HMD with the strong collaboration and support of local partners. It works, for many reasons: the communication is by the usual media, but also word by word, the idea is to realize an event involving everyone. We would like to involve the people of all the ages. This approach could help also to develop local projects in rediscovering and collectiong the private film heritage in the future.

The 4th (our 3rd) edition took place in San Gimignano, a beautiful village near Siena. The location in the morning and in the afternoon was the Piazza del Duomo itself, the centre of the medieval city. It was easy that many people, not only inhabitants with films, but also tourists and curious stopped there to see and ask. Then we had the chance to explain to many people during all the day the importance of saving the old memories. Of course, people came also with their films. From San Gimignano countryside (Val d’Elsa) and elsewhere. And like usual there was the exhibition of old apparatus (cameras and projectors) by the collector Antonio Pignotti.

In the evening the screening took place at Teatro dei Liggeri (a restored theatre of XVIII century), instead of the plein air screening in Rocca di Montestaffoli (because the weather was getting worse). We selected around 15 films collected during the day. The audience was 150 people.

Anyway, the first screening was a film we took from Archivio Nazionale del Film di Famiglia:

“Nozze d’argento” by Giuseppe Lenzi. Shot in 1957 in Siena and San Gimignato. A visit of an old couple for the celebration of the 25th year of marriage (nozze d’argento), filmed in 8mm b/w by their son. With sound added, a poetic view of a special moment of the family life. Lenzi is one of the most interesting amateur filmmakers discovered by Associazione Home Movies in these years. His way of filming and editing is remarkable, the subjects are always family events and he is a poet of everyday life. Now his films are also documents of details completely disappeared.

After that, various screenings. Among them, a marriage filmed in 1953 in color 16mm. The husband was a partisan and the filmmaker a relative or a friend came back from America with a camera, as the old man says… Just to contextualize the evening, he is also the father of the mayor of the city (present at the screenings). Other images filmed by American tourists in 16mm in the 50s, they are not Yankees, but immigrants, just people from San Gimignano came back to their village many years after to see what happened in the while and what changed. Other immigrants: Tuscan people moved to South Africa in the 60s, their life in the Apartheid society filmed in 8mm. Then some classic stuff in 8mm and Super 8, a real fun for the audience (especially carnivals, a religious procession carrying the mummy of Santa Fia and children dressed in white, those now are old women).

At the end, special screenings of mysterious films: diaries of a family in a 16mm reel (in 20s and 30s), the new years day of 1942 in a house of a fascist man and an “adieu” with an amazing close-up soldier kissing a girl before leaving in 1941 (someone said “he seems a vampire”).

Best Regards,
Paolo Simoni
Archivio Nazionale del Film di Famiglia

Paolo also sends this mp3 link to an interview conducted for an Italian radio program of the public Australian broadcaster SBS, featuring himself and Australia’s National Film and Sound Archive Director Paolo Cherchi Usai, explaining why home movies can be much more than a family treasure.

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August 20, 2006


HMD Report: Santa Clarita, California

Pro8mm’s Rhonda Vigeant reports that the 2nd annual Home Movie Day in Santa Clarita was a fabulous time. “I was surprised how many people who attended the event last
year came again,” she says. “There seemed to be an instant sense of connectivity between the returning participants.”

Everything ran smoothly for the audience of 50, thanks to the now-seasoned event volunteers and to the top-notch projectors donated for the day by Paolo Davanzo of Los Angeles’ Echo Park Film Center. While nearly half of attendees came with film, by all accounts the showstopper was a 400 ft. reel of Super8 shot in the 1960s on the tiny island of Falalop in what is today the Federated States of Micronesia. The reel was brought by a woman who had grown up in Falalop and acquired the film recently through a family member who had received it years ago as a gift from the island’s school principal.

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August 23, 2006


HMD Report: Orland Park, Illinois

Nancy Urbanski writes in with a report from Orland Park, as well as two articles from the local press and somephotos of the event from the Daily Southtown.

Our first HMD day held at the Orland Park Library was successful. We had film inspection from 11:00 with the film showings beginning at 12:30. We were a bit swamped at 11:00 with everyone wanting to talk to the archivists. Nine people came through the door almost at the same time.

Some brought films for inspection but could not stay for the showing; others left their films at home and just wanted some advice on caring for their films, transfer rates, etc. Still others brought their films for inspection and showing and kept us busy for the hour and a half.

Our program started at 12:30 with Larry Urbanski giving a presentation about proper film care, some movie day history, and format obsolescence. We concluded the talk with audience questions.

We screened 16mm, Reg. 8, and Super 8 home movies. They ranged from the 1940’s to the 1970’s. We screened three 16mm 400 ft rolls from a family that had 12 children: 10 girls and 2 boys. The colors were brilliant and the amateur filmmaker took great care to get shots of faces which makes for an interesting film. Shots were of New Years Eve parties (1958), babies with banners bringing in the New Year, Christmas, and Easter outfits. There were shots of Chicago’s South Side, churches, weddings, local now closed amusement parks, and babies. The people who brought the film told the audience about what we were watching. We had 20 people for the film showings. We were competing with beautiful weather for the event. We served popcorn and lots of theatre candy (Raisinettes and Milk Duds, etc.). We ended at 4:00 but we would have liked to screen more films.

Our only problem was the room could not be made dark enough; a light could not be shut in the back of the room for safety ordinance causing the 8mm gauge film to be too light.

All in all a great, fun-filled day.

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HMD Report: Georgia

Ruta Abolins sends in reports from the Home Movie Day events held on three days in three cities in Georgia, Athens, Butler, and Columbus.

We did three HMDs this year, each on different days, two being on the road: Athens, GA; Butler, GA; and Columbus, GA. In Athens we had plenty of volunteers and more equipment than we actually needed. For the road trip events there were six of us participating, including our development officer, Chantel Dunham, who had arranged those two events. We drove a University of Georgia van and took along a reduced lot of supplies to lighten our load (though we forgot extension cords, study lamps, and a flashlight, but it turned out our venues supplied them for us).

Athens August 12

We held this event at the public library because of its central location and ease of public parking. We had drop-ins throughout day with about 13 people showing up, six who brought film and the rest who just watched. We had 8mm, Super8, and DVD and no 16mm which was surprising. One woman, a filmmaker, brought in the DVD she made as her senior thesis using hundreds of reels of home movies she purchased from eBay. We then watched several of the reels she used to create her final project.

Butler August 15

Butler is a very small rural community in southwestern Georgia where we were hosted by one of the members of the University of Georgia Libraries’ Board of Visitors-the fundraising group for the libraries’ special collections. The board member who lives in Butler, Eloise Doty, found our venue, fed us, and gave us a place to stay. She arranged for our event to be part of her local historical society’s meeting which guaranteed an audience of 50 people and fit in nicely with the historic aspect of home movies. The event was held in a large, nearly new school auditorium which serves all the schools in the area and which was very well set up. Eloise took in some film and videotape for us in the week prior to the event so we could start inspecting it. At the event, one of the VHS tapes we decided to start with (to give us more inspection and prep time after setup) was of a 1950s Butler parade. By coincidence, one of the 16mm reels we prepared and then showed was of the same parade. The VHS transfer was okay, but when we showed the 16mm Kodachrome footage of the parade, it looked gorgeous. It was a nice illustration of the staying power of film and how much better it looks than VHS. The highlight of the event was listening to all the people in the audience commenting on community members in footage that was over 50 years old, especially the 2-year old spraying his relatives with water from a hose who is currently the sheriff. Refreshments were served afterwards in the lobby which gave us a chance to mingle a bit with the audience.

Columbus August 16

We had another library board member, Warren Foley, sponsor this event, and he found and paid for the venue, in this case the theater in the Columbus Museum. The museum has free parking and is well located in town, so it was a good location for the event. It was a dream to set up there because it was a very nice theater and we had loads of help from the museum staff. We heard they had mentioned the event on the local morning tv news so we were expecting a huge crowd which, alas, did not materialize. About four people brought in film and three people came just to watch. Several women in a group took our brochure and handouts because they couldn’t stay. However, to make up for the lack of people in numbers, those who brought film came with large amounts film in 16mm, 8mm, and Super8. We saw gorgeous Kodachrome from the early 1960s of the white sand beaches in Florida and a yacht trip (our board member host’s family trips). We also saw footage brought in by a woman whose mother was the first woman to be licensed as a surveyor in Georgia. This was also the venue where we got our first lot of African-American-taken home movies. A Mr. Thomas had seen the morning news report on tv and brought his Super 8 films from the early 1970s-a wedding, July 4th, his family, and trips to London, Acapulco, and Florida. He was there early and stayed for nearly the entire event. He also ended up donating some of his films

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August 30, 2006


HMD Report: Washington, D.C.

Amy Gallick reports from Home Movie Day in the nation’s capital:

The Washington DC event was once again exciting, fun and rewarding. We had about 45 people, an ideal number for us. With that number, there was sufficient time to answer questions, screen at least one or two of everyone’s films, and show a few items from LC’s collection. We did run over our 4:00 end time, and went to about 4:30 with screenings. Most of our audience found their way to us from our mention in Daily Candy. We had a number of LC staff in attendance because they saw the event announcement in the LC Gazette. Mention in the Washington Post Express and DCist seemed to bring in a number of people, as well.

We had about 18 audience members bring films, plus some of the volunteers brought materials to screen. We had many family films this year — people at home, babies, etc. One of the DC reps, Jennifer Snyder, brought films of her family, who were fond of doing the chicken dance. Lindsay Harris, another rep, showed film of her brother as a baby (and her parents were in attendance to see it). One audience member’s films featured a family playing Twister, and another man’s Christmas film featured a very cool ‘50s robot the likes of which I have never seen. We had a film of children playing on a frozen Lake Erie. Two women brought films of their family that were shot in Sri Lanka.

One of my favorite films was of a Vietnam War protest that was shot on the Mall in DC. Ironically, as we were showing it, an anti-war protest was happening at the very same time on the Mall! Another man brought his 8th grade stop-motion animation project. He had a cassette soundtrack to go with it, but we could not get that to play. His narration made up for the technical difficulties. He gave us an overview of the plot, described that the large clay creature was a monster, and the rest of the people were townsfolk trying to kill the monster. There were many failed attempts at killing it; the best method featured red sharpies that were supposed to be nuclear weapons. Of course, the townspeople eventually triumphed.

Then there was the most memorable film! A woman brought a beautiful travel film of Austria and Hungary (her father is from Papa, Hungary). There were wonderful scenes from a car window driving over a bridge; there were lakes, there were flowers. As we watched, she told us that her mother always said she ate the best chicken in her life while traveling in Hungary. She was staying somewhere (may have been with family) and was asked if she would like to have chicken for dinner. When the mother said yes, the woman went out and killed a chicken and cooked it for them. Our audience member said, “I hope that’s not on this film.” Well, about 5 minutes later, the film cuts to a smiling woman holding a struggling chicken, eventually breaking its neck! There were screams and some laughter (mostly screams) prompting volunteers in the foyer to run in to the theater to investigate. I closed my eyes until I was told it was safe to open them.

This year’s DC event had the greatest number of volunteers we have ever had. I have to thank Lindsay Harris, Jennifer Snyder, Michael Pahn and Dave Gibson for joining early on to help organize. Jennifer was a PR wizard and Dave Gibson programmed all the films we showed from LC’s collection. Lindsay used her connections to get us some other press in the Express, and Michael made our amazing flyers (I’m sending all this to Brian, don’t worry!).

As a great addition, Julia Nicoll and Jake Kreeger from Colorlab volunteered to help after the Baltimore event was postponed. Jake gave a great talk to the audience, showing examples of Colorlab’s work, and Julia and I were the tag-team projectionists. They also provided us with some much-needed equipment. Our check-in and inspection was very smooth this year. We had three people (Jennifer Snyder, Lindsay Harris and volunteer Jennifer Lewis) at checkpoint one, helping people fill out their paperwork. Christel Schmidt and Marlan Green were at table two, and they helped people view their films on a viewer, to pick out what one or two they might want to show. They also answered preservation questions. Then once the film to be screened was chosen, the participant took the film to Dave Gibson and Janet Ceja-Alcala, who did a thorough inspection, added leader, and delivered the films to Julia and me for projection. Albert Mudrian also helped haul things around, work the lights and drive my equipment back and forth to LC. Finally, I would like to thank Mike Mashon for helping us secure the Pickford Theater as our event location and for putting us in touch with the Public Affairs office, and also for working with the LC Police to allow people to leave with their films after the event.

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HMD Report: Vienna, Austria

Brigitte Paulowitz sends news of HMD Vienna:

We did have pretty good pre-press announcements, and one of the local TV stations came by for a report. Even though the event was not curated, the TV people wanted to film some “representative” footage, so we started the program with a touristic walk to the major attractions of Vienna in 1958. A few stop motion images of flowers finished the film which was in great shape and beautiful colors (Kodachrome 8mm).

Next we screened a swimming pool scene from the 70s, in which kids forced a woman to swim the lengths over and over again. Our third entry was brought by an art history student who is investigating Zombie appearances worldwide and brought two of the filmic manifestations, which were wildly entertaining. Also, the gentleman introduced them well and explained the dangers of such an undertaking, which were visible in the often shaky camera and dangerously close approach of the zombies. He brought two films, one was – according to his information – shot in Arizona, the
other was evidently shot in the Vienna Prater, even though he was trying to convince us that it was once again somewhere in the US.

This was followed by the film of a 12 year old, now in his 30s, who shot some footage in a Safari Park in Gänserndorf, outside Vienna. Next came a more artistic attempt to capture Venice and Vienna, both black and white and colour images of flowers, staircases, objects of daily use, all in all not your typical home movie, from 2002.

After this we attempted to screen a VHS, a great example of MTV VHS aesthetics, but due to its length of 40 minutes did not keep the attention of the audience well so that I interrupted after 25 minutes to a round of applause. I thought it was interesting to a certain degree but as it was mainly footage of 3 guys with a strong sense of self importance on Italian beaches, 25 minutes was probably more than enough of it.
We switched back to 1958 – the world exhibit in Brussels which was probably my personal favorite as it showed lots of futuristic architecture, atom models and opened with great footage of the opening fireworks.

The secret highlight for most other people was probably a 16mm b&w film that opened with footage of the Anschluss in a village called Hadersdorf, everbody swore they saw Hitler passing by, but since I was organizing, I really didn’t see that much of any of the films, so can’t confirm. The film had been bought at a local fleamarket, given to a filmenthusiast and preserved by an archive in Vienna, so that what we saw was a brand new 16mm print. The seconds of Nazi footage were followed by shots of a woman in the garden, a woman that seemed to smoke all the time and had short black hair, both things were relativley uncommon in the 30s in Austrian countryside. The reel was probably all that was shot by the family as it continued on into the fifties, always with the woman smoking.

Our bonus track was a film from the early 80s which showed the same Safari Park we had seen before, and even though it was shot by a more professional filmer and a grown up person, it showed the exact same animals doing pretty much the same things.

I did ask somebody to take pictures, but I believe he was so happy just watching films, that he forgot. All in all I’d say the turn up was good considering the space we had. More films would have meant choosing. However, nobody was really happy with the venue (even though the beer was very cheap), so we will definitely have to find something else for next year. Liz’ 101 is right: a bar/pub is not a good place for this. Besides this, I have many more things to do better next year and lots more Zombie films to look forward to! (Somehow maybe the Nazi footage does fall into the same category!!!)

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HMD Report: Champaign-Urbana, Illinois

Jimi Jones gives the scoop on Home Movie Day in Champaign-Urbana:

Hello all. Just a note to let you all know how successful the HMD in C-U was. The U of Illinois library and WILL, the local PBS station, co-hosted Home Movie Day. We had an inspection station in the foyer of the WILL building, and we showed films (on 16, 8/S8, and DVD/VCR in the case of telecines) in WILL’s main television studio. I have some pictures on the HMD Flickr group so take a look at them. We had some radio coverage as well as a reporter/videographer from WILL’s local-interest TV program called “Prairie Fire.” The television show has yet to be produced, but will likely air later this fall. We had standing room only capacity for the first couple hours (I would estimate around 60 people) which then petered out by the end of the day (our HMD lasted from 1 to 5). It was a great experience.

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September 1, 2006


HMD Report: London, England

Guy Edmonds’ report from London:

We’re still collecting ourselves after a bumper attendance of 79 stampeded through our door on Saturday, more than doubling our 2004 tally. Many thanks to Andreas Busche for cranking up the publicity machine to such a pitch. We benefited mostly from features, not just listings, in The Guardian Guide and Time Out but the newly-tapped resource of local area internet newsgroups also played a part. Both Andreas and I also did radio spots

The sheer weight of numbers meant I saw far less films than I did two years ago and our set up here with a number of small spaces rather than one large one (a makeshift corridor cinema for super and standard 8 and our 24 seat cinema for the 16mm) means no one is able to see everything, with some of the screens running simultaneously at times, but at least everyone who brings a film gets to see it. Therefore my report on what turned up is necessarily a little cobbled together.

A friend, Martin Pickles, sent me a precis of what he saw in the 16mm room:

“I saw three black and white 16mm films from the 1930s which were found footage by one filmmaker. The first had a Royal parade (a Coronation?) going along what looked like Shaftesbury Avenue. Then there was footage from the west coast of Scotland, including Mull, Iona and Oban with footage on a small ship, with well-dressed people playing games on deck. There was some colour footage of a Presbyterian gathering, which showed lots of young people having pillow fights and three legged races on a lawn.

“Then there was some colour 16mm from 1952 shot in Dorset with the filmmaker present (an older man with beard, white hair and glasses). He showed a house party full of young people (colour), young people on a beach, a walk round Avebury etc. There was also black and white footage of the house opposite him in Streatham being built. There was also b&w footage of the filmmaker cutting his 21st birthday cake.”

Ronald Grant, projecting the 16mm, said that the Presbytery footage was his favourite because it showed all sorts of hilarious group gymnastics by otherwise staid 1930s adults, which also jumped from black and white to colour within the same scene. I’m going to get in touch with the contributor and offer a transfer of this so hopefully I’ll get to see it myself soon – at the moment it sounds like our best candidate for the Best of HMD DVD.

In screen two we had a huge variety of material, from the avant garde (a woman who had in exemplary anti-preservation fashion hung her film in tree to let the sap drop on it and then buried it in the ground; another woman who had footage of a Fluxus happening in the 1970s) to the most personal of home movies which required the temporary evacuation of our corridor cinema. The material was not salacious, however, rather the contributor, who had not seen it since she was a child, felt it would be potentially upsetting for her to raise her familial ghosts and so requested this private screening. Other corridor highlights included some wonderful amateur narrative productions by Captain Zip, a movie maker and veteran of King’s Road Punk, some of which have already been preserved on video by The Wessex Film and Video Archive. One family finally got to see the premiere of some super 8 footage that had been returned from processing 17 years ago. In the meantime daughter Matilda had entirely grown up and was able to gaze upon her two year old self in pristine condition and vibrant colour. Another contributor had waited patiently since HMD 04, when he’d heard about the event too late, to bring along his cache of films made by a film industry insider which showed Reg Varney of “On The Buses” fame as well as other 1970s celebs.

A distinct trend visible is that already these movies are moving in to third party hands, with the inevitable loss of context that goes with that. Three of our thirteen contributors were people who had taken pity on the films in junk shops or flea markets without even having the means to show them but had at least started the preservation process by giving them a home and willingly sharing them with others.

As in 2004, Tom Adams of the Imperial War Museum did a fantastic job of projecting the 8mm material and we also gained a great volunteer in the person of Janine Lai who had seen our poster when she put it up in Peckham Library in her day job as librarian.

This is a response from Captain Zip one of our contributors who also includes many descriptions of what he saw:

Hello there.
Just a quick note to thank you for such an incredibly splendid Home Movie Day – which I enjoyed enormously. What a pity it is only once a year. There was such a nice balance of the family and holiday and arty and more ambitious (to varying degrees) films. I had very good feedback from people regarding the two films of mine which were shown (it was so good to see them in a different venue). It would be interesting to know how well my Windsor newsreel copied in the camera that was pointed at it for so long. I enjoyed all the other films on show too.

It was just a pity that I didn’t get to see many of the 16mm films, but I must admit to staying in “screen two” because I didn’t want to miss any of my own films. Charles Laughton was right. All is vanity.

The film about a fly in the beer was very enjoyable. The picture quality had survived so well. It looked like it had been shot yesterday rather than in the early 1950s.

I was amazed by the picture quality of your garden party film (which seemed very well edited-in-camera), especially as you didn’t seem to have much depth of field to play with in what I presume were tight telephoto shots.

The standard 8mm films seemed to run a bit slow in places, so I felt like I had really been to Tunisia for the Miss Cinema 1972 and 1973 film. I tend to run slow in the heat too.

I quite liked the arty films, especially Laura’s water damage film and the shots of distorted reflections of London traffic and split-screen effect achieved by holding a hand-mirror in front of the lens. I must give that a try myself.

I keep meaning to make another in my series of London films, which I started in the 1960s, but can’t quite get motivated to spend the money on film stock when both my fridge and roof need mending.

Even the family footage was a joy. It felt very special to share someone’s Christmas from the ’60s.

I liked the film about whipping (or was it caning?) by the lady from New Jersey. Interestingly, I once made a film with the same plot called Kidnap Lark. I remember she was particularly impressed by my production standards, though I found my Dick Dawkins film a bit embarrassing as the style of humour had dated so much. I was hoping no one would object to what had become politically incorrect jokes. They just seemed funny at the time. But it was good to get laughs from the audience.

I’m still trying to work out the Brixton-Kenya connection in the wedding film. Maybe it was simply that they had their honeymoon there. I didn’t think of anything so simple on the day.
I loved the museum itself too. What a joy to see one of Hepworth’s soundtrack

I knew it would be a good day when I found a 2 coin on the tube on the way there.

It was good to touch base with Dave Wyatt again after so long, he being a chum from the days when I could afford to collect film.

We couldn’t figure out if the 15 inch Pathe disc was a soundtrack disc or not. He thought it wasn’t because it runs at 90rpm, but I pointed out that films would only be two minutes long in those days so it might have been.

Anyway, thanks again for a very pleasing day and I look forward to the
next one.

Press tally:

Feature in The Guardian Guide (national newspaper listings mag)

Feature in Time Out (London Listings mag)

2 interviews on BBC London radio

Interview on Resonance FM available asPodcast here.

Online publicity:

Archives Hub
Museums, Libraries, and Archives London
University of Teesside
Guardian Film
Film and Digital Media Exchange
Chain D. L. K.

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HMD Report: New York City

Andrew Lampert, on location in the Big Apple:

HMD NYC was, as usual, a blast. Anthology Film Archives played host for a 4-½ hour marathon screening of films from friends, family and strangers in the 70-seat Maya Deren Theater. Katie Trainor helmed an amazing group of volunteer Archivists and aficionados in the Anthology lobby. Orphan-maker and recent New Yorker Dan Streible was with us as well, which was a particularly a special treat. Dan gave insightful on-the-spot readings of films all day long and was one of the best film-runners we’ve ever had. I would guess that we had maybe 70-80 attendees throughout the afternoon. All prospective audience members and film-bringers were met with smiles, release forms and gloved hands. Films were inspected, repaired, leader-ed and loved. Info was made available about all things home movie, from Kodak give-aways to HMD DVD order forms. We had a fantastic turn out and most of the audience indeed brought a reel or two for screening. There were fewer voyeurs than usual this year, for some reason. More film is always groovy, if you ask us. Another anomaly from previous HMDs was the amount of 16mm that came our way. If memory serves, there have only ever been a few reels in previous years, but this time around we saw at least 10 reels of it. It was, as always, an afternoon of revelations. Super 8 and 8mm projection were projected in the theater by me, Andrew Lampert, and 16mm was handled from our booth.


One woman, known only as “ET”, arrived with a reel purchased from Ebay that outlined, in fastidious detail, what to do with a deer after you’ve slaughtered it. While not a pretty site for animal lovers, it was a fascinating and colorful look at the hunter’s ritual. If you’ve ever seen Franju’s BLOOD OF THE BEAST or Brakhage’s THE ACT OF SEEING WITH ONE’S OWN EYES then you get what I’m talking about.

Another gentleman dazzled and delighted with a couple reels from his recent trip to Cuba. Evidently he shot more than 40 reels of Kodachrome throughout the island. He wanted to capture the splendor and color of that time capsule country with everyone’s favorite discontinued stock, or so he put it. His wife also brought a recently shot reel, so it seems as if this is a family affair. Hope to see more from them next year.

Bradley Eros treated us to a look back at his mid-80s trip to Mardi Gras in New Orleans. He played a soundtrack from the booth and projected slides from the trip over on top of the Super 8 images, creating an on-the-spot expanded cinema home movie experience. It was pretty rad.

A visitor on vacation from Chicago arrived with a reel he found of a group of gay men also on vacation, albeit in been the early-to-mid 60s and at a spot a little more exotic than Anthology. Colorful and laugh-out-loud funny, the guys pranced around in short shorts and, well, no shorts. We all dug it very much.

Steve Carter, another regular attendee, brought a 10-year old reel documenting the fence that his brother built over in NJ to annoy his neighbors. While not a great cinematic masterwork, the story behind this film had us all in stitches. Steve is the guy who started a huge fight a couple years back and we always love his witty insights and opinions. And films!

Tim, a friend of HMD regular Jeanne Liotta, brought a wonderful S8 film of his honeymoon. But rather than mere camera reels, this movie was hand-painted, hand-processed and a real treasure to behold. It was unlike everything else that we saw that day, straddling the line between experimental and home movie. It was a definite highlight.

I dug into Anthology’s copious home movie collection to show a reel by photographer and downtown denizen Bob Parent of the Lower East Side circa 64. Legendary jazz club The Five Spot was only one of the many long-gone venues seen in the gorgeously photographed reel of the East Village. His films remind me of Aaron Siskind photographs, especially in the way he documents posters and writings on the wall. The reel ends with a trip to Washington Square Park where we see the booming folkie scene and nylon-stringed acoustic guitars that used to gather around the fountain.

But perhaps the most revelatory reel was brought by Ms.Liotta. Discovered along with a projector donated by a departing neighbor, this 16mm reel captures the preparations for an early 60s wedding in sumptuous b&w. Our astute audience ascertained that this was indeed the wedding of blushing bride Ramona and boxer Jose Torres. This was determined from a boxing poster in the background of a particular shot. The movie begins with footage of Central Park and then moves inside to the bride and her maidens as they prepare for the ceremony. The shots inside of the church are a little underexposed, but the party footage is dynamite. Overall, I’d have to say that it is one of the best reels that we’ve seen over the years. Evidently a professional Time Life photographer shot it, as we later found out. A long and strange series of events occurred after the screening thanks to Craig Lopez, a member of our dedicated audience. He went home, googled around and discovered that the Torres family live in NYC. He was able to get their number and made contact. Turns out that HMD was the 45th anniversary and that somehow we had all missed this fact when the wedding invite was shown on screen. They were thrilled to find that this film, which had been lost, turned up in time for their big anniversary party in Puerto Rico. Within days Jeanne graciously let us send the reel to Colorlab where Russ Suniewick generously oversaw the transfer to DVD. A gentleman who writes for the New Yorker has taken an interest and we will hopefully soon see an article in the Talk of The Town section. We’ll let you know as the story further progresses.

There were tons more, so maybe I’ll stop here. Speaking on behalf of Katie and all of our other co-presenters, I have to say that NYC HMD was once again a highlight of our cinematic summer.

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HMD Report: Japan (Hirosaki, Kyoto, Nagano, Nagoya, Tokyo)

This year there were five separate Home Movie Events in Japan. Thanks to Kae Ishihara and the Film Preservation Society. Highlights from the venues follow:

Chihiro Takmori reports from Hirosaki:

The venue was a former cafe, so just for HMD the kitchen was used, and we had summer vegetable curry, etc. together.

The atmosphere was very good and although we were all meeting for the first time, we could talk about films together. A lot of episodes, questions, etc.

Some films were discovered at the University of Hirosake and brought in by the University’s Cinema Club.

Kyoto, report by Kazunori Emura:

There was a double 8 film shot in 1937 (no. 7 below) which was in beautiful color, so it was chosen as Best Home Movie this year. Also, there was a b/w film about “Ueno Zoo” which is 3 minutes walk from the Film Preservation Society’s office in Tokyo.

Films screened:

1.Emura Family’s Home Movie, double8, 3mins, 1950s

2.Skiing, double8, 3mins, 1942

3.Dolls Play, double8, 3mins, late 1940s

4.Airplane, double8, 3mins, late 1940s

5.GHQ soldiers, their families in the base in Gunma, shot by Bill H. Issacs (Military gov’t team), double8, 3mins, 1948

6.Tokyo Tower, Expo, Twins, single 8, 10mins, color & b/w

7.Picnic to Mt. Akagi, double8, 3mins, 1937, color

8.Ueno Zoo, 3mins, 1940

Kenji Emori writes from Nagano:

Films screened:
1.Showa Era of Shimizu Family 18min 1955

2.Sports Festival at Junior High School of Shinshu University 4min 1969

3.Festival in Nagano 16min 1956

4.Sports festival of Chuo Kindergarten 4min 1970

5.Election campaign from the sky 8min 1965

6.Visiting Zenkoji Temple 4min 1965

7.Nagano Expo for Culture and Industry 11min 1961

8.Zenkoji Temple, Open for public viewing 30 min 1987

9.My Family 10min 1960

10.Showa Era of Shimizu Family Part 2 20min 1950

This year’s HMD was a related event of Misuzukaru Shinano NAGANO Film Festival. The local 8mm film club helped us with all the projection work.

Nagoya’s report comes from Satoe Tamura:

Special events/screenings:

-flowing somen noodles in the garden

(Japanese seasonal tradition – cold noodles washed down a half-pipe of bamboo, and scooped out with chopsticks by whoever can catch them on the way past. They’re eaten with a dip and assorted garnishes)

-fresh vegetables, HMD original pottery with cold beer and other drinks were sold and pickles and ice cold Japanese tea were served

-16mm animation film show

-a short talk from the administrator about the preservation of the old house, Shumoku-kan, as a cultural heritage

Films screened:

1.Showa 73 1998

2.A Small Fighting Sprit 1984

3.Skiing in Nozawa Hot Springs

4.Moonlight and the Glasses (16mm)

5.Nagoya Toyopet Sports Festival 1973

6.Soyogo 2005

7.America San Francisco 1969

8.Asuka Road 1974

Best home movie went to No. 5 where you can see how Japanese people used to be very loyal to the company (in this case, Toyota motors whose headquarters are in Nagoya) and serious about an event like this, which reminded the audience about something we have lost unwittingly

Also, No. 2 was a film shot by elementary school students. The teacher used to organize 8mm film club, and he kept the film for more than 20 years. There’s a scene showing a famous professional wrestler “Antonio Inoki”, so, probably no good for a HMD Japan 2006 DVD, but will be shown at Best Home Movies Screenings in October in Tokyo.

Tokyo, by Kenichi Shima:

Most films we showed were double 8, black and white films.

“Masao’s bicycle” was a double8 film shot in Tokyo after the war, but for some reason, it got the biggest audience reaction, as the sight was so different from modern Tokyo, almost like a different country. And more than that, Masao looks so cute with the happiness of finally riding his own bike. Everybody wrote this down as their favorite in the questionnaires, no doubt about choosing this one as Best Home Movie this year. Another Masao related film was not shown on the day, but two films will be added to HMD Japan 2006 DVD, and also Best Home Movies screenings in October.

The wooden church is a very small building but if we reorganize the tables and chairs it’ll hold more than 50 people next year again. This year we borrowed projectors from FPS’ office but one of the film owners is going to donate a projector to me, so I’ll practice with it for next year.

Actually, I learned about film projection from FPS’ film projection workshop for the first time, and did all the projection work alone this year.

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September 9, 2006


HMD Report: Toronto

Local audiovisual archivists Brock Silversides, Russ McMillen, Aileen Leadbetter and Julie Lofthouse provided advice on how to care for home movies and discussed why home movies are important. Filmmakers Karen Shopsowitz, Laurence Green and Justin Lovell discussed their working with home movies in various contexts. Karen showed a new music video called “Pawpwalk” which she made for the Ron Davis Trio, and which features super8mm footage shot by (no surprise) her dad, in London in 1971. Justin Lovell, a filmmaker whose genesis in the world of film transfers began when he found himself needing reliable high quality transfers of his own films, played a demo showcasing the way his work with Super 8mm.

A last minute surprise of the day was that filmmaker Bruce McDonald (Highway 61, Hard Core Logo, Picture Claire) gave permission to screen home movies from his collection which he previously donated to the Film Reference Library.

Though attendance itself wasn”t as high as previous years, we were not lacking in quantity of film to show. In fact we actually ran out of time within which to screen the films that were brought in. I also found it amazing that we had as many 30 minute reels brought in that day as we did. Participants gladly talked about the films and provided context for them while they were screened. Though not everyone brought in their film that day, we had discussions with some of the participants about their home movies. One of the day”s participants who unfortunately did not bring in film with him, came out to the event solely to gather information and ask questions. He said that he had many films at home taken by his father, who had been a local radio broadcaster in Western Canada. The films were of their various annual family trips across Canada and spanned many years, but also included some film his father shot that were work related.

The first home movie of the day shown was from a man who contacted us the week before the event who had recently brought back a reel of film he found in his parents’ home in Hong Kong. Though now living in Toronto now, the gentleman recently brought back with him after visiting his parents overseas. It is a film that his father took both in Hong Kong and business trips to the US in the 1960s. Sadly his father is in the early stages of Alzheimer”s so the gentleman is working on getting the film transferred so that he can show it to his father while his father is still able to communicate and enjoy it. The Toronto Film and Video Club participated in our event again, bringing some of their home movies with them as well as a few other treats.

A local artist/film-maker who has recently begun shooting with Super8 film brought his films for show. We also received a “home movie” recently shot by a young Toronto film-maker, of her trip to Hong Kong last year. An interesting note about this footage is that this woman”s mother participated in our first Home Movie Day in 2003, having sent in wonderful home movie footage of Hong Kong from the 1950s. Someone else brought in several reels of summers spent up north at a Boy Scout Camp in the 1960s. This was beautiful footage that captured the antics of this young troop. Unfortunately we did not have enough time to screen the full length of the final film shown that day. The film was of a Classic Car Club of America in 1963. The gentleman who brought in the film said that the end of the film contained footage that was shot in Washington DC in the summer of 1963. Though the majority of films brought in and screened were of “Canadian” origin, it was great to see so much stuff coming in that included places in the United States as well as around the world.

Canadian location highlights included various cottage trips, Expo “67 & Centennial Parade, Hells Gate, British Columbia, Kingston Ontario, Superior Ontario (entitled “Bear Valley”)…just to name a few. At the end of the day we loaded up the audience with a bunch of prizes. Prizes included a membership to the Film Reference Library, 2 tickets to the 2006 Preservation Screening at the Toronto International Film Festival, a membership for two to Cinematheque Ontario, a group animation workshop at the National Film Board Mediatheque, some STILDesign cans, the Super8 cartridge given out by Kodak during their Super8 session at the Austin Conference, Home Movie Day mugs, and a $100 towards a film transfer from Photoplays.

We also ran a contest where the audience voted for the “Best Home Movie of the Day.” Winner to receive film transfer services supplied by Justin Lovell of Frame Discreet and much more.

Can’t wait to do it all again next year. We have so many good ideas brewing!!!!


September 20, 2006


HMD Report: Culpeper, Virginia

Lynanne Schweighofer and Liz Stanley report on the goings on at Home Movie Day Culpeper:

Culpeper’s first ever Home Movie Day was a great success!

51 people showed up for our afternoon inspection period carrying a total of 372 reels of film, 3 projectors, and one Cine Kodak Model B camera! Needless to say we did not get to examine every reel of film but we were able to inspect and advise on a representative sample from each guest. We were quite surprised that about 75% of what we saw was 16mm (much of it Kodachrome), followed by 8mm. Super 8 was the least represented format. The only reel of 35mm turned out to be a pristine roll of Nitrate film! Talks are in the works to find the nitrate a good home.

Only one guest had film that appeared beyond all salvage- extreme warping, shrinkage, and chrystalized emulsion. The vinegar could be smelled from the door. We were quite sad as it was Civilian Conservation Core footage shot in the Blue Ridge and Piedmont areas of Virginia. The father of the man who now has this footage was a CCC camp director and shot over 200 reels of 16mm. If any of this footage could be salvaged it would be beyond the means of our guest. I am not sure any archive would take on the burden knowing up front of the expense involved in trying to retrieve the images. If anyone has ideas, please contact me!

Our evening screening was a smaller event with 18 participants, not including event staff. Many who came to the inspection period had driven over an hour to get to us and felt they didn’t want to stay until after dark. Those who stayed had much fun. Folks felt comfortable describing the films and we were treated to such images as a bear “attacking” the filmmaker’s car (shot from inside the car!), a comical parade of 1940’s easter fashions, and toddlers in Wisconsin drinking home brewed beer from glass bottles!

We can’t wait to do this again. Special thanks go to the volunteers: Lillie Lee, John Snelson, Laura Maddox, and Peter Schweighofer.

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November 20, 2006


HMD Boston and Providence Report

This in-depth report from Liz Coffey, on two Home Movie Day events in New England:

Albert Steg & I did two events this year: Boston on HMD proper and Providence, RI August 12 and 19th. Both events had about 30 attendees, all enthusiastic, but the crowds were quite different.

The Boston event was a the Boston Public Library. A crack team from New England Archivists came to help out, bringing with them a display about preserving paper materials. We had 3 projectors (super 8, 8mm, 16mm) and a record player with a variety of choices for music. We
broke out the HMD Bingo, showed someone how to use the projector he brought in, and inspected film for an hour before the show began.

We had a lot of people show up who had come previous years and who showed films each time. Many of these were new films shot on super 8 within the past few years. Generally the crowd was young, a lot of artist types. The favorite film was brought in by an area projectionist. It was 16mm Kodachrome of himself as a small child in the 1950s. His dad was an enthusiastic amateur home movie maker. The following paragraph is from Peter, who stars in the film.

“My dad (Phil) took his home movies seriously and hauled that heavy 16mm Kodak camera (which I still have) around with him on a lot of family outings. I have tons more of stuff like that. His secret: use a tripod if you can, and edit for continuity. He had a book called How to Make Good Home Movies, and picked up a lot of tips, so you get things like establishing shots of signs or newspapers. He even experimented with recording sound with a tape recorder, which turned out to be very hard to sync, so that kind of didn’t work out. Maybe next year I’ll bring one of those attempts and we can give it a try.”

The crowd favorite scene was a 4th of July parade in which Peter is dressed up in an adorable leopard outfit and pulled around in a little cage on wheels. Beautiful stuff. I encouraged him to will his film to an archive, since I can’t imagine he’ll part with it in his lifetime.

Albert (my co-presenter) brought some great 16mm amateur stuff he’s picked up here and there, including topless ladies at the 1931 World’s Fair (in color!) which scandalized and delighted everyone (including my parents), and a film in which people got seasick on a boat and then later someone mimed the scene for absent friends. Last year’s star of HMD brought in another 1970s film which showed, in a quick scene, some hash smoking. That’s two for two on the drug use films in Boston!

I showed my Leaning Tower of Pisa film, a comedic crowd pleaser, and a road race starring my dad and sister, who were in attendance. We ran a 3 minute reduction of Rodan on 8mm which had a million frame burns but ran fine. The hilarious and inspirational owner of this film, new to the world of collecting and showing films, wanted to know if he could have his super 8 film transferred to 8mm, since he didn’t have a super 8 projector.

No equipment problems this year, and almost the entire audience stayed for the whole event. Another BPL HMD success.

Unlike the Boston show, we actually had some press and promotion for the Providence show. I put it on at the RI Historical Society where I work. Our PR man sent out 1200 postcards to the members, we got a blurb on the front page of the local section on Wednesday, and Albert & I were interviewed on a local weekend show on station WJAR-TV Providence the morning of the show. We had about 2-3 minutes of airtime talking about the event, which was a pretty funny and not as scary as I expected experience. Our story was followed by a weekly animal shelter segment featuring a dog who needed to be adopted.

I was accepting film the week prior to the event, so I could inspect it ahead of time, and about 10 people, including the executive director of the Historical Society brought in film.

In contrast to the Boston show, most of the people who brought stuff in were over 50 and the film was also older. We had a number of films from the 1920s & 30s, with the youngest (aside from mine from last year) being from the mid-1970s. Did I mention a couple weeks later I
got asked out via mail by one of the attendees? Read on for my friend Brittany’s scene by scene recording of the event. She is a hilarious note-taker.

August 19 2006: Home Movie Day Providence Starring, once again, Liz Coffey & Albert Steg
Providence’s first home movie day is held in a stately manse – headquarters of the RIHS – a much more high-class affair than last weekend’s Boston Public Library experience. The grayish stained carpets and flickering fluorescent lights gave way to hardwood floors (with wooden nails, mind you), wall tapestries and chandeliers. It smelled like the church of my youth and probably held the same amount of older-type folk. But enough with the ambiance… Bernard of the
RIHS introduced the day and Liz Coffey who had even dressed in a more conservative manner for this one, I noticed. Of course I guess she was also on TV – oh, I’m still digressing….

This b&w treat started off with kids riding a pony so you knew it had to be good. According to Edward, this pony was brought in and people paid to ride it. They rode Silver on Quincy St near Providence College. These kids were wearing knickers and long socks with cute striped hats. And these same tykes went on down to Plum Beach – jumping off a low diving board onto the sands of low tide. And a few years later, riding around in a 1929 Chevrolet – although you could
make someone out in the background riding in a horse-drawn carriage. Edward said the roads had only recently been paved. Then it was Christmas and much snow. The highlight here was an incredible little snow house they built, and for some reason, one kid would walk out of it and shake the person’s hand who was waiting outside. I don’t know what it meant, but it got a lot of laughs. There were many Xmas scenes that were lovely: the boy and his new bike, the other one with his drum set, and a cute shot of the brother & sister by the window. By the time dinner rolled around, Edward wondered aloud whether they were drinking wine during Prohibition & I was wondering if during Prohibition kids could still drink wine. I guess I’ll never know. Finally, the boys slide down the sidewalks in a homemade sled-on-wheels (not like those kind you find in the stores these days) and the little girl shows off a fancy miniature baby carriage.

Shot on Kodachrome 2 years ago, we witness Liz’s visit to Avila, Spain and the imposing Roman aqueducts of yore. Stony arches frame the blue skies and tiny cars fit into the lower archways. The giant structure leaves long shadows and we welcome the sight of a pigeon resting on the wall.

The first of many remarkable moments like this today, this was the first time they had seen this footage of their own wedding. (They didn’t have the right projector for it.) First we see the men and the ladies preparing for the day; getting help putting their corsages and ties on. Side-burns and dramatic parts prevail. They film the drive from the parents’ house over to the church: pretty cute. And in Reel 2, we witness parts of the actual wedding, although some shots are cloaked in under-exposure. We can still make out much dancing during the reception and the backs of various balding heads. Finally, they are in their civilian clothes, leaving to go on the honeymoon amidst a few tears and emotions. The last shot is the newlyweds walking down the street to the car: totally sweet.

Once more, footage she had never seen taken by a cousin in the Air Force. This was shot from the ground of tons of planes in formation. According to Ruth, it was post-WWII. They do some fancy stuff in front of very large clouds.

This is also a recent film by Liz, although it has a dated beatnik quality to it. Jason leisurely painting a boat in the water while an idle friend sits nearby. The boat bobs to the rhythm of this slow, summer day. A dead dragonfly’s wings flutter in the breeze and the artists inspects his dirtied hands – dirtied with the product of his own vision. A vision that he meditates on in the last show: is he happy with the finished painting?

In the tradition of the day, this man had also never set his eyes upon this footage. Shot by an uncle who filmed “anything and everything.” It is in North Attleboro on his dad’s poultry farm. Many fifties folks and fifties cars – weird since it’s the 1950s. A wedding and outdoor reception features a lot of eating and tailgating of sorts. Then we are transported to a lovely landscape in New Hampshire, perhaps? It features a view from on height of town & water. The next scenes are of falls somewhere – Quebec is suggested and he finds the concept not unreasonable. Quickly, we see a stony mill structure and a white church in North Attleboro, and then Longfellows Wayside Inn” and a statue that everyone decides is in Lexington, MA. We are treated to another wedding & the bride boasts nice Betty Page-style bangs. More outdoor seating, great colors (it’s like everyone’s dressed for the Kodachrome) and some slow-motion 3-legged racing. The finale here is an aerial view of a quaint seaside town.

(A sort of intermission…Liz turns on the Peggy Lee and Albert promptly turns it off. As soon as Liz is out of hearing range, he begins his film preservation 101 lecture. Uh-oh. Here comes the vinegar syndrome manifesto. Some people get so horrified by the mere mention of vinegar that they run out. Liz comes in steaming mad and punches Albert. An old fashioned ballroom brawl ensues.)

REG. 8MM: 1951 OR 1952 COLOR
Bernard of RIHS fame is featured in these great-looking flicks with his photogenic parents in Riverdale, NY. Whether he is out in the yard with a sailor hat on, wearing an extra-stylish jacket & hat, or being pushed around in a special basket stroller, Bernard prevails in his endless adventures. His mom (looking fabulous in her bright red lipstick, dark hair and pale skin) puts him to work on a tricycle that’s too big for his toddler-sized legs & tries to get him interested in something in a mysterious box. Generally, Bernard turns up his nose at much of these shenanigans. Thus, perhaps, his dad takes this time to gently pan the inside of their house and all of its little still lives of photos and what not. Then all the relatives come over for some civilized eating and getting together (they eat their honeydew slices with small spoons – I feel like a savage). After some fun with putting a giant hat on Bernard’s tiny head, it is bath time,
and here the little baby is bathed, as it were, in a golden light that turns this banal experience into an impressionist masterpiece. The peek-a-boo under the blanket gets everyone laughing, but it’s only a mild reaction compared to what’s next…at this point for me, a home movie first: on-the-potty shot!

Either his dad’s or granddad’s – a bunch of guys fishing off the coast of Long Island. In one shot, this dude is lying down & fishing – nice. They wind up catching a little shark and some flounder. Bets are paid off.

The adventures of Bernard continue in this lakeside romp. A bunch of kids go for a swim, but the best scene is when this little kid gets mad and walks off.

B&W 16MM JOANNA’S HOME MOVIES: Summer & Christmas 1927.
Another gem of a film that has lain unseen by its owner for decades. Apparently, Joanna figured out, the filmmaker was a member of friends of her family’s family rather than her own family (I should have really thought about that more before saying it). You get the gist. Somehow, she inherited the can. The first shots are of the Lincoln Zoo in Chicago. A Dusty polar bear eats some leaves and wanders around while perky grizzly-types ham it up for the cam. One shows his belly & the older holds his feet in a funny baby pose in order to get some food tossed in his mouth. It works. The zoo visitors are very fancy, the ladies wearing long fur coats (like the bears) and a young man wearing F. Scott Fitzgerald style suit. The little girl featured in the film holds tightly onto a stuffed toy dog for the camera and kisses it. What’s really nice is the following section featuring a series of little “portraits” of each of the zoo guests; they parade in
front of the camera in med-close shots so you get a sense of them and get lost in their precious 1920s style. Joanna’s older brother must have been the cutest boy around back then – he looks like a children’s book illustration. Maybe none of this is real. They ice skate on metal skates in crunchy-looking ice and then do some serious sledding down a hill. And then we’re back in the Chicago hood, no longer on the ice or in the winter…but roller skating on the sidewalks! The best is when the older sister makes all of these funny faces and facial exercises at the camera. The younger girl (aka dog-kissing girl) is much more restrained. Maybe she secretly knows that in 2006 a bunch of yahoos in Providence will be watching and laughing. In REEL 2 we see our famous crew getting into an old-fashioned car which I bet wasn’t old-fashioned at all at the time. Then there’s this great part where it seems like the camera person is encouraging every shop owner on the street to come out for some 16mm face time. In the background lurks a “Kodak Film Finishing” sign as various guys and gals come out of different shops to look cool in front of the camera. Delightful. Now it’s onto the beach – Pallisades Park on the shores of Lake Michigan – and two little girls take the long path in cute bathing suits. We get to see inside someone’s beach hut or house where a baby in a crib lives. It’s funny & bouncy. They leave this abode and pass an umbrella advertising “Stag Trousers” on their way to the water. A giant boat aka ship frightens me in an unusual head-on shot. If they had filmed this in 3D it would have been serious heart-attack time. Thankfully, the ship turns out to be a ferry it looks like the
Illini take to visit their neighboring state of Michigan. One can presume that they can take this great ship for a day at the beach – and back to the beach we go with a funny little girl sitting in the water & slapping it, and probably the best bathing suit seen so far today: a striped short-style full-piece. Then there’s a canoe and crazy swimming – some more car travels during which geese and a dog are spotted. And there’s the inevitable ship again. The water reflects
onto it gracefully. Bon voyage!

Super 8: Edward Smith & the Kilarney Galway Gap of 1965
I forgot to mention how happy everyone was/is in the previous film, but they aren’t exactly sad in Edward’s footage of a tour of Ireland taken by both horse-drawn carriage and later, fun bus. We see rolling farmlands, castle ruins, billions of tiny yellow flowers, and a gorgeous sea and shore scene. The water is all icy glow. Edward says it’s the North Sea. Finally, tons of sheep and a creek.

Super 8: 1965 Boston & London
Edward is back with some location shots that seem all-too-familiar to those Beantownians in the group. The Prudential Center? Newbury Street? The Boston Architectural Center? Impossible! Edward tells us that his son graduated from that fine establishment around this time & they left for London from Boston. So then quickly we are plunged into stereotypical London scenery along the Thames and whatnot. Many of the requisite tourist attractions including the changing of the guard. What’s really cool is a sign for a Francis Bacon show up at the local
art museum.

B&W 16mm woman’s “Unknown” film from 1952
Here we go again: “I’ve never seen this before, etc. etc….it was lying wherever…etc, etc….I don’t know how I acquired it…” Listen Lady, I’m beginning to think that all Rhode Islanders are a bunch of mindless automatons that just like store stuff…but she seems really nice and not automated or chipmunk like in any way so I stop thinking this immediately. Let’s face it: I’m not so great. And the little girl with the doll and little boy in his toy fire engine are pretty great. He also keeps his pistol in the truck with him and has a totally dirty butt so that seals the deal for me. This film takes on another magical dimension via decomposition. The silver is apparently oxidizing and leaves these little orange spots of happiness in the more heavily exposed spaces. At one point, the little girl walks down a sunlit sidewalk and in the surrounding shrubbery things sparkle and dance. Sometimes the spots outline things and sometimes they end up in the crotch area of a man, causing some awkwardness among the audience. Most, though, they are amazing almost distracting me from this kid having a tantrum and a mom holding up a baby by the hands so it can pretend to walk.

16mm color Albert’s Found Film of a Canada Fishing Trip
A bunch of men are off in hydroplane style to the beauty and isolation of San Jovite, Montreal. They load everything into a little silvery
seaplane and land on a pretty tree-lined land featuring a cabin on a lake. There’s a lot of plaid in the logging sense and much fishing much fish. They compare catches and one guy holds up his five fingers to communicate to us that his particular fish is a five pounder. Then it’s time for a fish fry and eating off bark plates. mmm…mmmm. Between fish fries and boozin’ there happens a patch of snow, a ball of which is tossed at the camera guy. The additionally caught fish are
laid out on the planks and a the end is a cute, but unfortunately dead, rodent of some sort. One of the men pets it. Amidst more fishing shots and a handsome sweater vest, we get to enjoy a happy man “shaving” with a machete-type blade. It succeeds in getting laughs all around. Mission accomplished, and then it’s time to go home.

B&W 16mm from the RIHS vault: Rhode Island in 1938
The Providence Parades! Right away, I notice the streetcar wires now missing from modern-day Providence – not to mention the jaunty horses,marching bands, and Red Cross float present in this very popular parade. Gloucester, RI: a bunch of military – type guys washing post and pans
for the camera. They have a lot of guns for some reason. More of the parade in color! As they continue to march along their merry Providence way, I catch what’s playing at the local movie theater: “The Postman Always Rings Twice” with Lana Turner and John Garfield.

Color & B&W 16mm: More from the illustrious RIHS vault! Cady Collection
Roger Williams Park 1937: Monkeys and bears and ice skating but not monkeys and bears ice skating. A kid-size Christmas Village. “Water-front scenes:” industrial ship-yard. “Farewell fire station!” they demolish an old fire station, making way for the new post office. We see Market Square before and after 1938 but these go by way too quickly for me to really investigate the subtleties. We then see a quick montage of many important constructions, reconstructions, scenes and tableaux from Good Old Providence. There’s Old Market House, General Edwards Viaduct, Snow Scenes 1940 and everyone digging out after the Blizzard of ‘35 (here we get to witness the bizarre steam shovel in action). Finally: “Hindenburg Visits Providence”! The
humanity….. The change to color doesn’t change the continual de/con/reconstruction: “School of Design Auditorium 1940,” snow sculptures by art students, “Wendell Wilkie Visits Providence,” Christmas trees for sale, dedication of Roger Williams memorial & unveiling the statue, Union Station destroyed by fire & the aftermath. Apparently, the filmmaker missed getting to shoot the actual fire, so he tricks us by burning up a photo and then showing the steaming remains. The wrecking ball scene is long and gruesome.

8mm Mr. Smith Again (but not Edward – I know, I know, I’ve gotten
confused myself)

We’ve got another medley on our hands here: Mt. Hope Bridge (some conjecture – suddenly everyone’s a geographer), more pans of a lake this time over kerchiefed heads, sitting in wooden chairs on a boat, adark dark Christmas indoors with strange dolls and an icicled tree. Finally, the featured kids have some fun on bouncing rocking horse and a tricycle, then they move onto a chalkboard (a tiny one) and baby girl enjoys a big-headed doll in a moving scene that gets everyone oooing and awwing. Now for some B&W: ah the aftermath of the ‘cane of ‘38. Giant trees uprooted, roofs taken off, and this guy in a suit happily chopping away at a tree that fell into his house. His legs swing off the side of the house. Now back to color: an outdoor party with lots of people in hats. Just as everyone agrees its a graduation, it switches to someone’s
confirmation and folks are posing for the camera like you would for a photo. The weirdest thing is this kid all dressed up anachronistically – velvet knickers and a cape.

Now comes the endless parade of birthday’s (all Mr. Smith’s aunt) but the transfer lab put the rolls together, so they are all out of chronological order. She and the surrounding party-goers grow older and younger and older again. They eat cake after cake after cake and drink punch and open presents endlessly. There’s playing, crying, drooling, and lots of eating. The kid with the bandaged eye makes a cameo appearance, and they all seem to generally be worried about
birthdays the younger they are. At this point the final footage of Holy Cross and West Warwick is a virtual blur to me, we’ve all been through so much back & forth & in & out of time…..

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August 12, 2007


Home Movie Day in Rio

Report from Howard Besser, Professor and Director of NYU’s Moving Image Archive and Preservation Program

About 30 participants in the international “Safeguarding Sound and Image Collections” seminar celebrated Home Movie Day in Rio by watching the oldest preserved Brazilian film. “Reminicencias” (Reminicences) is a 1924 home movie incorporating footage of the same family shot in 1909. Rio de Janeiro Museum of Modern Art Cinemateca archivist Hernani Heffner pointed out that the wedding bride in the 1924 footage was a child in the 1909 footage, and that the film was probably made to celebrate her marriage. He also said that this was the oldest preserved motion picture film of any kind from Brazil. The seminar participants from 20 countries discussed
the importance of home movies, and the relevance of Home Movie Day to countries around the world.

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August 13, 2007


Home Movie Day Report: San Francisco

Let the HMD 2007 reports begin… This from Stephen Parr in San Francisco:

San Francisco Home Movie Day Report: Best Home Movie Day Ever

This year’s Home Movie Day in San Francisco was our best ever. Over the past years my efforts to promote the events to residents and caretakers of old San Francisco film history have not been as successful as I would have liked.

San Francisco is a youthful city and most people that live here come from other parts of the country so few people are actually “natives.” The only people that really have an abundance of home movies are older generation native San Franciscans, independent filmmakers and collectors and the occasional neighborhood historian. The only way to really dig up people who have home movies is to get major newspaper press (tough both papers the SF Chronicle and the nearly defunct free Examiner are shadows of what they used to be), local television or write ups in neighborhood newspapers, and through local grassroots organizations. My attempts at contacting many of the local Asian and African American newspapers have always met with a lack of interest.

This year the SF Chronicle finally gave us a huge write up in the Datebook section.) This really drew in the SF and Bay Area natives, as well as a smattering of independent film collectors, obsessive collectors and even a local homeless attendee (he told me he was in the “recycling business”) who managed to mingle well with the diverse crowd. In addition
the Associated Press article
and the
August 6th piece in The New Yorker contributed the the larger than usual attendance this year.

Home Movie Film Clinic

We drew about 35+people and a wide range of films and content. I inspected, cleaned and repaired films from 12-6:30 PM. The films consisted mainly of regular and Super 8mm though a local priest brought in some pristine 16mm films of his family from LA in the 30s. Other films included Roger Brindle’s Super 8mm footage of Vietnam antiwar protests and films from his honeymoon in Waikiki in the 1950s. Other films consisted of Watsonville( A farming community) in the 1930s, New York transplant Linda Lewin’s Super 8mm of the Mummers Parade in Philadelphia and her NYU student film of 42nd Street in the mid 70s “A Taste of Fun City” featuring some X-rated footage inside a Time Square film house.

There were other highlights including a 8mm 1946 wedding film shot in Banff, Canada-not seen by the 80+ year old attendee since since then and Averie Cohen’s middle class Jewish home movies shot in the then suburb of Rye, New York. All participants narrated their films which created a real atmosphere of sharing, congeniality and laughter. At the end of the screening Thomas Matus, a priest living in a local monastery donated his 16mm films of Los Angeles life in the 1930s. The archive will be compiling and transferring his films to several video formats. Later Thomas will assist us in logging and do an oral history for us.

Other attendees made appointments for the coming weeks to discuss donating and or transferring their films to a viewing media. One of the most important things I stressed during the clinic was for people to keep their films and transfer them to several types of media for future migration. There is a tremendous amount of misinformation and I clearly and repeated reeducated many of those who brought films in.

Home Movie Day Screening

We drew about 50 people for our free screening, including many new comers and a few attendees from last year. For the early arrivals we began with a screening of a US Navy film “The History of the Motion Picture” (B+W, 1946) which featured nearly every projection device using film ever ever invented. We screened Kodachrome films of the Jung Family, a Chinese American family from Oakland, a few Ebay finds-the infamous double wedding, shot in Henry Ford’s company town for the working class-Dearborn Michigan, home movies of the San Francisco Centennial, Deer Hunting in the Northeast in 1947 (Since San Francisco is the politically correct capital of vegan land I had everyone hiss and boo BEFORE I screened the film), the demolition of the roller coaster in San Francisco’s famous “Playland at the Beach” in 1956, Kodachrome films from the San Francisco Horsemen’s Association riding through SF Parks in 1947 and 8mm color films from the 1939 San Francisco World’s Fair.

Home Movie Reception

As the screening ended we switched gears, had some refreshments and screened some dvd highlights from “Living Room Cinema”. Guests to our soiree enjoyed food, wine and beverages, compliments of SFMA supporter Heni Martin. Most mingled with the interns and staff of the archive till nearly 1:00AM.

We’re planning another event sometime this year in conjunction with the San Francisco History Association. This time we want to showcase home movies by History Association members.

I was assisted by Robert Chehoski who edited the Quicktimes and scanned the stills for our local press and website, David Gallagher from the Western Neighborhood Association who updated the SFMA website, Bill Proctor who set up the screening room, pulled the films and projectors and manned the archive door for part of the afternoon, Averie Cohen as well as SFMA/Oddball Film+Video interns Betty Tweedy, Stefan Palko, Rae, Brad (From Van Dyke Pajama) and Eric. Thanks to everyone at Home Movie Day Central for your efforts and support in this ever expanding world of Home Movies!

One more mention-thanks to Mike Purcell for his at times awful at times exhilarating punk rock super 8mm film featuring the Dead Kennedys, No Alternative and a host of by now dead SF punk rockers from the late 70s. Your film was a real Home Movie Day treat!

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August 16, 2007


HMD Report: Providence, RI

From HMD Rhode Island’s Liz Coffey:

The event was set up through the RI Historical Society, where I used to work. This was our second event there. The historical society did the promo work and had the room set up for us (shades drawn, chairs set up). They had also taken in some films prior to the day of the show and provided popcorn!

I did some film inspecting and Albert set up the projection equipment. RIHS provided a couple of volunteers to check people in.

We started the day with about 20 people all told. We began with the HMD dvd while I was finishing up the film prep work. RIHS started the show with a dvd copy of a local film they had recently preserved, which may or may not have been amateur, from Brown University in the ‘teens.

3 RIHS employees brought their films, and we had submissions from two strangers. The oldest films were from the 1920s, which were a little shrunken, but ran without any problem. The granddaughter of the filmmakers promised to bring the films she made in the 1970s as a kid, Super 8 re-enactments of such classics as Earthquake! She didn’t know she could bring “funny films.”

The newest films were from the 1990s (super 8). One was shot in Rochester during a trip as a prospective student. How he could have decided to live in Rochester for 4 years after seeing that bleak bleak film is beyond me, but it was a very pretty film, none the less.

Of the five submissions, only one set of films was local, from Providence in the 1980s. They depicted a street where the filmmaker worked, and had a lot of nice shots of African American kids playing and various store fronts.

Although the turnout was small, Karen from RIHS managed to attract media in the form of someone from the AP and a local TV station. Karen & I were interviewed for the local news. According to Karen, a “RIHS employee reported seeing the report on ABC 6 on Sunday morning. She said we looked and sounded great and that the whole report was a nice plug for the RIHS and for Home Movie Day.”

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HMD Report: Austin

Snowden’s event report:

The second Austin Home Movie Day event was a huge improvement over last year’s event, which was itself pretty successful! Our event took place at the Boyd Vance Theatre in the George Washington Carver Museum, which is on Austin’s historic and neighborly East Side. The theater is nearly new, and is equipped with everything you could want—cordless mics, video projector,
state-of-the-art sound and lighting boards, lots of folding tables and chairs and extension cords, even a green room where volunteers could put their stuff and go for a soda. We’ve already booked it for October 18, 2008!

Austin was one of the HMD locations that got amazing press this year; we probably owe that at least in part, if not entirely, to our collaboration with the Austin Film Festival. They provided us with a page on their web site, cross-promoted the HMD event with a special “Very Early Works” program of juvenilia by well-known Austin-area filmmakers (sorry, no Richard Linklater or Robert Rodriguez; maybe next year?), and had their PR person, Maria Bergh, work on getting the word out for us, too. We got no less than three local TV segments on HMD (two before the event, one last night during the 10 pm Sports Extra), a nice advance piece in the alternative weekly, and excellent notices from a two of the hippest local blogs. The local NPR affiliate also aired a PSA about HMD that many of my friends and acquaintances heard, although I missed that…and the mayor issued a proclamation officially declaring August 12 “Home Movie Day” in Austin, too. I’m going to get that framed!

With all this press, it’s probably not surprising that we had a really decent turnout. Doors opened at 2:00, and we actually had one couple arrive ten minutes before that, film in hand! At one point, there were almost 60 people in the auditorium—with only about 100 seats, it looked really full in there. Very nice. We got about 75 people all told, and about a dozen folks brought films to show—more than enough to fill the 4-hour time slot we’d reserved in the theater. We had an ample selection of projectors set up—a rank of three (8mm, Super8, and 16mm) down on the mezzanine level, close to
the stage and screen, and volunteer/film collector/local multimedia artist Luke Savisky brought his enviably nice 16mm, 8mm, and Super8 units and set up a second station on the upper level of the theater, near the sound board. We were able to run film pretty much the whole time, with occasional breaks to give out Home Movie Day Bingo prizes (the Spongebob Squarepants and Transformers stickers went first, even though we also had $10 Whole Foods gift cards to give out). We also showed a couple of pieces of video including one of the pieces screened at the AFF “Very Early Works” show—a self-portrait in VHS of a teenage girl called “Florence Vandertramp,” which was awarded the “Keep Austin Weird” prize for the day. It is my new favorite home movie and must be seen to be believed.

Highlights of the screening: Mr. Ramon Galindo, who was the hit of last year’s Home Movie Day event with his 16mm homemade horror film from the 1940s, came again this year and brought more of his beautiful film—scenes of a parade down Congress Street in 1964/1965 (shot from a second-story vantage point, affording a perfect view of all the floats and marchers, as well as a clown who pretended to take a dump in a chamber pot in the middle of the street). He had footage on the same reel of a “night parade” on Town Lake, part of an annual event called the Aqua Fest that continued into the 1990s—a spotlit waterskier strapped to a huge kite, boats lit up with garlands of
lanterns, and of course fireworks all looked lovely in 16mm black-and-white. Lots of oohs and aahs for that. We were privileged to host not just Robbins Barstow and his lovely wife Meg (who were visiting Austin this week) but their son and daughter-in-law David and Linda, too—David learned filmmaking at his father’s knee, and brought his own Super8 “Robin Hood” film to share. It definitely had the Barstow stamp, not to mention some extremely groovy 1970s fashions, and was enjoyed by all! Robbins signed copies of the DVDs that we had for sale, too—as Robbins “Tarzan” Barstow—and I bet those will be collector’s items someday.

There was dude ranch footage from a volunteer’s parents’ collection (the very concept of dude ranches gets a big laugh in Texas, BTW. The parents were New Yorkers who, smitten with the West, later moved to Arizona), and some really gorgeous long color reels of an Arkansas family in the 1970s
with a pretty mom, sporty dad, tow-headed baby, and lots of grandparents and aunts and uncles around, having fun all the time—the guy commented about how lucky he was to have such a happy childhood, and to be honest with you, I can’t remember when I’ve ever met such a nice, well-adjusted, friendly guy. We also got several reels of Super8 footage shot within the last five years—one guy had shots of a flea market in Berlin and a guy beat-boxing on a park bench there; another had documented the scattering of his grandfather’s ashes at sea in his favorite fishing cove in Mexico. (I’m
noticing that the cool thing now is to claim that YOU were the person who bought “the absolute last reels of Kodachrome film available.”) Home Movie Day Bingo was, as always, a huge hit—it got people asking things like “Is that an aunt? I need an aunt!” during film of a family gathering, and sparked lively debate about whether the cake at a christening counted as a birthday cake. People stayed for hours and seemed to enjoy every minute.

This town has a vibrant community of archivists and film lovers, and the local support for this event all came together in a great way yesterday. We got Whole Foods to donate $100 worth of gift cards—one $50 and five $10—so we raffled off the big one along with some copies of the DVD and some gift certificates from Home Movie Depot and the local transfer houses. Raffle tickets were free for those who brought films, $1 for those who came to watch—between that, and DVD sales, and a small sign we put up asking for donations to support next year’s HMD (which netted us a $50 check), we raised over $100 for supplies and expenses for the 2008 event!

We had an amazing volunteer crew, too: Anne Shelton, Laurie Thompson, Leanda Gahegan, Mike Wozniak, Susan Rittereiser, Steve Wilson, Megan Peck, Sarah Callahan, Karen Spern, and Luke Savisky all did a little (well, a LOT) of everything throughout the day to make it possible. Ben Grillot and Mat Darby (and me) were the core organizers for the Austin event—a very very special thanks goes to Ben for putting in endless hours of work on this, including setting up the mayor’s proclamation. This was all AFTER he had been accepted to law school in D.C. and realized he wouldn’t even be here to see it happen! What a trooper—he volunteered at the D.C. event, too, so he got his dose of HMD fun on the day of, at least.

Mat Darby, Anne Shelton, and Sarah Callahan deserve special mention for driving all the way up to Dallas and back (6 hours round-trip) to take part in the Sixth Floor Museum’s Home Movie Day event the day before the Austin one. HMD superfan Jackie Stewart, whom we all know from the South Side Home Movie Project, is doing research in Texas this month, by lucky chance. She came out to both events with her husband and adorable kids, too! Caroline Frick lent her 16mm projectors and all the goodwill of TAMI (the Texas Archive of the Moving Image). In addition to the Austin Film Festival and
Whole Foods, we had generous support from the UT Kilgarlin Center for Preservation of the Cultural Record and the Harry Ransom Center, the Austin History Center, and the Center for American History—all of whom will, I am happy to think, be pitching in to support us next year.

A bunch of the volunteers went out for pizza and beer after the event—it felt like as tired as we were and as hard as we’d all worked, we didn’t want it to end quite so soon. Happy Home Movie Day, everybody!

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HMD Report: Burlington, Vermont

HMD VT organizer Gemma Perretta’s report:

We also held the Burlington, VT HMD last Saturday. The event was hosted by Burlington College where I taught a course this summer on the history of amateur film that included a HMD internship for the students.

For Home Movie Day we held an inspection clinic from 9-12. I sat with about 10 people/couples individually and inspected their films and gave them advice. The most commonly asked question was where to have their films transferred and what to do with the films after transfer.

One of the student interns, Paul Elsasser, did his fair share of film inspection as well, while Barry Snyder, director of the film dept., manned the welcome and sign-in table. They started showing up at 8:45am and the inspection went straight till 2:30pm. 12 people/couples total had films inspected of which 3 were not projectable.

Everyone from the community was so happy to have their films inspected. There was great energy and folks were glad to be in a place and around people who care about their memories and can help them to access their films.

I had a great moment with a woman named Angele whose films were in good shape except for being held together with scotch tape. She hadn’t seen her films in 30 years and since we couldn’t put her film through a projector we gently reeled it through a viewer. Upon seeing her baby daughter (now grown with children) and her recently deceased mother she held her chest and had a little cry. It was very touching.

The screening was scheduled from 1-4. Joe Bookchin, prof. at Burlington College, was projectionist and packed in about 14 films into the non-stop 3 hours. We had at least 25 people for the screening. Highlights included:

Three 16mm reels of autumn and winter scenes shot by the Carrolls from Lake Placid, NY from the 1950s. An African photo safari during a peace corps mission in the 1960s, a fantastic student film from the 1970s spoofing a trailer for “Wild Strawberries,” and a women’s march from the 1960s (which looked intense, but showed tame without a soundtrack).

The event was a big success for the college and the community, and has already inspired more support and allocation of resources for continuing film conservation efforts at the school.

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HMD Report: Rochester, New York

Pat Doyen’s report from HMD Rochester:

We had a great Home Movie Day here this year. We doubled our attendance from last year! Thanks to all the volunteers: Ed Stratmann, Nancy Kauffman, Leslie Lewis, Jenn Libby, Charlie Allen, Doug McLaren, Michael Neault, Taylor Whitney, Alex Wagenblass and Albert Birney. Although he wasn’t able to be at the even, Ben Tucker helped out a lot beforehand with organizing the event.

Except for a short break, we showed films continuously from 11pm to 4pm. Highlights include footage of training at the Nigerian Television Authority in 1982, Astro World in Texas in 1963, and color footage of the Hawaiian island of Malaki in the early ‘40’s, complete with graphic depiction of goat slaughter.

We gave away lots of handouts and advice, and many people are already looking forward to next year. Oh, and the date change to the fall seems to be really popular.

Thanks to everyone at the CHM!

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HMD Report: Chicago

HMD Report from Nancy Watrous in Chicago:

Although we had about the same number of people coming to see the screening as the last two years, there were fewer people coming with films, We had about 9 people that submitted films (some had quite alot) and one person who was interested in an inspection of their films, but did not stay for the screening.

Tom Palazzolo kicked off the screening with his Rickey and Rocky, a surprise wedding shower he lensed in ‘71. Other particularly notable footage was some shot on Cine-Kodak Super-sensitive panchromatic film of typical home movie scenes, but one of these sequences was lit with candles, showing off the “…shots that were impossible just a few months ago have now been recorded with amazing clarity and brilliance. Indoor and outdoor scenes at night…at dawn…at dusk…on dull and rainy days—clouds…skies…marine views…foliage—all are clearer, more detailed.” As told by a 1931 Movie Makers article that Dave Drazin gave to CFA about this amazing stock for the amateur filmmaker.

Nick Osborn brought in some late 20s, early 30s footage of Washington DC…street stuff..
Also included in his films were some fabulous Playboy bunny and vacation footage… private parties, etc.

Also re-visited was Pete Bingham’s behind the combat lines footage of leisure and R&R in Vietnam during the early 70s. Footage of a hired band and go-go dancers entertaining the guys gradually escalated into a strip-tease act and inter-active entertainment with one of the soldiers which then culminated at a later date with disturbing footage of a middle-aged prostitute trying to entice off screen soldiers at a rifle range to taste her wares. Vivid historical evidence that informed literature such as Graham Greene’s The Quiet American.

As always, Andy Uhrich, Michelle Puetz, Carolyn Faber, Anne Wells and newcomer Joshua Mabe joined me in operating the show. All pros…

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August 20, 2007


HMD Report: New Haven

Molly Wheeler reports:

New Haven’s second Home Movie Day was an absolute blast and the attendance doubled since last year. Our venue was the New Haven People’s Center, an old house downtown with hardwood floors, a backyard and windows all around. The day was cooler than previous ones and it made the space really comfortable to be in. One half of the room was comprised of the table with the sign-in information and relevant forms, the inspection table, a television playing the Living Room Cinema DVD, and a long table with educational information and DVDs for sale. The other half of the room contained the projectors, a 70’ x 70’ screen, a table for the film queue and lots of chairs. Drop-off and inspection was from noon-2pm and screenings were from 2pm-6pm. People started to arrive a bit before noon, and had the opportunity to sit with Bruce Manke, our inspector, to discuss and look at their films. People milled around, looked on, read materials, and chatted a lot. At 2pm, we started showing the films and within 45 minutes the place was nearly full, at most there were about 50 people in at one time. We ran into only one projection problem, which was quickly solved by taking out our backup 8mm. We had two of each projector in case we ran into problem. Home Movie Day Bingo was played throughout the day and prized were rewarded. There was a great humor and participation throughout the films being shown.

The day was great, and we were all on a high throughout and into when it was done. The audience was diverse and had been informed of it through various media outlets, proving that we need to continue to blanket print, online, radio and television outlets in years to come. New Haven looks forward to its third Home Movie Day on October 18, 2008.

8mm films: (1)-A woman came with her family, bringing a film in that she had never seen before, shot by her father. It was labeled 1964 and showed an extended family over a few months, including at Christmas time and in the warmer season backyard. She grew up in Baltimore, but didn’t remember the house and guessed it to be Buffalo, where she lived as a very young girl. The funniest part was when a child spills Cheerios on the floor and a woman leans in, picks them up, returns to her chair, and begins to eat them.
(3)-An older gentleman, along with his adult son, brought three films that he had shot in the mid-1960s. Shot in Newtown, CT, they showed his children learning to walk and playing on a trampoline.
(3)-A woman came in with three films, all 400’ reels from around the 1960s, that showed a cock fight (her father raised cocks, she had forgotten about this and was a bit embarrassed… the audience comforted her…); Carnaval on an island that she didn’t recognize, though her husband likely knew where it was; and another that we only got to watch bit of since she had to go. The Carnaval one was beautiful and I’d like to know where it came from.
(1)-Am man brought in film from the late 1960s of him and his friends painting a 1957 Chevy that they called “Black Swan.” The footage is really great and shows the detailing… later the car went to New York for an afternoon and was stolen. It was a really hot car.
(3)-Volunteers had three miscellaneous films to show at the end…

Super 8 films: (3)-An 18 year old young man that is going to be an awesome addition to next year’s home movie day, brought in three films from an estate sale in Southington, CT. They showed family vacations, including great footage of boarding a United plane, taking off, flying through the clouds, and landing at LAX to go to MarineLand in Palos Verdes, which is now only a ruin. This footage could be great on a DVD, as an orphan film showing a place that doesn’t exist anymore.
(3)-A woman came in with her whole family, her parents the filmmakers included. She brought three films from around 1980. They showed great footage (sometimes slow motion) of her and her siblings jumping a pool; the Cheshire CT marching band; Sequoia National Park and San Francisco, a lot of footage of SF from the perspective the front seat of a car.
(1)-Footage of a woman’s husband’s family doing random things around town.
(1)-The same man as with the 1957 Chevy film, brought in two other films: one shows an afternoon at Brooksdale Park in CT playing soccer and volleyball in 1975. The other film was among the favorite of the afternoon: a film made between 1975 and 1979 that cuts between two men playing Scrabble and his wife on the beach, all shot from really interesting perspectives. This film should be seen by as many people as possible.

16mm films: (1)-A woman brought in a 400’ 16mm film that documented a few things: Gold Rush Junction with a reenactment of cowboys killing Indians (totally weird); and family life in Woodbridge and Bethany, CT.
(1)-One woman brought in footage of her friend’s wedding in Fair Haven, CT.
(1)-A woman thought she had her senior thesis film but it was in fact her, from 1976, filming her and her friends hanging out. She used some pretty psychedelic effects and it was the only film in which genitals were referred to.

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HMD Report: Nashville

Kelli Hicks reports from Nashville:

All in all, we had a fine Home Movie Day here in Nashville, TN.

It was a busy day in Nashville with many festivals and events, and it has been hovering around 100 degrees for 2 weeks now, which may have accounted for a lower attendance than I hoped (around 30-40 people), but we never had a lag in the screenings.

The main event was held at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum and was split into 2 parts:

10-noon Question-and-Answer session:
Three reps from local transfer facilities sat in along with me and our intern Leah Churner, from the NYU archive program. Since attendance was small, we all sat informally around a table full of examples of film gauges and movie-making equipment. We talked about proper care of film, the difference between digital and film formats, and the ins and outs of the transfer process. I have done this kind of discussion 2 years now, and I think it’s a great way to bridge the gap between the transfer folks and the archivists, especially since my knowledge is more film than digital based.

1-5pm Screenings and film inspection:
This went unbelievably smoothly, largely thanks to a great group of volunteers. Some highlights included footage of Elvis Presley on the set of Blue Hawaii (!!), a Mrs. Georgia Homemaker competition, and some wonderful footage of newborn babies and incubator babies shot by a local doctor. While rewinding, we kept things going with a huge pre-prepped reel of the wikki wachee “mermaids” which no one ever seems to tire of watching… (if you don’t know them, I highly recommend getting yourself to YouTube). Doorprizes for movie trivia were provided by a local ice cream maker, the Pied Piper, and the the local arts theatre, the Belcourt.

8-11pm Afterparty: To informalize things a bit, we organized a home movie day afterparty in a downtown art gallery with three screens of pre-prepped home movies going on all night, some kegs of good local beer, and some fine music by local musicians.

All-in-all, a fine event. Thanks to Jamie Moffitt, Leah Churner, Lee Noble, Alan Stoker, Ali Tonn, Emily Happell, and Tom Wills for all the time and effort.

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HMD Report: Raleigh

Skip and Marsha report on HMD Raleigh:

Wow! We more than doubled our attendance this year. Thankfully we had many more volunteers and projectors – so things didn’t get too hectic. Thanks to everybody who organized and volunteered for the event: Marsha Orgeron, Devin Orgeron, Germaine Fodor, Tom Whiteside, Dave Zahn, Ty Beddingfield, Jim Haverkamp, Charlotte Walton, Kate Kluttz, Rich Schemitsch, Jessye McDowell and Anna Bigelow.

We had mostly super 8 and 8mm with a little more super 8 this year. There was some more lenticular color footage on 16mm from one of our volunteer’s grandmother’s collection.

Here’s co-organizer Marsha Orgeron’s writeup of the event:

It was really a fantastic day and a very successful event. About 75 people came through Caldwell G107 many of them staying all day to see what people brought. We had a dozen volunteers working the event, mostly from the local arts community (plus Anna Bigelow from Religious Studies).

About 10 minutes before start time, NBC and News 14 showed up and I did interviews with them; their cameramen also stayed to shoot the first part of the event. The News 14 report is airing hourly today; I haven’t seen the NBC report, which probably aired while we were at the event. A reporter from Our State Magazine also attended HMD; he is writing a feature story that will appear the month of next year’s event.

Although most people who came to the event were from Raleigh, we also had people come from Tarboro, Fuquay Varina, Durham, and Garner. Some of the highlights included a man who brought several reels of gorgeous color 8mm film he shot of his fraternity in the 1950s, with some great party footage (the man explained the ritual of pinning to the audience, saying that it wasn’t what we all might be thinking!); a couple who brought their early 1970s super8 wedding footage from New York that they had never seen before; some 1920s footage of motorcycle racing (including clowns and stunts with no helmets!) on a dirt track and some very primitive and scary version of a demolition derby; and some great color footage of a young girl’s red sequined dance pageant at a Sanford elementary school.

We repeatedly heard how grateful people were to have an event like this, to get to relive their old memories and learn how to take care of them.

[Pre-event media coverage online: News 14]

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HMD Report: Toronto

A report from Toronto:

Toronto – Home Movie Day presented by Homemade Movies

Homemade Movies held our Home Movie Day event in a beautiful neo-gothic hall
at Hart House in the University of Toronto. Everyone was invited to bring down home movies to the event. (Photos).

We had films from the 1920’s through to super 8s from the 80’s – representing the wide multicultural mix of Toronto. One collection captured family life in the city’s West Indian community and trips back home to rural Guyana. Another film was a sound super 8 brought to Toronto at some point from Germany where it was shot in the mid ’70s. It was of a party at an apartment decked-out in period furnishings that ended with a full-out dance segment. A mother and daughter came with reels shot in Quebec of the daughter as a baby which neither had seen in 30 years.

The event was organized much like Homemade Movies’ ongoing series of b.y.o.h.m. events (bring your own home movies) that we have been hosting for over 8 years. Our Home Movie Day had both a repair clinic – where people were able to look through their collections, get help repairing films and select a reel to show – and a screening.

This is the 2nd year our event was co-presented by the Hart House Film Board and held in one of the halls at Hart House. Homemade Movies has organized an event on Home Movie Day in most of the past 5 years, including holding the first Home Movie Day screening in Toronto in ‘03. This year Siue Moffat and Jonathan Culp did a great job helping us get the word out about the event and on the 11th itself. Thanks again to them and the Hart House Film Board – and to Images, Pleasure Dome & Laura Cowell.


September 11, 2007


HMD Report: Toronto

A recap from Toronto:

Event Venue: Hosted by the Film Reference Library (at Cinematheque Ontario)

Event time (screening): Day ran from 12:00pm-5:00pm with the screening running from 1:30 -4:30

Event time (inspection): 4 months prior (call for submissions went out on May 16 and ended July 20th.

Inspections were conducted on an ongoing basis throughout the call and continued post-event day due to the quantity of submissions received).

Number of people bringing films: 50

Total films submitted: 514

8mm: 336 Super 8: 150

16mm: 21

9.5mm: 0

VHS: 1 (no longer had original films)

8mm Video: 1

DVD: 3 Audio Tape: 1 (they thought it was a film)

Number of Staff and Volunteers involved in the day:

Organizer: Julie Lofthouse Film Reference Library staff: Julie Lofthouse, Sylvia Frank, Eve Goldin, Tania Reilly, Hubert Toh, Lindsay Miller, Kristen MacDonald, Robert Blair
TIFFG Staff: * Jim Hamilton, Kate McKay (projectionist), Arthur Yeung, Andrei Gravelle, Naoko Kumagai Volunteers (pre-event): Christina Stewart (inspections), Beth Rennie (organization and data entry) Volunteers (event day): Jing Jing Chang, Anna Louise Richardson, Brock Silversides (speaker), Christina Stewart (speaker), Bruce McDonald (guest host)

Sponsors: Toronto International Film Festival *07 (prizing); The Film Reference Library (prizing), Cinematheque Ontario (prizing); Starbucks Coffee (TIFFG sponsor supplied coffee), Aquafina (TIFFG sponsor supplied water), Photoplays (prizing – Grand Prize for film to video transfer); LIFT (donation of projectors for the day) Press & Marketing (pre-event and post-event): Print: Globe & Mail (newspaper), Toronto Star (newspaper); City Centre Mirror (newspaper), Now Magazine (arts newspaper); Movie Entertainment Magazine, Cinematheque Ontario guide/calendar; local Portuguese community newspaper, Now Magazine (free alternative weekly newspaper). * some press available in both print and on-line editions of publications. Radio: Jazz FM 91(read our official press release), CFRB 1010 Radio (interview), CIUT 89.5 (University of Toronto radio – interview), CBC Radio 99.1 (interview/story post event), Online: CBC Online, Akimbo, Film Reference Library, various city and library blogs Television: Breakfast Television. NB – both the Star and the Globe each ran 2 stories about HMD – one around the call and a follow-up piece JUST before the event.

HOME MOVIE DAY 2007 – TORONTO (Report submitted by: Julie Lofthouse) The Film Reference Library issued an official press release through the Toronto International Film Festival Group (of which the FRL is a division) in early May for film submissions for HMD for evaluation and possible inclusion in a 2-hour curated program (part of the 5-hour HMD event). Not knowing how successful the call would be, we did not initially limit submissions. Due to the success of the campaign and valiant efforts of all involved, we received over 500 reels of film and ended up increasing the screening program from 2 to 3 hours. Interestingly we received quite a few 400’ reels (apx 65). Reluctant to let length/RT be a programming limitation, submitters were asked for permission to separate footage at a pre-existing splice so at least some of a reel could be shown (all reels were re-assembled post HMD). Unfortunately and for the first time in 5 years, absent from Toronto*s Home Movie Day festivities was home movie advocate and filmmaker Karen Shopsowitz (she had other out of town scheduled activities). We were fortunate this year to have Canadian filmmaker Bruce McDonald as guest host of the curated screening program. For those of you who may not be familiar with Bruce’s work, he is the director of such films as Highway 61 (1991), Hard Core Logo (1996), The Tracey Fragments (2007) and also directed numerous TV episodes of “Queer as Folk” and “Degrassi: The Next Generation.”

The day began with a quick history lesson about HMD, introduction to the issues of film preservation and was followed by a film archivists’ panel moderated by Julie Lofthouse (Archivist, the Film Reference Library), and consisting of Christina Stewart (Film Archivist), and Brock Silversides (Head, Media Commons U of T). This was followed by the introduction of Mr. McDonald and a brief Q&A and the screening of 2 of Mr. McDonald’s home movies (part of the Film Reference Library Special Collections) wile Mr. McDonald provided commentary. Post event, Mr. McDonald said that he was so inspired by the day that he would like to discuss with our library how he could be more involved in our HMD. A printed program was produced (if anyone wishes to see the program created, contact me and I will send it to you) and attendees with programmed films were asked to sit close to the front and aisles so that a wireless microphone could be brought to them to provide additional context while their film was playing. For anyone whose films were shown but who was unable to attend the event, context was provided on their behalf.

Home Movie Day Bingo was played during the first half of the program, and unlike last year, this year we actually had a winner. We screened 25 films over 3 hours and played HMD Bingo during the first half of the screenings (and had a winner). Obviously due to the volume of submissions, we were unable to show even half of what was submitted (it would be way too long a report), however, below is list containing highlights of some notable content – some programmed, some not (submission quantity, program length, film length, and condition). Oh….and when films are being returned to people we are providing them with a “report card” of sorts which gives them basic information about the format and condition of their film(s) as well as a rough idea of content (if they didn’t previously know what was on the film). This document also has a list on the reverse side of quick tips and advice on such things as storage, basic film preservation and much more. Also provided was a list of some reputable film to video transfer facilities in Toronto, the rest of Canada and the US as well as a list of places where they can purchase archival supplies and film supplies in both Canada and the US.

So…without further ado, here are some of the gems that found their way out of basements and attics in the Greater Toronto Area: Rector family home movies: The films were all 8mm and shot in various places including Halifax (NS), Cold Lake (AB), Zweibrücken Air Base (Can. Air Force Base in Germany), and various family trips. Films dated from the 1930s (B&W & colour), all the way to the 70s, and included a little boy (her dad) as a little boy in a Mountie uniform; Christmas mornings; a trip to NYC in 1959 (including shots of famous magician Harry Blackstone Sr. (doing some card tricks) and much, much more. Hollandse Kinderfilms: We were only able to screen a portion of the films brought in by this woman (3 x 400’ 8mm). Taken by her Dutch family in the Netherlands (mostly Scheveningen) it contained images from the Netherlands and other European destinations (pre & post WWII). Mostly B&W footage, there was actually colour footage of Nazi flags flying in Germany in 1938/39. Apparently the couple travelling with the family on this trip were Jewish and were wired by this family while on a later trip to Indonesia NOT to return to the Netherlands (post Nazi-Invasion), which saved this family from the war. Other footage submitted but not shown were friends and families at dinners and birthday parties (some survived the war, others didn’t and died in camps); Facilitated Communications (Helen Keller-style) with a blind-deaf child; trips to pre-war Paris and Switzerland and even a pre-war cruise to Madeira via Holland America.

OLGA CN Tower #1: Olga was the skycrane helicopter used to complete construction of the CN Tower (lifted the communications antenna/equipment) in Toronto in 1976.

Toronto from the 1960s through the 80s: This submitter familiarized herself with her new home of Toronto by taking her camera all over town filming the city and events. The film shown was ‘Christmas by Night – Christmas 1963’ and has beautifully composed shots of neon signs and lights all over Toronto, which were reminiscent Hollywood style montages of NYC’s Broadway. Other films submitted but not shown the opening of Yorkdale (Toronto’s first major shopping mall which at the time of opening was the world’s largest enclosed mall in the world), a trip on the Concord in 1983; opening of Toronto’s International Airport 1st Terminal 1 in 1964 (has since been demolished); and a Northern Ontario in Moosenee in 1964.

Ugandan films: None of these films had been seen by this submitter since he fled Uganda in 1972 when Idi Amin took power and forced all Ugandan citizens of Indian and Asian decent to leave. He still had the camera but had to leave the projector back in Uganda. The film shown was his wedding film, and apparently, one of the only 3 things that his wife took with her when they fled was the wedding dress worn that day.

Other films submitted but not shown were of tanks and other scenes in downtown Kampala (post Idi Amin’s take over but before the expulsion); Ugandan and Goan (India) homesteads and family; Pope JP II Papal visit to Boston (1979); various aspects of the family’s life in Toronto. Interesting narrative films: Though we were unable to this gentleman’s films due to length and condition (many had shedding mag stripe), this gentleman shot many films and even recreated some James Bond style movies (often post release of a new Bond film), starring himself. Various famous events and people: Submitted by a retired professional photographer from the Toronto Star (newspaper), this gentleman often took his movie camera on assignment for use when not on officially business. Events/images captured contained former Prime Minister of Canada Pierre Elliot Trudeau and his wife Margaret on an official trip to former Soviet Union in 1971 and footage from the 1976 Montreal Olympics. Shown on HMD was the opening of the 1967 Pan-Am games in Winnipeg, MB (images of Prince Phillip and PM Lester B. Pearson in attendance); the funeral of Can. Gov. Gen. Georges Vanier (1967); aerial shots of Toronto taken from the CHUM (Toronto radio station) traffic helicopter – upon the opening of the heliports on the Toronto Island in 1965; and All Star Hockey footage from the former Czechoslovakia in 1966.

Hansen Boon Riverview- Sturgeon Falls: This B&W 16mm film was shot in northern Ontario (NW of Thunder Bay) in 1948. The submitter’s father took a position post-war as a bookkeeper at a lumber mill and this film contains images of old steam trains, the mill, horses lugging trees by sleigh and various people and places in the area.

Wilderness Holiday ‘61/ Family Rosh Hashanah 1961: This film won the audience vote for ‘Best Home Movie of the Day’ for the grand prize of a film to video transfer donated by Photoplays. Shot in South Africa in 1961 it contains landscapes and scenery of the ‘Wilderness’ (national park area SE of Capetown); family riding ostriches (and falling off of ostriches) and much more. Amazingly this film was one of the only things that survived a house fire 2 years ago in which the family lost everything else. This reel was recovered in the basement by one of the firefighters. Having never seen the film, the submitter said he hoped to see images of his father, (who died when the gentleman was 21). Almost immediately post saying this during his commentary, his father appear on the screen, choking-up both the gentleman and thus the rest of the audience.

Die Thomander: Submitted on DVD, this DVD contained home movies shot by local filmmaker Fritz Spiess during his youth (in Germany) as part of a boy’s choir. Mr. Spiess was a big part of the filmmaking community of Toronto and one of the founding members of the Canadian Society of Cinematographers. This film was put together using home movies he shot as a young choir boy, which were professionally transferred a few years ago (no longer projectable). Though not shown on our HMD, it is definitely worth mentioning due to the significance of the filmmaker in the Toronto community. Conn Smythe footage: For any of you who are hockey fans, this gentleman was the man who was the builder of Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto (former home of the Toronto Maple Leafs) and the principle owner of the team from 1927 to 1961. The woman who submitted this footage was the family nurse who travelled with Mr. Smythe throughout the years. This woman also submitted footage from other travels with other patients (not shown on HMD) with whom she travelled to various places around the world.

Interesting submission to possibly keep an eye on: One submission not programmed was a commercial film (1-minute trailer) by a local filmmaker who purchased an estate of home movies on eBay, transferred the films to video (donating the originals to an archive in California) and who has created a Feature to which apparently Gilbert Gottfried has been signed to do the voice-over (and for which the filmmaker was looking to get distribution). Apparently he has worked with family in obtaining the prerequisite clearances to use their home movies in his film. Though we were unable to show the film for our HMD, the trailer submitted was intriguing (also viewable at pubiclicemovie.com (title not necessarily related to film content or context).


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.


November 13, 2007


November Home Movie Day event in Jackson

Jen Sidley of the Mississippi Department of Archives and History reports on the people and the films at the event she hosted on November 3

Robbie brought in footage of a 1953 African American river baptism near Jonestown, MS. The reel also depicted crop harvesting of cotton and corn and children picking pumpkins.

David brought in a box of films from his days teaching film at Alcorn State, a black college in Mississippi (late 70s to early 80s). Films depicted student life – working, studying, at leisure. Some reels were out-takes from student-made films. One reel depicting African American
quilting. One reel (S8 w/ sd) of Son Thomas sculpting in clay, singing the blues and playing guitar ca. 1982

Henry had always heard the story of how his mother dated the quarterback, and when the team (Duke) went to the Rose Bowl in 1938, the westbound train stopped in Hattiesburg, MS to pick her up. Duke lost the game, but Henry’s mother got to ride on a float in the parade. Unbeknownst to him until HMD, he had a film of her in the parade and on the train heading back east.

Rita brought in several reels of 16mm from the late 60’s depicting the South, especially Louisiana, New Orleans, and small towns in Mississippi, including footage of Braxton, MS after a hurricane.

Mary saw her children playing in Troy, NY from 1957

Heather watched her first Christmas (ca. 1980).

Greg had some student films he shot at UMass-Amherst during the late 70s. Greg describes them as avant garde and experimental. Scenes depicted were from western Massachusetts in the winter and around Boston in the spring (including the farmer’s market).

Greg also gets the award for best comedy for his student film, a fictional short called “The Great Banana Epic.” We watch as youth purchase and ingest bananas, then become susceptible to their mind-altering effects, until the diligent gun-toting rabbi comes along to straighten them out, dispose of the bananas, and cart the youth off in a boxy yellow 3-wheeled automobile. According to Greg, the car “inspired the whole thing.”

A few patrons brought in films that had mold on them. Mississippi is rather hot and humid, and we had a good talk about the effects of mold on film and how to deal with it.

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December 3, 2007


HMD Report: Ottawa’s Inaugural Event

This report on Ottawa’s first Home Movie Day event—“a resounding success”!—comes courtesy of co-host Nick Nguyen:

Saturday August 11, 2007 marked the fifth anniversary of International Home Movie Day, and the nation’s capital joined alongside venues across the world in celebration with the launch of Home Movie Day Ottawa (HMDO). Under the joint direction of Tina Harvey and Nick Nguyen, the inaugural event united local film conservators and archivists with artists from the Available Light Screening Collective to stage an evening exhibition that presented spectators with a curated programme of home movies contributed by the community.

Over twenty-five films spanning 8mm, Super 8mm, and 16mm gauges were donated as a result of an open call for submission in advance of the event, and each was inspected by conservator Andre Larivière to determine their suitability for public projection. It was with great disappointment and regret that heavy shrinkage prohibited the screening of a majority of reels that promised a cascade of fascinating testimonials, ranging from street footage of Toronto and Ottawa from the early 1940s, to a wedding that took place in Holland in the late 1930s. Time constraints also prohibited the projection of several 400 foot 8mm reels of visits to Jerusalem, Guatemala, Mexico and Lebanon from the 1950s.

Seven films were eventually selected for HMDO, each meant to be representative of the different formal practices associated with home movies. These films, depicting family anniversaries in Sarnia (1960/1973), family cross-country trips from Ontario to Disneyland (1960), the public occasion of a Space Shuttle landing at Uplands Airbase (1983), travelogues from San Francisco (1958) and Africa (1975), and eyewitnesses to the historical event of the Solidarity strikes led by Lech Walesa in Gdasnk (1980/81) were screened in an order that deliberately asked participants to challenge their familiar assumptions about who made them, who they were made for, and how they can be understood across a spectrum of different notions of privacy.

Club SAW provided an ideal venue for HDMO, as its cozy confines afforded an intimate space that was perfectly suited to encourage a participatory atmosphere for the crowded room. Backed by an ambient soundtrack of period music, each home movie was introduced by its donor as a way to establish their relationship to the reel and to provide context to the events depicted.

For many donors, HMDO represented the first time that they had seen these films. Their reactions and exclamations provided a running commentary to the onscreen action that was supplemented by questions and observations from the audience that drew out additional details of family histories and relationships alongside expressions of recognition and shared experiences. This unique dynamic created a special triangular conversation between the donor, the projected images, and the spectators that drew attention to the social function of home movies, which became the most effective framework to reinforce the importance of their preservation.

The conclusion of the screenings continued these conversations as audience members mingled with the HMDO organizers to share more information about what they had just experienced and what can be done to ensure that such experiences persist. As an outreach event that offered the community a space to contemplate home movies within broader contexts of personal memory, public history and film preservation., Home Movie Day Ottawa was a resounding success that was appreciated by all involved.

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October 20, 2008


Home Movie Day Los Angeles photos

Home Movie Day 2008

As the field reports start to come in, we’ll lead off with a photo from Home Movie Day Los Angeles, which was actually held in nearby Culver City this year. And yes, that’s 9.5mm. Nice…

This photo is part of a set of Home Movie Day L.A. photos, which are in turn a part of the larger Home Movie Day Pool on Flick. If you have photos from this year’s event, please, add them to the pool – log in to your Flickr account and click here to contribute to the pool.

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November 2, 2008


HMD Report: Grand Rapids, Michigan

We’ve been a little remiss in getting reports from Home Movie Day events posted here, but we’ll start now, with a report from Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Event Venue: Koning Microcinema, a 60-seat screening space inside the historic Wealthy Theatre, operated by the Grand Rapids Community Media Center

Event time (screening): 1:30 – 4:30

Event time (inspection): 1:00

Total Audience: ~30 – 35

Number of people bringing films: 4, plus orphaned films provided by the coordinators to fill out the screening

Films screened by Gauge:
8mm: 15
Super 8: 12 (3 with sound)
16mm: 0
9.5mm: 0
Video: 0, although we did have a gentleman come wanting to show his video of home movies; we weren’t showing video at this event, however

Volunteers (# and names will be acknowledged in CHM annual report unless otherwise indicated):
5 volunteers:
Jennifer Proctor
Margo Greenlaw
George Wietor
Paul Wittenbraker
Sean Kinney

Press (pre-event; no post-event anticipated):

Two interviews on WGVU radio (NPR affiliate): The Morning Show (10/15), Mid-Day West Michigan (10/16)

Grand Valley State University’s Lanthorn

Revue blog

Grand Rapids’ Public Library blog, The Atrium

Facebook event page>

Home Movie Day – West Michigan home page

Report submitted by Jennifer Proctor, proctor.jennifer@gmail.com

Some memorable films:

  1. Lovely double exposed 8mm film of British Columbia from ~late 1940s/early 1950s, featuring families in upscale clothing and images of nature, including a spectacular superimposed image of a windmill against people walking. Film found in a dumpster in Grand Rapids; creators unknown.
  2. Home Movie Day coordinator Margo Greenlaw’s sound Super 8 films, shot by her mother in Knoxville, Tennessee. In particular, from the early 1980s, a scene of her brother and her in the kitchen as Margo sings Halloween songs while her mother talks to her, and young Margo displays a bit of a rambunctious side. Margo is also coiffed in “Annie”-like curls. Garnered great laughter from the audience.
  3. A Super 8 orphan film from the 1970s of Christmas scenes, which includes a family hamming it up for the camera, in particular by flashing their undies from under their robes.
  4. Gorgeous Kodachrome footage of a contributer’s grandfather at work in Japan, and tourist footage of Japan while there, from probably the 1950s. Some lovely moments of men in business suits – American and Japanese – laughing in front of the camera. This was the first time this contributer had seen these films, which, he said, helped him to better understand all the stories his family had told of his grandfather’s time in Japan.
  5. Another orphan film consisting of kids having fun riding on small motorbikes, followed by unusual and somewhat unnerving footage of a funeral. Label said Oklahoma, 1972.
  6. Perhaps the most moving of the event – a man brought films of his parents, who had passed away when he was young, so he was raised by his grandparents. One 8mm film from the 1970s featured footage of him as a young child riding on a toy fire truck, while we can see his grandfather’s (the cameraman’s) shadow on the ground. But, perhaps more moving, is another, longer 8mm reel that consists of 1940s-1950s footage of his mother as a young woman – this film is the only item he has from his parents to remind him of them. His mother is carefree and fun, playing with a dog, kicking her feet in the air as she lays on the grass. The contributer thought – but didn’t know for sure – that a brief shot of a sailor might have been his father. Lots and lots of footage of dogs – quite a dog-loving family! But mostly footage of people enjoying one another’s company, hugging each other, enjoying cookouts outside.

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HMD Report: San Francisco

The word on SF’s HMD from Stephen Parr:

As I may have mentioned in previous years, San Francisco is a difficult city to promote Home Movie Day. Sure, we get press, but unless we get major press (like last year and the first year) that reaches an older crowd, our primary audience consists of younger people who inhabit this city. For all practical purposes they have never seen film before.

In addition their parents may not have seen film either! We’ve made many outreach efforts to libraries, fraternal organizations and cultural groups but it’s time consuming with results coming more gradually. Because of this we generally draw small crowds to our film clinic who actually bring films. My goal then for HMD and the San Francisco Media Archive is to increase overall awareness of home movies by showcasing our home movies and hear from those we encourage to bring films to the screening.

This year we offered free admission to the formal screening for those who brought films.

HMD 08 drew some phone queries and a sprinkling of people to our clinic (2) and 3 or 4 more who brought films to our screening event (3 16mm, 2 Super 8mm films).
Our screening primarily showcased our NFPF preserved home movies in a multi-projector setting. I screened much of the NFPF preserved works (Highlights from “San
Francisco in Cinemascope,” Building of the Golden Gate Bridge,” Chinatown in the 1940s, my film compilation of world-wide home movies “The American Eye: From San Francisco to Samoa”) on the center video projector and operated 2 other 16mm projectors which I projected films on either side of the large screen, oftentimes overlapping or changing projection angles and screens.

The audience really enjoyed this and it allowed us to screen 3 times as much material from our archives than we would normally. Also while I’ve occasionally gotten help in past years I now do everything-write the press release, set up the room, take tickets,
inspect films and operate the projectors.

Highlights of films we screened included:

Bob Tartar, a local film enthusiast screened and donated a 800 ft reel of well shot 16mm B+W home movies from the mid1920s of Victoria, British Columbia and the Santa Barbara Fiesta and Parade (an annual event providing an education of the history, customs, and traditions of the American Indian, Spanish, Mexican, and early American settlers that comprise the cultural heritage of Santa Barbara).

David Gallagher, of the Western Neighborhoods Project (http://www.outsidelands.org/) screened and donated 50’ of 16mm Kodachrome film shot in the 1940s of Chinese-American athletic activities which took place at the Polo field in Golden Gate Park. The film features a brief shot of classic downtown San Francisco.

Kathy Bouvier, a friend of 30 years brought a film her father Ernest Kleinberg, a self taught filmmaker from Austria made for the Santa Fe Railway in 1957 entitled “San Francisco.” Shot in Kodachrome, it tells the story of the city’s topography, climate and role (long since past) as a shipping and industrial center. Additionally the film features a unique look at Italian, Chinese and German cultural activities in San
Francisco as well. We closed the show with this pristine print. The film is featured in Rick Prelinger’s “The Field Guide to Sponsored Films.” It was an excellent contrast to the other San Francisco home movies we screened. Kathy promises to bring in more “personal” home movie type films made by her father sometime soon.

Attendance was about 20 though nearly everyone stayed for the complete 3 hour show.

We received additional calls from other interested people who I’ve been setting appointments with to inspect and view their home movies during the coming weeks.
While not as large an audience as last year I think this year’s audience was more involved and interactive, all of them promising to return for future screenings as well.

Stephen Parr
San Francisco Media Archive
275 Capp Street
San Francisco, CA 94110

The somewhat (as usual) inaccurate press in the SF Chronicle:

Home movies in S.F.
(From the San Francisco Chronicle, October 10, 2008)

Perhaps foreign or Hollywood movies are not your bag. If that’s the case, note that Saturday is Home Movie Day, “an international day celebrating home and amateur cinema-makers from around the world.” Amateurs and auteurs alike are encouraged to bring in their home movies – in 8mm, Super 8mm and 16mm formats – and videos for evaluation and screening from 1-5 p.m. to San Francisco Media Archive, 275 Capp St. in San Francisco.

Later on, from 8-11 p.m., the archive will show its greatest hits – “San Francisco in Cinemascope,” “Chinese American Communities in San Francisco” and “Welcome San Francisco Moviemakers” (all preserved by the National Film Preservation Foundation). The archive also will screen rare films of the building of the Golden Gate Bridge, the San Francisco State strike and more.

Admission to the screenings is free. The 8 p.m. curated screening is $10 (unless you’ve brought a movie to the earlier evaluation and screening). RSVP, as seating is limited, to archive@sfm.org or (415) 558-8117. For more information, go to www.sfm.org.

  • Tamara Strauss

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HMD Report: Raleigh, North Carolina

Thanks to Skip Elsheimer for his report on the Raleigh Home Movie Day Event.

Below is the report. In general, we had more volunteers and less attendees
this year, but that allowed us to watch more films that folks had brought.
We were so enthralled with the Kodachrome 16mm films that one woman brought,
we convinced her to go home and bring back more reels.

Everything ran very smoothly, in spite of me bringing in a wretched Kodak
presstape splicer to do 8mm splices. Can anybody suggest a better 8mm tape
splicing solution?

Event venue: North Caroline State University Caldwell G107

Event time (screening): 1-4pm

Even time (inspection): 1-4pm

Total audience: 45 (including volunteers); 28 without

Number of people bringing in films: 10

Number of films screened by gauge:

8mm: 21
Super 8: 4
16mm: 14
9.5mm: none
Video: none

Volunteers: 17

Volunteer Names: Skip Elsheimer, Germaine Fodor, Marsha & Devin Orgeron, Charlotte Walton,Mark Koyanagi, Kate Klutz, Paul, Ora Gelley, Bob Pence, Jim Alchediak, Arthur Hailey, Lisa & Ben Carter, Jerry Pemberton, Zach Finch, Danica Cullinen.

Special events/screenings: after HMD, event at the NC State Archives on October 23rd

Press: News 14 interview with Skip Elsheimer, Our State magazine profile, small blurb in Raleigh News & Observer Friday edition and in Raleigh’s Independent Weekly.

Home Movie Day 2007 (super 8)

B&W super 8 film of the previous year’s Home Movie Day.

Cathy’s birthday party (mcdonalds) (8 mm)

Cathy’s 5th birthday in 1955. Germany. Done by uncle in service. Rest of film in fifferent place

Wedding and Christmas time.(McDonalds?) (8mm)

1950s filming outside then inside at wedding table.

Sally’s 16mm

1941 film of Belmont NC, aerial footage, Peace college. Little girl in fairy costume at Peace college. Aerial shots are from a race between Belmont and Asheville NC

McDonalds: Chuck and Jeff (16mm)

Dover, Delaware? Looked like Germany. Cute footage of kid in bib overalls with dog. Footage of family in Burlington, NC.. footage of girl in a plaid dress playing with a corgi “the girl from Dover”

‘41 Beach Frankie, Dell, Reed. Myrtle Beach (16mm)

Cute ducks (audience reaction: awww), cherry blossoms; beach footage, frolicking; kids on swing (audience laughter); series of poses by little girls and hopping

Audience highly entertained.

Joseph & Alexina 50th anniversary (8mm)

Dim. crowd milling at lake; lake shots; folks milling about house & garden. Jump cut to snow. (Massachusetts?) More cold weather shots; mass at school. Christmas with fancy tree (“wow”s from audience); hilarious woman pointing at angel on mantel; more Christmas décor; more heavy snow

1943 wedding/summer/swimming/picnic

Julia & Pitney Stowe wedding (8mm)

Pitney in uniform; Mr. SP Stowe, textile man w/hearing aid; folks swimmin’; another cute kid.

Kate Klutz – Faith, NC, 4th parade, films by her brother w/Kate’s marching band (8 mm)

Umbrella Hat!!!; rebel flag; civil war guys; lots of good parade moments; clowns, American Legion, marching band, flag girls, Crescent Cloggers (big hit); classic cars

McDonald’s (8mm)

Kid doing the dead man’s float, snow on the ground. skiing

First film production class taught 1979 (super 8)

Speech communication department. Audio! Classroom filing up with students, film shown, back to lecturing. Was using an intervalometer (3 frames per second). Chinon camera.

Family film-maybe taken by grandfather or mother (super 8)

Group getting on bus, Europe. Filming from moving vehicle shot of everyone sleeping on the bus, barge on water, great footage of landscape from boat. Audience member identified The Rhine Bavaria (?). shots of French farmer’s market in town, Belgium? Switzerland? Graveyard with people creeping around, cuts to some castle then Versailles. Guy drinking on deck, flower gardens, Europe, aerial (or mountainside?) shot of farmland, cows, bird flying

McDonalds’ Burlington Christmas (8mm)

Shiny new bicycle, globe, typewriter? Gumball machine, viewfinder

Cary’s 4th and Chip “bath” (8mm)

Christmas time, someone got a guitar, ,a good snow outside in AtwaterCalifornia. Dog chasing snow, dancing, barking.

Marilyn’s dad (Niagara falls?) 16mm

1950s footage of falls, family posing in front,

Ron’s family 16mm

Watched upside down and backwards. Jumping in lake, sitting lakeside

Jim’s 1987 animation class project (super8)

Man watching TV, old commercials, mouth shows up on guy’s stomach, then he makes pillsbury’s cookies and two pieces of dough turn into eyes horrified by the fate of the dough. We couldn’t see the rest (due to splices breaking) but Jim told us that the cookie eyeballs roll onto the floor and gather themselves and roll away.

1953 Marilyn’s first trip to Niagara Falls (16)

Marylin’s grandma was there, Marylin’s dad probably shot the film. The falls, horse and buggy ride.

Buffalo NY (8mm) “Children” 1958

Twins in baby pool, kids in lake, pony rides,

Morehead 1958 (16mm)

Camp Morehead at Morehead City, NC. Archery, knuckleball, sailboats, camp is now a housing development. Kids sailing at Bogue sound.

Buffalo “Wedding” (8mm) (Peg & Frank)

lilac bush; folks preparing outdoor food; rice throwing; twin flower girls; decorated car

Sally: ROTC commission ‘66 (16mm)

Davidson College; outdoor ceremony; band conductor gets a laugh

Kate Klutz – farm, Pyramid, Wendy (8mm)

Artfully lit cat; Kate’s sister & brother-in-law; glimpse of pyramid house!!!; folks in pool; tiny shaggy donkey; goats

Briarcliff (Myrtle Beach) 1949 (16mm)

Crabbing & fishing: Tommy & Johnny as boys;

Marching band ‘61; Thanksgiving or Xmas (8mm)

Youngstown: Marching band at night; big dinner; parade

1944 Tommy Hunter (16mm)

Birthday party w/little kids

K Klutz: ? Raleigh & Kitt Creek Rd – Cisco Campus (8mm)

Mid-80’s: CharGrill in snow! Monster Truck; state Capitol grounds; historical monuments; chicken hugging out at Cisco Campus; other fowl.

1942: snow Martha and Adele 8mm

Girls with balloons & swing; reversible race doll; snow-covered manor in Belmont. Kids in snow, eating snow.

1960 Marilyn graduates Youngstown Ohio 8mm

Women in white, men in black. Principal Mr. Parenti. Marilyn is valedictorian, speech upsets the John Birch society. Footage of tossing caps and folks running. Ohio University parade/homecoming. Big John (jfk), feet, roadrunner float.

1947 Ann and Ray at Silver Springs, Hunter at Charleston 16mm

Swimming, lounging-on a riverboat-cuts off.

Kate Klutz carnival 8mm

Footage from moving vehicle, Faith 4th of july fair. Rides: octopus, swings,
ferris wheel, caterpillar, footage taken from ON the ferris wheel

More Marilyn Ohio University parade 8mm

Floats: punch card computer, dachsund circling fire hydrant, smoking frog,
“sneak up on the reds”, preying mantis “prey on Miami”, lots more floats, marching band

Beach 1944 16mm

Jumping waves, cuts to same kid at sandbox, inland home

Klutz 1988 Red and Blue Pyramid 8mm

Sunbathing by the above ground pool, screen porch that joined the two pyramids. Blue pyramid they lived in, playmobile figurines lined up, pokey, a smurf, pyramids seen from a distance. Faith 4th of July parade, carnival set-up

Marilyn’s dorm Ohio U 8mm

Pair of suited men walking on Ohio U campus, Jefferson Hall, cleaning a classic car, Marilyn’s house, carving a turkey,

16mm May 1945 Tommy 7

Park/lake, Tallahassee beach, back to park

Flood of Tom Bigby River (1945) Columbus, Mississippi (8mm)

Shot by grandfather: b&w deep flood waters; kids & dog posing

New Orleans & State Park 1947 (8mm)

Street scenes; kids posing in their Sunday best; kid mowing lawn; playground

16mm May 1947 Johnny walking

Three kids, one is Johnny, scooter, football laughs

St. Ignes/Castle Rock, MI (8 mm)

Nice landscapes, upper peninsula looking at lower peninsula; cute kids; lakeside fun

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HMD Report: Long Island

Dylan Skolnick’s report from the premiere of Home Movie Day on Long Island:

Our first-ever Home Movie Day went pretty well. Everyone seemed to have a good time, and amazingly, despite some last minute scares, all of the equipment worked. Like Skip, I had a problem with splicing regular 8mm film. I had to improvise a splice (which came out beautifully) with Super 8 splicing tape, a pair of scissors, some painter’s tape to hold the film in place, and a knife.

Event venue: Cinema Arts Centre

Event Time: 2-4pm (screening)

Event Time: 12noon – 2pm (inpection)

Total audience: 25

People bringing in Films: 10

Numbers of films screened by Gauge:

8mm: 5

Super 8mm: 4

16mm: 5

Press: Articles in Newsday and the Huntington News.

I am not a good record keeper, so I will have to summarize a few of the best films shown.

Highlights among the films were: Amazing black and white 16mm film shot in 1928 of Atlantic City by a man who was evidently part of a group called the Amateur Cinema League, lovely 16mm color film of a young woman’s 1952 trip on the Queen Mary to make a pilgrimage to Lourdes, a great color super 8mm film of a Greek-American girl’s 7th birthday, and a cool super 8mm color film of a family vacation in Florida that included a show of trained monkeys.

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HMD Report: Mobile, Alabama

Event Venue: The Crescent Theater

Event time (screening): 1pm ? 2:30pm

Event time (inspection): Sat. Oct. 11th, 1pm ? 3pm

Total Audience: 40+ Number of people bringing films: 5

Films screened by Gauge: 8mm: 7 (six were small reels ?3min ?one was large ? 25min)

Super 8: 1 16mm: 2 9.5mm: 0 Video: 0 (did not accept video)

Volunteers: 6 Gideon Kennedy (organizer), Dr. Richard Ward (projection), Catherine Duke (flyer design and contribution of home movies), Charlie Smoke (Mobile Arts Council), Max Morey (theater owner), Albert Robinson (sound),

Special events/screenings: We’re considering a follow-up in one of two ways: A retrospective of a local documentarian, Manning Spottswood, who made 200+ documentaries in, around, and about Mobile, AL for over four decades. As a finale, we screened his 1954 piece, “Azalea Trails of Old Mobile,” a 15minute, 16mm color/sound documentary about the city. We have access to several other of his works. Though technically not home movies, they are now interesting documents of the times in which they were made. We’re also considering showing home movies year-round at the start of feature films shown at the Crescent Theater to highlight the history and unique place of this newly renovated art-house theater.

Press (pre-event and post-event):

  1. Lagniappe ?Oct. 7, 2008 (alternative newspaper) “You Ought to be in Pictures
  2. Zalea – Oct. 2008 issue (monthly magazine)
  3. “Declaration of Independents” pg. 34 -36 (print only)
  4. Mobile Press-Register ? Oct. 17, 2008
  5. Comcast PortCity 6 show “In Mobile” Post-event airing TBA

We had several more films than these (kids’ birthday late ’40s, adults playing charades early ’60s, etc.), but the ones listed below both received the best reactions and have the most general interest (especially the last!).”

Mardi Gras Mobile Feb. 22 1966 Conception & St. Francis” contributor: the Duke family Depicts Mardi Gras parades, including floats, and the mystic society the Comic Cowboys, whose satirical signs make jokes about George Wallace, LBJ, and Beatniks. The family’s collection included several Mobile Mardi Gras, but this was one of the better depictions.

“Tobacco 1948” contributor: Janie Daugherty Depicts a tobacco auction in Kentucky in the mid-to-late 1940s. The contributor’s father was a tobacco auctioneer in the winters during that time. The contributor gave a lot of background to the tobacco industry then.

“Trip to Washington 1964” contributor: Janie Daugherty Depicts the Washington DC area in March or April of that year. Flags around all the monuments are at half-mast and the temporary site of the Eternal Flame for President Kennedy is seen, along with fresh wreaths and the guards keeping watch.

“Aug ‘84 Mobile to Atlanta ? time lapse” contributor: Frank Vogtner Frank Vogtner set his camera on the dash of his car, turned on the time-lapse function and then drove from Mobile to his father’s house near Atlanta. The entire five-hour trip is completed in 3 ½ minutes of screen time. There is a high-speed stop for gas and, upon arrival at his father’s home he slowed down the time lapse and captured the drive up to the garage, where his father briefly pops out to wave. This is then followed by a static shot of kids playing in a pool, presumably at the house.

Untitled Antarctic Exploration ? 1950s contributor: Melissa Spann The contributor dropped of four longer reels with us, two of which were approximately 30 min each in length, depicting a trip(s?) her father took while serving in the US Navy in the 1950s. He was aboard the naval expeditions to Antarctica, known as the Deep Freeze operations. Seen in the films are the USS Arneb (AKA 56), the USS Glacier (AGB-4), several other ships, helicopters, planes, a tractor sled, penguins (including the men on the ice playing with them), lots of frozen landscapes, men being hazed aboard the ship, on leave in New Zealand, etc. Really incredible stuff. Unfortunately, her father was unable to make the screening, but I intend to follow up with them and see if he is willing to get the films transferred and donated to some archive. The one of the four that we screened for the audience goes through about 20 minutes of various footage in the frozen blues of the landscape (including playing with penguins, the ship cracking through the ice, aerial shots of the ship, etc.) and then ends with a beautiful woman surrounded by vibrant colorful flowers and some various shots of presumably the New Zealand town they docked in after the expedition.

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HMD Report: Chicago

Event Venue: Chicago Cultural Center

Event time (screening): 6pm – 9:45pm

Event time (inspection): 3pm – 6pm

Total Audience: about 85 throughout the day

Number of people bringing films: 8

Films screened by Gauge:
8mm: about 2
Super 8: about 8
16mm: about 6
9.5mm: 2 reels brought in with projector. Was unable to screen. Guest donated pathe projector to CFA
Video: 0

Number of Volunteers: 6

Anne Wells and Andy Resek (organizers)
Danielle Kramer
Michelle Puetz
Collin Williamson
Nancy Watrous

Special events/screenings: 2

Press (pre-event and post-event): FOX Chicago TV promoted the event Friday evening. Chicago Magazine newsletter, various blogs and on-line event calendars.

This year we tried a couple of new things. Although walk-ins were welcome, we inspected films by appointment. This seemed to provide more opportunity to talk with people interested in the event beforehand. We could elaborate on the mission of this event one on one. We also had live music scheduled throughout the screening night. Two piano players and an electronic keyboard player divided the night with accompanying the films.

This accompaniment worked particularly well with some 1930s footage of a nudist camp in Germany. B/W footage of beautiful bodies swimming, playing badminton, playing leapfrog, running through the woods, and generally showing off for the camera. This footage was found amongst a guy’s parents’ estate. He was more than happy for us to screen this material. There was one roll of color shot later in Canada where his parents had started another nudist colony. It was quite strange to see an elaborate costume party at the camp with a few nude bodies mingling in the crowd, sometimes only wearing shoes and socks or Mexican straw hats. The music worked beautifully with the b/w footage. Only a little Wagner would have topped the moment. Apparently during this era, nudist camps combined with athletics was common in Germany.

Nick Osborn brought in some late 20s, and 40s footage of a single Japanese family posing for formal portaitures early and then 20 years later. Beautiful and funny footage.

Finally, a woman brought in her father’s amateur footage shot on 9.5 in the Ukraine – 1926 and 1929. She also found his pather projector in the attic. She donated the projector to CFA and we are going to direct her to Cololab to transfer the footage. We will help her with the shipping and assist her in the process.

This year was really fun though we missed our colleague Andy Uhrich who was stolen away by New York. Nevertheless, the event merited a shake up here in Chicago which is exactly what Andy and Anne did, Also free fresh rolls from Europe attracted a large crowd coming from other events in the Center.

Nancy Watrous
Director, Chicago Film Archives

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HMD Report: London, UK

Venue: Curzon Soho Cinema Bar
Event time: 12 – 5pm
Total audience: 40+ at the most at one time, but many throughout the day
Number of people bringing films: 7
16mm: 2 Super 8: 10
Standard 8: 26
9.5: 0
Video: 1 DVD (lent by the BFI, see below for info)
Film handling volunteers: Lisa Kerrigan, Jez Stewart, Tim Emblem-English,
Zamir Javed, Lucy Smee
Projectionists: Martin Robinson and Tom Adams
Helpers: Alice Sanders, Shira Peltzman and Lesley Ibbotson.

Pre-event publicity:

Article in FOCAL’s ‘Archive Zones’ magazine
Article in Practical Family History magazine
Critic’s choice in Time Out (though they got it wrong and said we were on Sunday…)

Preview in the Guardian Guide for both the London and Manchester events (again with mistakes though – they said it was a BFI event and that we were giving away prizes for the best films – both completely untrue! We had 2 volunteers who happen to work at the BFI, but who gave their own time and equipment, though BFI TV curator Lisa Kerrigan really put in a lot of effort in, borrowing films from the BFI and getting them to donate prizes, and the prizes were of course for HMD bingo!)

Londonist blog

Bioscope blog

Screen Heritage blog

Various London event websites

Many thanks to one of the attendees, Sarah Gordon (sister of Raleigh, NC HMD
organiser) who took really excellent photos of the day. She’s given me permission to put them on the flickr page, which I’ve done but they haven’t shown up yet.

London’s third, and my first, Home Movie Day was wonderful! It was somewhat
celebrity-filled as we showed films that starred Pope Paul VI, David Dimbleby, folk singer Deena Webster, Ann Todd and Rex Harrison.

The first collection brought in was by a well-to-do elderly gentleman. His five films ranged from 1940 to 1951, all in excellent condition. His family were friends with the Dimblebys (not sure how well known they are outside of the UK, so here is a < AHREF=”http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Dimbleby”>wiki link to Richard,
the father), and so there was film of a baby David Dimbleby (here on Flickr).

The others were family films, mostly filmed on his family estate in Buckinghamshire (with tennis courts etc. in back garden!). He told me his Dad was editor of 16mm Magazine. He was really excited as he hadn’t seen the films since the 60s. His 16mm film was of pupils from St. Paul’s school rowing on the Serpentine (< A HREF=”http://www.flickr.com/photos/8410583@N08/2959178852/”>see here) in 1951.

Captain Zip, who attended the last London Home Movie Day, brought three films, of London in the 60s, 70s and 2005. His Dad was a Beefeater at the Tower of London, so there was great footage of that in 1969, as well of a pageant on Tower Bridge. He also brought some along of Shaftesbury Avenue (where the venue is) in the 70s, featuring the Curzon cinema (then called the Columbia) and singer Deena Webster. The final film was of Routemaster buses in 2005, filmed in various places around London.

My great-uncle lent us his films but unfortunately couldn’t make the long journey into central London, but my Dad came to identify everyone in the films, and was surprised to see his 14-year-old self, and very happy to see his Nan. My favourite section was him and his cousin David playing football (soccer), followed by David’s 14th birthday, at which David gets the bumps (is this a worldwide custom or just UK??) and then dances with my great-grandma (but she clearly doesn’t want to dance). Also footage of family holidays in Majorca and Sardinia.

An Irish family, now living near London, brought films that the wife’s Dad made in the 70s in Ireland and Liverpool. There was some lovely footage of dancing polar bears at Liverpool Zoo. The Pope’s visit to Dublin in the 70s was a highlight. He swoops down in his helicopter and then parades down a main road in his Popemobile. Plus a fun family film at Christmas, and a wedding and a holy communion as well.

One family brought films mostly showing the activities of a Middle Ages re-enactment society, complete with authentic outfits and jousting competitions.

One young lady brought films made by her Dad in the 80s, starring herself and her brothers. Extremely cute footage of mealtimes and the children playing and swimming.

Tim, one of our volunteers, also brought a film from 1988, of a steam train journey through the countryside, which was very picturesque.

The BFI lent us one of David Lean’s home movies (viewing print on 16mm), thanks to volunteer Lisa Kerrigan who got permission from David Lean Films Ltd. Very beautiful, was sound but unfortunately when the BFI transferred the original, they didn’t include the soundtrack, so the viewing print’s silent. Shot in 1950 in Italy and mostly of Ann
Todd swanning about in dresses and bikinis
, and Rex Harrison’s also there, in the swimming pool.

Lisa also borrowed a 10min DVD compilation of the Passmore family films c. 1903 (http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/title/437757), which was really wonderful. The Passmore family had great larks it seems, jumping over tennis nets, blowing bubbles and having some very adorable children in bloomers and floppy hats kiss each other. But they were rich enough to make 35mm home movies in 1903, so maybe that had something to do with their carefree attitudes…

Home Movie bingo was competitively played by all. Great prizes were provided by mine and Lisa’s workplaces, the Wellcome Library and BFI (2 BFI imprint DVDs, 2 tickets to the IMAX, 3 Wellcome Collection books, plus 2 HMD 2009 calendars) and all went. Thanks to our bingo caller Lesley, who de-Americanised the bingo sheets from the Yahoo group files (our favourite square on the original being ‘Europe’…) and took charge of the bingo.

Except Tom, the Imperial War Museum projectionist, we were all first-timers at HMD, and everyone told me they had a wonderful time and would like to be involved next year.

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November 3, 2008


HMD Report: Nashville, Tennessee

Home Movie Day Nashville, from Kelli Hix:

Event Venue: Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum
Event time (screening and inspection): noon-5pm
Total Audience: @ 20
Number of people bringing films: 4

Films screened by Gauge:
8mm: 6
Super 8: 1
16mm: 5
9.5mm: 0
Video: 5 (DVD)

Volunteers): 4
Emily Happell
Tom Wills
Steve Hamilton
Kelli Hix

Special events/screenings: 0

Press (pre-event and post-event): The Nashville Scene

Report submitted by: Kelli Hix

We had a great screening at Home Movie Day this year? but all of the movies were brought by volunteers. Not one outside person came with film, much to our disappointment. Perhaps Nashville just ain’t a movie town.

That said, almost every film was a highlight.

Tom Wills, local film collector and all-around 16mm guru, brought in amazing footage, some of which crossed the line into semiprofessional film. My favorites:

Footage of Stars from the Grand Ole Opry on an airplane, and performing for the first time at the Astor Hotel (ca. 1950’s?) in New York City. The curator of the Moving Image and Sound Collection at the Hall of Fame was there, and yelled out “That’s my Dad!” much to our excitement. (His father was a member of the legendary Jordanaires).

Color footage of local stuntman “Crash Brown” riding his jalopies through flaming planks of wood and other obstacles. They did not wear protective gear back then (ca. late 1940’s?)

Emily Happell, Professional Home Movie Transfer-er, for whom every day is Home Movie Day, brought in some reels that had been abandoned at the lab, as well as a DVD of some transfers:

We could not stop watching the 6 reels of b+w 8mm footage of a family living near Chicago, IL, (ca. late 1940’s). The content was not unusual, but it was beautifully shot and the characters engaging.

Emily put together a DVD “reel” of Halloween shots, with great parades of children in elaborate costume. We laughed with, not at, the poor kid whose costume was a paper bag on his head.

Steve Hamilton, of a local transfer house, brought in DVD’s of some good stuff. The most impressive:

Color footage of the fire at the Maxwell Hotel, as in Maxwell
House Coffee.

The Hall of Fame allowed me to pick a few gems for screening.

Wedding footage, mid 1970’s, of an un-named female performer
getting married. Outdoors. On a cliff overlooking the sea. Wearing
medieval-hippie wedding gear. Super-8. This may be my favorite film in the

I also screened another of our faves (preserved last year by the
NFPF)?, 16mm footage of a day in the life of local radio station WLAC, ca.

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HMD Report: Toronto

Toronto – Home Movie Day presented by Homemade Movies

This year we held our Home Movie Day in the Junction neighbourhood of Toronto. 2008 is the 100th anniversary of the Junction and our event coincided with other celebrations being held throughout the year. The event was co-presented by the West Toronto Junction Historical Society and the Toronto Public Library – Annette branch.

Homemade Movies has held two previous events in the Junction which had great response from residents in the area (as part of our ongoing b.y.o.h.m. or “bring your own home movies” series). Home Movie Day continued this trend with many participants bringing large numbers of reels to look through.

Our Home Movie Day had both a repair clinic – where people were able to look through their collections, get help repairing films and select a reel to show – and a screening.

Some highlights included films of: the 1939 Royal Visit by George VI in Toronto – which was a sensation in Canada of the period, a collection of reels all documenting bullfights, colonial life in Malaya during the 50’s, a flooded town in rural Ontario, and a school presentation from the 20’s with kids performing strange kinds of marching and gymnastic routines outdoors.

This year we would like to thank Wren Jackson, Kim Jackson, Cool Hand Of A Girl, Siue Moffat, Images and especially Jonathan Culp for all their help.

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HMD Report: New York City

HMD’s New York event report is in:

Event Venue: Anthology Film Archives

Event time (screening): noon-5

Event time (inspection): noon-5

Total Audience: about 50

Number of people bringing films: 14

Films screened by Gauge:

8mm: 8

Super 8: 11

16mm: 4

9.5mm: 0

Video: 0

Katie Trainor (organizer), Diana Little, Yvonne Ng, John Passmore, Andy Uhrich, Zack Lischer-Katz, Kimberly Tarr, John Migliore, Walter Forsberg, Crystal Rangel, Erwin Verbruggen, Ioannis Papaloizou, Jenn Blaylock

plus Dan Streible and Howard Besser did a great job getting the audience talking!

Special events/screenings: no

Press (pre-event and post-event): listings in Time Out NY and The Village Voice

Report submitted by: Diana Little

Sorry this is so long. I’m making up for previous years.

Our screenings started out strong with a 16mm color film brought in by Robert Penn, whose father was a Baptist minister. Dr. Robert E. Penn, Sr. had shot the film while in Nigeria doing missionary work in 1966. My favorite sequence of the film featured some guys performing
logic-defying dance moves that must be seen to be believed. Unlike many of the films brought to HMD, this film showed signs of use and wear, and the contributor confirmed that it was likely shown frequently to congregations back home. We were all charmed when Robert Jr. called his 88-year-old mother to ask some questions about the events depicted in the film.

Natalia Fidelholtz’s film of her mother’s 3rd birthday at the family home in Buenos Aires was another crowd-pleaser from the early part of the afternoon. Little “Pinky” and her friends and relatives were entertained by a ventriloquist and trained dogs in this 16mm black-and-white film shot in 1952. Natalia, whose father was an ambassador, also brought us a 16mm sound film of Tricia Nixon lighting the Christmas tree at the Argentine embassy.

Our first Super8 of the day was contributed by a woman who thought we would be screening film of her uncle’s chicken farm near Seville, Spain. All were quite surprised then that the film, which had been found in her mother’s house in Spain, depicted her 1967 wedding in
Durham NC; she had had no previous knowledge that the film existed. She and her husband, who was also present, had celebrated their 41st anniversary just four days before, and if that wasn’t enough to get the audience worked up, the woman told us that she had just become a
U.S. citizen the previous day!

HMD volunteer Jenn Blaylock shared with us a Super8 film that she had shot on a cross-country road trip last summer. Incredibly, the film covers nearly a dozen states in one 50’ reel. Such American wonders as the Washington Monument and “South of the Border” are featured.
The Super8 continued with two films contributed by a regular NYC HMD attendee. The New York audience was especially entertained by the one that was shot in the squalid-looking graffiti-covered subways that existed in the 1980s.

Ken Brown wowed us for the second year in a row with two eye-popping films he had shot in 1984 on Fuji single 8. “Tiger Balm Gardens” was a beautiful exploration of a sculptural theme park in Hong Kong. In it the filmmaker exploited the ability of his camera to do lap-dissolves and multiple exposures. We liked it so much we watched it twice. Ken’s other film, the sometimes-pixelated record of a Boston Shriner parade, was equally dazzling.

Tim Graney brought in film of his family, including Home Movie Day co-founder Brian, from the 1970s. Brian gleefully getting up over and over after his father (the cameraman) pushes him back into the kiddie pool was my favorite part. Backyard kiddie pools seemed to be a theme this year.

HMD volunteer Kimberly Tarr’s contribution won the unofficial prize for most underwear (kids and adults!) in a single film, and baby Kim struggling to stay awake in her high chair was possibly the cutest moment in a day filled with films of adorable children. HMD volunteers really came through this year. Projectionist Walter Forsberg brought us two remarkable reels of Super8 he had shot in Iraq in 2003.

To fill in gaps between audience contributions, Katie Trainor brought in a collection of 8mm films purchased on e-bay. They seemed to have been shot by a single family over many years and covered many of the things we expect to see in American home movies: bbq-ing, swimming in the lake, Easter-egg hunts, vacation in Hawaii and ski and golf vacations, an amusement park, a military parade, and the changing foliage of many seasons. We felt a little bit closer to this anonymous family by the end of the afternoon, and their “classic” home movies provided a nice counterpoint to the spectacular cavalcade of films they accompanied.

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November 6, 2008


HMD Report: Urbana, Illinois

Number of people bringing films for repair/inspection: 5

Number of films screened: roughly two dozen, some from guests and
some from the U of I archives

Formats screened: 8mm, S8, and 16

Gate Count: 15 adults, at least 7 kids

Volunteers: 10

This was the third year for Home Movie Day in Urbana, Illinois. In the past we’ve held it at WILL, the NPR/PBS member station for Champaign-Urbana. This was a fun building to use because we screened the films in the television studio, which was fun for the audience, but parking was a challenge because this was on campus. This year, we held Home Movie Day in the Urbana Free Library in downtown Urbana.

One of our volunteers, Emma Lincoln, brought Super 8 films from her own family’s home movies to supplement what our guests brought, and we also pulled out several 16mm films from the University of Illinois Archives. These archival films were a hit in years past and people enjoyed them this year as well. We showed several newsreels from the 1940s-1950s about U of I history, including (locally) famous sports events and stars, the construction of various university buildings, and some wonderful “puff pieces” about the U.

For the kids, we had Home Movie Day coloring books. We also had a set of rewinds with 16mm clear leader and sharpies so kids could make Len Lye-style “frameless animations,” which we then projected. The finished film was donated to the Champaign County Archives, which is housed in the Urbana Free Library. The kids’ table was a BIG hit. The young people (and their parents) had a blast learning how film works, making their own animations, and seeing them projected.

As for the adults HMD guests – we didn’t get very many. We got a fair amount of interested foot traffic – people who would drop in to see what was going on – but we only got 3 or 4 people with their own films to share. While we recognize that any community event should emphasize quality of interactions over quantity, there was such a steep drop in interest over the past 3 years that it seems like we might “rest” this community next year or possibly fold HMD into a larger event. This is a fairly small community and it might be that we’ve hit most of the people who would want to participate so we may want to hold off a bit to build interest. We haven’t decided yet.

We had inspections from 10 to 11 and then projected films from 11 to 3. We had a fair amount of press, both in print and on-air (I did an interview on WILL’s “Afternoon Magazine” in the week leading up to HMD, and Anke Voss, head of the Champaign County Archives, also publicized it on a community-access TV program she took part in).

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HMD Report: Roanoke, Virginia

Thanks to Ashley Maynor for her report on Roanoke’s first Home Movie Day this year:

Our event took place today (Nov. 1st) due to the venue’s scheduling conflicts with the official day. I posted my full report as a blog post.

As you can read, we had a great event. Last year I purchased two Bolex 18-5 projectors on eBay—one for 8mm and one for Super8—and they are still working beautifully! For next year, we’re hoping to host the event at a local retirement home to try to have a larger built-in audience and attract more people who own films. There’s so much interest but a lot of seniors aren’t willing/able to get out and drive for the event (or navigate downtown parking).

My only wish would have been for a better set of film rewinds. Anyone have any leads on where to get 8mm/Super8 models on the cheap?

Many thanks to Home Movie Depot and Pro8mm for their donations to this year’s event!

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HMD Report: Hanover, New Hampshire

John Tariot sends in the event report for HMD Hanover, with bonus lyrics:

My apologies for not getting this in sooner – life is somewhat complicated by the fact that I am bouncing back and forth between Aspen, CO and New Hampshire for the next several months- but, here it is, our first report in probably a couple years! A brief aside: I plan on attempting an HMD-style event in Aspen in early 2009, as there seems to be both some colorful history, and some people/groups that would be “into it,” including a local filmmaker that produces Super8 wedding movies, the Aspen Historical Society, and the Aspen State Teachers’ College, the latter recently put on an interesting event that merged history and amateur film: “Civics 101: Freak Power Film Night – A film/video exploration of the 70’s Revolution in Aspen.” More Aspen to follow in a few months, hopefully.

Without further ado:

Event Venue: The Howe Library

Event time: 11:00 AM – 4:00 PM (combined check-in, inspection, screening)

Total Audience: 15

Number of people bringing films: 8

Films screened by Gauge:

8mm: 6

Super 8: 6

16mm: 5

9.5mm: 0

Video: 1 DVD

Volunteers: Bruce Posner, Sukdith Punjasthitkul, John Tariot, April Andrews

Sponsors: The Howe Library, Cine Salon, Film Video Digital

Special events/screenings: For our 5’th HMD, we featured “Hanover 1947” on DVD; produced by Dartmouth College, and presented by Barbara Sagraves, Head, Preservation Services, Dartmouth College Library. Dartmouth maintains the film original, recently made an acetate-to- polyester preservation copy , and generated a 10-bit uncompressed digital video file to archive as well. We watched an access copy on DVD, and saw downtown Hanover little changed in some ways, and life on campus changed a great deal. While not a “home movie,” in the truest sense, and not even on film (usually forbidden!) it nonetheless gave us a view of downtown’s past, and interesting discussion of film preservation.

Throughout the day, John Tariot projected several orphaned films of local interest: amateur footage of Dartmouth College’s “Woodsmens’ Weekend,” the Lake Morey Inn, a White Mountains vacation, and a Vermont lake vacation in the early 1930’s, featuring a well-to-do family’s lake outing with the chauffeur rowing their rowboat.

Press (pre-event and post-event): articles in the 2 local papers, the Valley News and the Connecticut Valley Spectator prior to the event. The Spectator did a story the following week as well.

Some film highlights: Richard Fedorchak brought Super8 films and a projector, and showed 3 films he made in the 1970’s, with accompanying soundtrack being played back on boombox. Made with a unique directorial and editorial style, these went well beyond the Christmas/ Birthday/BBQ/Parade fare common to many home movies. The films featured a quite elderly patient who loved ice cream (Rich is a nurse), a meditation on tabletop hockey and winter on the ocean, and a big dance number featuring a couple who may or may not be from a mental institution- dancing to the band 10cc’s “The Film of My Love” (Lyrics below. With a line like “With a love that is true In cinemascope forever” I simply had to include them).
Betsy Eaton brought in 16mm films of her grandfather’s which featured
some cute, 1930’s-era boys and girls playing at a summer camp.

The “surprise” of the day was 1 Super 8 film that attendee Inger McEwen believed to be of her wedding, but instead turned out to be a Super8 copy of family film made in Sweden dating back to 1927. We believe the copy was made by shooting the projected image of the original, format unknown. The originals are apparently being held in the archives of a newspaper in Sweden, and featured, among many scenes, King Gustav of Sweden playing tennis.

Lyrics to “The Film of My Love” by 10cc

Co-starring you
And co-starring me
Starring us both together
The film of my love
Will travel the world
Forever and ever and ever
A back lot romance
A scripted affair
The screenplay a blessing from heaven
We’re gone with the wind
On the Orient Express
To join the Magnificent Seven

The film of my love
Will travel the world
And travel the whole world over
The film of my love
Will travel the world
Over and over and over
The film of my love
Will travel the world
Over and over and over
Over and over and over again
Over and over and over

A close-up of yours
A long shot of mine
Superimposed together
I’ll zoom in on you
With a love that is true
In cinemascope forever

A clapper board kiss
There’s an Oscar in this
A hit or a miss whatever
A box office wedding
A premier for two
We’ll be on location forever

When Pathe recall
The thrill of it all
They’ll edit us both together
A legend a classic
An epic of love
Captured on film forever
A lasting embrace
That time can’t erase
Let them censor the wind
Or the weather
The film of my love
Will conquer the world
Forever and ever and ever

The film of my love
Will travel the world
And travel the whole world over
The film of my love
Will travel the world
Over and over and over
The film of my love
Will travel the world
Over and over and over
Over and over and over again
Over and over and over
Over and over and over

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HMD Report: Los Angeles, California

The 6th annual Los Angeles HMD was accomplished only through the organizing efforts of Leah Kerr, Director of Archives at the Mayme Clayton Library & Museum (MCLM), and Academy staff Fritz Herzog and Lynne Kirste.

While eager & willing volunteers were assembled at the ready, public participation of about 25 people was low as a result of reducing PR based on last year’s record crowd at the Academy’s Linwood Dunn Theater. Discussion thus arose among several volunteers about how to transfer hosting and publicity preparation for HMD 2009 to an eager group of volunteers—-perhaps drawn from members of UCLA’s AMIA student chapter. Given the camaraderie, conversation, and connection made among volunteers, it seems a likely fit for students to sharpen old skills, develop new ones, and network with veterans in the moving-
image-archive profession.

The change of LA host-site venue to the MCLM in Culver City (http://www.claytonmuseum.org/) was refreshingly informal. Avery Clayton, son of MCLM founder Mayme Clayton, was on hand to describe his mother’s one-woman initiative to establish the largest privately-held collection of African-American historical materials in the world by collecting more than 30,000 rare and out-of-print books and 1700 moving-image titles in the course of her career as a USC and later UCLA librarian.

Despite low turn-out, HMD2008 again provided the opportunity to assure a small gathering of folks how their films represent irreplaceable 20th-Century historical documents. Significantly, several of the day’s final films yielded a welcome response from those gathered within the MCLM. These included several 8mm films (possibly shot by a “Mrs. Penn of Los Angeles”) which Spencer Lee purchased at a swap meet and which captured moments of 1950s African-American life, styles, and social customs.

The value of these images rang out as Clayton Avery and a member of the Culver-City Genealogy Society attempted to identify the locations of a YWCA in front of which handsomely-appointed African-American women walked according to the cues and prompts of some unknown, off-screen amateur cinematographer. Perhaps Adams & Western? And the next reel labeled “Conference outside of church”—was it the First Baptist Church, or African Methodist Episcopal (AME)?

A third reel from Spencer projected screen-filling close-ups of a male Asian guest paying a visit to the Penn family—an intimate gathering which was perhaps a consequence of relationships that developed between African-Americans and Asians interred in “War Relocation Camps” during WWII. In light of the positive feedback, Spencer agreed to submit to the MCLM copies of the 10 reels he purchased at swap . Additionally, he agreed to provide as much identifying information about “Mrs. Penn” as he could gleam from the box in which the reels were purchased. Thus begins a search (by some future unknown researcher) to document as much as can be known about the reels. Research and social documentation aside, throughout the day Dino Everett’s 9.5mm films provided fascinating journeys into a 1930s British hobbyist’s storytelling—even told via an early split-screen effect. Watching the charming play of British school days and leap-frogging vacationers, long-passed lives & recreations were renewed on a big screen thanks to Dino’s generous provision of 9.5mm projectors. Another international contribution of the day was gorgeous footage from Peruvian and Chilean trips Eva Honegger’s grandfather made during the 1940s.

Returning to the colonies’ 8mm/16mm, slices of quotidian American life rolled out from East-Coast relatives of Trisha Lendo (Pennsylvania), Candace Lewis (New Jersey/Florida), and Lance Watsky (New York). From the west coast, Dolores Dace took us to southwest Wyoming in the 1960s and 1970s, while several of Midori Endo’s 22 reels transported us to 1950s Japanese-American Los Angeles. Staying local again, Leah Kerr’s 8mm brought us to Pomona drag racing at the turn of the 21st century, and both Larry Skuce and Rich Borony’s amateur small-gauge contributions served to remind us of celebrities at our backdoor and beck-and-call here in Tinseltown.

Other reminders of Tinseltown included two additional Spencer-Lee contributions—one a circa-1980 special-effects/makeup-artist demo reel which was very fitting for Halloween, and a second 1930s romp of costumed revelers—as well as Satchel-Paige footage from the Academy’s own home-movie collection which was screened thanks to Lance Watsky’s provision of digital projection equipment.

For their time & effort, we thank the following ace volunteers:

From the MCLM, Avery Clayton, Rebekka Bernotat, Leah Kerr, Dave Monroe, Janis Nelson, Deborah Taylor, Steve Bailey and George (the photographer), From Culver City Historical Society: Julie Lubo Cerra, Karen Coyle , Stuart Freeman, Joy Jacobs, and Fred Yglesias.

From AMPAS: Brian Drischell, Joey Guercio, Fritz Herzog, Jessi Jones, Lynne Kirste, and Brian Meacham.

From UCLA, Shiraz Bhathena (MIAS), Amy Jo Damitz (MIAS), Dino Everett (FATA), Jere Gudlin (FATA), Marita Klements (MLIS), Trisha Lendo (MIAS), Candace Lewis (FATA), Esther Nam (MIAS), Leah Wagner (MIAS), and Lance Watsky (MIAS).

From The ONE Archive, Loni Shibuyama, and from Film Technology, Steve Wright.

And for their contribution of generous raffle prizes, we are grateful to the following vendors: Film Tech, Pro8mm, Purple panther Tattoo, Yale Film & Video

Submitted by Candace Lewis, UCLA Film & TV Archive, Commercial Services

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November 8, 2008


HMD Report: Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

From Joanna Poses:

Event Venue: Community Education Center

Event Time: 12noon – 4pm

Total Audience: 25(?)

Number of people bringing films: 7 (includes volunteers’ films)

Number of Films screened by Gauge:

8mm: 1, Super: 4, 16mm: 9

The Philadelphia Home Movie Day was an interesting departure from last year’?s event. Our audience numbers were definitely down from last year?s when we had lots of curious restroom seekers, book borrowers, and homeless folk wander into the public library auditorium where we were doing our thing. This year, the event felt more like a happy family reunion than just another public event. We were based at the Community Education Center in West Philadelphia and most of the audience that arrived at noon stayed on until the last film finished just before 4.

Our only repeat audience members (excepting family -? thanks, mom!) were a mother, father, and endearingly geeky son who drove in all the way from Delaware! Needless to say, their loyalty made us feel like rock stars. Also adding to the rock star quotient were the unsolicited sketches by Aaron Krolikowski. A self-described ?courtroom artist for local people and events,? Aaron presented us with highly unique documentation of our cozy event. Check him out at www.interview-press.com.

We watched beautiful and surprising [and one dull] films throughout the afternoon, but the real magic was the synthesis of the films with their owner?s’ narrations. At Philadelphia Home Movie Day, every film is narrated. If a film is found footage then we question the owner about the film?s circumstances and let audience members provide their own commentary. All of the screenings are interactive with people asking questions, identifying familiar sights, and cracking corny jokes. After four hours of alternately personal and generic home movies, there is a palpable bond forged between everyone in the room. At Home Movie Day, strangers let their guards down and let you into their families and childhoods and lives. This is not a generosity you often see in Philadelphia. …but, ?nuff with the mush!

Our favorite guests were the Lombardis: an 87-year-old Philly native, his daughter and her husband. Their films and stories were amazing. The family had survived the rise and fall of the Great American Dream. Mr. Lombardi?’s father had come to America with a suitcase and built a fortune on sewage systems. The family business had huge commissions up and down the east coast including a major project in Washington, D.C. There, the Lombardis built a 30 ft. wide sewage system that ran under the White House. We saw footage of the construction on this project and it was as utterly compelling as Mr. Lombardi had promised us it would be.

Most of the company’?s work was based in Philadelphia, but the family was especially proud of the D.C. commission; the workers on this project commuted every week from Philadelphia. Mr. Lombardi?’s father soon became a millionaire and, eventually, bought the village in Italy where he was from. All of the extended family in America would, occasionally, ride luxury liners back to Italy to visit family and to travel the country. Mr. Lombardi was proud to note that the family brought 2 automobiles and a maid on these voyages with them. We watched a LUSCIOUS black and white film of the family?’s 1936 vacation to Italy. Mr. Lombardi answered all our questions about the trip and correctly identified the first visible land mass as the Rock of Gibraltar. When questioned about the family business and fortune, Mr. Lombardi waxed philosophical and noted, ?everything goes up in smoke. You just have to give it time.?

Mr. Lombardi was gracious, knowledgeable, and humorous and he completely charmed the audience. As everyone was leaving, his daughter decided that she should interview him; we hope she does! Other standout presenters were Jenifer Baldwin and Caroline Savage. The youngest of five, Jenifer introduced us to her family through several films shot before she was born. The family lived all over the country and we got to see her parents reveling in swimming pools from Michigan to Maryland.

Caroline’?s father worked in [I believe] military and diplomatic roles for the U.S. government in the 60s and 70s. He had bought a Bolex in Switzerland at the end of World War II and took films of the family?s life throughout the Middle East and Pakistan. The family moved back to America when Caroline was 12, but she described a childhood lived on film. She can’?t remember what she remembers and what she?’s seen in the family home movies. She is now a filmmaker and she also showed us her unimaginable footage of mudslides in San Francisco in the early ’80s.

Projectionist/collector Jay Schwartz contributed some interesting found movies. He started the afternoon with a hunting and fishing film from the 40s or thereabouts? we watched deers being gutted… Amy?’s Reign of Terror apparently continues – where she touches home movies, they turn to animal cruelty! Jay also brought footage of a grave being excavated at a local historical cemetery in the 1940s. There are so many reporters present in the film that we feel compelled to follow up on the scene and discover the larger story suggested by the film.

Last, we saw footage of a family barbeque in the Philadelphia neighborhood where I grew up (one of the first intentionally integrated neighborhoods in the country). Jay observed that this is one of the only African American home movies he has ever found. There were other delights, to be sure, but I guess you just had to be there.

Many thanks to Whole Foods, TLA Video, and Ritz 5 for their generous donations. Thanks to the Philadelphia Film Archivists Collective for all their contributions and hard work. PFAC includes: Kate Pourishariati (and Shapoor), Janine Leiberman, Corin Wilson, John Pettit, and Oliver Gaycken. Special thanks to Jay Schwartz, Amy Gallick, and Jim Keitner, our all-star projectionists.

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HMD Report: Berlin, Germany

From Martin Koerber:

Event Venue: Deutsche Kinemathek – Museum für Film und Fernsehen

Event time: 10:00 to 12.00 combined check-in and inspection, 14 to 17.00 Screenings, 19.00 to 21.00 Special Screening of Horst Buchholz:?? Mein Papa at Kino Arsenal.

Total Audience: 30

Number of people bringing films: 9

Films screened by Gauge: 8mm: 2, Super 8: 6, 16mm: 0, 9.5mm: 0, Video: 1 DVD

Volunteers: Katrin Abromeit, Kerstin Jahn, Andrea Krämer, Vin Lai

Staff: Volkmar Ernst, Katrin Kahlefeld, Martin Koerber, Judith Lehniger, Anna Schierse, Heidi Berit Zapke

Collaborators: Robert van Ackeren, Katharina Zwerenz of Original Version Filmproduktion GmbH

Special events/screenings: in the evening we held a screening of the film ??Horst Buchholz: ??mein Papa?, by Christopher Buchholz and Sandra Hacker, with Christopher present for a Q & A afterwards. In this film about his father (Star of ??Magnificent Seven?, One, Two, Three? and many other classics) home movies were used extensively.

Press (pre-event and post-event): Berliner Zeitung, Der Tagesspiegel, Zitty, Die Tageszeitung had small articles on the day, Radio Berlin announced the event on the day.

After the huge turnout last summer (over 80 people, many with films had to be turned away because of lack of projection time), we were disappointed be the small number of people who came this time: However, the good news is that all people who came this year were there the year before, so they must have liked it. Having a small number of guests meant also that we could discuss with the individuals much more in depth, which was a positive experience.

Reasons for the low turn-out (apart from the absence of in-depth press coverage, which cannot be expected year after year)we think is the new date in October. October 18th marked the beginning of the autumn holidays – most people take family vacations if they can, a Saturday is usually the day for shopping and sorting out household chores, and in October all museums and other cultural institutions are very busy mounting activities, so the competition is fierce. August was a much better date for Berlin that way, and October 17th for next year would NOT be our day of choice.

Judith Lehniger successfully took the opportunity to approach some filmmakers about footage of the coming down of the Berlin wall, which we are searching for a forthcoming exhibition to commemorate the 20th anniversary of this historic event next year.

Highlights of the program:

A film about the past-time activities of an East Berlin taxi drivers collective; A short subject about the visit of Western relatives in rural East Germany in their Mercedes in the 1980s, which proved to be a sensation for the male family members; A mushroom-seeking expedition in the forests around Potsdam; unidentified black and white footage (found on a fleamarket) of Hamburg in the 1950s; Equally black and white footage of a 1954 visit of West-berliners to their garden in East-Berlin, which became impossible after the wall went up in 1961; A film about the changes in the town of Wismar between 1988 and 1994; Footage of the destruction of beautiful baroque housing in Potsdam 1989, and a demonstration on the wake of the fall of the wall, equally in 1989; A feature film called “Women’s Film”, shot in the 1970s, depicting women dressed as men and displaying male stereotypes in behaviour.


A beautiful abstract study in light shining through coloured glass by Günter Dubiel, who died at 85 only a few weeks before HMD and had been a first-time participant in 2007. His films were subsequently acquired for the collection of our archive.

Prospects: Despite the disappointing turnout, we will forge on and join forces with Kino Arsenal next time, hopefully presenting a full week of Home-Movie related programs before HMD, and thus hopefully creating more awareness. More next year.

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November 18, 2008


HMD Report: New Orleans, Louisiana

Thanks to Brenda for the following report:

Event Venue: Zeitgeist Multi-Disciplinary Arts Center

Event time: 2:00-5:00pm

Total audience: 10

Number of people bringing films: 5

Number of volunteers: 5
Organizer ? Brenda Flora
Volunteers: Dolores Hooper, Lindsey Barnes, Curtis the Projectionist, Courtney Egan

Films screened by Gauge: 8mm: 0, Super 8: 0, 16mm: 4 (unable to screen), Video: 8
DVD: 4 (plus 1, unable to screen)

The first set of films was from Melissa Smith. These were taken primarily by her father, David Smith. The ones in Liberia, especially, were incredibly interesting!

Originally Super 8 transferred to video. David Smith in Liberia circa 1960-64. Featuring construction of buildings; native peoples; killing a snake!

The rest of the video was originally 16mm transferred to video and featured family gatherings when Melissa was a baby/toddler/bump: Thanksgiving 1972, Streetcar birthday party circa 1970, Melissa as a baby walking circa 1972, Christmas circa 1974, Birthday party 1972 (mom very pregnant with Melissa), Grandparents’ 40th anniversary 1972, Melissa’s christening Summer 1972

The second set of films was brought by the Louisiana State Museum and featured jazz funerals. DVD transfer: Joe Watkins Funeral – 1969. (funeral of drummer, filmmaker unknown); Louis and Pavageau Funerals – 1978 (filmmaker unknown); Dixie Land Hall and Sweet Emma (piano) -1978, Film by Don Perry; Burgundy Street Blues – 1960’s, Film by Don Perry.

Further 16mm films by Don Perry were brought by Courtney Egan, which his widow had donated to the New Orleans Center for Creative Arts. Sadly, two of these were not in good enough condition to be projected.

Unfortunately our venue was missing the take-up reel for their 16mm projector, so we had a couple of things on hand that we couldn’t watch (including a film of a jazz funeral from the Historic New Orleans Collection and another Don Perry film from NOCCA), which I felt awful about, but now I know one more thing I need to take care of for next time!

We also had another submission on DVD from local filmmaker, Matt Faust. However, the DVD would not play in our projector. We filled in the rest of the time with selections from the Living Room Cinema: Films From Home Movie Day Volume 1 DVD, which we encouraged our audience to purchase from the HMD website.

In summary, we were plagued with technical difficulties and sparse crowds, but in our cozy, informal atmosphere, it ended up being a good time anyway. And we’ve already began brainstorming on ideas for how to get a bigger crowd out next year, (preferably with some more film material, rather than transfers)!

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HMD Report: Seattle, Washington

The report from Seattle, thanks to Philip Borgnes:

Event Venue: Wallingford United Methodist Church

Event time (screening): October 18, 7-9pm

Event time (inspection): October 18, 5-7pm

Total Audience: 10

Number of people bringing films: 4

Films screened by Gauge: 8mm: 4 (3 were orphans), Super 8: 0, 16mm: 10 (all were orphans), 9.5mm: 0, Video: 2

Volunteers: 3

Philip Borgnes (organizer), Hannah Palin (Film Archivist, University of Washington), Pat Naumann (Advertising, refreshments and contribution of home movies)

Special events/screenings: One of the orphan films was a regional 400’ film from 1923, ?the first year of home 16mm. Showed a trip by boat from Seattle to Victoria and back with visits to several public and private gardens. Title cards identified location and subjects.

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HMD Report Rochester, New York

Thanks to Pat Doyen for this report; my apologies for its belated appearance here:

We had a great time this year and could have screened film for another hour had we the time. There’s always next year. We encouraged more audience participation this year and were rewarded with more intros, more narration, and music to accompany some films. There was some nice questions/comments between audience members during films too.

We had a raffle with donated prizes that not only generated more donations, but will hopefully lead to some newly made home movies next year (we gave away a camera, projector and an editor).

Event Venue: Visual Studies Workshop, 31 Prince St.

Event time (screening): 6-9pm

Event time (inspection): 4-6pm plus early drop off ? Tue 10/14 5-7pm,

Thu 10/16 5-7pm, Fri 10/17 10-noon

Total Audience: 58 (not including volunteers ? 75 total people). Number of people bringing films: 16

Films screened by Gauge: 8mm: 5, Super 8: 6, 16mm: 6, 9.5mm: 0, Video: 0

Volunteers: 16

Special events/screenings: exhibition of amateur equipment and ephemera in the lobby of the Dryden Theater for 3 weeks before and 1 week after event; live music and on the fly DJ during the screenings (Tim Wagner).

Press (pre-event and post-event): RNEWS channel 9, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle, Batavia Daily News

Some film highlights: A film shot in Palestine in 1927, with views of the Wailing Wall, the Nile, Egypt, etc. complete with Packard and Hudson touring cars.

A super8 kodachrome from 1975 of an English carnival (The Bushey show) was an audience favorite. Very beautiful footage of amusement rides, a puppet show and a floral competition. There were two other films of amusement parks (!), both of which were local and no longer exist. The 16mm 1947 footage of Crystal Beach was pretty amazing – the rides provoking both terror and awe.

We also had a lot of films made by 70’s teens, one of which included the biggest house of cards I’ve ever seen. Truly impressive and funny

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HMD Report: San Diego, California

Report by Friedman & Savage:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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HMD Report: Berkeley, California

Thanks to Pamela Jean Smith for this East Bay HMD Report:

This was PFA’s second Home Movie Day, and it was bigger and better this year than last. We were overflowing with films – a number of folks walked in toward the end and we didn’t have time to show them because there was a queue already. Next year we’ll have more inspection time with maybe a cut-off point, followed by a longer open screening. I like reading everyone’s reports to get a sense of the best way to time things.

Three local labs donated transfer time for bingo prizes, and one lab (thank you Video Transfer Lab!) donated a lot of supplies like presstapes, leader and gloves. We also gave away Kodachrome super8 film, a HMD tote bag and a HMD calendar as bingo prizes.

People came to the open screening from all over the Bay – from Oakland to Berkeley to Novato to Pleasanton to San Francisco.

After the open screening, I showed a program of home movies from people who had submitted films in advance, and from PFA’s Collection, representing Richmond, Pinole, El Cerrito, Fresno and of course San Francisco. We had specially-selected music for each movie and there were five families in attendance who talked as their films rolled through.

Event Venue: Pacific Film Archive

Event time (inspection): 12:00-1:00 plus early drop off

Event time (open screening): 1:00-3:30pm ; (curated screening): 4:00-5:30pm

Total Audience (open screening): 45 (not including volunteers); (curated screening): 55

Number of people bringing films: 17

Films screened by Gauge (open screening): 8mm: 2, Super 8: 11, 16mm: 4, 9.5mm: 0, Video: 0

4 o’clock screening: 8mm: 2, Super 8: 5, 16mm: 9.5mm: 0, Video: 2 (1 dvd, 1 digibeta)

Volunteers: 9 – Lucy Laird (co-organizer/projectionist/emcee), Jon Shibata (projectionist/smooth operator), Lauren Sorenson (inspector), Adrienne Cardwell (inspector/super 8 record keeper- film to be processed), Jessie Frey (inspector/sign-in), Jean Goldman (greeter/sign-in), Victoria Jaschob (greeter/film runner), Troy Vadakan (dj), Pamela Jean Smith (co-organizer/inspector/sometime emcee)

Special events/screenings: ‘Accidental Art: A Home Movie Day Celebration’ – curated program of home movies from the Bay Area with audience participation and special music.

Press (pre-event and post-event): Flavorpill, SF Examiner, SF Weekly, PFA Film Notes/Calendar. Calendar listings in weekly independent newspapers the Guardian, East Bay Express, Berkeley Daily Planet and online on SF Station, squid list, fecal face, and UC Berkeley’s website. I requested public service announcements on KALX, KALW and Pacifica Radio but I’m not sure if they made any shout outs. One person came by because he heard about the day on BoingBoing.

Highlights from the open screening (thanks to Lucy for most of these notes!):

  • Beautiful Kodachrome 16mm footage of typical 1950s North Jersey suburban life- Christmas, Easter celebrations (with an egg hunt and lots of men dressed as bunnies), going to the Jersey shore, playing in the above-ground pool (lots of slo-mo shots of people diving in). Doug in leopard-print onesie pajamas (at age 5 or 6?) with his brother, praying at the nativity scene set up in their living room. They were a pretty devoutly Catholic family, so there was footage of a lot of religious ceremonies. The most bizarre one was some saint’s celebration (Doug didn’t know which) that involved two little kids, a girl and a boy, getting dressed up as a nun and a priest and walking
    around with their adult counterparts. Their little nun and priest outfits were so eerily accurate and everybody loved it. Another reel was his parents’ newlywed trip. They drove down to Florida, and his dad made sure to get footage of all the crazy hotel signage and the roadside attractions, like the place where you could get a bunch of parrots to perch on your arms and a chimpanzee show where chimps play the piano (“Liberace) and the drums, ride bikes and tightrope walk. His dad also did some fun trick camerawork—a car drove along the beach and the woman sitting in the front seat changed from his aunt to his mom. Weird. But it was all so beautifully shot!
  • Black and white 16mm reel of the grand opening of the Klarr and Wilson Appliance store in Corvallis, Oregon, 1946. Mr. Fisher explained that it was such an exciting event because WW2 had prevented any new cars and appliances from being built (all metal going to ammunition and tanks, etc). People were inspecting ice trays, opening and closing the doors on beautiful old stoves and refrigerators. There was even a reporter there, taking notes on it all.
  • An anonymous regular 8 Kodachrome reel from 1960 from Steve Polta’s collection of home movies. Two African American boys drumming in the basement, followed by a dance, where the adults are slow dancing and making out.
  • Super 8 Kodachrome of 1974 Bangkok – Troy’s mom with his older brothers, lots of big dogs, and his dad’s fancy American sportscar. Their house is now the Japanese embassy.

There were some particularly touching moments with people connecting with their family through film: The Oyamas brought in a box of super 8 films from Cupertino CA and Japan. The one we were able to show was vibrant Kodachrome super8mm
of Mr. Oyama’s two daughters playing in Cupertino, and of his elderly mother covered in blankets, sitting in a chair, surrounded by her granddaughters and daughter in law. Mr. Oyama narrated that the film was shot about 2 weeks before his mother died. He spoke of how important it is to tell your parents how much you appreciate them, before it is too late. He had that chance, but knows that not everyone is so lucky.

Judy came in with a super 8 reel that her dad shot about 3 months before his death in 1981, when he came to visit Judy in SF. The reel was a lot of footage of the ocean because it was the first time her parents (who lived in the midwest, maybe Iowa) had seen it. It was important for her to remember her father, as the anniversary of his
death was approaching. Judy’s ex-boyfriend unexpectedly appeared. She was pretty shocked seeing him and was sort of fanning her face and acting embarrassed in front of her now-husband.

I showed a black and white 16mm 1-minute film of two children playing on Ocean Beach in 1965 from a collection deposited at PFA. The depositor’s son and his son came to the screening. He hadn’t seen his dad in a long time because he lives in Australia, and he was excited for his son to see films his grandfather had shot, films that included his older brother and sister (his son’s uncle and aunt).

Highlights from the curated part included a 1961 film of a wedding at City Hall where the film changes from b&w to color after the judge pronounces the couple husband and wife (adorable!); two-way traffic on the upper level of the Bay Bridge in 1960; an African American family visiting the Cliff House in 1966 then a cut to people picking grapes in Richmond; Canyon Cinema offices in 1969; a road film on route 395 to Reno and Lake Tahoe (with titles and elaborate camera set-ups featuring birthday cake and ginger ale); an aristocratic group from Pacific Heights dancing the hula and the Charleston in 1926; San Francisco’s Gay Pride Parade in 1974 (John Carlson’s footage – bought by Van Sant for use in his film Milk – look out for

I have some left over HMD 08 buttons – let me know if you want one and I will send it to you! And I can email you the soundtrack for the 4 o’clock screening if you want to have a listen. Pictures on Flickr forthcoming….

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HMD Report: Amsterdam, Netherlands

Thanks to Guy Edmonds for his report on the remarkable Home Movie Day event in Amsterdam:

Event Venue: Filmmuseum, Vondelpark

Doors open: 12:00

Registration: 12:00-14:00

Screening: 13:00-17:00

Inspection: 12:00-17:00

Evening prog: 18:00-21:00

Volunteers: 29

Many thanks to our partners Supersens and all our wonderful volunteers!

Jean-Pierre Sens, Catrien Boettger, Simona Monizza, Bernhard Andre, Ferdinand Knaak, Annike Kross, Andreas Busche, Dirk Foerstner, Rixt Jonkman, Valentine Kuypers, Brigit Oele, Eva Hielscher, Anne Gant, Daniela Curro, Shyrien Abdoelhak, Ronald Simons, Onno Petersen, Jan Scholten, Raymond Liefjes, Ole Schepp, Frederique Urlings, Claudy Op den Kamp, Walter Swagemakers, Aydin Dehzad, Guy Edmonds, Johan Kalee, Ruud Molleman, Jeroen van Dijk, Bertil Pouw

We knew from our experience of HMD Amsterdam 2007 that this year’s event would be popular and response to our initial press release at the beginning of August already indicated strong interest. With only one screen at our disposal (albeit in the beautiful 80 seat art deco Parisien theatre) we decided that we would have to strictly manage the screen time allotted to our guests. Our four hour projection period provided twenty slots with films limited to a maximum length of 15 minutes.

When doors opened at midday, the formidable queue disbanded itself and our patrons surged forward en masse, dragging their broken projectors and bags of film. (Something like a reverse motion jumble sale!). Our initial line of defence, the Greeters, could offer little resistance and soon the Registrars were surrounded. (Next year we will have queuing tickets for guests as they arrive). Within half an hour our programme was full but to provide additional capacity for those who arrived later or who didn’t want to wait for their film to come up on the big screen we had a room equipped with more projectors and volunteers where films (including 9.5mm) could be projected onto a white wall. Jan Scholten, operating the dual 8/S8mm Eumig, handled 10-15 people with films alone in this role. The total number of people bringing films, having them inspected and seeing them projected was therefore much in excess of the twenty who saw them “op het grote doek” in the Parisien.

Total visitors: about 250

Number of people bringing films: 35+

Films screened by Gauge: 8mm: 12, Super 8: 6, 16mm: 2

Alternative activities:

Once through registration guests moved to the Franse zaal where they could watch their films being cleaned and inspected.

Here, too, there were areas where they could

  • Seek advice over and receive projector and camera repairs from Ruud Molleman and Johan Kalee
  • Browse amateur film handbooks and recent publications such as the magazine Small Format
  • Buy film preservation consumables

In other spaces we offered

  • Demonstration of scanning process with the MWA scanner of Supersens
  • Additional projectors for 16mm, 9.5mm, standard and super 8
  • Presentation of digitised films from regional archives
  • 2 monitors showing the DVDs “Living Room Cinema” and “Van de kolonie niets dan goeds”, a collection of home movies depicting life in the Dutch East Indies.
  • Selection of books from the Filmmuseum library presented under glass.
  • Displays of amateur film equipment provided by Supersens
  • Informative posters about small gauge film identification and preservation created by Supersens

Conservation prize (sponsored by Filmmuseum, Supersens and Haghefilm)

Those films being shown in the Parisien were eligible for a prize which would comprise the full photo-chemical preservation and subsequent digitisation of the film. The judges were the few people who had seen all twenty films: Our two presenters, Claudy Op den Kamp and Frédérique Urlings, who had throughout the screenings encouraged participants to further describe the context around their films, and our heroic projectionist, Onno Petersen. In the end they awarded not one but five (!) prizes, three digitisation only and two, equal winners, which will be photochemically preserved and added to the Filmmuseum collection.

These were a beautiful 1939 16mm Kodachrome film of a folk festival in Zeeland and a 1960 standard 8 black and white film. The boy seen in the film presented it to the HMD audience and described how the family stayed on the same farm every summer, honouring a bond established during the war between the farmer and his father who had lived there in hiding during the years of occupation. The area it depicts, Biesbosch in Noord Brabant, was a delicate environment of waterways and marshes, which in the intervening years has undergone extensive change.

Evening programme

Guests who brought films were eligible for a free ticket for our Home movie related evening programme:

Kroniek van een familie (Jos Huygen, Digibeta, 1993, 68’), Think of me first as a person (George Ingmire, 35mm, 2006, 8’), Eendjes voeren (Eugenie Jansen, Digibeta, 2005, 9’), Wat blijft beweegt (Albert Elings, Digibeta, 2007, 47’)

Many photographs were taken and can be seen here.

A 16mm film sponsored by Fuji, Haghefilm and Supersens was shot by Guy Edmonds and Raymond Liefjes, using a Canon Scoopic and Bolex H16 SBM, respectively. The intention is to have a finished film ready for projection at next year’s event.

Press (pre-event and post-event): Radio and TV reporters interviewed Jean-Pierre and Simona during the event but we are still working on a complete list of press so I will send this on next week when it’s ready. Meanwhile take a look at the cute trailer for the event made by Supersens which was used by TV stations andcan be seen on YouTube.

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HMD Report: Burlington, Vermont

Gemma’s report from HMD Burlington:

Event Venue: Burlington College

Event time (inspection): 9am ? 2pm

Event time (screening): 11am ? 3pm

Total Audience: 11

Number of people who brought films: 6

Films screened by Gauge: 8mm: 17, Super ? 8:0, 16mm: 0, 9.5mm: 0, Video: 0

Volunteers (8): Gemma Perretta, Barry Snyder, Tom Terracino, Jared Agnello, Corey Lovell, Jonah Grumbine, Mark Rosen, Sarah Stan

Special Events/screenings: The Burlington HMD was the central event in a 3-day workshop at Burlington College this year. The first and third days focused on the history of amateur film and technology and an introduction to the work of film archives.

Press (pre-event and post event): postcards and flyers were distributed throughout
Burlington, e-mailings to the Burlington College Community, listing in the Burlington Free Press events section and local historical societies were notified.

This year we did a three day workshop surrounding Home Movie Day at Burlington
College. 6 Students participated, two of whom brought films to show.

The first day of the workshop, Friday (10/17), students learned about the history of amateur cinema which included screenings of a variety of material drawn from “Treasures From the American Film Archives,” Kino’s “The Movies Begin,” “Scenes from Home Movie Day,” and more. The students particularly responded to “America’s Funniest Home Videos Greatest Hits.” One student noted that it would have been more entertaining if “From Stump To Ship” had been edited down to show more clips of the log drivers falling off the logs into the water the way “America’s Funniest Home Videos” is edited; an insight we all found humorous. The class was mostly comprised of film production students, and the cultural value of home movies and understanding how they are used as well as the aesthetics of amateur cinema in contemporary filmmaking was well received.

Day two of the workshop was Home Movie Day. We had a smaller turnout from the public this year, but an equally enthusiastic screening and some interesting film samples.

The first person to bring film in was a man named Rene (pernounced “Rainy”) Gusson from Winooski, Vermont. Rene was hoping to screen an anniversary film he thought he’d brought in along with a small bag of other 8mm and Super-8mm films. It turned out that the first two reels we inspected, the 8mm films, were not home movies but commercially produced stag films from the 1960s. Rene did not have any information about where they came from, and we moved on to look through the Super-8 films. Unfortunately the anniversary film he was looking for was not in the bag that he brought in, so he went back home to look for it some more. The students were very excited about the stag films, but it was decided not to show them. Rene did come back later with the anniversary film, but we were having problems with the Super-8 projector. It was decided not to show the film at HMD, but it will be transferred to DVD at Northeast Historic Film for Rene to see, and the College will look into new Super-8 projection equipment for next year.

The second person to bring film in was named Rosalind (Ros) Young. Ros brought in a number of 16mm reels that her father filmed in her native state of Mississippi. Ros’ father recently passed away and she had brought the films from Mississippi back to Vermont but hadn’t had a chance to look at them yet. She brought in a 35mm can that was completely rusted shut, and a number of smaller reels. The smaller reels all appeared to have some bad water damage, fading and the splices were falling apart and so were deemed un-projectable without further inspection. We took the rusted 35mm can outside and cracked it open only to find two hockey-pucking 16mm reels, clearly in an advanced state of decomposition. Sadly, those two reels were a short film Ros’ father had written and produced starring some local friends. She still has the script, which includes the cast of actors, but she believes that was the only copy of the film that existed. Although the films were deemed un-projectable it was interesting for everyone to see and Ros was grateful to have been able to have a place to bring her films for council. Ros requested the smaller reels be brought back to Northeast Historic Film for conservation and transfer.

The third person to bring film in was gentleman named Paul, an adult student at
Burlington College (in his 70s!). Paul brought in Super-8 reels he shot of his children. Although his films were in good condition he was concerned about showing any of the films since he didn’t know the content and didn’t want to offend his sweetheart (his wife). He was pleased to hear his films were in good condition, though, and happy to get some information about how to store them and where to get them transferred.

The fourth person to bring film in was Sylvia O’Neil. Sylvia brought in nine 50’ reels she shot mostly of ski trips and a Disneyland vacation in the 1960s. We projected all of Sylvia’s films during which we received a lively commentary in which she remembered all the places and people in the films.

We also screened Jonah Grumbine’s family’s 8mm films on his own projector, which he had brought in. Most notable of the Grumbine’s films was a wedding film shot at Jonah’s parent’s wedding that had never been viewed since it was shot. Lastly we screened a short 8mm home movie reel Cory Lovell brought in which was shot when he was very young on a family trip.

The third day of the workshop, Sunday (10/19), we screened “Images of an Assassination: A New Look at the Zapruder Film” and wrapped up with the workshop reviews. Two of the students are working on documentary films and were particularly interested in learning about how to access and use stock footage. Other students expressed interest in the content in home movies for entertainment value.

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November 23, 2008


HMD Report: Gorizia, Italy

From Karianne and all the italian home movie day staff, a report on HMD in Gorizia, Italy:

Hi to everybody,

This year we moved to Gorizia for our fifth HMD, a nice Mitteleuropean city in Friuli Venezia Giulia at the border with Slovenia. We were there for two reasons. The first is that our HMD is a travelling hmd since
the beginning. So after Pesaro, Pratovecchio, San Gimignano, Rimini, our choice this year went to Gorizia. The second is that a couple of years ago we started with the Film restoration lab of Gorizia, part of the University of Udine, Department of cinema based in Gorizia, a collaboration to develop a project focalized on preservation of small gauge film. We’ve transferred in this Lab our pathè baby telecine, and one of us, Mirco Santi, moved there to develop the
project. Besides the University we involved also different cultural association linked to the university, among other the Association KinoAtelier to “speak” also with the slovenian part of the city, Nova Gorica (New Gorizia). The idea infact is to organize the first trans-national HMD, involving also the people who live in Nova Gorica.

We started at 10 ‘o clock in the morning and it was a beautiful sunny day, so during the day we collected the film in an courtyard in the middle of the beautiful ancient building of the University.

We were a big group of people, three of us (Archivio Nazionale del Film di Famiglia), Simone Venturini, the head of the restoration lab and many students, that have received people, inspectioned and cleaned the film screened during the day and the evening. During the day, in fact, both in the morning and in the afternoon
we organized screenings for people coming from other city that weren’t able to
remain for the evening. In the morning we showed some wonderful 9,5mm film, previously transferred on video (the only time during the day we didn’t use the original film, because they were unprojectable), shot by the father of Mr Barbina, Lino Barbina, in the Thirties and early Forthies. There were in the room three of the five daughters and son of the filmmaker, all aged (70 years old). We have collected these film some months ago in Bologna and then we decided to screen them because the filmmaker came from a little village near Gorizia. And the son of the filmmaker has accompanied the projection with explanations and comments about their life in the Thirties. He was a little boy, but he remembers everything. It was very interesting. He was so excited that went in details in explanation and he did not give space to their two sisters near him, that in some moments were a bit irritaded, because also them would like to say something. One of them, the littlest girl on the film, directed to me in the dark room said: “Let him talk, it is his day, he is so excited that is impossible to stop or contradict him”.

Then, during the morning, two film of Mr Mammana, an ex teacher of natural science in the secondary school that use super8 film with his students in the Seventies and in the Eighties. One of them, a sound film, was entitled “My boa snake” and was made with one of his class and especially with one of his student that was completely crazy with snakes. And talk about his boa snake, a gift of his parents, and his passion for reptiles, showing the life and habits of this kind of reptile with skill and accuracy. The teacher, that was present during the screening, told us that now his ex student is a remarkable veterinary surgeon in Gorizia. And also that he has used often the amateur film practice to teach his matters because he had experimented that was a good way to involve students actively. He will donate all his film to our archive. With him was present also an ex student of him.

Then, during the morning, Mr Peteani, the son of Ondina Peteani (the first partisan courier of Italy during the WWII) and of the journalist Gianluigi Brusadin, came with more then twenty 8mm film shot from the latest fifties until the seventies by his father. One of this, shot in 1957, was a film that shows the way the newspaper l’Unità (the newspaper of the communist party) was spread in Friuli Venezia Giulia in the middle of the Fifties. We showed it during the evening screening with other two film shot in
the sixties that showed his family during two camping holidays in Italy, in the
south of Italy.

We have collected different documents about his family because he wants to realize a film on the history of his mother, using the home movies shot my his father that show her after the war and her diary.

Other people coming during the day, like Mr Venier, a man who has shot hundred film in 8mm and super8, but he has brought with him only few reels, and we have screened
them during the morning and one also in the evening without him, because he went home after the morning projections. A marriage in the early Fifities of a couple of his friends. He told us that for all his friends he has realized a film in 8mm, and it was his wedding gift. Like Olivia Pellis, a Slovenian woman, who lives in Gorizia since many years, because she has married a man of Gorizia. She started to realize film in 8mm since the Sixties. And she has a very reporting style. Some people came only to ask information, but they didn’t
bring with them their film. They will contact us in the next week to preserve their film collection.

The program of the evening screening was the following:

(All the evening screenings were introduced by the filmmakers except in two cases)

Olivia Pellis: “Miramare,” shot in Trieste in the early sixties during a visit to the flower garden of the city. A wonderful flower poetry, in 8mm, sound.

Venier: “The wedding of Elide and Dino,” shot in 1959, black and white, sound.

Brusadin: “Il Friuli per l’Unità,” black and white, silent. Shot in 1957. About the delivery of the newspaper l’Unità in Friuli Venezia Giulia.

Brusadin-Peteani: “Marina di Ravenna 1962,” shot in a camping on the adriatic seaside in the nord of Italia, 8mm, color, silent. “Gargano 1964,” shot in a camping on the adriatic seaside, in the south of Italy, 8mm, color, silent.

Claudio Rossi: “Cupra Marittima 1981,” a film that shows the little sons of a young couple, with a really poetic editing, super8, sound.

Mr. Perco: “Tito pogreb – Tito’s funeral,” a film that show the funeral of Tito on the Yugoslavian TV, super8, silent.

Colarusso: A 16mm film founded in a cinecamera bought in a flee market, shot by an anonymous filmmaker during see-
skiing in the sixties, black and white, silent.

After the official screenings we have furnished a little corner with a super8 projector and until 2am we have screened other super8 film on a wall that we have escluded from the evening screenings. For reason of time. A screening with only the students of the university and some friends of friends. Many surprises! Like a wonderful reel of cutting scenes from a super8 of the father of one of the students present in the room.


This year, like in 2007, we decided to organize also the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage (27 october). The difference with last year is that in 2007 we organize on 27th october an Open Day of the archive, in Bologna of course, using the same formula of the HMD. But for us was the first “HMD” in our city and in our archive. For those who don’t know, becauese of the period (second saturday of august) we did never organize HMD in Bologna, but every year in different parts of Italy. From last year we decided that we’ll go on with us travelling HMD through Italy, but we’ll “use” the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage to have a special occasion to open the film archive linked to other iniziative to awaken people to the importance to preserve home movies.

In 2007 it was a great success, so this year we started on 24th October organizing a evening screening focalized on Angelo Marzadori, a bolognese filmmaker who captured unique moment of the rebirth of Bologna after the II World War. His daughter, Paola Marzadori came to the World Day of Audiovisual Heritage last year with more then 70 8mm reels, shot by his father from 1950 to eighties. During the last year we have worked a lot on this collection involving Paola Marzadori and other relatives. Angelo Marzadori died in 1999. And on 24th we have presented the result of the work,
with the intervention of the scholar Pierre Sorlin, and showing one of the film
integral, “Bologna Democratica” shot in 1951, with the accompaniment of experimental music of Bartolomeo Saier. It was extraordinary.

In the next two days, on saturday 25 and Sunday 26, we opened the archive to the public. We want to share with you our great experience in organizing this open days of the archive. For us these Days have had different meanings.

First of all it was the occasion to open for the second time (the first was last year) our film archive to our city to all the people who are interested in our film archiving activities. Through this “free access” of the archive we introduce common people to the film archive activities world’s, that usually are “private area,” forbidden to non professional people. For an archive which are engaged in the safeguarding of private film it meant much. Our work is possible only if “common people” share with us their private film and memories, only if they trust us and our way on working on their film.

And precisely for this reason that last year we decided to adhere to the World Day for Audiovisual Heritage and in this day open the archive. This year distributed on two days, 25 e 26, because on 27 october that this year was on Monday, we have organize a symposium of which I’ll tell you after. We organized conducted tours around the different spaces of the archive: bureau and cataloguing area, technical lab, catalogue access point and the conditioning area where all the film are stored.
And we have also given practise demonstrations of the activities of cleaning and inspection film and telecine. We have shown the archive in action! And this was a great way to show the archive. Many efforts but great outcomes, really! In the same time we collected during all the days, from 10am to 6pm, the film brought by people of Bologna. The Days were in fact also Home Movie Days. So we invited people to share their film with us to show some of them in the eveninig
screening. And it caused an assault, really! We didn’t stop working. We were many people, Paolo Simoni, Mirco Santi, Claudio Giapponesi, Maria Roig Alsina, Sabina Silenu, Dunja Dogo, Matteo Pasini, Roberto Benatti, Paola Pusceddu, Lucia Stefano, Francesca Morselli, Ilaria Ferretti and me (Karianne Fiorini), and we didn’t have a minute of break. More than 30 persons came with many films, other people came saying that they have film and in the following days they would bring their film (and many of these did). Most of the people decided to donate their film heritage to us.

Besides collecting film during the day and organize visits in the different spaces of the archive, we have dedicated different spaces-rooms to different way to present our work: the Circo Togni Home Movies room, with the catalogue of this film collection, realized by fifteen students that have attended our course about preserving and presenting
home movies in spring 2008 (if someone is curious could see the website we realized www.memoriadelleimmagini.it/archivio, a space-room focalized on the amateur filmmaker Angelo Marzadori, a space-room dedicated to another amateur filmmaker Gaetano Carrer, a continuos screening in a big space on a big screen with different film collections, a touch screen system with a catalogue of 48 sequences divided in 4 macrocategories and 12 microcategories in each to go along the city and the people of Bologna in different situations. All the sequences are part of the film collections we have collected last year during the last World Day for Audiovisual Heritage (a selection of more than 150 hours of film). And dulcis in fundo difference performances with different artists. A dancer, Sara Gotti, that has made a choreography on the background of an home movie of the 1968. The performance was done in a courtyard of our archive with people that view the performance in a corridor looking through two windows, like they were looking in a room of an house. It was wonderful. During one of this performance was present the filmmaker and his wife, the protagonist of the film, that at the time was pregnant, and their son, now forthy years old. And they were really satisfied about this way of re-using homemovies. And on saturday 26th, in the afternoon a group of four experimental jazz musicians have accompanied some film shot in Bologna in the early sixties around the city. In the first part of the saturday evening we screened some film we collected last year on 27 october with the comments of the relatives of the filmmakers and the comments of the historian Luca Alessandrini, the director of Istituto storico Parri, the historical institute with whom we collaborate from 2005 and that gave us our actual seat.

At midnight we made a screening of two film shot in the early fifties in a night-club of Bologna, l’Eden, with ballets and striptease artist shot by two different filmmakers, Mr. Baravelli and Mr. Calanchi. And the end a film shot by Nino Gatti during an osé ballet at Teatro Duse of Bologna in 1952. The three film were accompanied by two experimental musicians.

That’s a synthesis of all the long days, that culminates with the symposium on 27th October about “Private cinema: a new source for historians?”. The speakers-historians we invited were Susan Aasman (University of Groningen), Patrizia Dogliani (University of Bologna), Paolo Sorcinelli (University of Bologna), Luca Alessandrini (Historical Institute Parri), Luca Bolelli (University of Bologna).

To all the speakers we have given previously a film without any informations about them and they have analyzed the film like a source for historic research. It was the first step to involve historian in our work.

If you want to see some pictures:

HMD 18 october

WDAH 24 october

WDAH 25-26 october 2008

WDAH 27 october 2008

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November 26, 2008


HMD Report: Cambridge, Massachusetts

Thanks to Liz Coffey for this in-depth report on HMD Cambridge:

This year’s HMD took place in the same room as last year, which is a film classroom in the Carpenter Center where the Harvard Film Archive is located. This building is the only LeCorbusier building in North America, by the way. The room has a permanent screen, video
projector, and projection booth. We did our inspections in the projection booth and set up the projectors in the room (not the booth).

Jason played DJ again this year, with my portable turntable and collection of LPs. We offered music for each of the films, although not everyone took us up on that. With or without tunes, we encouraged people to speak about their films, and I occasionally made technical comments about what we were looking at.

We started the event by showing “Home Movies” on VHS while we completed inspections. We showed this at the first HMD Boston back in 2003. This is a Robert Benchley short comedy from 1940. http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0032604/ Always a crowd pleaser.

We opened ceremonies with a little speech about HMD, home movies, preservation, etc..

First up, a VHS transfer from 8mm Kodachrome from our own Melissa Dollman. Although we had advertised for video this year (VHS, DVD were all we were able to support, and we advertised a 5 minute maximum), Melissa was the only one to bring video. The movie was from
the 1950s in rural South Dakota, and featured her family, who are Yankton Sioux, at Christmas, including the only known footage of her great grandmother, who was visiting from the Reservation. Beautiful interior shots, classic family film.

Chrissy was up next, with the first of several super 8 Kodachrome reels we were to show from her collection. Her father shot this film of the San Diego Zoo in the 1960s, and his camerawork featured animal antics. Humans were around, but only shown as trunks, just sort of in the way of the animals. (Animals, by the way, turned out to be the major theme of this year’s HMD.) The film was well shot, with quick in-camera edits, and quite entertaining. The action turned from the
zoo to grandma’s house, for some classic family film material.

Peter Mork, a perennial poster boy for HMD Boston, arrived with an 8mm Kodachrome film he made at age 14 in 1966 called “The Last Mission.” It was a sort of James Bond-type spy film featuring his friends and brother. Peter described the film as “budget spy – not an Aston Martin, but a station wagon.” They had costumes, sets, special effects, gore, interiors and exteriors. By the end of the film, our hero had been tied up and beaten, cut with a bottle, whipped with a
chain, and run over by a speed boat. Things were blown up. Spoiler alert: there was no hope for a sequel. All in all, a high concept amateur production that was very well done. The film was highly edited & I had to repair several old cement splices. Peter had shot titles using a colorform-type title set. This made my list of best movies we’ve ever shown at HMD. A definite contender for a future best of HMD.

Scott was up next with an 8mm film I failed to take notes about. Scott is a film collector, but this particular offering was of his family.

Reed Sturtevant, another HMD regular who always tops my list with outstanding content, brought an Ektachrome super 8 sound film. He brought it last year but I didn’t have a sound projector. I hadn’t tested the sound on our new Eumig projector this year (not expecting
to have to use that part of it, and also not having any test film), but we went ahead with it. We started at the wrong speed, but the sound worked!

This film also tops my list of best HMD films ever. When Kodak introduced super 8 sound in 1973, Reed bought a camera immediately. Kodak was doing a promotion that included free film, and he took his free roll to his school (MIT) and shot his friends at the School of Architecture. He hadn’t seen the film in a long time and thought it might have him telling his girlfriend to tell him she loved him on film, but that wasn’t quite it. The reason this film was so interesting to me was because it was so good at showing off the medium. People were coming up to the camera and looking at it, or talking about it. “Hey, where’d you get that camera?” “That has sound and picture?” And Reed also talks about the camera during the film. He tells his girlfriend not to get too close because she’ll be out of focus, as she peers closely, out of focus, into the lens. “What do you mean my eye will be out of focus?” “Well, I mean it will look out of focus in the movie.” The audience gave big laughs near the end of the film when Reed’s friend says she’s unsure about being filmed: “Who’s going to see this film?” “Everyone.”

It seems, with 35 years in between, almost unreal, a set-up, but once I thought about this reaction, it made the film a thousand times more authentic. This is the first time these people had seen a synch sound camera, and the film really captures the moment. The movie is not perfect, but it is an incredible time capsule for technology. Another contestant for the future Best of HMD.

Back to Chrissy for another beautiful 1960s super 8 Kodachrome family film of a county fair (more animals!) and various family dinners. Lots of food, and the family dressed to impress the Kodachrome. “Our family’s really into food.” Lots of shots of the various dishes, including preparing fish and tacos.

Local scenester Katrina Galore brought her own CD of Maria Callas for her super 8 B&W teenage drama (1997). The film is all interiors with natural lighting, which was perfect and rarely underexposed. In this classic of teen angst, a girl (played by Kate’s sister) binges and purges and dies. Inspired by an after school special (that I also saw in school). Funny and dark.

Back to you, Chrissy, for more on how families dined together in the 1960s in southern California. Wine bottle are opened, a large fish is bloodily decapitated in the yard, more dressing for the Kodachrome. Grandma, a favorite character in these films, wears huge white framed
glasses and dresses like a teenager in the best way, 1960s go-go grandma in a red, white and blue pantsuit. The rest of the family dons primary colors.

I showed a super 8 film I made over the summer while visiting an old roommate in France. I followed her husband and baby around the farm as they visited with the horses, the chickens, and the geese. The baby loves the horses the best.

Ralph, another collector, breaks out a 16mm film he bought at an auction. He’s disappointed I won’t show his non-amateur films, but that’s life. It’s Alaska in the 1930s, the coast, scenes shot from a train, a woman holding a live bird. Often the lens turret makes an appearance, something which always astonishes me: who was responsible for that incredible design flaw!? Glaciers from a boat, another zoo.

Mark, my co-worker at the HFA, brought in some 16mm films he bought at a yardsale in Maine over the summer for $1. 1940s New Hampshire: the Man on the Mountain (RIP), the sea, the woods, swimming in a lake. Kids on parade, kids doing bike tricks on a homemade ramp (great bikes!), a boxing match, kids clown around dressed as clowns, acrobats. Cars on the track, kids and ponies, amusement park rides. Girls jump off the pier into the water. At camp, a picnic, taking the flag off the pole at vespers. Autumn arrives in time for drum majorettes, a football game, a woman with her Doberman, a squirrel (see how often the animals appear!), mother and child feeding ducks in the sun, a kid with a coonskin cap. Mark donated the films to the HFA, and we all agreed it was worth the $1.

One couple showed up with a film they didn’t want to show because it was of the man as a kid and said he was embarrassed to show it because he was fat in the films, which I found really sad. They didn’t stick around to watch other people’s childhoods. I’m not sure what they were expecting, but we didn’t deliver.

I showed two pigeon films (again with the animals). Both are Kodachrome super 8 camera rolls. The first was one I shot in two parts, the first half is Providence in the winter two years ago, the second half is pigeons on a medieval church in France this past summer. The second roll is the pigeon film I threatened to show last year but didn’t. Jason pulled out some classical music for this one that really synched up perfectly with the film. As the action of the pigeons flying around got more exciting, the music did as well. This is a film I made on my way to work 2 years ago, of the pigeons around Symphony Hall flying in those swooping circles they like to do. At one point they get really excited because a lady who feeds them is walking toward their feeding spot. They recognize her and surround her as she tosses out a bag of birdseed. It’s prettier than it sounds.

Throughout the last part of the day, I kept calling out for a guy who had brought in a very short super 8 film, but every time I was ready to show it, he was gone. He and his friend wandered in and out, and some point he got drunk and stumbled in and sat down for about 2 minutes, then disappeared again. His friend stuck it out for most of the show, so finally, since it was the last unscreened film, we showed it without him (his friend was there). It ended up being a really
good coda for the afternoon: a cut camera roll (about 20 feet) of super 8 color shot from a car in Hollywood in 1972, showing all these great signs, fast in-camera edits. Some volunteers breathed a sigh of relief that it wasn’t some scary porn (but having inspected it, I knew it wasn’t going to be scandalous, despite my hopes to the contrary).

All in all, another successful and fun Home Movie Day. We went out to late lunch/early dinner and drinks at my fave local, Charlie’s Kitchen, and talked about the movies and the event. What went wrong, what went right, which films were our favorites, and so forth.

A few days after the event, I saw a friend of mine, who had been at the event. She had never watched home movies before. I asked her what her favorites were, and she declared an affinity for the classic 1960s home movies from Chrissy. I found this great, because they were such good examples of classic family films, and were well shot and edited (in-camera), never a dull moment, practically an ad for Kodachrome. These kinds of films are the bread and butter of HMD, even though we often overlook them in favor of the weird stand-out films (“The Last Mission” and the super 8 sound for me this year). I guess they’re also the kinds of films I worry might bore people who are not used to watching home movies, because they were made with such a small audience in mind, just the family or maybe even just the person with the camera and projector. When this kind of film lacks a strong editor, a person who can frame well and has an eye for color, decent film stock and lighting, they can be deadly. The rolls Chrissy brought were each about 15 minutes long! That’s often far too much, and putting up one of those big reels can be scary at HMD, but in this case we enjoyed the 45 minutes as if the family were our own.

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December 18, 2009


HMD Report: Pittsburgh

Janet Ceja’s report from Home Movie Day 2009 in Pittsburgh:

Event Venue: Waffle Shop

Event time (screening): 7-9 p.m.

Event time (inspection): 4-6:45 p.m.

Total Audience: 26. We also streamed live over the internet and since the weather was lousy there may have been a few people who chose to watch from home.

Number of people bringing films: 4

Films screened by Gauge: 8mm: 6, 16mm: 2

Volunteers: Samantha Le Blanc, Rabia Gibbs, Bo Baker, Sean Kilcoyne, Diana Little, Miriam Meislik, Renee Ziemann, Lindsay Mattock

Press (pre-event and post-event): Press was limited to flyers around town, University of Pittsburgh, and social networking (online and off line).

Movies screened will be described in pairs by subject:

Wedding Reception: There were two 8mm films documenting one audience member’s mother’s wedding receptions. There were two wedding receptions with lots of dancing, socializing and etc. One scene that was striking and that got the audience talking was a shot of a pregnant woman drinking and smoking.

Father: There were two 8mm films documenting one audience member’s father. One was based in a local PA town in which her father is being filmed post a car accident in crutches visiting the junk yard where the car ended up, as well as scenes of him in front of the family owned furniture store and other exterior shots of the town. The second location was unknown, but another audience member identified it as Florida. This film was most memorable for its initial shot where we see a sign on the road that said “No Niggers, Mexicans or Puerto Ricans.”

Kids: There were two 8mm films documenting one audience member’s grandparents, aunts, and uncles as kids at the beach and theme parks in one film, and the other in the woods.

Ed Films: I brought in some educational films that circulated around the Pittsburgh school district. One was titled Bus Nut, and the second Pittsburgh Holiday, Kennywood Park.

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HMD Report: Berlin, Germany

A report on HMD 2009 from Martin Koerber in Berlin:

We didn’t really count, but I’d say about 40 people came to see the films, and 12 parties brought in films. Screenshot (a Berlin based company who does professional transfers of Home Movies) supported us again and had installed a demo unit of their new HD Flashscan, so people could see what one can do with Home Movies these days apart from running them through projectors. Many people asked for help in transferring material.

The screenings started with a film about the “Waldbahn” in Muskau, a small gauge (660 mm) train that was first run in 1899 and had been abandoned in the 1990. It has been re-opened by a bunch of enthusiasts and is now running as an attraction for tourists, steam engine and all. Further, we had a lot of baby footage this time, mainly from the 1950s, and the babies, now nearing retirement age, were present to comment. Most of them hadn’t seen the footage for a very long time, and they were moved to see themselves through the eyes of their loving parents, so to speak. We were moved by their comments, which included a lot of cultural and social history which would have been lost to modern viewers without the live commentary. What stuck is the notion that even private footage of this sort can “talk” and made worthwhile, if only the right contextualization is at hand.

Another highlight was a film made in the 1970s in Hadrian’s villa near Tivoli (Italy). A now retired art-historian had recorded this and other archeological sites as what she calles “optical memory” helping her remembering facts and appearances of these places when writing about them. Apart from being interesting because of the topic itself, the footage was extremly beautifully shot.

Two people (independently from each other) brought films they had recorded in their school days in the early 1960s in East Germany, and had recently re-evaluated and re-edited on DVD for a class-reunion. This was interesting too, because it showed they view on themselves then, but also their hindsights thoughts and feelings.

The sensation of the day was a Home Movie from Outer Space, so to speak. The German astronaut Reinhard Furrer had recorded 16 mm footage during his flight on the European Space lab in 1985. We saw the astronauts floating about during their lunch-break, and a tour through the Space lab and the shuttle. Amazing! The footage was brought in by his sister, who had never seen it. Furrer died in a plane crash in 1995 an left the footage as well as audiotapes of his inflight-recorded reflection on his space travel to her. We will follow this up and hopefully aquire this unique material for our collection.

To conclude HMD this year, we showed ELLE S’APPELLE SABINE by Sandrine Bonnaire at Kino Arsenal at 7 p,m in the evening. People who had brought in films received a voucher for a free ticket. The film is a portrait of Sandrine’s autistic sister, and her story is told partly through the use of the Bonnaire’s family films.

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HMD Report: Duluth, Minnesota

Tim Massett reports on Home Movie Day in Duluth:

Event Venue: Zinema 2

Event time (screening): Noon to Four

Event time (inspection): 12:00, 1:00, 2:00 3:00

Total Audience: 7

Number of people bringing films: 2

Films screened by Gauge: 8mm: 3, Super 8: 1, 16mm: 1

Volunteers: Shana David- Massett, Johnathon Olsen

Press (pre-event and post-event): Duluth News Tribune printed one small article.

Well, Duluth has gotten off to a slow start but the highlight goes to Andrew Williamson who brought in 1 400ft 16mm Kodachrome print of an Amtrak ride he
took from Minneapolis to Los Angeles via Seattle in 74. It was mainly landscapes. He also brought in a 200ft roll of Super 8 film he shot in Bong Ha, Vietnam before the Tet offensive. It was chock full of really fantastic images of children running along the banks hoping for something to be tossed to them by the soldiers on the boats, woman washing clothes on the banks of a river and folks fishing while explosions could be seen in the distance. Andrew also documented the arrest of an elderly man, who was hooded with bound hands. Andrew talked about how this was a defining moment in his decision to become against the war.

Although attendance was really low, hearing the stories from Andrew while his
films were shown must be what HOME MOVIE DAY is all about. Here is hoping
that Duluth will catch on for next year.

The other 8mm films screened were films from my wife’s grandfather. Coney
Island in the fifties, Purim Party and a rockin Seder.

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HMD Report: Raleigh, North Carolina

Thanks to Skip Elsheimer for this report on HMD 2009 in Raleigh:

Event Venue: North Carolina State Archives

Event time (screening): 1-4pm

Event time (inspection): 1-4pm

Total Audience: approx. 85-95

Number of people bringing films: 14

Films screened by Gauge: Not sure of the total but it was predominantly 8mm, 16mm with some super 8. We showed some films that had been transferred to Quicktime files.

Volunteers: Skip Elsheimer (A/V Geeks), Kate Kluttz, Paul Shackleton (A/V Geeks intern), Dave Zahn, Charlotte Walton, Karen Glynn, Anna Bigelow, Z Hobert Thompson (A/V Geeks intern), Stephanie Stewart, Kim Cumber, Marsha Orgeron (NC State Film Dept), Devin Orgeron (NC State Film Dept), Jerry Pemberton

Press (pre-event and post-event): Local NPR radio interview before the event, mention in the News Observer weekend section, article in News and Observer after the event.

Slow motion family, trip to Hershey gardens, Christmas (x3), trip to Europe 1952, Halloween, fire at the KY State Fair, living in France, couple visiting Italy – seeing Mussolini, couple visiting Germany, Autobahn, Hitler in a village. Lots of Italian and German military training, Visiting Paris, big Hitler rally, Johnny Tramaine class project, Raleigh’s Pullen Park, Smithsonian Air and Space Museum, Korean war films – submarine, Ohio State footage, Vietnam USO footage…

One family (“Gou” I think) who brought the Vietnam footage, aerial ftg and ftg of soldier playing with dog. I think it was shot by the woman’s late husband and she was there with her adult children – I don’t think they had seen the ftg before (Stephanie Stewart).

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HMD Report: New Orleans

From Brenda Flora in New Orleans:

Venue: Zeitgeist Multi-disciplinary Arts Center

Screening time: 2-5pm

Inspection time: 11am – 1pm

Audience: 11

People bringing film: 3

8mm: 6, Super 8: 5, 16mm: 5

Volunteers: Brenda Flora, Ian Wood, Yvonne Loiselle, Joshua Smith

Press: Blurb in local free paper, alternative events website, radio events calendar, venue website

We didn’t have a huge crowd, but I don’t feel too bad about it since we were competing with the Jazz and Heritage Blues and BBQ Festival (Buddy Guy played for free!), Steam Train Festival, Land of Nod Experiment Music Festival, and October Fest – all of which were free – plus it was the first bearably cool Saturday of the summer. Keeping that in mind, I think we did okay with 11 people in attendance.

We had way more films than last year, and didn’t get a chance to get through the boxes and boxes that were brought. Hopefully attendees will return with them next year!

The highlight was the 8mm films an attendee’s father filmed while in the Navy. He had a lot of interesting footage from all over the world, but the most interesting reel was the one depicting the Navy hazing ritual that happens when they cross the equator for the first time. Lots of crawling and spanking, a man dressed as King Neptune whose tummy the men must kiss, stockades, and something that looked sort of like a pool of urine the must jump into. It made me want to learn more about the ritual, and made our attendee want to speak to her father about it.

We also had 4 films that were shot this year on Super 8 by two different attendees. Yay!! Super 8 lives on!!

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December 22, 2009


HMD Report: San Luis Obispo

From Genevieve Maxwell in San Luis Obispo:

I hosted a home movie day event in San Luis Obispo, California. This was the first HMD I have ever hosted and the first in this location. Thankfully, it was a big success! We had 40 people in attendance and 14 who had their films screened. Although the event was in SLO, the vast majority were neighbors or former neighbors and friends from the community I grew up in, Garden Farms. It is a very small, close-knit community and the amount of participation was in large part due to the efforts of my mother, Janice, and the fact that some of the films were shot in the neighborhood. There is a great interest in Garden Farms history and preservation among its residents and I was excited to see HMD provide a whole new way of coming together and exploring that history.

One of our biggest highlights came from Billy Wilson, a neighbor who brought in a beautiful 16mm film that he shot in Japan and Korea when he was in the air force in 1946. Another popular film was one belonging to a neighbor, Art Robinson, which featured him as a child in Garden Farms from 1937 to the late 1940s. This was exciting because it gave us all a look at what the neighborhood looked like back then. One film from the 1970s was done as a project for an architecture course at Cal Poly and documented some architectural oddities, particularly in Southern California and Las Vegas.

Overall, I have gotten a lot of great feedback from people who had either never seen the films they brought, or hadn’t seen them for over 30 or 40 years!! I really loved that everyone narrated their film and there was a lot of banter and giggles all round. Thank you HMD organizers and founders for inspiring us to participate in such a cool event!

Venue: San Luis Obispo Senior Center

Screening: 2-6

Inspection: 12-2

Total Audience: 41

Number of people with films: 14

8mm: 7 films, Super 8: 4, 16mm: 3

Volunteers: Janice Maxwell, Jessica Bockelman, Nick Colin, Josh C.

Press: local newspaper the Telegram Tribune and weekly, The New Times, online community calendars, ads in the senior center (venue) newsletter and Garden Farms’ local newsletter, The Gazette.


Genevieve Maxwell: color,16mm film of me and my mom circa 1983

Wes Burke: 4 color, super 8 films including camping in Texas, Sea World, Six Flags in 1980 and 1977 respectively, waterskiing and Wes on his mini-bike (motorcycle)

John Pinson: color, 1960’s, travel footage, location unknown, family party with dancing, feigned drunkenness and an uncle playing guitar, ends with footage of the uncle’s country band performing

Art Robinson: b/w, 8mm, Garden Farms from 1937 to late 40s

A.A.: b/w, color 8mm, 2 short films of her and her brother as children playing in their yard in a Chicago suburb

Duane English: color, super 8, climbing Bishop’s Peak in San Luis Obispo in the form a Keystone Cops spoof with music

Billy Wilson: b/w 16mm, beautiful film from when Billy was in the airforce, circa 1946 in Japan and Korea

Don O’Daniel: color, super 8, project he did when attending Cal Poly in the 1970s, focusing on architecture of a fanciful nature primarily in southern california

Tao: color, super 8 films of family vacations in Mexico, Jamaica in the late 70s-80s

Kara: color, 8mm film of family camping trips in colorado, shot of her and her friend getting bucked off a horse, a lot of trains and scenery, 1960s

Ron: 8mm, color, shot by his father who was also in korea and japan after WWII, children playing on a see saw, very young girl does a beautiful dance for the camera in traditional Korean dress

Beth Kilimnik: color, 16mm project done for an art class when she was in college, animated drawings done directly on the film

Chris Kelley: color, 8mm, films of her childhood parties and events, such as xmas and halloween, some fun stuff

Jim Ream: 8mm, color, college basketball games and pole vaulting, 1960s, one interesting shot where someone was filming the tv set

John Kelley: 8mm, color, S.F. zoo and family trip to visit relatives in S.F., training at Fort Ord.

Interestingly, despite press in San Luis Obispo, all the attendees were people who live or once lived in the small community of Garden Farms, technically a part of Atascadero. All the outreach to acquire those films was by word of mouth. Many of the participants are planning on doing another screening for other neighbors who weren’t able to attend Home Movie Day. My mother, Janice, who helped me immensely in getting the films together loved the event and is encouraging neighbors to come to us for any help in transferring or donating their films.

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HMD Report: Boulder, Colorado

From Jennifer L Peterson in Boulder:

Event Venue: Boulder Public Library

Event time (inspection): 2-4

Event time (screening): 4:30-6pm

NOTE: inspection and screening pretty much overlapped the entire day

Total Audience: 30

Number of people bringing films: 12

Films screened by Gauge: 8mm: 2, Super8: 12, 16mm: 7

Volunteers: Emily Shurtz, Jonathan Borthwick, Jacob Barreras, Matt Barats, Sarah Biagini, Jennifer Peterson, Jeanne Liotta, Joel Haertling

Press: flyering, radio interview, press releases sent to the Onion and local papers

We hosted the first ever Home Movie Day in Boulder last Saturday at the Boulder Public Library. Organizers were Jennifer Peterson and Jeanne Liotta. Joel Haertling of the Boulder Public Library made the venue available to us, and also volunteered on the day. Other volunteers were Jacob Barreras, Emily Shurtz, Jonathan Borthwick, Matt Barats, and Sarah Biagini. Our event was funded by a modest financial donation from the University of Colorado at Boulder Film Studies Program, where Jeanne and I both teach. Our event began at 2pm and ended at 6pm. There were 8 people who brought films, and about 35 people in the audience over the course of the day.

We did some local press (sent press releases to local papers and The Onion, plus Jeanne did spoke on the CU Boulder college radio station). Sarah designed a very nice poster and we put them all over campus and around town. Announcements were posted in the Boulder Public Library calendar. We also relied heavily on word of mouth to promote the event.

We expected a small turnout for this inaugural Boulder event, and got it. Even though only a few people from the community showed up, however, we were thrilled by the way our Home Movie Day turned out! People started showing up at 2pm sharp. We intended to inspect films until 4:00 and then begin our screening at 4:30, but in fact we started projecting films at about 3pm, and didn’t stop until the library closed at 6pm. There were a total of 21 films screened, on 16mm, 8mm, and Super 8.

Some highlights:

16mm Kodachrome from the 1950s in Cape Cod and around New England, featuring sailing footage and images of Charlie Whitman, father of current New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman.

16mm B/W from the 1930s showing coeds at Amherst College.

Super 8 footage of The Cramps in concert at a tiny venue, from the late 1970s, with nice morning after/hangover footage of audience members.

8mm footage of drag racing. Various films people found at garage sales and church sales, including a great color film about a group of men on a fishing trip in the 1960s, which featured a sequence shot inside the “Glory Hole” bar (which turned out to be filled with charming ladies in beehive hairdos).

An emotional part of the day came early on when a woman showed up with a shoebox filled with meticulously-kept super 8 home movies. There were many reels in the box, but she only wanted to watch two films of her son. It turns out that this son was, that very day, lying in the hospital dying of Huntington’s Disease in his mid-30s. She told us he wasn’t expected to last the night. We watched a film of the son at a tumbling recital as a young boy, and a film of him being brought home from the hospital. The woman quietly narrated what was going on, and then after watching these two films, left to return to her son at the hospital. There were only a few people there at this early part of the day, and we were all moved by this moment.

We played bingo, gave out prizes, and overall, had a very good time at Home Movie Day!

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HMD Report: Toronto

From Homemade Movies:

Toronto – Home Movie Day presented by Homemade Movies

This year we held our Home Movie Day in the Roncesvalles neighbourhood of Toronto at the historic Revue Cinema. The Revue is an old deco movie house that is now run by the non-profit Revue Film Society. The event was co-presented with the Revue Film Society as well as the nearby Swansea Historical Society.

Being invited to present Home Movie Day at the Revue grew out of Homemade Movies’ series of ongoing neighbourhood b.y.o.h.m. or “bring your own home movies” events, several of which have been held in surrounding neighbourhoods.

Our Home Movie Day had both a repair clinic – where people were able to look through their collections, get help repairing films and select a reel to show – and a screening.

We had a lot of 16mm films brought out this time, including work from two large collections. Some highlights included films of: an early Caribana parade from 1970 (now the world’s largest ex-pat Caribbean carnival – a million plus participants come to Toronto each year), family life from Washington DC and Toronto in the 40’s and the Weeki Wachee mermaid show from a trip to Florida.

This year we would like to thank K Raudoja, P Reddick, J Culp, R Cruickshank, R Miyanishi, S Moffat, P Hamiwka, T Bourgette, Images, Pleasure Dome and especially John Porter for all their help.

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HMD Report: Bradford, England

From Megan McCooley:

Location: The National Media Museum, Bradford, UK

Time: 10am – 5pm

Organizers: Megan McCooley (Yorkshire Film Archive) and Fozia Bano (National Media Museum)

Additional film examiners, projectionists, filmmakers, and special guest speakers: Sue Howard, Alex Southern, Rachel Smith, Binny Baker, Andrew Knight, Michael Harvey, Joe Hepworth.

Publicity: The YFA was able to have articles go out in local newspapers throughout the region prior to the event. Additionally, we were able to get two promotional pieces on BBC Radio Leeds and York as well as a short promotional piece on BBC Look North on Friday, 16th October. Information was also posted on archivist, film, culture, and tourist sites including Screen Research, Film Archive Forum, DigYorkshire, YFA and NMM websites. Additionally, the YFA organized a joint press release with the organizers of HMD London. A few people saw Look North that night and came to see us on Saturday which was great. Finally we had a flyer which was distributed to partnership organizations throughout the region.

Total number of guests: about 40 + 6 families for the Family Filmmaking Workshop

Total number of films brought in: 1 x 16mm, 6 x 8mm, 2 x VHS, 2 x DVD
This was the first HMD event in Yorkshire, and one of two in the UK this year. The Yorkshire Film Archive and National Media Museum have worked closely on other projects in the past and felt this would be the perfect location for this year’s HMD event.

A film clinic was open all day and had the capacity for 16mm, 8/super8mm, 9.5mm, DVD and VHS. Just a little bit about the audience – most of them were amateur filmmakers themselves bringing in home movies that they have made or come to see films others like them have made. Many were also members of cine clubs whose collections we hold at the YFA. We had a few people who had not brought in home movies but had wondered up to the Film Clinic just to see what was going on and/or get advice about their own collections. Many stayed to watch the footage from the YFA collection that was being screened. Some of them had collections of their own and were very interested to see the footage being screened upstairs. We also had people mention they saw the Look North piece that went out on Friday and had come to the museum that day as a result. The age range varied of participants as well as the type of collections which came in. We had mostly 8mm films, 6 films in all, 2 vhs tapes, and 2 dvds. Many people were also interested on getting information about how to transfer their own home movies to DVD. The highlight of the day for us was a VHS collection which featured XCLUSIVE, a night club in Batley, in 1984.
HMD Bradford also included other events throughout the museum including two sessions with Michael Harvey, Curator of Cinematography at the NMM, focusing on the technology used to create home movies and highlighting pieces from the Museum’s collection. There were also two presentations by YFA’s Binny Baker and series producer Andrew Knight taking a closer look at the highly successful television series “The Way We Were”, a series completely designed around home movies and amateur filmmakers. Plus there was screenings throughout the day of home movies, and an afternoon screening of films made during the Family Filmmaking Workshop run by Joe Hepworth.

We were also able to get a bit of funding through Screen Yorkshire, to whom we’re extremely grateful. This helped to cover staff and travel costs and especially digitization costs of home movies already held at the YFA and screened on the day. Films screened included family Christmas celebrations during WWII, Kelly’s Eye, a comical film about an amateur filmmaker and the lengths he’ll go to in order to make the perfect film, the National Hairdressing Competition at Alexandria Hall, Halifax 1963, Archbishop Holgate School 1932, and underwater footage from the British Sub Aqua Club in 1956.

For our first event, I would say it went well. We certainly learned a lot and will build on those lessons for next year. Having the event in Bradford also gave us the opportunity to reach a larger audience who may not get the opportunity to travel to the Archive in York. It was great to see some familiar faces from local cine clubs who share the same enthusiasm for filmmaking and were also able to contribute greatly to the day. Unfortunately there was a lot going on that weekend in the region, and much of our publicity only went out the week before, so we weren’t able to reach as many newcomers as we would’ve liked. On the upside, we have had people contacting the YFA within the last week looking to deposit collections or seek advice on preservation of their film and video collections as a result of the event.

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HMD Report: Los Angeles

From Brian Drischell and Sean Savage:

Event Venue: Linwood Dunn Theater, AMPAS Pickford Center

Event time (screening): 12:00pm-4:00pm

Event time (inspection): 11:00am

Total Audience: 40

Number of people bringing films: 13

Films screened by Gauge: 8mm: 10, Super 8: 8, 16mm: 6, 9.5mm: None, but projectionist Dino Everett brought his museum of 9.5mm projectors and did a demo including the film “The Home Guard” (1941, U.K.)

Video: No way man!

Volunteers: Brian Meacham, Ed Carter, Fritz Herzog, Leah Wagner, Lynne Kirste, Stefan Palko, Tim Wilson, Steve Wright, Amy Jo Damitz, Dino Everett, Meredith Rimmer, Charles Rogers, Jessie Frey, Esther Nam, Jessica Storm, Rhonda Vigeant, Johnny Alexander, Maria Janus, Cassie Blake, Brian Drischell, Sean Savage

Special events/screenings: Evening event, “Hollywood Home Movies II

Press (pre-event and post-event): some weekly listings, nothing too splashy, plus this bit on IMDb.

Screening highlights:

Volunteer Jessie Frey brought her mom and her great-grandfather’s films. One titled: “Fun with a Movie Camera” had some nice trick effects like a stop motion Xmas tree decoration, and the transformation of Aunt Linda, in housecoat and curlers, into a fully-outfitted majorette after a baton toss in the air.

Military Air Corps footage shot on air base in Orange County, California in 1943. The base was active from 1942-46, but no longer exists. Shot by an officer, the 16mm Kodachrome reel captures shiny new planes on the tarmac and in the air. Also glimpsed are military personnel setting up a radio communication system in empty field.

Academy oral historian and former assistant to Peter Bogdanovich Mae Woods brought 8mm footage she shot during production of “The Last Picture Show” featuring candid shots of Jeff Bridges and Cybill Shepherd in Wichita Falls, TX (though it was sadly underexposed).

The Archive’s Collections Curator Fritz Herzog presented one of his amateur horror epics c. 1970 entitled “The Feast.” Everyone was sufficiently spooked by the high grain b/w night photography and haunting mag-stripe sound mix.

And attendee Roger Brown brought a couple of his mid-’70s productions including “The Goshfather” (their parents wouldn’t let them say “God”!). Though none of the kids involved had seen Coppola’s film, Roger somehow conjured up a pretty convincing Brando impression.

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January 11, 2010


HMD Report: Portland, Maine

Joe Gardner’s report on HMD in Portland, Maine:

Event Venue: Maine Historical Society

Event time (screening): 1 – 4pm

Event time (inspection): 1 – 3pm

Total Audience: 36

Number of people bringing films: 3

Films screened by Gauge: 8mm: 6, DVD transfer of 16mm: 1

Volunteers: 7 – Steve Bromage, Jane Donnell, Joe Gardner, Jessica Hosford, Gemma Perretta, Karan Sheldon, David Weiss.

Special events/screenings: We showed selections from E.B. White’s home movies, which are held at Northeast Historic Film. The clips were projected from a DVD made from 16mm film. The footage largely took place at and near White’s farm in North Brooklin, Maine from the thirties and forties. White’s granddaughter, Martha White, gave a talk while they ran, commenting on the various people and things seen on screen. E.B. White was usually the one behind the camera, but he was seen occasionally. There was a loud gasp from the audience when a spider appeared on screen. Afterwards, Martha White took questions from the audience.

Press (pre-event and post-event): David Weiss, Northeast Historic Film’s executive director, appeared on the Maine TV talk show 207 to discuss HMD, the E.B. White screening and Northeast Historic Film. It’s online here.

Bonnie Roberts brought in two 8mm films which included 1940s and ‘50s color footage of her great-grandparents in Maine. Coincidentally, her great-grandparents are also the great-grandparents of NHF staff member, Jane Donnell. The films showed footage of a family home that Jane knew very well, and at one point, Jane’s mom (as a child) was shown on screen. Bonnie and Jane had never met before and it was a complete surprise that this connection was discovered.

Tim Findlen of Portland brought in three reels of film show by Al Hawkes, a local music producer. Hawkes’s home movie featured images of a band playing, family skiing and iceskating. Tim has more of Hawkes’s films and plans to make a documentary about Hawkes (who is still alive, but did not attend the event).
Other films included scenes of children playing, horse sports, potato fields blooming, waterskiing and farms. The range of years spanned the ‘40s to the ‘70s.

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HMD Report: White River Junction, VT

From John Tariot:

Upper Valley Home Movie Day in White River Junction, Vermont

The Upper Valley Home Movie Day held in the studio of the local cable TV channel, CATV 8, in White River Junction Vermont was a success- and was at least in keeping with the turn-out from previous years. We had about 15 or so attendees, half of whom brought films- and, of those, the ones that were screened were almost all Super8- though we had quite a bit of 8mm and some 16mm show up as well. We didn’t get much press coverage this year- a combination of over-taxed organizers and the loss of one of our 2 local papers both played a role. Despite the lack of press prior to the event, turn-out was about the same, as I mentioned, as in previous years.

The press coverage we DID get came out today- better late than never, I suppose- though I would have preferred to get press before-hand. The article is available online.

We had also attempted to do a little “Antiques Roadshow” meets Home Movie Day by videotaping the event for air on local cable- though our attention was really on the films as they came in and answering peoples’ questions- so- this didn’t materialize. If we attempt this again we’ll have to round up volunteers who would be tasked with the video portion of the day’s events alone.

We had support from The Howe Library in Hanover NH, Film & Media Studies at Dartmouth College, and the Jones Media Center of Dartmouth Library, and the Main Street Museum of Art of White River Junction.

Our organizers were myself, Bruce Posner and Sukie Punjasthitkul – who took pictures at the event which are available here.

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HMD Japan Mega-Report

From Kae Ishihara:


Weather-wise this year’s HMD was not that great. In Tokyo we had a little rain at night, but our average audience increased to 27 (average capacity of venue was 39). Depending on the venue, the number of films shown varied from six to 15, running costs were from 0 yen to 30,000 yen (average 9,000 yen), and the number of volunteers was from three to twelve. We thank our international guests, Brigitte Paulowitz, John Stewart, and Quentin Turner at HMD Yanesen despite the fact the the event was monolingual. I hope they enjoyed the special home movie time created by our local rep.

We mainly deal with 8mm but HMD Yanesen and Nagoya had one 16mm each from the pre-war era this year. The films HMD Japan is showing are increasingly from the old days. We realised that those venues holding HMD for a long time now have a very strong team of volunteers who do a great job. For the first time ever, HMD Misawa had outside screenings, which went successfully.

Through the mailing list, the reps talked a lot about how to take action against influenza (it was in the flu season, and there was a lot of hysteria about avoiding crowds in the media), and also about copyright, as one of the “best HMD” films had a scene showing a TV broadcasting “East of Eden” (1955).


We put the HMD PR Video on YouTube (both original and english subtitled version) as our first attempt and it had over 700 hits. This video was made by our member Mariko Goda, who has been making our “Adopt-a-Film” PR for a long time.
All in all, we have to admit that this year was a bit quieter on the media coverage side. HMD Misawa and Hirowaki had big articles in the local newspaper after the event, and HMD Nagoya was successfully introduced in advance in Asahi Newspaper with a long interview with the rep, Satoe Tamura. Everyone loved this article as it explains how much fun she is having through the HMD activities and naturally shows the wonderfulness of film preservation. Eventually HMD Nagoya had over 55 in the audience, which was a record for them.

We got really excited when a passionate publicity person from Fujifilm Photomuseum came to visit us about their participation to HMD well in advance, in connection with their exhibition “Nostalgic Home Movies ? from the Zoetrope to Single 8 Film.” Unfortunately they did not do any special events related to this exhibition, and their ultimate decision was to pull out of HMD. I felt that in their rather small but beautifully done exhibition, 8mm films were totally in the past and we could just see them displayed as antiques. Yet Fujifilm Square in Roppongi is great place to visit if you have time in Tokyo, and don’t miss their fabulous museum shop!

According to Fujifilm’s press release dated 2nd June, 2009, Fujifilm is going to stop the sale of FUJICHROME R25N in March 2012 and FUJICHROME RT200N in May 2010. And Fujifilm’s processing service is going to end in September 2013.

All the photos from HMD Japan 2009 can be seen on Flickr.


Suddenly from last year, a lot of regional film archiving projects are emerging in Japan. And Film Festivals in Japan are showing more and more interest in regional films. When they have symposiums, seminars or workshops, at least one or two FPS members go to see what’s going on, but it seems they are mainly focusing on the contents, digitization and how to make good re-use of old footage. We had never come across film preservation ethics or long term preservation efforts. I was invited to Yamagata International Documentary Film Festival in October this year to introduce FPS’ activities. They also had home movie related screenings during the festival. I’m hoping that they will have HMD next time in 2011.

FPS is also getting involved in a new regional film archive project from next Spring in Bunkyo-ward, Tokyo (where FPS’ office is). So, we’ll keep making efforts to place emphasis on the preservation side of this sort of project. For the temperature controlled vault, our institutional member Kyoshin Warehouse Co., Ltd. is renovating their vault – used to be a storage for food – into a special vault for Audiovisual materials (five degrees). And we are ready to make a contract with them when it’s complete.

Reps and Volunteers

I especially wish to thank Asako Takemori (HMD Misawa & Hirosaki), Satoe Tamura (HMD Nagoya), Yuko Shiota (HMD Senju), Keiichi Shima (HMD Yanesen) and Nozomi Nakagawa (HMD Kodaira) for their cooperation and considerable input. It feels so great to witness their progress year by year. Nozomi is our accountant, and also taking charge of film inspection and film projection workshop for newcomers as a leader of FPS’ Small Gauge Dept. SGD is opening a new inspection room near the FPS office in 2010.

We had a reps meeting before HMD on 16th August 2009 (13 reps and potential reps attended), and will have another meeting after HMD on 28th November 2009 in ELMO headquarters in Nagoya, and best home movies screenings follow on the same day at Cultural Path Shumokukan – they have an English website here.


(in Misawa)
Saiko Horiuchi, Hisashi Ando, Takeo Mochizuki, Kana Yamamoto, Sachiko Yamashita, Sakiko Kimura, Ai Moriyama, Misato Chikayama, Eri Yamaki, Toshiko Shimokawa, Akiko Miura, Yuko Tamo, Yoko Matsuhashi

(in Hirosaki)
Satoshi Shibata, Keiko Saito, Masafumi Takebayashi

(in Senju)
Yasuhide Takanashi, Hidetoshi Sase, Idle Man

(in HMD Yanesen)
Satoko Ohashi, Sadanobu Iida, Mariko Goda, Chie Nagai, Ryuji Nakayama, Shigeki Arimitsu, Mari Kawamoto

(in HMD Kodaira)
Mikio Yamazaki, Yuko Kodama, Keiko Imai

(in HMD Nagoya)
Hiroki Yamashita, Kazuo Shinato, Miyuki Takeda, Yoko Fukada, Nobuaki Hara, Ayumi Hara, Yoji Hasegawa, Saki Tanaka, Masako Kitamura

Best HMD 2009 from Japan!

Organizer: Asako Takemori
Venue: Misawa City Library
Mikawame Public Adult Lecture
R8, BW, Sil., 4minutes, 1965
from Misawa City Hall
This is one of the 25 regular 8 films discovered in Misawa City Hall. All of them were in boxes but the descriptions on them did not match the contents of the film. The original box of this film says “Cultural Festival” but there was Mikawame Community Center shot in the film, so it is supposed to be in the box saying “Mikawame Public Adult Lecture”. Bashful local ladies at the commemorative photo-op at the end of the lecture are impressive.

Organizer: Asako Takemori
Venue: Menbo Takeya – soba restaurant
Odate; Sketch of the Snow Country
S8, Color, Sil., 8minutes, year unknown
from Kazuo Yoshida
This film consists of three parts; In the main street of Odate city, Akita pref, you’ll first see the “Snow Vehicle”. Then, a festival called Amekko-ichi (Candy Fair) in this same street. Every February they have this seasonal tradition with the belief that if you eat candy on the day, you’ll never catch cold. And the last part of the film is about the film owner’s wife Kimiko and icicles, which was the audience’s favourite. Mr Yoshida is scared of heights, and asked his wife to deal with the big icicles at the second floor, which is beautifully shot. She passed away last February right before the Candy Fair.

Organizer: Hidenori Sakamotoi
Venue: Sendai City Museum of History and Folklore
Yellow Patrol
R8, Color, Sil., 8minutes, mid-1960s
from Yasutoshi Ishikawa
A rapid increase in car accidents accompanied the increase in the number of cars around 1962 to 63, Nippon-unyu (shipping company) started educational activities to promote road safety. They created a theme song “Good kids’ road is good way to go home” and assembled “Yellow Patrol” to do a campaign combining traffic rules and gymnastic exercises. They visited schools from Hokkaido to Kyushu with the cooperation of local police departments. This film is a record of their visits to schools in Sendai and Morioka.

Organizer: Yuko Shiota
Venue: Senju Yanagicho Ju-ku Center
A Launch Party for Nissan’s “Datsun”
W8, BW, Sil., 3minutes, 1958
from Moriko Oishi
This film is about a launch party for Nissan’s “Datsun” in 1958 on the rooftop of Mitsukoshi department store. In those days, department stores were trendsetting places, and what was special about this car was that it used a plastic body for the first time in Japan. They own a car factory (now it’s a car shop) and shot a lot of footage in the factory such as “A Day in the Factory” or “Three-wheeler Inspection”.

Organizer: Nozomi Nakagawa
Venue: Gas Museum
1977 Okutama, Festival of Dolls, Piano Recital
S8, Color, Sil., 4minutes, 1977
from Masako Miyatake
Kodaira-city is located in the heart of greater Tokyo and Bridgestone Tire Factory is in the very center of the city. This film shows a girl brought up in the area in Spring 1977. She spends New Year’s day with her family in the company’s recreation facility, and wears traditional kimono for the dolls festival in March, and is in a brand new dress for a piano recital. She shared with the audience a lot of memories from her childhood.

Organizer: Keiichi Shima
Venue: Miyanaga Kaikan
Hiro-chan’s Wedding Party
R8, BW, Sil., 8minutes, 1971
from Etsuo Watanabe
Wedding party in 1971, Sendai at an old style Japanese restaurant. You will see a slightly nervous groom pouring Sake for the relatives, and a shy bride is bashful at the movie camera, a grandfather in formal traditional Japanese dress sings his party piece “Takasagoya” and towards the end, a drunken attendee starts the perennial “catching weatherfish” dance. Although it’s a silent film, you can gradually hear the cheerful sound as the party goes on.

Organizer: Satoe Tamura
Venue: Cultural Path Shumokukan
New Year 1969
S8, Color and BW, Sil., 15minutes, 1969
from Katsutoshi Kitazawa
At the beginning, you’ll see the mochi pounding tradition at the film owner’s house. They go to the shrine later on – another typical thing to do at Japanese New Year. On the 3rd January, they visit one of their relatives in Tokyo by driving “Subaru 1100 sports”, and it turns into a roadmovie. It shows Tokyo University’s campus where the student activism over Yasuda-kodo symbolized the year 1969. and also surroundings of Minamiazabu area in Tokyo. The beautiful snowcapped Mt. Fuji and the sports car are wonderfully shot at the end on their way back from Tokyo.

*HMD Osaka, Nishifunabashi, and Sangenchaya are not taking part in best HMD screenings. We’ll make a Best HMD 2009 from Japan DVD as usual as our activity record and promotion tool.

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May 5, 2010


HMD Report: Berkeley, California

Thanks to Pamela Jean Smith for this report:

This year was PFA’s third Home Movie Day. We tried things a bit differently with drop-off/inspection time from 11:00am-1:00pm and the screening started at 1:00pm, kicked off with a tribute to Kodachrome. We got a lot of early submissions so we were more prepared this year, and everyone who brought in film was able to see one or two of their reels.

This year I made Kodachroma cookies (with red-green-blue M&Ms) and we raffled away transfer time thanks to three local labs (Monaco, Video Transfer Center, and Audio Video Workshop).

Films represented all parts of the Bay – Berkeley, Oakland, Benecia, San Francisco, Fresno – and beyond – Oregon, Alaska, Ohio, Massachusetts, Florida, Mexico, Egypt. Every film except maybe two or three included a story from someone in the audience.

City: Berkeley, CA

Event Venue: Pacific Film Archive

Event time (inspection): 11:00-1:00 plus early drop off

Event time (open screening): 1:00-4:00 (beginning with a Kodachrome tribute)

Total Audience (open screening): 49 (not including volunteers)

Number of people bringing films: 12

Films screened by Gauge (open screening): 8mm: 9, Super 8: 4, 16mm: 5

Volunteers: 12 – Stefano Boni, Adrienne Cardwell, Megan Clement, Jonathan Knapp, Lucy Laird, Margaret Mello, Crystal Rangel, Jon Shibata, Pamela Jean Smith, Lauren Sorenson, Kyle Westphal, Troy Vadakan and Anuj Vaidya

Special events/screenings: ‘A Home Movie Homage to Kodachrome’ – a curated program of Kodachrome movies with audience participation and special music picked out for each movie

Press (pre-event and post-event): The Berkeley Daily Planet, the Berkeleyan, PFA Film Notes/Calendar. SF360, San Francisco Film Society’s online newsletter, published an interview with Pamela the week before the event. Calendar listings in weekly independent newspapers the Guardian, East Bay Express, SF Weekly, and online on Facebook, SF Station, squid list, craigslist, fecal face, Flavorpill and UC Berkeley’s calendar. A few people attended as part of Rick and Megan Prelinger’s Pickpocket Almanack course.

Highlights of the day:

New HMD friend Carol brought in 44 reels of regular 8 film that her grandfather shot, all kept in their original metal boxes. Since her grandfather was a Japanese American filmmaker who owned his own photography studio, he was thought to be a spy and interned during the war, so all of his films document life before and after the war. Carol hadn’t seen any of his films before, and we were able to show two of them dated 1945-1951: one included accidental double exposures of an airfield, a bright red truck with two men shaking hands next to it, fields, trees, and a close-up of Carol and her twin sister as little girls, and the other reel was documentation of a patriotic street parade in Fresno shortly after the war ended (and the family was released). This collection also includes amazing 1939 footage of the World’s Fair on Treasure Island, focusing specifically on sights of the Japanese pavilion, but it was unfortunately too shrunken and fragile to project.

Beautiful Kodachrome 16mm footage of Doug’s parents’ newlywed trip to Florida. We begin with his parents lounging on the beach and snorkeling (with cuts to underwater scenes, shot earlier at an aquarium) then they go to a chimpanzee show where chimps play the drums and piano (“Liberachi”), ride bikes and tightrope walk. Then on to Parrot World, where Doug’s dad gets covered with macaws – two on each arm and one on his head! Doug brought this reel in last year, and I had to include it again in the Kodachrome tribute for the colors and for all the animal antics.

Scott Stark loaned two great 16mm movies from his collection – a drunken 1951 Christmas scene of two couples drinking champagne, opening presents, drinking more champagne, and layering their dog with leftover ribbon and a wonderful black & white film from the early 1940s of a family from San Francisco singing “Back in the Saddle” (and occasionally hooting and hollering ‘yippee’ and ‘yow yow wow!’). It was shot on an optical sound Auricon camera. The sound simply shimmered!! (Scott showed these films at Orphans West this year, and again at Other Cinema… if he comes to your town don’t miss them!)

An anonymous regular 8mm Kodachrome reel from Alaska, 1960. Two African American boys  (“Craig and David”) open presents and do the twist like crazy as their mom looks on with a little smirk. Then there are scenes of everyone dancing in the living room.

An amazing split-screen trick film brought in by one of our volunteers, Adrienne, which was made by her dad when he was in his early twenties (1963). Using his neighbors as actors, he shoots the film twice so that husband and wife are looking at each other on the couch, then in another shot he puts a floor lamp in the middle of the screen and everyone disappears into the lamp!

Ruins of Playland-at-the-Beach in the early 1970s. Lonely, long glances of demolished amusement rides, broken windows and solitary people walking down the street.

Documentation of a lost bet: a man is forced to roll a roll of toilet paper out of a bar and across the main street of Benecia on his hands and knees through mud puddles. It looks like most of the town is there to see it.

A sequel to last year’s wedding film: The Grand Train Trip. The Fishers move to New York from San Francisco. We go from Oakland to Silver Creek Falls near Mt. Hood, Oregon. Scenes of picnicking among vibrant green ferns and swimming in a heated pool surrounded by snow. Mr. Fisher plays around with speed and his zoom lens, and there are lots of loving close-ups of his wife (Mr. Fisher refers to these shots as “artsy”).

A beautifully shot Kodachrome movie from 1938 of a Chicago family’s visit to Bunker Hill – a wonderful mix of movement and repose. A little girl in a sailor suit swings toward the camera followed by a shot of a group of kids in front of the Bunker Hill monument, standing still as if for a photograph. One of the boys has a wiggling puppy in his arms.

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HMD Report: Finland

From Britt Kootstra:

City: Malax, Finland

Event Venue: Malakta

Event time (screening): 13:00-17:00

Event time (inspection): Thursday 14:00-16:00, Friday : 14:00-16:00, Saturday: 10:00-13:00

Total Audience: 30

Number of people bringing films: 8

Films screened by Gauge: 8mm: 2, Super 8: 11, 16mm: 3 (submitted by Malakta and Filmcentrum Botnia)

Volunteers: 8 :Jukka Rajala-Granstubb, Maja Granstubb, Britt Kootstra, Arvid van der Rijt, Klas Fransberg, Axel Fransberg, Sarah Nelson, Erika Sillander

Special events/screenings:
– screening of educational 16mm films (upplysningsfilms) + 16mm films about Malakta, showing the history of Malakta which used to be a dairy factory
– exhibition of projectors and camera’s from the collection of Klas Fransberg (Filmcentrum Botnia-Elokuvakeskus Botnia)
– live marathon super8-filmscanning
Press (pre-event and post-event):

Radio Pohjanmaa
Webarticle ÖP ; (international home movie
day for the first time in Finland)
– announcements in newspapers Vasabladet and Pohjalainen

– frontpage + article in Vasabladet
– report on Malax TV

– 1 reel (15m.) found film showing a family having fun in the snow
– 1 reel (60m.) showing the harvest time in Österbotten ‘73-’76
– 1 reel (60m.) of travels to Scotland and Norway 1978
– 1 reel (60m.) of travels to Germany and Austria, and family in the summer
– 1 reel (15m.) of family celebrating christmas
– 2 reels (2 x 15m.) of family in Finland
– 1 reel (60m.) of a choir travelling
– 1 reel (60m.) of summertime in Finland
– 1 reel (60m.) of holiday in Italy
– 1 reel (70m) of travels to Germany

– 1 reel (60m.) about every member of the Skinnar family and all their daily activities 1963
– 1 amateur short film of 15 min. about… 1961

– 2 reels of dairy factory Malakta
– 1 ‘uplyssningsfilm’, educational film

All in all, it was a very successful day. We had a nice amount of films handed in. We couldn’t screen all of them, as we had some very active amateur filmmakers in the audience. At home they still had 2,5 km of film waiting to be screened… We had some films on 16 mm to show, just in case we didn’t have enough films brought in. We only had time to watch 3 short films in the beginning. At the end we almost ran out of time to be able to show all the films. All the visitors left saying, ‘See you next year!’ We are putting HMD in our calendar for next year, and hope for the same amount of enthusiasm, we encountered this year.

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June 5, 2010


HMD Report: Rochester

Thanks to Pat Doyen for this report.

City: Rochester

Event Venue: Visual Studies Workshop, 31 Prince St., Rochester, NY

Event time (screening): 2pm – 5pm

Event time (inspection): (includes early drop off times) – Tue 10/13 10am – 12pm, Wed 10/14 10am – 12pm, Thu 10/15 5:30pm – 7:30pm, Sat 10/17 1pm – 3pm

Total Audience: 69

Number of people bringing films: 16 people (22 films dropped off, 15 projectable)

Films screened by Gauge: 8mm: 4, Super 8: 6, 16mm: 5

Volunteers : 13 – Antonella Bonfanti, Anthony L’Abbate, Alexis Mayer, Ed Stratmann, Nancy Kauffman, James Layton, Deb Stoiber, Jeff Stoiber, Kristen Merola, Jenn Libby, Larry Arbeiter, Pat Doyen, Dan Varenka

Special events/screenings: exhibit of small gauge and amateur film equipment and ephemera in the lobby of the Dryden Theater. Exhibit during the Photo Historical Society conference.

Press (pre-event and post-event): the Rochester City Newspaper, University of Rochester’s @Rochester, and in the Democrat and Chronicle.

There was a lot of local footage (we put out a call specifically for local (especially lost) city landmarks due to it being Rochester’s 175th anniversary). In addition to street scenes, amusement parks and the annual Lilac Festival, a highlight was footage of a Kodak building being imploded. There was also some great harness racing footage from Rochester in the late ‘20’s.
One of the audience favorites was a b&w 16mm film, circa 1928, that showed a first communion ceremony at a Rochester church. The imagery was beautiful, with the children in white gowns streaming out of the church and down the steps. Everyone was quite taken with it, although one person said the church was like one of those clown cars because the stream of children was never ending. Someone suggested they were going back in the side door and coming out again.

There was also a beautiful 8mm Kodachrome film from 1956 of Mexico City. A market is shown as well as a theater with a huge mosaic façade. Also modern Mexican architecture in the city, a boat ride and some pretty good shots of a bullfight.

One family film showed an oil delivery with the delivery man smoking while pumping the oil! Most people hated a 3min super 8 film from the ‘70’s that was one shot showing kids playing in an orchestra – silent. I kind of liked it, it was surreal.

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July 5, 2010


HMD Report: Amsterdam

From Guy Edmonds:

City: Amsterdam

Event Venue: Filmmuseum, Vondelpark 3, 1071AA Amsterdam

Event time (screening): 13:00-18:00

Event time (inspection): 12:00-18:00

Total Audience: 325

Number of people bringing films: 45+

Films screened by Gauge: 8mm: 18, Super 8: 21, 16mm: 4, 9.5mm: 2

Volunteers (54):

Voornaam Achternaam Functie Herkomst
Rommy Albers ontvangst + archief informatie Filmmuseum
Elif Rongen archief informatie Filmmuseum
Bernhard Andre coordinatie SuperSens
Simona Monizza coordinatie Filmmuseum
Catrien Boettger coordinatie Filmmuseum
Jean-Pierre Sens coordinatie SuperSens
Guy Edmonds coordinatie Filmmuseum
Guido Bruin Flashscan SuperSens
Rixt Jonkman floor manager Filmmuseum
Anne van Es floor manager Filmmuseum
Anne Gant floor manager Filmmuseum
Ineke Wiegers info Filmmuseum Filmmuseum
Uli Ruedel info Haghe Foundation + logistiek Haghefilm Foundation
Bertil Pouw info SuperSens SuperSens
Maria Fuentes Carrasco inspectie Filmmuseum P&P
Jata Haan inspectie SuperSens
Annike Kross inspectie Filmmuseum
Andreas Busche inspectie Filmmuseum
Massimo Benvegnù inspectie Haghefilm Foundation
Nino Dzandzava inspectie Haghefilm Foundation
Laurel Howard inspectie P&P
Daniela Currò inspectie Haghefilm Foundation
Janneke van Dalen inspectie P&P
Danuta Zoledriewska inspectie P&P
Francesca Morselli inspectie P&P
Simone Venturini inspectie Haghefilm Foundation
Lyudmila Genkova inspectie P&P
Suzanne Bos inspectie P&P
Sean Kelly inspectie P&P
Ronald Reinds inspectie BenG
Suzan Crommelin inspectie/archief informatie Filmmuseum
Asen Ognyanov Ivanov inspectie/fotograaf P&P
Amy Wensing inspectie/verkoop filmspullen BenG
Patricia Gaetano logistiek tussen Bovenhal en Franse zaal BenG
Taz Morgan logistiek tussen Franse zaal en FilmTent P&P
Peter Dekker logistiek tussen Franse zaal en Onno SuperSens
Dorette Schootemeijer ontvangst + contract prijswinnaars Filmmuseum
Marike Huizinga ontvangst + coordinatie Filmmuseum
Ole Schepp operateur 9.5mm Club 9.5mm Nederland
Onno Petersen operateur grote doek SuperSens
Danny Contant operateur grote doek SuperSens
Nico de Klerk presentator Filmmuseum
Frédérique Urlings presentator Filmmuseum
Walter Swagemakers prijsuitreiking Filmmuseum
Raymond Liefjes projectie 16mm Cineco
Jan Scholten projectie super8 en normaal 8 Filmmuseum
Paulo Fonseca projectie super8 en normaal 8 Cineco
Erwin Verbruggen registratie BenG
Valentine Kuypers registratie + floor manager Franse zaal BenG
Maike Lasseur registratie/inspectie Filmmuseum
Heleen van der Molen registratie/projectie FilmTent Filmmuseum
Eva Hielscher registratie/verkoop filmspullen BenG
Ruud Molleman reparatie projectoren SuperSens


Our aim with this year’s event was to put everything we had learnt during last year’s almost overwhelmingly successful event at the service of making it just as successful but not so overwhelming. Our evaluation focussed on key areas where we had a shortage of personnel or a lack of strategic planning. A lot of thought went into managing the initial rush of people through the door although this preparation was in fact not so necessary as there were only a dozen or so people waiting outside at twelve o’clock – perhaps our public too had learned from last year! However the flow never really stopped and by the end of the day we had reached a more evenly spread out tally of 325 visitors. This year we had a bit more space to play with, the event occupying both theatres in the Vondelpark pavilion which is the home of the Filmmuseum (at least until 2012 when we move into a four screen spaceship-type facility- but that’s another story). Everyone seemed to enjoy the occasion. Thomas Elsaesser, visiting his first Home Movie Day, praised the ‘fantastic atmosphere’.


We were helped enormously by a ready supply of volunteer labour coming not just from the Filmmuseum and Supersens but also, The Institute for Sound and Vision in Hilversum(the other national moving image archive in Holland), the newly established Haghefilm Foundation, Haghefilm and Cineco itself, and students of the University of Amsterdam masters programme in the Preservation and Presentation of the Moving Image. Our volunteer army was thus almost doubled to 54 people, which crucially meant that we could introduce shift work to enable our volunteers to take some time out and enjoy the different spectacles on offer. The volunteers were marshalled in their numerous different duties by Simona whose penchant for organisation succeeded in doing for HMD what Henry Ford did for automobile manufacture (but without the corresponding alienation of labour). Film inspection volunteer, Lyudmila Genkova said, “We had a fantastic time. Meeting such a diverse group of people with their unique stories and stash of memories in a purse, or a suitcase or a shopping bag. Amazing!”

The improvements in the HMD machine meant that everyone had a much more relaxed day than last year, even with the significant increase in footfall. It was very good humoured and our volunteers had time to engage with the visitors in a meaningful way, becoming, for example, their personal archivist for half an hour or so.

Massimo Benvegnù, a volunteer from the Haghefilm Foundation, specialised in 16mm film inspection and wound films through viewers that seemed too delicate to risk to the projector,
“I was touched by the response of the participants. Some of the people whose films I attended to came from as far as Rotterdam and Den Haag. A lady from Scheveningen was first in line with her 16mm cans, with family films but also some images of historical importance (Zeppelins and planes flying over Den Haag in the Thirties…).

A man from Den Haag, thanks to a huge home movie reel, shared some stories of the Jewish side of his family, who all died during WWII – he was able to see his great-grandmother, of whom he told me he only had one photo (and who disappeared during the war, taken by the Germans), and the birth of his father, who was going to turn 77 the week after Home Movie Day! He decided to digitize the film and hand it to him as a birthday present.

A woman with several Super8s also had a small piece of 16mm – bizarrely there were first some images of sailing in the North Sea, and then in the tail, a minute or so of imagery from 1930s Indonesia, on a tinted pink film stock! God knows how it got there…
A couple from Rotterdam, whose grandfather was a professional photographer, had some amazing amateur travelogues from the 30s, complete with intertitles, which looked very professional (a trip to Paris, a trip from Den Helder to Texel island to attend a rowing event).
And my last 16mm ‘client’ of the day, at 4.30pm, was another lady from Scheveningen… her sister, who was first in line on the 16mm desk in the morning, called her after she left the Filmmuseum and told her to come to Amsterdam, as there were ‘nice people that help you with your films’.Overall, an exhilarating experience.”

Home movie screenings Filmzaal 2 (Parisien):

At 12.30 Simona Monizza and Bernhard André, from the Filmmuseum and Supersens welcomed the audience, thanked sponsors and explained the nature of proceedings. Our two comperes, Frédérique Urlings and Nico de Klerk, were introduced and the screening opened with the 16mm film which Raymond Liefjes and I had shot at last year’s event and which I had finished editing only a couple of days before and for which we had received generous sponsorship of camera film from Fujifilm and labwork by Cineco. I gave a live commentary to the images and Fré and Nico encouraged the subsequent participants to do the same with their films. This worked with most of them apart from one woman who simply insisted that the images spoke for themselves.

One of our winners from last year, Alex Haverschmidt, entered another of his father’s films, this time depicting a day on the beach at Zandvoort in 1960. Many films showed the seafaring and seacontrolling spirit of the Dutch such as one shot in 1957 at the festivities of the completion of the dyke that joins the Island of Marken to the mainland. A film report of a children’s camping trip in Ede in 1950 organised by a church social club from Haarlem came complete with titles and was potentially interesting for the Noord Hollandsarchief. Only one film qualified as an amateur narrative production. Called The Dream, it told the timeless story of a boy and a girl and how beautiful it could have been if only the girl hadn’t dreamt it all. A touch of glamour was supplied by the actress Eva van Heijningen who entered her experimental film shot during the Venice Film Festival of 1973.

Many people stayed until the prize ceremony at ten to six and the theatre was full to hear that not one but three prizes were to be awarded. The jury of Fré, Nico and projectionist, Onno Petersen, gave third prize to Zwaluwen about the salvation and feeding of some swallows which had fallen out of their nest. Second prize went to Bootreis van Indonesië about a 1957 return journey from the newly independent (of Dutch rule) Indonesia aboard the ‘Willem Ruys’. And first prize went to De Bijlmer, comparatively recently shot in the southeast Amsterdam suburb by a Brazilian immigrant. It depicts the demolition of the 1960s tower blocks in the 1990s and also features some beautiful time lapse effects. All three films will be preserved by the Filmmuseum and screened at next year’s event. The first prize winner also gets to keep the Supersens Golden Camera trophy for a year and all prizewinners get digitisations of their films on DVDs.

Film Tent

As last year we had extra projection spaces for those who didn’t want to be part of the large gathering in the Parisien or who had simply arrived too late to get one of the 25 screening slots. This took the form of a marquee erected on the terrace and contained dual gauge 8mm projectors and a 16mm projector all under the operation of Jan Scholtens, Paolo Fonseca and Raymond Liefjes. Not all films shown in this alternative space were registered but twenty of them were. Hence the total figure of people bringing films is recorded as 45+.

Curated programmes featuring restored films and presentations about film preservation
This year we decided to expand the day into a more ambitious showcase of Home movies outside the home, featuring the largely professional work that occurs around the subject of amateur film. We collected together a series of presentations that took place in our other theatre which aimed to give an overview of different approaches to the use, reuse and interpretation of home movies and amateur film and had the additional advantage of providing extra space for the large number of visitors.

13.00 – 13.45 Filmmuseum programma, Featuring amateur films preserved in the last year and including the two winners from the previous HMD, Vakantie Biesbosch and Hilversum en Zeeland. I presented this with Dorette Schootemeijer and gave an indication of the preservation techniques employed, which in the case of Hilversum en Zeeland involved a digital intermediate blow up to 35mm.

14.00 – 15.30 SuperSens, Huis van Alijn, UvA en Regionale Archieven
Jean-Pierre Sens gave an illustrated talk about his experiences repairing and digitising small gauge film including striking images of films in various states of peril- “almost dead but rescued at the last minute.”

Sylvie Dhaene and Greet van der Haegen represented the wonderful Huis van Alijn. They have a permanent exhibition of amateur filmmaking incorporated into this museum of everyday life in Ghent, Belgium. They showed Zoete Zeventig or Sweet Seventies, a compilation film by Kadir Balci made out of digitised films from their collection of Belgian residents’ home movies.
Gemma van den Berg of the Gemeentearchief Rotterdam and Klaartje Pompe from the Noord-Hollands Archief showed small gauge films from their collections of material relating to their regions.

Two films made by University of Amsterdam students using source material from the Smalfilmmuseum collection concluded this programme section. These were Palindrome by Lotte Baltussen and Maria Fuentes Carrasco and My Skin Will Tell You by Valentina Catena.

15.45 – 16.45 Center for Home Movies. Our very special guest, CHM’s own Albert Steg, all the way from Boston, MA via Venice, Italy, gave a very well-received presentation, outlining the worldwide context of HMD. He showed some favourite home movies from DVD, including Fairy Princess (1955), the famous home movies of Alfred Hitchcock (1934), Atom Bomb (1953) and some films of Helen Hill (2005).

17.00 – 17.50 Club 9.5mm Nederland. Members of the the club gave an illustrated talk on the history of amateur film gauges and showed films on 9.5mm using their Heurtier HSM with Xenon lamp conversion. These included “Waarom 9.5?” a humorous comparison of the advantages of the gauge over 8mm and 16mm made in the 1950s and a gorgeous 1929 film of an airship flying over Groningen – our second Zeppelin of the day!

Displays and Attractions

Supersens gave live scanning demonstrations on their MWA machine and also had a working exhibit of a new experimental device made out of an old projector that could produce 2K scans from 9.5mm. Their extensive collection of small gauge cameras and paraphernalia which is so good for conjuring up the heyday of amateur film making enlivened the central hall and corridors. But stealing the side shows was a gentleman who turned up with his homemade 70mm projector! This was essentially a random act with only perhaps Jean-Pierre having prior knowledge of the man’s intent. Having found a spare corner, he proceeded to reassemble the partially deconstructed machine and coax it into life. After much fettling he projected for us a very pink ‘home movie’ of Lawrence of Arabia.

Press (pre-event and post-event)

Thanks to our publicity intern, Chuck Kerk, I can tell you that we had mentions in 3 local papers and 4 national ones including full articles in NRC Handelsblad, Het Parool and Volkskrant.
Datum Medium Pagina Schrijver/ Bron
30-9-2009 Amstelveens Weekblad 15
23-9-2009 Echo Amsterdam Oud West 31
30-9-2009 Echo Amsterdam Zuid-Oost 35
17-10-2009 Het Financieële Dagblad 12
19-10-2009 NRC Handelsblad 18 Frits Abrahams
19-10-2009 Parool 11 Emma Boelhouwer
16-10-2009 Volkskrant 47 Christjan Knijff

25 different websites carried news of the event including one specially created by Supersens – a dedicated Dutch Home Movie Day site: www.homemovieday.eu.

Photos: A large selection of photos is available here.

Thanks to Asen and Lyudmila for so thoroughly documenting the day.

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August 5, 2010


HMD Report: Boston

From Liz Coffey (written by Brittany Gravely) in Boston:

Once again the Greater Boston Area celebrated this international enterprise at the Harvard Film Archive with hostess-archivists Liz Coffey, Amy Sloper & Melissa Dollman attending to the needs of films and their nervous owners.  Jason Sanford provided the soundtrack option via records and Amy provided the cookies via Tupperware technology.  Kevin McCarthy helped familiarize people with the bureaucratic red tape required in order to assure a smooth run through on one of many fine projectors present.  There may or may not have been a few other note-takers present, but you can’t really rely on good transcription these days and these gals were no different.  Take me, for instance, I missed HMD last year and had the nerve to show up an hour before showtime to sit and chat it up with the crew as if I were one-sixteenth as dedicated as these archival automatons.

Anyway, I was delighted with the peanut butter cookies and the films of Sid Laverents (shown on video) which overly-engaged the audience while the final films were inspected.  Liz had to disconnect the preshow entertainment and steel herself from the boos, hisses, and rotten vegetation tossed as she made her psuedo-cordial opening remarks.  Soon, however, the rambunctious audience sobered up when they heard Liz’s eerie warnings of Death By Deterioration and, even more tragic in some ways:  The Forgotten Film.  I had heard it all before, but it still manages to churn up old emotions in me and I choked back a few sobs. With her audience now in check, she looped up a regular 8 picture from “Betsy”:  Kodachrome, 1962, featuring her and her brother as youngsters at play.  A lot of pool shots:  swimming and diving, and much leisureliness in general. At one point, things get pretty tropical & flamingos enter the scene.  A little heavy-handed, but…

Betsy’s second reel stayed with the water theme:  this time at the beach with Mom feeding the gulls.  By the time we’re back to the pool, the jaunty music (provided by Jason) has become downright triumphant as Dad gracefully dives again & again off of the diving board.  With one simple cut, we’re transported to Franklin Park Zoo for a moment with the kids enjoying the playground.  But the real treat comes when we’re back at home with the children and babies who, once again, are water-focused; one serious little boy who surely grew up to be a successful maintenance person of some sort, fills his bucket and empties it in such a way that makes those on the slide and fooling around with the hose seem absolutely lackadaisical. His only cinematic competition was a glamorous little girl in pink with hat & sunglasses to match.  Her ease with home movie fame & fortune was enviable.

Next up was a color Super 8 film provided by Yours Truly:  The opening shots featured a trip to Busch Gardens in Tampa in the bicentennial year of ’76 and some good shots of tigers at play in and out of the water.  One got annoyed with another and acted like my tough-guy cat Toby, showing the other one with a giant paw what’s what.  The tribal tunes Jason put on for this first part carried over into my little sister’s first birthday party, so the Gravely women were suddenly conducting an ancient, sacred rite of passage in a 70s kitchen with a big white cake.  My mom made a slice with the shining knife and we looked on bathed in mystical candlelight. The more widely-known ancient ritual of Japanese Imperial Court Dance took over the screen in the next black and white 16mm film.  We were surprised to learn from Gwen that this was not unearthed from an old tomb, but was actually shot during Boston’s First Night back in 1994 or ’95 AD in a storefront on Newbury Street.  And it was a “modern” interpretation, but entrancing and well-exposed nonetheless.

We switched formats for the next one and watched a VHS tape that was originally shot on a VHS camcorder in 1986.  It was a Mother’s Day present for Kelly’s mom that her dad choreographed and staged in their 80s living room.  The sweatpants-wearing leader was flanked on both sides by his children as they performed to that Mother’s Day standard “When the Going Gets Tough (the Tough Get Going)” by Billy Ocean. None of them seemed overly passionate or determined, but I think maybe it was a more post-modern take.  Her little brother at times just stood there awkwardly stretching his shirt or looking down, and I wondered how many times those intricate expressions were practiced late into the night.  The surprising highlight was Kelly’s sax solo using – get this – a recorder as the saxophone and donning sunglasses for true 80s style.  Her mother must have been proud and maybe a little confused. Kevin had the audacity to show b/w 16mm footage of 1930s East Boston on DVD.  I overcame my embarrassment for him once his lovely grandmother lavishly posed for us at Revere Beach. (This was shot by his great uncle who worked for local amateur filmmaking equipment company Keystone, giving him access to contraptions like a 16mm camera.)  There was much beach play, dancing and acrobatics among the adorable kids on this summer day.

Next, we were on their porch watching the little girls frocked & hamming it up for the camera. Finally, it was already wintertime and the long, dark coats of women formed moving silhouettes against the snow-covered streets. Amy Sloper presented a color super 8 Ektachrome film of a trip to Germany shot way back in 2008.  Most don’t even remember that distant time when people still did weird, morally-questionable things like visit the spot where Leni Riefenstahl shot Triumph of the Will.  In her defense, Amy was obviously wracked with emotion because she could barely focus this simple, consumer-friendly camera.  Nevertheless, I could make out the many daunting steps of the stadium’s ruins and some fuzzy kid with the nerve to perform bike tricks in this charged space.  A girl walking at a disconcertingly slow pace across the screen brought a wave of nervous laughter to an audience already on the edge.

Someone (Amy) tried to patch up the psychological damage done by abruptly throwing on a “mystery reel” of regular 8mm found in a Seattle camera shop.  Late 70s/early 80s folk graced the screen in an outdoor, rural bbq scene of baseball caps and plaid.  The camera focused intently on a squirrel delighting in birdhouse provisions, and then took us inside to Christmastime and a heavily tinseled, cone-shaped tree.  All-in-all, it looked like a good time:  turkey carving, Santa, and lots of laughter.

Reed, one of HMD’s heavy hitters, was up next with a color, regular 8 movie entitled The Fantasies of Professor Brainstorm made in the 1970s with a high school friend.  Apparently, they used to show this to neighborhood kids as a way to make money.  In short, this movie was amazing:  a solid narrative with action, a soundtrack (presented here on CD), comedy, creative costumes, stunning special effects, and even a vaguely moral lesson. There’s too much to go into here, but Reed as the lithe, long-haired scientist dreams of creating a formula to bring him great powers to aid him in defeating the archetypal demons that haunt us all:  the Karate Master, the Sword & Bow-and-Arrow Guy, and of course, the Shaving Cream Monster.  In his yellow towel cape, the humble scientist is transformed into the ultimate superhero magically making himself and objects move or disappear, zapping enemies with film-scratched lasers, and easily subduing any nemesis no matter how scary or powerful.  He wakes up from the dream and learns a lesson in hubris, but I won’t give the ending away since I believe it’s due out in theaters later this winter.

Liz tried to compete with this instant classic by impressing and confusing our senses with her more “experimental” product:  unslit, color regular 8 projected as 16mm, featuring four squares of action. Resembling a rougher, artier Thomas Crowne Affair, it was bikes and bike people rather than Steve McQueen and Faye Dunaway.  Though the ending was the same – I looked up in the sky and cried.

Melissa uncovered another one of these “found at a yard sale” type flicks – this time in faded colors of a lesser 16mm stock of the late 60s or early 70s.  It actually turned out to be an educational film called Words That Describe Sounds featuring a girl and a boy disputing how to properly illustrate certain sounds through made-up words.  They would write down their interpretations and silently enter a lip-reading battle that was translated via subtitles, featuring words like “glub” and the ever-popular “skeez.”  Despite its inordinately high entertainment value, it was immediately confiscated by the HMD Security Team, and Melissa was quietly escorted out.

Another Gravely Super 8 Production was up next, cryptically titled “1971 Easter.”  It starred my older sister in her larval form on my parents’ bed.  Like a strange wind-up baby in lacey white, she appeared to wriggle in place to Jason’s telepathic selection of delicate music box sounds.  This was one of my dad’s minimal, single-themed pieces he has become famous for here at Home Movie Day. Peter Mork, another HMD SuperStar ®, allowed us the privilege of viewing his Ideal Domestic Scenes from 1950s America in the brilliant saturation of 16mm Kodachrome.  His cinematographic father once again wowed audiences with this dreamy footage that was surely sought after as highly-effective anti-communist propaganda.  Everyone fell under the dreamy spell of this perfect family gorgeously lit at Christmas. His father let the camera dance around the tree for a bit – showing up-close shots of each ornament.  Christmas morning brought an array of delights:  a baby good-naturedly hiding disappointment in unwrapping a box of clothes, the family dog decorated with a bow, a boy demonstrating his new mini-drill kit with a wholesomely demonic expression, and for the girl – a 1950s homemaker mini-cleaning set, brother & sister dressed as cowboy & girl parading for the camera… it goes on and on.  At one point, the little girl shows off her record player with a zoetrope-type situation on the spindle – causing ooohs and ahhhs and much light-headedness in the audience.  And then laughter during the scene when a gleeful Grandpa unwraps the thinly-disguised gift of a cane and proceeds to unwrap yet another! One of my personal favorite moments was the bohemian (maybe I’m projecting here) [quit projecting, Brittany, that’s my job! ~Liz] aunt and uncle solemnly entering the living room with presents on a stretcher. After Christmas, one of these perfect children presented their perfect science project to us – a board with multiple switches and circuits. And then we are transported outdoors to Ashfield, MA for the purple heart ceremony.  Peter broke his arm and his parents conducted an elaborate parade of flags and people and even the family cat to honor him. (At around this point in my notes I have written “UNREAL” and underlined it twice.)  This is all topped off with a bbq and juicy watermelon-eating around the picnic table. Finally, the adults play some more by enjoying winter cocktails outside in the snow and fun times in & out of a spacious igloo.

By the time we reach the fishing scene, several audience members have passed out.  Liz wakes them up with some film cleaner fumes and I take a bathroom break… … Only to miss a greater part of the b/w Super 8 documentation of the wedding of John & Eve in Jamaica Plain, MA, 2008.  Jason smartly accompanied this joyous occasion with the symphonic version of Bowie’s Life On Mars? and I made it back in time to see some tossing of the bride and groom in the air.

As if he hasn’t shown off enough for one day, Reed now presented another product of his precocious teen years – The Game – which was an Honorable Mention in the 1970 Kodak Teenage Movie Awards.  This was a darker, apocalyptic tale set in 1992 of the ultimate chess match between the US and Russia televised worldwide.  By the time we see a TV set with “Los Angeles” or “New York” on it followed by fiery footage, we understand who the unfortunate loser is. And my last film of the day (on Super 8 Kodachrome) was of a recent trip to Chicago in 2007, followed by an abrupt shift to visit my parents in the mountains of Georgia.  The best part was footage of Cloud Gate in Millennium Park – a silver bean-shaped sculpture that makes the world look rounded and people distorted.  Unfortunately, the reflections distorted my cinematographic skills so the rest devolved into urban mural footage, city signs of skulls and happy french fries, and finally really boring panoramic shots of mountains which always look much better in reality.

After the Snoozefest Alert sounded, Amy woke people up with some more modern footage shot around the same time of local people, cats and sheep frolicking indoors and out.  Well, the sheep were never indoors… that would have been something. Kevin presented our other VHS footage of the day – this time, it was the 80th birthday party of his grandmother – seen only moments before in her youth as a bathing beauty.  This time, she was brought to tears, reunited with billions of friends and family gathered as a surprise in her yard.  Touching, but in need of an editor with an iron splicer, so Kevin delicately pressed “stop” and saved us all from having to witness the weepy intricacies of every hug of the day.

The illustrious John Quackenbush disclosed the most controversial found film of the day – this one was color, regular 8 from the fifties and appeared to belong to a wild bunch of older folks on their golden journeys.  John rescued this reel from a dumpster and had never seen it.  After the show, he donated it to the HFA.  We begin in Arkansas, according to the box, and it’s cold and wintery.  Which might be why they decide to take a trip to the Deep South.  First stop:  Mardi Gras!  Some truly incredible footage of the parades and shenanigans that go on during this famous celebration:  strange monkey-men, an array of bewildering floats, old men in gold body paint, people in blackface and weird masks.  Then they leave this hedonism to go to Florida where they are greeted by stucco, palm trees, and giant oranges.  They spend much leisurely time out in pristine Floridian yards, cafes, and orange groves.  All this was semi-standard stuff, but to my amazement, they venture out to the shanty towns and stop in on an African American family as if they are a tourist attraction. One shot features the old, portly white man petting a little African American girl on the head.  And there is much footage of the families on their porches, in the yard, … a sight I have never seen at home movie day.

Rarely do folks of color emerge on the screen at HMDs in the Boston area, and certainly not the rural poor!  Someone films out of the car as they drive by house after house with women in rocking chairs on porches.  Beautiful, mysterious roll.  By the end of it, they are back in winter country – looks kind of like a main street in a New Englandy town – and the man grabs his lady’s head in some kind of jokey fashion, but it’s a little unsettling. The snow stays with us for Liz’s next submission on b/w Super 8.  She filmed her neighbor Dave shoveling the snow outside their Roxbury apartment building last winter while he chatted on and on, seemingly oblivious to the fact that she was doing none of the work.  We witness the natural decorations of wintertime upon fence and tree.

Adam Scotto arrived late but the beguiling goddesses of home movies let him present his films anyway.  He showed us a glimpse of his childhood in Nantucket in 1973 on Kodachrome Super 8.  He demonstrated an array of fun things to do on the beach:  play with a bucket and sand, fun with a coke can, and finally, getting tossed up high into the air by his dad (who died in 2005).  His mother and young sister were also present.  At the end, we also see that he enjoyed the pleasures of swings and slides. His next detour took place in 1974, May to be exact, and the setting this time is Niagara Falls on the Canadian side.  Jason added another dimension to their adventures by playing some music of the Moog, and the electronic sounds followed the great bubbling water falling as well as the kids skipping along, playing at a playground, and suddenly it managed to alter the course of time and space as we suddenly witness the changing of the guard in London.

Adam’s third Super 8 was tellingly titled “Baby 1974 – Jumps 1977.” And we see happy, young Adam crawling, then hopping on one leg – obviously, taking his time to evolve to actual walking.  The toddler-aged daughter in this experimental family is already wearing glasses and we see her looking young & intellectual one moment, and then the kids are put to work using an old-fashioned ricer the next. To build strength to survive in such an environment, they also provided the children with a punching bag and let them jump off of the stove repeatedly.  Just as I was about to call social services, there was some weird but benign circling-with-a-toy-phone routine and strange dancing that hypnotized me just long enough. I have neglected to mention that throughout the day, there was all this talk of the mysterious man by the name of Merritt and his ancient films from the 1940s.  He dropped his footage off then disappeared into the fall foliage with his family.  They came back just in time to witness reels that his (great?) grandfather shot back in Hartford, CT – footage he had never seen.  The filmmaker was a member of the Amateur Cinema League and we were treated to the opening intro graphics that members spliced onto the heads of their films:  nice! Then to the action:  couples boating in Long Island Sound and looking good.  We then see all kinds of boats – large and small.  A virtual boat extravaganza, I dare say, before we are back on land with a funny dog getting food at a picnic and Grandma on a scooter in a Farmington neighborhood.  We see lovely autumn colors, the aforementioned dog looking cute at the door, a farm with pigs, a girl on a horse, and back to what appears to be an underlying theme of the day… the water. I soberly gathered my belongings and headed off to a post-home-movie-day celebration of watching more movies, and this important day came to an end.

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October 23, 2011


HMD Report: Raleigh

This was compiled by Gypsye Legge and Marsha Orgeron…

City: Raleigh, NC

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

Event time (screening): 1-4

Event time (inspection): same

Total Audience: around 100

Number of people bringing films: 27

Films screened by Gauge: 25 total

8mm: 14

Super 8: 8

16mm: 3



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

Skip Elsheimer – A/V Geeks

Marsha Orgeron – NCSU

Devin Orgeron – NCSU

Kim Cumber – NC State Archives

Kirston Johnson – Duke U

K. Sean Finch – NCSU/A/V Geeks

Grant Samuelson – Duke U

Charlotte Walton

Mark Koyangi

Martin Johnson – NYU

Amy Rudersdorff

Mark Millhone – NCSU

Gypsy Legge

Special events/screenings:

Press (pre-event and post-event):

Full page article in Independent Weekly (free weekly) by Chris Vitiello.

Small mentions the previous week in daily newspaper, Raleigh N&O.

Skip Elsheimer did one radio interview.

Hit the blogs, Facebook, and email lists.

Report submitted by:

Marsha Orgeron

We had a very successful Home Movie Day this year with an important
technological set-up involving regular 8, super8, and 16mm telecines wired
to a single laptop, which was 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. Everyone who screened a film
at Triangle HMD will be receiving a free DVD of the film we projected,
courtesy of the A/V Geeks archive, which was a nice marketing boost for us.

We had a proliferation of holiday and wedding footage this year (one
telecine operator, whose name will not be mentioned, but to whom I am
married, in fact stopped showing wedding films when we had two reels to
choose from after a while!). The best wedding footage – of a 1972 wedding in
Belhaven, NC – was accompanied by the narration of a very funny man in the
audience, who cracked jokes throughout – “That wasn’t my wedding, it was my
wife’s wedding!” (rimshot).

Highlights included a collection of 16mm films shot by Frederick Crawford
(whose nephew brought the reels), a major Cleveland Industrialist (see the
Crawford Auto and Aviation Museum, history of TRW) who shot footage (we only
had time to show one reel) of TWA’s board flying around the world to decide
where to fly (you know that was a fun trip); safari adventures while helping
collect animals for the Cleveland zoo; trips to the family farm in Vermont,
where he had corporate retreats (this is the one we watched); and so on. Not
to worry: these films will be deposited at an archive soon as they are
really interesting and also well documented, with family members still
available for oral histories.

We had our first footage appear of NCSU’s campus (after 7 years of doing
this event!) on a snow-covered day in 1966, shot by an alumni couple present
at HMD. Also some footage of Duke Gardens and of a 1973 Duke Folklife
festival from another HMD attendee. A woman brought in the 16mm footage she
shot of her art happening – involving flashing lights and hundreds of
balloons – at Evergreen College in 1978. There was nice footage from 1975 of a
high school performance of Guys & Dolls. An 8mm film purchased by someone
off of eBay depicting a parody of Duel in the Sun as “Drool in the Sand.”

Audiences favorite were:

1) a holiday celebration that ended up with a baby drinking beer out of a
very large glass…more than once!

2) a very funny trick film shot in the 1970s in Charlotte, NC, with great
stop action gags (chairs disappearing under sitters, kids skating around a
yard on their backsides).

Our oldest footage was 16mm shot in the 1940s and the most recent footage
was super 8mm shot in 2010 in Wilmington by a filmmaker who came to the
event. A great spread!

Lots of folks won HMD Bingo, with prizes courtesy of volunteer Charlotte
Walton and Cameron’s gift shop in Chapel Hill. Considering that we were
competing with Occupy Raleigh (taking place a few blocks away) and a major
neighborhood street festival, we were thrilled with attendance, the huge
number of films brought (we got to show at least one film from everyone
except for the last two people who came through the door), and the way our
operation went. Thanks to all of our amazing volunteers!

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October 25, 2011


HMD Report: Boulder


Event time (screening): 2-6 PM

Event time (inspection): 2-6 PM

Total Audience: approx. 35

Number of people bringing films: 14

Films screened by Gauge:

8mm: six

Super 8: seven

16mm: eight

9.5mm: none


Volunteers: All associated with CU Boulder Film Studies
in in one capacity or another

projectionists: Grant Speich ,Tony Hernandez

inspectors: Sarah Biagini, Taylor Dunne, Seth Mitter, Grant Reynolds,

assistants and scribes: Shea Johnson, Modestina her friend

Press (pre-event and post-event): Boulder Daily Camera Friday magazine spread and full story, interview with Joel Haertling librarian, and Jeanne Liotta

Report submitted by: Jeanne Liotta

On this page please describe films screened, making note of any exceptional films or films for future DVD compilations, as well as any films with unusual stories or strong audience reactions.

I am attaching the complete list of notes we took via various student volunteers. I was quite surprised to see so many 16mm films among the home movies. People arrived with their entire collections in some cases, due to the Daily Camera article which really brought people out of the woodwork. I wasn’t really prepared for such high attendance and such unique and wonderful films!

We had a local business woman Gwen Scherer who runs Memories-to-Digital and helped to educate people on ways of transferring their films. I feel that many of the films we saw were worthy of archival preservation, particularly the Colorado ranching film and the Vietnam films, and I would like to put people in touch with places that can help. People were also interested in knowing where they can rent projectors and editors (!) and one couple brought their 1974 super
8 projector with tags still on, so someone could show them how to use it.

It was a very lively and chaotic event, Halloween candy was passed around, Bingo was played and won by TWO people, one who received a roll of Super 8 film from my own supplies and one who received a DVD of award winning films at Rotterdam also from my own supplies. We were working with a ZERO cash budget – except for in-kind donations of equipment and labor from Univ CO Boulder Film Studies and from my own studio, as well as the Public Library location which was free for use.

All the participants were patient and engaged in discussing the films, sharing details and asking questions. One octogenarian participant brought a baggie full of souvenir photo keychains taken at a resort with his family in the 60’s and we passed them out to the audience while he told us where his wife and child were now. This kind of camaraderie was evident throughout. I was basically the mistress of ceremonies and interrupted the proceedings regularly with various educational tidbits, while all the amazing student volunteers were busy the entire time answering questions, inspecting film in 3 formats, and keeping it organized for projection. Whew!

2011 Boulder

Home Movie Day: Review of films

  • Salmon Fishing : Mid 60’s, color Kodachrome

A Regular 8mm film shot on a lake in Massachusetts in the 1960’s. This film shows a family enjoying boating and fishing together. The film also includes shots of speedboats and other water activities.

  • Playing in Surburbia: 1941

A black n white 16mm film shot in 1941 suburbia that documents a married couple playing their infant child outside. The film then suddenly switches to a woman cooking in the kitchen and showing off her brand new refrigerator. This film felt professional – it seemed to be a print, and it was edited, esp noticeable in the cooking scene which seemed like a perfectly timed demonstration or how-to.

  • Space Shuttle (NASA)

This Super 8mm film shows a space shuttle taking off into the sky. Magenta.

  • Chick as a baby: Early 40’s,

16mm Color: Chick brought in this film and watched himself as a baby in St Louis Missouri. Film was either shot in 1941/1943. Shows his grandfather pulling him in a wagon and playing with him. Beautiful photography.

  • Missionary in the Congo: 1940

16mm film shot in the Congo. Shots of local culture and missionaries—family of participant who was a baby in the film playing with local african children, living in the jungles of the Congo. Black and white.

  • Family on their way to church: 1966

This home movie documents a family on their way to church. Shows some 60’s fashion with polka dots. Super 8, color, Easter?

  • Hunter Home Movie.

16mm B &W, 1930’s? a hunting vacation for numerous families. log cabin that was fully equipped with hunting tools and weapons. Men horsing around, go into the boat with their guns. They exhibit the wins of the hunt, 12 dead deer and shows some rough housing with women and children who are otherwise only seen on the porch in aprons. somewhat disturbing.

  • New Guinea Army Base- 1947

Regular 8mm Color: The film documents life on the army base in post-World War 2 in New Guinea, documents his surroundings of the beautiful beaches, palm trees and of the majestic sea. We also are shown shots of people with whom he shared his time with, army personnel and locals. After being shown the landscape on land, we are shown the aerial view of the filmmaker’s living space including a coral reef. Back on land we see kangaroos, we are now in Australia, and monkeys frolicking, he plays with monkey, surrounded by a graveyard of crashed airplanes. Nature has seemed to adapt to its new post-war environment. The last shot we see is another left over from the war, as a dud explosive lies upon the land. This participant had many films but most were not projectable. This was shrunken but the best of the bunch.

  • Honeymoon in the Big Easy: 1930’s

16mm Color: This film shows a couple on their honeymoon in New Orleans in the 1930’s, the participants parents. Seemed like they may have hired a photographer to shoot the movies since they were both in them.

  • Two Films from Venezuela: 1950’s

Super 8mm Color: The first film shows a family in a rural area of Venezuela. There seems to be a family gathering going on. We see children, adults and animals surrounded by a rural landscape. We see members of the family pump water from a well.

Super 8mm Color: This film shows the grandfather of a home movie day participant who was the Lieutenant Governor of Venezuela. We see him on army bases being interviewed, cutting ribbons and mingling. It appears as if they are opening a communication station, a generator is shown off and we are in a room surrounded by wires. Very “Che.”

  • Day at the Races: HOT RODS,1960’s

16mm Color Kodachrome: This film documents a day at the races at the famous Road America racetrack in Wisconsin. We are shown shots of different cars, the color is absolutely breath-taking in this film. Men display their cars, all with numbers on them. It appears as many people came to this event all dressed up in 60’s fashion including a red polka dot matching skirt and top. We are also shown men working diligently on their cars, women being looked up and down by the camera and some high speed racing on what looks like a beautiful summer day. There is a car crash but the day goes on, and the driver who is uninjured gets out and walks along the course. Next we see shots of the cars at different points in the race track, we can see that the film-maker was quite an avid race fan. As it looks like he sneaks into areas to catch glimpse of different areas of the race, but eventually he is drawn back to the highly populated finish line, where we see the final of the race and of what looks like an fun a day..

  • Little Jimmy grows up: Jimmy 9 months and On: 60’s

Super 8mm Color: This film chronicles the first years of a families first born child. We witness him play, take his first steps in a car wash, have his first haircut by a man with fantastic pompadour, swim and squirm in the bath and giggle a lot. The film documents the development
from him being an infant to a competitive young boy of five. We see him compete with his younger sister to see who is in fact the better cleaner. We are also shown him attempting to cook as he puts on the electronic whisk and breaks eggs into a bowl. This family documented
most of this boy’s early childhood, and they were determined to have it look good, including having movie lighting in a few of the shots and titles made on a titling board. Film is shot in their house, on vacation, out in the streets, and in their backyard. Chronological except for one reel. This participant also brought the keychain souvenir

  • Playing with Puppies: Late 60’s Early 70’s

Regular 8mm Color: This film shows four ,3 girls and 1 boy, children
playing with two puppies, on a fall day in Boulder.

  • A trip to Fort Lewis, Vietnam and The Philippines: 1967 and onwards

16mm Color : This film opens with shots of fort Lewis airbase. We see planes, the airfield, and then are taken up to skies in a plane where the shadows of the pilot’s helmets decorate the screen. Then we are transported to Vietnam, where the filmmaker in a cinema-verite style documents a Vietnam that is not discussed in history books. The every-day activities of the soldiers are shown, smoking cigarettes, building the base, and just joking around with each other. We are then shown Vietnamese women and children who fill sandbags that were put all
along the perimeter of the base. The perimeter surrounded by mystic green mountains and roads of mud. The base is filled with barracks, rockets, and helicopters. The filmmaker tells us that this location is in the central highlands of Vietnam. We are then taken to the Philippines by helicopter, where an officers club is being built; apparently Nancy Sinatra visited this base. It is evident that the US army preparing for battle, as shots of the landscape are followed by
rows of tanks, helicopters and rockets. We see the US Army give the soldiers a taste of home with locations of bases named by us cities, Miami Bar, New York Laundry. A PR activity of soldiers playing baseball with Vietnamese children is also shown, followed by a Red Cross van
surrounded by children getting medical attention. This film showed all those present a day in the life of a us solider in Vietnam before the fighting a rare view into our history. Made by the same filmmaker who did HOT RODS. He brought his 16mm camera and square format still camera to Vietnam during his tour. AMAZING, gorgeous photography.

  • California Ocean, Pool Party and National Park:

Super 8mm Color: A film of a family day at the beach. The ocean crashing, surfing on a boogie board, children swimming in the ocean. We next are brought to a pool party where children are swimming and the bell-bottomed wearing adults are playing badminton. Next we are brought to a California national park to look upon some deer. The deer look back at us. Following this there are numerous closing shots of the Pacific Ocean crashing upon the beach. Lovely.

  • Mystery of the bunkgard noogie goldhill inn: 1972/1974

Super 8mm Color: Final scene of a play featuring a light saber goddess of geothermal energy and many visionary miners. Musical number appears to be going on, followed by a lightning burst and a pleased audience. Participant also owns slides and audio of this event and would like to recreate it. Hoping a student can help.

  • 2 Headed Calf: 1951/1953

16mm Color: Parade in Walden Colorado a ranching community near Wyoming border. Featuring children cowboys, donkeys, ambulances, fire department truck with a ½ naked girl on the side, prairie girls, trucks, cars and talents. It seems as if the whole town came out to show their skills. The beds of trucks become stages as girls twirl, ladies play the piano and sing, children dance in hula skirts, and costume-wearing adults seem to put on plays. After the parade we are shown a deceased 2 headed calf, this shot is long and the audience cannot look away, its absolutely fascinating. The surrounding area of mountains is shown followed by some cattle branding. Then we are shown a family sequence of a mother in 19th century costume with her children surrounding her. The film moves unto a large family dinner that looks like it could be Christmas, there were snowmen on the table, the children seem to be in fancy pajamas and shots of the children playing and adults conversing. The film ends on a windy day, where the trees are blowing all over the place, we then see a house and a car that looks new. AMAZING photography, wonderful historical film..

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October 27, 2011


HMD Report: Toronto

Toronto Home Movie Day, hosted by the Home Movie History Project

This year we held our b.y.o.h.m. event for Home Movie Day at the Monkey’s Paw antiquarian bookshop. (The Home Movie History Project regularly hosts “Bring Your Own Home Movies” nights, such as this event for Home Movie Day.) We have presented two previous b.y.o.h.m.s at the Monkey’s Paw and were excited to be able to return there on Home Movie Day.

The Monkey’s Paw is in a beautiful old shop and a perfect setting for screening vintage films. The bookshop preserves curiosities from the print world in much the same spirit as Home Movie Day advocates for the preservation of home movies.

Our event had both a ‘home movie repair clinic’ ˆ where people were able to look through their collections, get help repairing films and select a reel to show ˆ and a screening.

Some highlights of the films that were brought included: playful antics at a palatial summer home on Lake Huron in the 1920’s, life in Tanzania shot by a local family, a backyard celebration for a baptism in high 70’s fashions, and a large gathering of native tribes in small-town Oklahoma of the 30’s.

This year we would like to thank J Porter, K Raudoja, Images festival, the 8 fest and S Fowler of the Monkey’s Paw for all their help.

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November 1, 2011


HMD Report: Toronto

City: Toronto (Host: TIFF‚’s Film Reference Library)

Event Venue: TIFF Bell Lightbox

Event time (screening): 12pm ˆ 4:30pm (12 to 3 – local; 3 to 4:30 –

Event time (inspection): 12pm ˆ 3pm (concurrent with local screening

Total Audience: 17 (inspection & projection clinic); 25 (celebrity home
movie screening)

Number of people bringing films: 3

Films screened by Gauge: 8mm: 2

Super 8: 1

16mm: 2


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

Volunteers & staff who assisted on the day: Christina Stewart; Asen
Ivanov; Alex Rogalski; Kelley Gorman; Eve Goldin; Rachel Beattie; Riz
Ansari; Anderas Erne; Winston Hosin; Daniel Bell & Victoria Kucher

Special events/screenings:

3pm – 4:30pm ˆ Celebrity home screening program (material for this program
provided courtesy of both the Academy Film Archive and George Eastman
House). Footage included:

Academy Film Archive

James Telfer Collection: Hollywood and Environs (1947); Hollywood and
Environs – Ten Years Later (1957 – 1960); Fred Guiol Collection: Ginger
Rogers at Home (ca. 1940); Jean Negulesco Collection: Beach House Bonhomie
(ca. 1940); Behind the Scenes with Sophia Loren (1956)

George Eatman House

George Eastman Home Movies: Kodacolor Party (1928); Joan Crawford Home
Movies: Compilation Reel (c. 1940)

Press (pre-event and post-event):

Globe & Mail Newspaper article: Home Movie Day puts amateurs on the silver
screen (Author: Eric Veillette; published Saturday October 15, 2011)

Report submitted by:

Julie Lofthouse, Archivist Film Reference Library, TIFF



  1. Family Group 1926
    New York City, moderately wealthy Jewish family. Footage includes the
    neighbourhood, party on the roof “The Flop Sisters” and
    other family members. Film included intertitles.
  2. 1930 Gramps & Uncle Vic on the Boat
    New York City harbour including Statue of Liberty, passenger boat
    (from shore and on the boat), footage of the USS California (B-
    44). Film included intertitles.


  1. Family vacation at Sauble Beach [1955]
    Kids swimming in the water.
  2. Knights of Columbus little league baseball game [1962]

Footage of little league baseball game.


  1. [untitled; c. late 1970s – early 1980s].
    A Winnipeg Bluebombers (CFL football) game at Winnipeg
    Stadium, possibly playing the Hamilton Tigercats; family footage of
    gatherings, kids playing table tennis, a trip to the Yukon (very
    brief), waterskiing, and a bit of farm life.

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November 13, 2011


HMD Report: Lincoln, Nebraska

Nebraska’s Home Movie Day event took place in the Nebraska History Museum’s auditorium, from 1:30pm to 3:30pm. Our plan was that we would solicit reels in advance so we could examine them, add leader, etc., prior to the event; this was pretty much due to the number of people (1) that would be available to examine and prepare film at the event itself. Although we made requests for these submissions, we got only a few, due to lackluster press and short timing.

That turned us to Plan B: Showing clips from our own large collection of home movies. This worked very well, as I could select an appropriate variety to represent time periods, film types, geography, and topic. The bulk of my time was spent selecting and editing a collection of 43 clips into an hour and 20 minute presentation on DVD.

In addition to the screening (if it could be called that!) I gave a 20-minute talk on the “care and feeding” of home movies, including history and significance, what threatens them, what one can do to deal with the threats, and some suggestions on how to determine content. We also mounted a small exhibit on home movie technology in the Museum, using artifacts from the museum’s collections and some from my own stash.

There were 30 people in attendance for the entire program. We served popcorn!

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HMD Report: Los Angeles

Event Venue: Linwood Dunn Theater

Event time (screening): Noon-4:00

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

Total Audience: 55

Number of people bringing films: 11

Films screened by Gauge:

8mm: 4

Super 8: 6

16mm: 5

9.5mm: 1

28mm: 1

Video: 2

Emcees: Charles Phoenix, Snowden Becker

Volunteers (19): Cassie Blake, Ed Carter, Yasmin Damshenas, Jovita Dominguez, Brian Drischell, Dino Everett, Joe Gallucci, Jere Guldin, Fritz Herzog, Trisha Lendo, Brian Meacham, Esther Nam, Charles Rogers, Sean Savage, Amanda Smith, Jessica Storm, Leah Wagner, Lance Watsky, Tim Wilson + 2 paid projectionists and a half dozen regular theater staff

Special events/screenings:

Hollywood Home Movies III (third biennial Academy Film Archive screening)

Amateur Night (with special guest Dwight Swanson)

Press (pre-event and post-event): Not much better coverage last year, which may explain why it wasn’t news for many media producers. HMD-specific press release sent out by event organizers, “Home Movie Weekend” release sent by Academy press office. The usual flyers and postcards, though still not as widely disseminated as they should have been.

“That was fun, and very emotional for me. It will be so gratifying that when I donate these films, my family will live on and not just in my heart. Thank you again for giving them back to me for a while on a big screen.”
— HMD-LA attendee Jeff Heise

This year we recruited a local celebrity host, author and mid-century/retro enthusiast Charles Phoenix, who is known for his found-image slideshows. He’s also an expert on southern California, and particularly knows his automobiles and amusement parks. He’s got a bit of a following, and we know his star-power brought in at least one person with films, and in fact started the day with.

8mm of Disneyland a month after it opened, when our first participant was 7 years old. All rides brand-spanking new, including the dodgy and short-lived Phantom Boats (replaced by the Submarine Voyage, now also a defunct feature of the park) and quaint-even-back-then Tomorrowland. Next, Long Beach: an amazing shot of Nash cars being lowered by crane onto a cargo ship. Mr. Phoenix demonstrated his value as emcee right out of the gate by rattling off an astonishing quantity of trivia about all of the ships, as well as their ports of registry, tonnage, and sundry other identifying features.

Later in the reel, the enterprising dad solves the problem of low-light conditions on Xmas morning by insisting that all the unwrapped gifts be arrayed in the driveway for the camera. Our participant was resplendent in her new Red Cross nurse costume, complete with navy-blue cape and little white hat, and noted that her blonde curls were the result of a recent perm she had been forced to undergo. A lineup of rather creepy dolls and a gender-stereotyping ‘little housewife’ cooking set comprised the bulk of her holiday gift haul. Her brother, who was a few years older, showed off an array of model planes, trains, and automobiles while wearing a new bomber jacket and captain’s hat; then, after a quick costume change into a velour bathrobe and a very jaunty red tasseled fez, demonstrated some new magic acts. A little trick-shot help from Dad’s camera was involved in the ‘disappearance’ of some small props, the little sister, and finally the magician himself, leaving only the robe and fez behind. A Disneyland toy monorail set in action got some oohs and aahs from our audience, especially co-host Charles Pheonix, who declared ‘Look at all those gifts! You kids were spoiled rotten!

Film collector and returning HMD-er Bill Jenkins brought more 16mm from anonymous families, starting with rare views of Busch Gardens in Pasadena, c. 1928.

Jeff Heise brought a 1600‚ reel of 16mm that began with shots of his family’s home in Cleveland, in the neighborhood and era where ‘A Christmas Story’ takes place. (Viewers were alert for evidence of triple-dog-daring in the background, but all visible telephone poles appeared to be unoccupied.) In a continuation of the Disneyania theme from earlier in the day, there is an amazing shot of a Donald Duck children’s bicycle and little girls wearing Donald Duck and Thumper Rabbit slippers. Later films show footage of Southern California including Long Beach, the Rose Bowl, Grauman’s Chinese Theatre, the Los Feliz neighborhood, the Griffith Observatory and Griffith Park Zoo and Knott’s Berry Farm.

Academy staffer Ed Carter showed some Super 8 featuring the construction of LACMA (Los Angeles County Museum of Art). Ed also introduced a home movie of sketchy provenance recently preserved by the Academy. The family’s name was Stanfield, and the 16mm reel includes material shot from the back of a car driving down Hollywood Boulevard c. 1930, where the street is excessively adorned with ads hyping the premiere of Hell’s Angels. The reel finishes with some amazing panaromic views of downtown taken from high up in the City Hall building tower. The bird’s-eye perspective drew more oohs and aahs, both for the city’s stunning density over 80 years ago, and for the many alterations in the urban landscape since then.

Fellow staffer and HMD-projectionist Fritz Herzog wowed us with yet another of his amateur epics, ‘Planet of the Monsters!’ (Super 8, c. 1968-9). The collaboration of multiple young Herzog family cousins on this project made for somewhat varied image quality, but all those hands behind the camera also meant that everyone got their own impressive death scene as the monsters achieved their inevitable victory over the invading humans. The production design was particularly lavish when it came to the spaceship technology, where construction-paper and magic-marker dials and displays abounded, and cardboard boxes with dials and knobs were clearly, if somewhat crookedly, labeled ‘COMPUTER.’

Academy oral historian Mae Woods brought a Super 8 reel she shot while working as Peter Bogdanovich’s assistant on What’s Up, Doc? (two years ago she shared her candid footage from the set of The Last Picture Show). We get a glimpse of Barbra Streisand’s (male) stunt double and a car crashing from the pier into the ocean.

Finally, HMD projectionist and collector of odd-gauges Dino Everett showed some South American ‘shipping scenes’ on 9.5mm, and Tarrytown, NY’s 1920 Independence Day parade on glorious 28mm. The final piece of the day was some rather odd VHS material – raw footage from an unfinished documentary project on wheelchair marathoners in Long Beach. While not strictly a home movie, the few minutes of this that we watched were quite useful as examples of visual and image-quality differences between film and video formats, and it also offered some glimpses of a truly extraordinary mullet hairdo – the best one to be seen all day.

Several attendees scored Home Movie Day Bingo prizes including movie passes, DVDs, and 8mm-to-video transfer gift certificates generously provided by Film Technology. The prize handouts were an opportune moment for us to observe the recent passing of FT staffer Alan Stark, who had attended every prior Los Angeles Home Movie Day, and was a staunch supporter of our small-gauge film preservation and educational outreach efforts. We feel sure he was there in spirit for yet another all-around satisfactory Home Movie Day.

Report submitted by Snowden Becker, Brian Drischell, Sean Savage

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HMD Report: Chicago

City: Chicago, IL

Event Venue: lobby of the Portage Theater, Chicago, IL

Event time (screening): continuously from 2-6

Event time (inspection): continuously from 1-5

Total Audience: 15 or so

Number of people bringing films: 6.5. (three people/groups who weren’t us or the CFA – two anticipated, one couple not – brought films in. One guy brought in a non-home-movie VHS tape, so he gets a .5. Finally, all three volunteers who ran the event brought in films as well).

Films screened by Gauge:

8mm: 11 or so (all from anticipated film-bringer Neil except for one)

Super 8: 12 or so (many with sound!)

16mm: 6 or so (all brought in by Julian of NCFS and Anne of CFA)

9.5mm: 0

Video: 1.5 (one guy brought in a short VHS tape about the dropping of the atomic bomb, which DID have certain things in common with home movies, but… That’s the .5%)

Volunteers: 3 – Julian Antos & Becca Hall from the Northwest Chicago Film Society and Anne Welles from the Chicago Film Archives

Special events/screenings: none / all of them.

Press (pre-event and post-event):

Not much in the actual press. All film stuff this week seems to’ve been overshadowed by the Chicago International Film Festival. The neighborhood paper published a little something, though. We also wrote a lengthy blog post about Home Movie Day, but we doubt that it did much to attract people; it doesn’t get much traffic:
We mostly advertised the event through the program for our weekly “classic film series”, through pre-show announcements at the shows in the film
series, and with posters arond the neighborhood.

On this page please describe films screened, making note of any exceptional films or films for future DVD compilations, as well as any films with unusual stories or strong audience reactions.

Films from Julian Antos:

  • Sadly underlit reel of 8mm found in Julian’s grandfather’s basement. Reel labeled -Girls Wrestling-. Too dark to really see anything, but some of the flashes of movement are very suggestive.
  • Hilarious 16mm reel of Grandpa Antos eating watermelon forward, then in reverse. Shot by a friend of his who was a successful amateur/industrial filmmaker (Julian Gromer).
  • 16mm footage of Gene Autry rodeo at Soldier Field in Chicago. Then lots of flowers. Then a boat trip. Then shots around Aurora, IL. Waterfalls. Tractors.

Film from the Northwest Chicago Film Society:

8mm reel titled -Talman Girls Funny Formal 1956- – beautiful color. Big party full of people in costume – presumably Talman Bank staff (film was found in the booth at a little screening room that used to be in one of their bank branches, where NCFS used to screen things). Film gets weirder and weirder. There’s a talent show. There are some strange masks. By the end, people are smooching on the floor and the camera work is pretty disjointed.

Films from the mystery couple (wish we had gotten their names!):

Shots of Grandpa Mystery scraping ice off of the water system intakes in the middle of Lake Michigan. He actually lived out there for periods of time, back when the stations were manned at all times. (These little towers waaaay out in the middle of the Lake are pretty iconic. Anyone whose every spent any time on the lake front looking at things in the distance has wondered what they’re like up close).

Films from Mike:

Tons of Super 8 sound from the 1980s! Many shots of Mike blowing out birthday candles that aren’t his (they’re his little sister’s – she’s an opera singer now!) Cute. Also: a trip to Disney World.

Films from Neil:

Many reels of color 8mm. All family footage from the 1940s-1960s.

Lots of small-town parades in Iola, WI. Many children. Some wonderful shots of Neil’s grandparents, who were born in the 1870s! Neil remembers an incredible amount of detail about everyone and everything in the films – his narration was wonderful! His footage also included a very early trip to Disney Land.

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HMD Report: Hendersonville, NC

2011 Event Report

City: Hendersonville, NC

Event Venue: Mike’s On Main

Event time (screening): 4-7pm

Event time (inspection): same

Total Audience: 14

Number of people bringing films: 6 # Films screened by Gauge: 13 total

8mm: 6 Super 8: 7 16mm: 9.5mm: Video: 5

Volunteers: Charlotte Taylor David Vaughn Matt Dodson Edward Bakinowski

Press (pre-event and post-event):Mentioned on WTZQ radio station.

Flyers in 3 counties (Henderson, Transylvania, Buncome). Notifications sent to area papers.

This was our first Home Movie Day, and we were really excited to participate. Unfortunately, we joined in without much time to promote our event, and so had less of a turnout than I would have liked. However, the films we screened were a lot of fun, and I hope we get a better turnout and more films next year.

One of our participants brought in a stack of films he and his wife had never seen, and which weren’t labeled. These turned out to be a series of mostly a single Christmas event, although there were some really beautiful shots of his children in a go-cart pulling a wagon. Their films were all from the early 70s.

We also screened a DVD featuring a performance by high schoolers at West Henderson High’s talent show in 2002. They danced the “Time Warp” (how appropriate)! Additionally, one of the Blue Ridge Community College students brought a VHS of a film she and her friends had made in middle school – complete with a violent murder and really great dialog!

Additionally, we watched a home movie from the late 90s featuring all the wonderful special effects 90s video had to offer – negative, solarize, and some really fantastic iris wipes!

We saw super8 transferred to VHS from the late 50s of Berlin, Paris, Sweden, as well as some NY Public School graduations. The family who brought this film was great about narrating their films, quite hilarious.

I brought some of my family’s films to fill in gaps, and even got the opportunity to watch 8mm that my Great Grandmother shot of my mom when she was in elementary school!

The younger kids in the audience really got into HMD Bingo – one asked us to define “Beehive Hairdo,” which sparked a really fun conversation!

I am really pleased with the success of our first event! Thanks to all our volunteers, as well as all the HMD folks who helped us get this started! We can’t wait for next year!

Report submitted by: Charlotte Taylor

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January 25, 2012


HMD Report: Cambridge

Report submitted by:
Liz Coffey
Report by Brittany Gravely, our annual note-taker and writer extraordinaire.
October 15 – Cambridge, MA

As watching celluloid – particularly small gauge formats – and even VHS becomes more and more an anathema to digital society, events like Home Movie Day must carry on in more clandestine, under-the-radar locales such as the classroom next to the main theater at the Harvard Film Archive. Small, cryptic signs guided the relatively ordinary-looking subversives into the dark where the annual rite could be performed inconspicuously.

Dungeon Master Liz Coffey lurked omnisciently in the back operating the immortal projection machines and (with Melissa Dollman) inspected the reels of memories people dared to smuggle in. Amy Sloper and Amanda Justice monitored the analogue video machine with a care usually shown only premature children, and in keeping with all-things nostalgic and covert, music was provided by record player that closed up like a suitcase when not in use.

After the usual introductions, brief history of film, quick run-through of Home Movie Day bingo rules and communal cookie-eating, the show began discreetly with Frank Floyd’s color Super 8 transferred-to-digital which he projected directly off of his computer – the same one his parents had in the 60s and 70s. Just kidding. But it is true that his parents were really cool in the 60s and 70s – his dad was in a singing group called “The Constellations” and his mom was a budding fashion designer. Thus, upon the screen splashed images of super-stylish men hanging out in a hotel, playing guitar and showing off their custom-made fashions featuring stunning ensembles like bellbottomed jumpers with puffy red sleeves and a little fur bag or for the ladies, a decadently fur-lined long skirt. We basked in the light of this ultimate 70s star glow.

The infamous John Quackenbush presented a color Super 8 reel auspiciously titled “Unk” which began with an overexposed Charles River and a slightly younger version of John sailing blithely upon barely visible waters. The mystery of the title disintegrated before our squinting eyes as John’s uncle waltzed into the delicate palette of downtown Boston. John was documenting this important, adventurous visit taken by bus and on foot, and maybe more, according to the aerial shot of traffic that closed out this reel.

A newcomer to this hip scene, Michael, casually produced a DVD of 8mm transferred to digital vid as if this were something he did everyday. Upon the screen his cousins took their first trip back to Lebanon, his mother’s hometown. It was the 1960s and cuteness, prettiness and stylishness were at an all-time high, but that’s not the focus of this sweet reunion where many of the cousins were meeting and hugging for the first time. Michael told us that originally there was an audio cassette made to accompany the visual documentation; although we couldn’t listen to this, the Crystals’ record playing at the moment did fit the magical walk down this memorable lane. By the time Palm Sunday rolled around, we were lovingly besieged by a lot of posing and waving to the camera by beautiful people in well-coordinated, cinematically-saturated solids. Crazy unleavened bread with layers like cloth unfolded to reveal men dining outside who toast the camera! I may have taken some artistic liberties with that sentence, but bottom line: these folks were more than hospitable.

And speaking of layers, Melissa Dollman took an educational approach to her home movie presentation this year, showing us part of a collection she claimed to have worked on. The son of Henry Koster, director of Harvey and many other studio pictures from the days you could say “studio pictures,” recorded his father as they watched his dad’s old home movies together. Are you following me? It was like looking into infinity. If you can stay with me for a moment longer, he did this so he could record his dad’s commentary on these exciting documents (originally shot on b/w 16mm) featuring old Hollywood writers, producers and starlets in Salzburg, Vienna, Linz, Budapest and various European locales. Upon seeing his old agent on screen, Mr. Koster goes into this crazy lawsuit story about this innocuous-looking guy who, turns out, was actually quite a snake in the grass. Meanwhile, actors and their wives swim, eat and generally look gorgeous. It was a precious, multifaceted document unfortunately ravaged by the quality of the VHS media of its time.

Next, the inimitable Brittany Gravely showed an alarmingly recent color Super 8 film shot earlier this very year on the new Ektachrome stock that Kodak released to compensate for the loss of Kodachrome. The intensity of the Floridian footage triggered a projector malfunction which Liz promptly alleviated. And soon enough, we were back in one of Brittany’s hometowns, Jacksonville, where an old hotel was being demolished. On down the palm tree-lined streets one stormy day, we see bits of Florida old and new as well as plenty of friendly Florida flora… not to mention fauna in the shape of a cat comfortably hanging out in the fork of a tree. Someone commented that it looked like a panther which forced Brittany to tearfully admit that Florida is currently being overrun by a scourge of mini-panthers which stalk their human prey from backyard trees. This footage was crucial to her ongoing research into this frightening epidemic.

Betsy Sherman tactfully switched subjects with a rollicking 8mm Kodachrome of her family in Brookline, Mass. back in March and April, 1961 when she was a lass of a mere four years and her brother was only one. Her brother kind of stole the screen with his special leash and his abhorrence of walking. When he does walk, the great outfit he has been stuffed into makes him move like a robot. No wonder he was so skeptical of the practice. The siblings had endless fun on playground structures of the past and their cute mother laughed about it all while relaxed in a chaise lounge.

Amanda Justice bought a mystery VHS tape at a flea market in Waldo, FL and little did she know, it contained the Secrets to the Universe. This appeared to us mortals as three figures from the 1980s pretending to be a band (of sorts) performing Paula Abdul’s “Knocked Up.” Amanda explained that there were video karaoke-type booths at fairs and the like which would composite you and your friends against totally cool backgrounds and add totally awesome video effects while a totally tubular song played, and voilá! Video killed the radio star! The pseudo-band was simply composed of a shirtless, leather-jacketed, glasses-wearing, guitar “playing” man and two dancing ladies whose outfits somehow managed to sum up all of the primary 80s styles (starred half-shirt among them). They performed a synchronized dance which we wondered if they had made up beforehand or were following dance instructions. Either way, it was amazing. Blown by fake wind, frozen periodically by this ingenious video effects device, and laughing occasionally to themselves, every inch of this video radiated pure pleasure.

So pleasureful, in fact, that we started considering VHS camcorders the future of image making. Sensing the bizarre cinematic-retro-mutation danger, Liz snapped into action and dialed into the Emergency Alert FilmCon5 System which, under such dire conditions, instructed the user resort to the radical Option X: bring out the most outmoded and obscure type of filmmaking device one could lay one’s hands on. Sweating celluloid bullets, she pulled out a magnificent monstrosity called the Pathé “Baby,” a 9.5mm film projector from God-knows-when. The strange frame size alone distracted people long enough for Amy to obliterate the video decks and allowed Liz to launch into a history of the French-made 9.5mm format, noting that it is still a viable format in Europe, where such abominations are still cherished. The thing about 9.5 is that the sprocket holes are between frames rather than on the sides, allowing for a greater image area, yet a more dangerous situation for the film in case sprocket damage, etc. occurs and all hell breaks loose on the actual image rather than the shoulder of the road, as it were. This design’s original intent was to separate the amateur film mavericks from poser riffraff.

Well, there was a method to Liz’s madness for a change; we were about to watch some 9.5mm, albeit transferred to DVD. Another newcomer on the scene whose name shall remain anonymous due to the political hazards of harboring such an un-American film format (or I forgot to write it down – you decide) brought this contentious medium into our realm having inherited this footage from her family. It was silent b/w film from the 1920s shot in British-occupied Hong Kong of her grandfather and great uncle as adorable little boys playing with an extensive wind-up train set. Strands of sunlight streaked this beautifully-exposed miniature world populated with tiny figures on bikes, horses and various vehicles surrounded by tiny fake everything. They even had small cannons that really fired something. These were long, loving shots of the boys enjoying serious play in this splendid room, but eventually we do catch glimpses of regular-sized adults playing a regular-sized game of Mahjong.

The old-HMD-timer Reed Sturtevant was up next with a color Super 8 reel primarily focused on his son, a baby at the time of filming, who spent much of his screentime crying over the threat of water touching him and then over more ambiguous, less tangible things. In usual clever Reed fashion, there was a shocking shot of the baby in the driver’s seat of a car followed seamlessly by his teenage self driving a fancy red car though the beautiful countryside of Limerock, Maine. Turns out, they were on their way to the Skip Barber Racing School where his once-sensitive, emotional offspring kept it way cool drag racing and looking like nothing, not even water, could unsettle him.

Finally shedding the icy detachment of academia, Melissa screened footage from her own mother’s childhood in 1950s South Dakota. On the color 8mm which had been transferred to video we witnessed such memorable images as a toddler in fluffy dresses, a big-eared kid with a gun, and a baby exploring the simple pleasures of a single shoe and a pliable mattress. In the midst of the inordinate amount of mellow family fun time, one child gorging on sausage, pushing kids around and generally disrupting the good times turned out to be Melissa’s mom. Fortunately, the cute images that kept coming amid holiday festivities – which included some really cool elfin shoes – distracted us from this unexpected family exposé.

Brittany decided to ease Melissa’s embarrassment by showing a strange color Super 8 roll from 1979 that began innocuously enough upon a carousel. She and her sister and aunts showed off their tube socks astride these magical beasts and everything seemed normal until… they entered the dark jungle by boat and were menaced by animatronic jungle animals courtesy of Disneyworld. Then, jarringly, we were thrown back to the icy reality of her other homeland, Marengo, Illinois where a continuous pan of the snowy terrain proved interminable. Snow, snow, and more snow. We got it. Okay. Finally, her family’s little snow-colored poodle Gigi entered snowy stage right and made life worth living again!

And if you thought that was a freakish whirlwind, for a real metaphysical turn of events, Tara Nelson produced a Super 8 roll, shot by her husband Gordon, of last year’s Home Movie Day in Boston! If you recall, it was in Fort Point and it was a reel par-tay. This was exquisitely portrayed via Gordon’s artful double-exposure, hand-processing, and skillful cinematography. The LL Cool J record that accompanied it heightened this visceral experience and also added a danceable hip-hop edge to the nature footage that followed.

A shot of a dead goose served as a dark signpost of urban reality.

Quackenbush was at it again producing a sequel of sorts to a reel he showed last year from the same batch of found footage shot by a contingent of plump, middle-aged American tourists in the 50s or thereabouts. Just like last year, it was a treasure of a reel and I was obviously quite taken by the show because my notes couldn’t keep up with the parade of images on screen. And at this point, frankly, I can’t recall what “Golden Apple – beautiful lake” and “bridges trio” means, but I do know about “customs US/Canada.” They were having fun at the US/Canadian border! There were also ladies at a fancy estate and shots of a city which appeared to be Toronto. I also quite clearly remember the gravesite with the ominous words “Pray For Us” sculpted out of shrubbery. And, who could forget Niagara Falls? More bridges, more seasides, and a bonus seaside that came with its own kissing couple. This was real tourist leisure time what with shots here and there of landmarks like a neat castle-like building and with all of the beach scenes (including the requisite suntan-lotion-applying shot), picnicking, pedicab riding, carside posing, field bathing (don’t ask), see-sawing, sliding, geese feeding, garden partying, etc. Yet all of this was just a build-up to the primal heart of this reel: a monkey in the backyard! Signifying the bizarre confluence of events, a miraculous soundtrack synchronicity sent everyone into incredulous shock. Meanwhile, these backyard mysterions gathered around a cauldron (which hopefully, the monkey was not a part of), and there are extended shots of cows and farmers again accompanied by eerily appropriate chords from the record player matching onscreen action as if it had been scored beforehand.

We were really on a roll now. Reed was up again with the only footage he ever purchased off of Ebay featuring 1960s Okinawa. Immediately we were greeted by rice fields along the edges of which frolicked charming children. Also pretty charming was a donkey attached to a special agricultural contraption and happy women waving to the camera as if welcoming us into this land of ridiculously cute kids and hardworking villagers harvesting rice and other grains. To gain perspective, we were swept up into an aerial shot of green and beige land next to blue, blue water. When we come back down to Earth, there is some kind of memorial people are visiting and it involves a shot of a real human skull. The brief comic relief – a person walking with a bundle that has a hat on it looks like a walking bundle – prepares us not for the gory exploits to come! We witness actual scenes of whale slaughter in a lagoon area – from the killing to the chopping up, the camera spared no gruesome detail. Thank you, Reed, for warning us ahead of time about this grisly scene! When I opened my eyes again, there were children in little cars riding around in circles followed by a special circle dance outside. While I tried to piece together the evolving metaphorical subtext, US soldiers convened, and I took off to the convention of some sort they were holding that day involving a lot of seated older Japanese people drinking orange soda and watching grand spectacles such as beautiful, colorful dances. They seemed to be honoring a group of older women in the audience in some fashion. On and off stage, it was an incessant parade of smiling faces, great outfits, bright ribbons, and brilliant flowers until we get to the neutral tones of the military man giving a speech with the aid of a Japanese translator. Then the soldiers begin giving ominous silver boxes to everyone and we see a sign that reads “Christmas in Nakagusuku-son” clearing up at least a few questions. Soon, we return to village life: processing grain and toting bundles. And once again we are air-lifted to observe the villages from the sky and even see the inside of the helicopter. Radio dishes of some sort come into view – most likely connected to this apparent military base. Finally, it closes out with picturesque shots of boats and village life carrying on…

I hope I did that one justice – it was an exotic slice of history with a little mystery, and those kind really make you think. That’s the great thing about Home Movie Day – not everything is spoon-fed like the drivel those Hollywood pictures dole out, except maybe the bingo prizes which Liz kept coming to pacify an increasingly agitated audience.
Anyway, moving on to Amy Sloper’s thought-provoking b/w Super 8 movie from 2010… To the intrepid tunes of a James Bond soundtrack, we are taken through the intricate world of Amy’s office desk. Having received the assignment, we take a ferry ride upon the dangerous waters of the Boston Harbor and catch a fatal glimpse of Boston’s traditionally overexposed skyline. Blinded by this iconic light, we then beat a fast retreat to the dark ambiguity of a New Year’s party and breathe a mutual sigh of relief that we cannot see what sordid events are unfolding inside this sketchy apartment. Then! the day we have all been waiting for arrives… the great Book Topple of whatever year it is now. Part of Amy’s library-related job is to treat books like the dominoes they were always meant to be and – still with 007 playing in the background – we see the care and concern taken lining up books all over the office. If they don’t fall correctly, well, lives are obviously on the line. So when the books finally fall – okay, so maybe Amy didn’t film the end and maybe we will never know what became of those thrill-seeking librarians, may they rest in peace.
And it was another golden oldie from the annals of Brittany’s life, or pre-life, featuring her older sister in color Super 8 in the year 1971. Easter always brings surprises like robotic larval forms squirming happily but oddly on their parents’ bed. The naturalistic lighting fell softly upon her white dress and a strange plastic rabbit looming the background.

Not to be outdone by dainty girl babies on display, Frank Floyd jammed the filmwaves with more of his Super Seventies childhood. Once again, via color Super 8 transferred to the digital realm we were subjected to his ultra-cool parents living their ultra-stylish lives in an ultra-cool pad. Not only that, but his dad shows off some ultra-cool parenting skills as he grooves out to tiny Frank playing a giant drum set in what appears to be a fairly avant garde manner for the time – all the while wearing amazing pants and a dazzling hat. Little Frank’s 70s hairstyle is also pretty easy on the eyes.

Queen of the Scene, Liz Coffey, ramped up for the end of this roller coaster of a day with her recent “black-and-white remake of another home movie I made.” Who remakes their own home movies? And who remakes them in black-and-white? Only the most dedicated and eccentric home movie freaks, and in this kingdom, Liz obviously reigns supreme. So don’t ask “why,” just sit back and enjoy Tilt-a-whirl Part II: Monochromatic Death – a dizzying ride in Old Orchard Beach, Maine that admittedly did feel more gritty and real in black-and-white.

And the last entry of the day was another contemporary film, yet shot on long-expired Kodachrome which Tara found at the house of experimental filmmaker Saul Levine. She mentioned it was Christmastime, but the smoke stacks and rural farmland scenes did not come off as overly festive. There is a dog running around in a wreath-like configuration, a tractor that is vaguely sleigh-like, and an older man in a sweater who could never have been mistaken as Santa. (Turns out he’s Tara’s dad. Not Santa, the old sweater guy.) The action gets pixilated… as in single-frames, not Christmas fairies like you might think, and the muted, milky movie unspools like so much ribbon onto the spinning take-up reel of our lives.

Sorry, I’m not really sure what I’m saying anymore. These Home Movie Day notes take a lot out of me, like Home Movie Day itself. Traveling all over the world, back and forth in time, in and out of people’s lives… it’s not really just a “day” in the traditional sense and it’s a daunting task describing the real effect this stuff has on all of us. In closing, I may never know.

This was compiled by Liz Coffey.
2011 Event Report
City: Cambridge, MA
Event Venue: B04, the classroom / screening room Harvard’s Carpenter Center for the Visual Arts
Event time (screening): 12-3pm
Event time (inspection): 11am onwards
Total Audience: around 30
Number of people bringing films: 13
Liz Coffey

Melissa Dollman

Amy Sloper

Amanda Justice
Brittany Gravely
Zach Long
Press (pre-event and post-event):
“Dig This”editors’ picks – Weekly Dig 10.12.11
“8 Days a Week” editors’ picks – Boston Phoenix 10.14.11
“Weekend Arts Picks” on RadioBoston, 90.9 WMBR 10.13.11
facebook event page, HFA online calendar
and oddly: “Home Movie Day in Cambridge” – Centers and Squares 10.14.11

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January 27, 2012


HMD Report: Philadelphia

Event Venue: PhillyCAM – Philadelphia’s public access television station

Event time (screening): 2-5 PM

Event time (inspection): 2-5 PM

Total Audience: approx. 30

Number of people bringing films: approx 7

Films screened by Gauge:

8mm: approx 10
Super 8: 1
16mm: 3
9.5mm: none

Volunteers Jay Schwartz, John Pettit, Alexis Mayer, Germaine Fodor, Janine Lieberman, Debbie Rudman, Herbie Shellenberger, Silvia Hortelano Peláez, Jenifer Baldwin

Special Contributors/Thanks: Gretjen Clausing, Caroline Savage, Dwight Swanson, Kate Pourshariati, Joanna Poses

Film Inspectors: Alexis Mayer, Janine Lieberman, Herbie Shellenberger

Projectionists: Jay Schwartz

Inspectors: Alexis Mayer, Janine Lieberman

MC: John Pettit

Press (pre-event and post-event): PhillyCAM ran a spot on their station, created by the wonderful and amazing Debbie Rudman! Press release was featured on uwishunu.com, Philly Inquirer blog. Were also sponsored by Bryn Mawr Film Institute who ran an ad in their slideshow.

Report submitted by: Alexis Mayer

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HMD Report: London

HMD London 2011

Organisers: Lucy Smee and Lisa Kerrigan

General volunteers: Andrew Smee, Rebecca Hobbs, Martin Robinson, Rachel
Keene, Michael Coffey, Chris Jones

Cinema Museum volunteers: Ronald Grant, Martin Humphries, Anna Odrich,
George Parnell, Mark Egerton, Alex Craven, Ruth Cox, Will Downie

Projectionists: David Locke, Tony Saffrey, Brian Giles, Grant Lobban

Film checkers: Tim Emblem-English, Sally Golding

Bingo caller: Lesley Ibbotson

Ham made by: Lian Choo Smee

Bakers: Andrew Smee, Lucy Smee, Lisa Kerrigan, Michael Coffey, Laura Riley

Event location: The Cinema Museum, Kennington, London.

Event time: 11am – 5pm

Attendees: 120 in total, with 19 groups of people bringing home movies.

Films shown: 7 x 16mm, 10 x 9.5mm, 15 x 8mm, 8 x super 8

Thanks this year to BBC Hands on History who helped fund HMD London and of course massive thanks to the venue, the fantastic Cinema Museum and to Martin Humphries and Ronald Grant for being such excellent hosts. The cake stall once more did a roaring trade and we all looked spiffy in the Cinema Museum’s collection of usher uniforms. Thanks also to the BFI for donating some DVDs and IMAX tickets for bingo prizes, and to the Cinema Museum, who donated tickets for their upcoming special events.

Lisa and the Cinema Museum organised two great special screenings. In the morning, Phyllis Calvert’s grandson, Thomas Dyton, presented a compilation of her home movies in the main cinema, a reprise of a previous special screening from 2009. Then in the afternoon was a special presentation of film publicist Ralph Cooper’s home movies, introduced by his daughter and other family members. This was wildly popular and sadly we had to turn people away from the main screening room due to full capacity!

Our film checkers and projectionists were nicely busy all day this year as people arrived with home movies throughout the day. The first films of the day were Hoxton in London in the 1970s and the last week at the closing down cinema in Golders Green in the 1980s, both on 16mm with sound. Then we had three 16mm films made by the cartoonist Giles and the note-taker has written for these: ‘Man playing tiny trumpet and drinking meths’. I’m sorry I missed this one. Other scenes from these films include hatching eggs and Ireland in 1958.

Other interesting films included a film found in the loft of a house by a new tenant of the Festival of Britain; my note-taker reports it showed “acrobatics and a crazy train”. Also some films of India in the 1950s, and a huge collection of films of eastern Europe behind the Iron Curtain; after our film checkers checked the first few, the filmmaker went home to get some more!

A big highlight was the 8mm home movie collection of Frank Muir, from Frank Muir and Dennis Norden fame, brought by his son Jamie. First we watched a home movie of canals in the Midlands in the 50s, and no one knew it was THE Frank Muir, but then the next film was Peter Sellers in rehearsal for a BBC variety programme called ‘And So To Bentley’. Our volunteer Chris reported that the film looked like a final rehearsal for a live recording, probably at BBC Lime Grove c.1956, and it featured several sketches with Sellers, Dick Bentley and Peter Jones. This is a lost television series so this home movie is a really exciting find and a rare behind the scenes look at TV production in the 1950s. Lisa has been in touch with Jamie Muir (who is also a TV documentary producer) and hopefully he will be donating his collection to the BFI National Archive. Watch this space! The audience also enjoyed seeing a four-year-old Jamie Muir with his Dad, both in splendid bow-ties at London Zoo.

It was an extremely successful event, and a huge thank you to all the volunteers who made it happen and again to the Cinema Museum and BBC Hands on History.

A few photos can be seen here:

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HMD Report: Mexico City

Event Venue: Cineteca Nacional México

Event time (screening): 29 October 2011 from 2-9pm

Event time (inspection): accepted films until noon on the 29th

Total Audience: Over the course of the day, perhaps 85 people? Unfortunately, we didn’t have the manpower to take an accurate count.

Number of people bringing films: 3 people brought films that day for the event. In total, we screened films from 20 people.

Films screened by Gauge: (all numbers are approximate)

8mm: 15
Super 8: 31
16mm: 6
9.5mm: 0
Video: 0

Volunteers: Audrey Young, Kyzza Terrazas, Issa García Ascot

Press (pre-event and post-event): Radio interview

Report submitted by: Audrey Young

This was only the second Home Movie Day in Mexico City, and the first event since 2003. There is not a strong sense of home movies as being meaningful yet in Mexico, and we saw that in the promotion for the event. Despite sending out a press release and advertising the event with a PSA on the public bus system, only two people showed up to bring films to show. The rest of the event we programmed with films the Cineteca has been collecting through the Archivo Memoria program. As the event approached and we realized that the response was not as anticipated, we began to call everyone who had brought in their films to ask them if they wanted to come watch them during Home Movie Day. We ended up getting a fairly strong response and projected films nonstop from 2pm until after 9pm.

There were a few interesting films that we discovered at the event: a trip to Yucatán on 8mm from 1956, a set of stop-motion animations from the 60s and 70s by a man whose granddaughter described him as a “mad inventor”, a short film documenting the marches for sexual freedom in the 1970s and scenes in the life of a traditional Jewish family in 1960s Mexico.

But perhaps more important than the films themselves was the reaction to the event. Those families that we invited to attend were thrilled. One family showed up with fifteen or twenty people, including the matriarch who had filmed everything. Others came merely out of curiosity to see their films for the first time in twenty years and ended up staying all afternoon, captivated by the families of strangers.

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January 30, 2012


HMD Report: Washington, D.C.

HMD Washington D.C. 2011

Organizer: Caitlin McGrath

Projectionists/Film Checkers: Tim Wisniewski, Laura Major

Volunteer and General Cheerleader: Brian Real

Those who helped from afar: Skip Elsheimer; Karma Foley; Amy Gallick; Jimi Jones; Julia Nicoll; Marsha Orgeron; Elias Savada; Karan Sheldon; Jennifer Snyder; Deborah Sorensen; Dwight Swanson; Pam Wintle; Lindsay Zarwell

Last-minute 8mm projectors and viewer: Jenny Horne

Refreshments: Whole Foods (!)

Event Location: Letelier Theater, Georgetown

Event time: 12-4 p.m.

Attendees: Well, are we counting all those that were there, wandered through, and stayed to watch? That total would be 12. If counting those outside the organizer and volunteers who came to watch films? That would be 2. One of those brought films.

Films shown:

The Living Room Cinema DVD

Florida in the 1960s

Florida – Hilde and Silver Meteor

Hilde in the Ice Storm

Yost – Bee in Flower, 1954

Man in bathing suit – 1929

Baltimore walkathon 1973

Disneyland and a California pool, 1979 and 1976

Films from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Guitar at the Bottom of the Sea

Most of the films were 8mm, but we also had 16mm from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.

Our event was small mainly because it was organized in just a few weeks. We missed deadlines for most publicity, and we suffered from having a somewhat obscure location. All of these can be remedied this upcoming year, since we’ll have plenty of time to rally our forces. The saving grace was the generosity of Whole Foods, who provided us with enough food for 50 people (I was being optimistic!). So while we waited for folks to turn up, we ate well and often from the buffet.

We started by watching the Living Room Cinema DVD to get things rolling, and give us time to set things up while something was running, in case we got flooded with participants. Then we started showing our own films. I brought one of my parents before they were parents, and then one of me about 2 years old in Disneyland. Tim brought a great one of the Walkathon in Baltimore, and Laura had family reels from her mother’s childhood in Florida.

Then we started going through some of the films I had brought that came from the Wagner Institute in Philadelphia. They included a great one from 1929, and some beautiful images of flowers, snow and ice.

We also were very fortunate (thanks to Lindsay Zarwell) to have some amazing films from the USHMM. We saw travel films that traversed Europe, visiting the Alps, Jewish settlement farms, and various points in Eastern Europe.

The one participant who brought a film showed a film he’d made as a teen with his friends meant to be a horror film. It was interesting, and because incomplete, fairly experimental! He was very lively and happily narrated the bits that were missing. He arrived five minutes before the end, so it was a great way to bring things to a close.

Despite having such a small showing, we all had a great time and ate well for the rest of the week! Many, many thanks for all those who helped on the day, helped from afar, and those who gave support and encouragement along the way. HMD DC 2012, here we come!

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February 4, 2012


HMD Report: East Bay

City: Oakland
Event Venue: Oakland Museum of California (OMCA)
Event time (inspection): 11am-1pm
Event time (open screening): 12:30-3pm

(Beane screening): 3:30-5pm
Total audience: 35 at the open screening, 78 at the Beane screening
Number of people bringing film: 13

Films screened by gauge: 8mm: 8, Super 8: 3, 16mm: 1, 9.5mm: 0

Video: 2 (film-to-tape transfers)

Volunteers: Stefano Boni (projectionist), Adrienne Cardwell (inspector),
Megan Clement (inspector/projectionist assistant),Natalia Fidelholtz
(setup/hellos/welcome table), Myleen Hollero (photographer/hmd buttons),
Margaret Mello (setup), Rick Prelinger (Beane film transfer), Jon
Shibata (projectionist), Lauren Sorensen (inspector), Dwight Swanson
(hellos/welcome table), Pamela Vadakan (organizer/mc/inspector) and Troy
Vadakan (dj).

Staff (OMCA/Oakland Standard): Sasha Archibald, Clair Ball, Rene de Guzman, Valerie Imus and Stijn Schiffeleers

Snacks provided by Arizmendi Bakery and the Oakland Museum

Special events/screenings: The highlight of the day was a 45-minute screening of Ernest Beane’s home movies, accompanied by an original score performed live by the Marcus Shelby Quintet, followed by a group discussion. The Beane collection (1935-1946) comes from the African American Museum and Library at Oakland (AAMLO), courtesy of Beane’s granddaughter and Rick Moss, AAMLO’s Chief Curator, who led the discussion. Ernest Beane worked for the Pullman Palace Car Company and his films are rare views of African American middle class life in Berkeley and Oakland during World War II. Beane was committed to his hobby, investing in both 16mm and regular 8mm equipment, and he brought his camera everywhere, across the country, even to Mexico. Beane shot intimate portraits of his family, friends and fellow porters mostly at ease and at leisure — walking along the block, drinking lemonade in the back yard, working in the garden, swinging, sliding, playing, dancing, kissing. The films are vibrant, full of life and, and as Moss mentioned, pride. Shelby confirmed this after the screening, “Most images of African American people before 1940 are depressing. People were told to keep their head down. But here you have a document that disrupts the narrative.”

Press: Press releases went to OMCA’s local/regional media and calendar lists. OMCA also produced a run of 1000 postcards to Oakland addresses, and sent out an eflyer. Shoutouts in the San Francisco Chronicle
and the Oakland North.

This year’s East Bay Home Movie Day was very special thanks to the enthusiasm and support of the Oakland Standard staff. Seriously these people rule! We didn’t have a lot of film for the open screening but we had just enough, we had a very good turnout, and we made some new friends.

We raffled free transfers from The Looking Glass/Recollections Media Transfer, Digital Pickle, Novato Video Transfer and Audio Video Workshop and free tickets to the OMCA.

Some highlights:

A look back at Home Movie Day East Bay 2008 at Pacific Film Archive; a 1940 Egyptian wedding (the family later immigrated to Berkeley); an outing of young ladies, accompanied by dapper rangers in Yosemite in 1938 — with a glimpse of a Smokey the Bear lookalike and President Franklin Roosevelt; Natalia’s mom’s birthday party in Buenos Aires in 1952, complete with marionettes and a princess crown; a 1957 trick film made in Tennessee by a teenager and his friends eating imaginary food; a 1942 trick film of snow antics, people disappear and jump backwards, along with loving shots of newborn baby Deanne; Stephen Fisher’s little girl dances in Isadora Duncan’s footsteps at the Temple of the Wings (super 8 sound! The Fisher saga continues); a young Kaja Meredith, who will later become a classically trained ballerina and Burgess Meredith’s wife, dances in the living room as her father plays piano; saxophones and sequins in Norcross, Georgia, New Year’s Eve 1972; a repeat screening of the Oakland Rose Garden, shot flower by flower, frame by frame; and, gearing up for Halloween, cute kids in costume in Buffalo, New York, 1963.

HMD in the Oakland Standard (thanks to Stijn/ the Oakland Standard)

Photos on Flickr (thanks to Myleen Hollero)

Report submitted by Pamela Vadakan

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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!


November 8, 2012


HMD Report: Pamplona


Event Venue: Filmoteca de Navarra
Paseo Antonio Pérez Goyena, 3
31008 Pamplona (Navarra) Spain

Event time (screening): Friday 26th of October, 6pm

Event time (inspection): during the year

Total Audience: 80

Number of people bringing films: Projection from 19 different people

29 Films screened by Gauge:
8mm: 3
Super 8: 20
16mm: 6

Special events/screenings: The projection has been accompanied by a performance of the musician Javier Asín at the piano. During the week we organized a small exposition with cameras, moviolas, splicers, books and projectors.

Press (pre-event and post-event): The informations about the HMD appeared in our web site (with Sean Savage’s trailer), in the hand program of the filmoteca, in local newspapers and thanks to filmoteca’s newsletter. The day after the projection an article appeared in the local newspaper.

Report submitted by Silvia Casagrande

Like last year, we decided to project films stored in the archive of the Filmoteca. All the films are home movies from the 30’s to the 80’s in which we can see landscapes of the region and its traditions.

We screened 29 short films: some traditional fiestas and events such San Fermín, the “Tributo de las 3 vacas”, fiestas in Olite, Tafalla, Tudela and classical encierros and corridas. Besides that, we projected some rural works such grape harvest and bread preparation, some private religious event such Holy Communions, some family events and fragments of amateur’s films: the traditional fiesta of Santa Águeda, in the village of Alsasua, and a documentary about the village of Ujué.

List of all the films projected:
– Fiestas de San Fermín 1945 (16mm, b/w silent),
– Tributo de las 3 vacas 70’s (S8mm, color, silent),
– Jugando en un columpio 40’s (16mm, b/w, silent),
– Carnaval de Lanz 70’s (S8mm, color, silent),
– Vendimia en Tafalla 1956 (8mm, color, silent),
– Fiestas de Tafalla 1957 (8mm, b/w, silent),
– Fiestas de San Fermín 1970 (S8mm, color, silent),
– Encierro, vaquillas, deporte rural y feria de ganados 40’s (16mm, b/w, silent),
– Funes: voladura del puente, 1975 (S8mm, color, silent),
– El volatín de Tudela 1970 (S8mm, color, silent),
– Fiestas de Olite 40’s (16mm, b/w, silent),
– Corrida en San Fermín 70’s (S8mm, color, silent),
– 1ª Comunión 70’s (S8mm, color, silent),
– Toros en San Fermín 1975 (S8mm, color, silent),
– En bici en Ermitagaña 80’s (S8mm, color, magnetic sound),
– Noticiario beratarra 1952 (16mm, b/w, silent),
– Bajada del ángel de Tudela 1983 (S8mm, color, silent),
– 1ª Comunión 70’s (S8mm, color, silent),
– Pic-nic en el campo 1987 (S8mm, color, silent),
– Corrida en San Fermín 70’s (S8mm, color, silent),
– Preparación del pan casero 70’s (S8mm, color, silent),
– 1ª Comunión 1968 (S8mm, color, silent),
– Fiestas de cumpleaños 1954 (8mm, b/w, silent),
– Gimnasia en la sierra de Urbasa 1971 (S8mm, color, silent),
– Alsasua: Santa Águeda 1975 (S8mm, color, magnetic sound),
– Niña y gallinas 80’s (S8mm, color, silent),
– Navidad en casa en Barañain 1982 (S8mm, color, silent),
– Gran Gira anual de la peña Los Iruñshemes 1934 (16mm, b/w, silent),
– Ujué, piedras vivas 1980 (S8mm, color, magnetic sound).


November 25, 2012


HMD Report: Paris

Event Venue: L’Espace Saint Michel / 7 place Saint Michel / 75005 Paris

Event time (screening): From 2pm to midnight

Event time (inspection): From 2pm to 6pm

Total Audience: about 120 persons

Number of people bringing films: 15

Films screened by Gauge:

8mm: 1
Super 8: 28
16mm: 1
9.5mm: 0
Video: 2 DVD (1 from 8mm film)


12 total (Bruno G., Katerina Kampoli, Samantha Leroy, Carla Mancini, Sylvia Nicolas, Hervé Pichard, Sébastien Ronceray, Céline Ruivo, Jérémie Tate, Fanny Tziovaridis, Francesca Veneziano, Delphine Voiry-Humbert)

Special events/screenings:

14h: Program for children

16h: Special Program about Portrait

  • Algérie 1960, Francis Lemaitre, excerpt (1960, 8mm, silent, 7’) from ECPAD?The military Francis Lemaitre used his Brownie Kodak 8mm camera to shoot several moments of his service activities in the area of Constantine.
  • Gaël et Kiel, Leïla Gharbi (2010, Super 8, silent, 6’)
    Portrait directed in two times. The first one is the portrait of Gaël pregnant during the shower in May 2010. The second one is the portrait of the new family: Gaël, Joachim the father and baby Kiel, in June 2010.
  • L’échec total, Christophe Guérin (2010, video projection, 3’)
    From Super 8 films of the same unknown family, Christophe Guérin kept the images of the mother, which are represented the idea of the happiness. Then he thought about his own mother who raised two children alone and he associated the pictures to this sentence: “I didn’t see life like that; I saw it like a dream”.
  • Babàs, Consuelo Lins (2012, video projection, 20’)
    Inspired by a photograph from the 19th century represented a baba (a nurse) with child, this film tells the story of these women in Brazil.
  • Le voleur, Heinz Brockmann, (1940-1945, 8mm, B&W, 4’ 12’’), from ECPAD?Fiction filmed by an amateur: a thief tries to steal money from a German soldier (playing by the film director).
  • Images de l’eau, Philippe Cote (2012, Super8/Video, B&W and color, silent, 11’)?Different forms and manifestations taken by water, experiences of the director’s body underwater. A poetic essay about imaginary of the material.

18h : Open Screen (7 films brought by the audience)

[Cérès Franco]
Director unknown
1948, 8mm (video projection), black and white
Brought by Clémence, Cérès Franco’s granddaughter

Movie about Cérès Franco, a contemporary art collector, shot by friends in 1948 in Brazil (Rio de Janeiro, to the beach of Ipanema) and in USA (during a dance show to the Casa Internacional in New York and in Salt Lake City).

[Film without title]
Directed by Wilfried Histi and Nadia Chalom
2007, Super 8, Colors
Brought by Wilfried Histi

Animation film directed without editing (“tourné-monté”), within the framework of Les ateliers du Rodéo Club. This funny and creative film tells the adventures of a penguin.

Les Halles
Directed by Louis Aimé Fraschini
Circa 1970-1973, 8mm, Colors
Brought by Béatrice Fraschini Rey, daughter of the director

Documentary film about Les Halles in Paris, during the great renovation: empty markets, manifestation against the renovation, destruction of the Pavillons Baltard, huge hole waiting for the new building… This film tells one of the great urban transformations in Paris during the 20th century.

[Films without titles]
Directed by Michel Chalot
Circa 1970, Super 8, Colors
Brought by Maxime Bouillon, son of the director

Two family movies: travel by car and Christmas night.

Salon de l’agriculture
Directed by Yves Dimet
Circa 1971-72, 16mm, black and white
Brought by Yves Dimet

Cows and activities during the agriculture show. An amazing film, a “will to do a film about imprisonment” (Yves Dimet)

Obsèques de Pompidou
Directed by Yves Dimet
1974, Super 8, Colors
Brought by Yves Dimet

A crowd of people is present at Georges Pompidou funeral. The director scratched little drawings on the film.

21h : Ciné – concert
40 minutes of excerpts of family movies from the Österreichisches Filmmuseum Pathé-Baby collection. These films come from four families; they show leisure of the middle-class from Wien in the thirties. The films have been accompanied by the performance of music band Les Ongles noirs and guest. The director Gaëlle Rouard edited 8 minutes of these films and presented a very special work called Loisible aventureux.

Press (pre-event and post-event):
The program was published on our web site (homemoviedayparis.fr), articles and adverts were published in revues and cultural programs.


November 29, 2012


HMD Report: Los Angeles

Venue: Cinefamily at the Silent Movie Theatre
Event time (screening): Noon-4:00
Event time (inspection): 11:00-3:00
Total Audience: 50+
Number of people bringing films: 10

Films screened by Gauge:

8mm: 7
Super 8: 6
16mm: 6
9.5mm: 1
28mm: 1
VHS: 1

Volunteers: 25

Kelle Anzalone, Snowden Becker, Cassie Blake, Shay Cornelius, Jovita Dominguez, Brian Drischell, Donna Ellithorpe, Dino Everett, Jere Guldin, Fritz Herzog, Tessa Idlewine, Sean Kilcoyne, Kim Luperi, Brian Meacham, Sadie Menchen Schwartz, Esther Nam, Cliff Retallick, Charles Rogers, Sean Savage, Amanda Smith, Jessica Storm, Rhonda Vigeant, Leah Wagner, Rachel Wilson, Tim Wilson, Steve Wright

Special events/screenings: Finger-food potluck to coincide with screenings

Prize sponsors: Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, American Cinematheque, Cinefamily, Film Technology Co., Laemmle Theatres, Los Angeles Conservancy, Masa Pizzeria, Outfest, Pro8mm, Skylight Books, UCLA Film & Television Archive + purchased CafePress HMD logo gear

Press (pre-event and post-event): Made some calendar listings, but no feature stories. Trisha appeared on KUCI Irvine radio show, discussing archival issues.

Report submitted by: Trisha Lendo, Sean Savage

“Being able to view films I hadn’t seen in over forty years with my daughters by my side far exceeded my expectations for the day. And the friendliness and enthusiasm of everyone there made it just that much more enjoyable. I fully intend to be there next year, hopefully with more films in hand.”
–HMD-LA participant Debbie Ringo

As people were filling their plates from the finger food goodies and settling in, we ran a 16mm Kodachrome reel preserved by the Academy Film Archive. Newcomb Condee was a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge and dedicated documenter of his family and travels. This intertitled reel featured the high school graduation of (grand-?)daughter Marie, Grace Condee playing “Air Raid Warden” and horsing around with the younger kids and a glimpse of Charlie Chaplin on the tennis court.

The show proper began with HMD-LA regular Bill Jenkins, a collector of home movies, with early-to-mid-40s 8mm Kodachrome he purchased at a garage sale. The family and location were unknown, but their hijinks – including sack races, Halloween and quaint old rotary phones – were enlivened considerably by our volunteer (but still pro) pianist Cliff Rettalick.

UCLA MIAS student Robert Vaszari brought two Super-reels from 1980s, in which he appears with his twin brother on summer trips in Lake Tahoe and elsewhere. Another featured roll was shot by his grandparents in Palos Verdes.

Debbie Ringo came with reels shot by her father in the late 50s-early 60s. She hadn’t viewed them in 40 years, and simple math would tell you her daughters had never seen them. Slumber parties, go karts, brother on skateboard, and her dog Penny are all featured.

The ever-reliable Charles Rogers appeared again this year with S-8 rolls of Chicago White Sox games loyally captured by his Aunt Pat, c. 1976-7.

HMD-LA co-organizer Trisha Lendo shared an eBay find – “Garden Party” (1961) on 8mm Kodachrome.

Nicholas Spark (not The Notebook guy) has been collecting home movies for about a decade, and shared some L.A views from the 1960s. Believing he was in the clear for repurposing in his own documentary work, emcee Snowden set him straight by emphatically saying that home movies are NOT in the public domain.

Fred Kulberg was up next, making his fourth HMD appearance. From home movies he shot 1945-99, he compiled a thematic roll of Las Vegas and Reno marquees at night, with classic entertainers like Jerry Lewis, Shirley Bassey, Jimmy Durante and Buddy Hackett all appearing (well, their names in lights anyway). Also some San Francisco views and some ringside shots of a 1983 Larry Holmes fight (vs. ????).

Ziba Zehbar thought she had her VHS cued up – her father worked for Boeing and recorded over a McDonnell Douglas shareholder video and we scanned through much of it. Back to her later.

Rachel Wilson, another UCLA MIAS student, brought some 8mm & 16mm and her grandmother! The films were shot by her great grandfather, and highlights included 1940s fun in black and white – a three-legged sack race, kids blowing bubble gum bubbles, and canine shenanigans – as well as the Seattle 1962 World’s Fair in color, and Disneyland in the 70s.

Ziba’s VHS was now ready to roll, and some awkward comedy ensues as her adorable 2-year old sister tries to figure how to mount a bike with training wheels. Ziba also brought films she thought might be from pre-revolution Cuba, courtesy her ex-boyfriend’s mother, but the Super-8 turned out to be shot in Southern California.

HMD projectionist and purveyor of obscure amateur format gear and films, Dino Everett demoed an English family’s 1921 Christmas morning on 28mm and another’s visit to Stonehenge in color 9.5mm.

Debbie Ringo was up again with rolls of two different sets of Christmas festivities, 1950 in black and white starring her brother, and 1959 in color when she was about 7 years old. The films gave us a glimpse into an integrated Leimert Park of the 50’s as her and her brother played outside with neighbors. Also a family trip to Vegas, Hoover Dam, and the Ubehebe Crater in Death Valley.

Trisha wraps up the afternoon with some 16mm she acquired in a thrift store just last month – waves crashing in Redondo Beach and snow-covered trees in Yosemite.


December 3, 2012


HMD Repost: Amsterdam

?2012 Event Report

City: Amsterdam

Event Venue: Artis Zoo (Parkzalen, Plantage Middenlaan 41A, Amsterdam). Event time (screening): 11:00 – 16:00

Event time (inspection): 11:00 – 17:00

Total Audience: 50

Number of people bringing films: 19

Films screened by Gauge:

We focussed on video-only, so no films were screened.

8mm: 0 Super 8: 0 16mm: 0 9.5mm: 0 VHS: 6 MiniDV: 3 Hi8: 1
DVD: 7 Digital file: 2

Volunteers (No. and names): 28

SOUND AND VISION: Lotte Belice Baltussen
Valentine Kuypers
Heleen Ririassa
Tom De Smet
Hans van der Windt
Lisette Graswinckel
Eva Hielscher
Gijs Kimenai
Maartje Jansma
Hanneke Vroegindeweij
Agnes van Veen

Ronny Temme
Tim van der Heijden
Rixt Jonkman
Suzan Crommelin
Mart van der Wiel
Hay Kranen
Jesse de Vos
Danuta Zoledziewska
Harry van Biessum

SUPERSENS: Rutger van der Meer
Peter Dekker
Jean-Pierre Sens
Jaap Rieuwerts
Nico Kaal
Mario Vrugt

Emile de Gruijter
Margot de Jonge

Special events/screenings:
Screening of films in a separate room (about ten minutes per film):
1 Benefit by Hikmet Ulger (MiniDV)
2 Proposal of marriage to Emilia by Jan van der Meer (VHS)
3 World record chickengrill by Aart van Amerongen (DVD)
4 Tour at the Smalfilmmuseum by Femke Harmsen (VHS)
5 PH-EZK by Ivo de Jongh (MiniDV)
6 Material Girl – Julia Goes America (1995) (VHS)
7 Big City by Mr. F.J. Vogel (DVD, original Video8)
8 Amsterdam by Mr. W. Knop (VHS)
9 (no programme)
10A Michel with computer by Taco Bakker (Hi8)
10B 50th marriage anniversary Van Leuveren / Rob & Syl, 30 year marriage by Rob Swart (Digital file)
11 Village in a city (Nieuwendam) by Mr Rammers (DVD)
12 Light & Air by Mr. Rammers (DVD)
13 Various films by Mr. Rammers (DVD)
14 Oranje Museum by Aart van Amerongen (VHS)
15 Irish Pub by Hikmet Ulger (MiniDV)
16 Oh Yeah & One Vision by Cor Lievendag (Digital file)
17 Artis films from the archive of the Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision (DVD, original 8mm, 16mm)
18 Dekave Drukkerij by Helen Delachaux (VHS)
19 Various films by Mr. Rammers (DVD)
When they were present during the screening, the makers were interviewed by Tim van der Heijden and Tom Slootweg.

Press (pre-event and post-event):
Pre-event press:

? Internet, Stichting Amateurfilm, Announcement Dag van de Amateurfilm – email, September 4, 2012.
? Print, Dag van de Rotterdamse geschiedenis, Folder, September 14, 2012.
? Video, 24UurCultuur, Promo video Rotterdam, September 15, 2012.
? Internet, Changing Platforms, Event notification, September 20, 2012
? Internet, Changing Platforms, Event report (Dag van de Amateurfilm), October 1,
? Internet, EYE, Event notification HMD, October 2, 2012
? Internet, Artis, Notification HMD, October 9, 2012
? Internet, Parool.nl, Press release, October 10, 2012
? Internet, Volkskrant.nl, Press release, October 10, 2012
? Internet, Italie.nl, Blog post, October 10, 2012
? Internet, Informatie Professional, Editorial, October 10, 2012
? Internet, Spreekbuis, Short version of press release, October 10, 2012
? Internet, Trouw.nl, Press release, October 10, 2012
? Internet, ImagineIC, Newsletter, October 11, 2012
? Radio (regional), RTV Rijnmond, Interview, October 11, 2012
? Magazine, Broadcast Magazine, Article, October 11, 2012
? Internet, SuperSens, Newsletter, October 12, 2012
? Radio (national), Radio1 Lunch, Interview, October 12, 2012
? Televisie (national), RTL EditieNL, Item about the project, October 12, 2012
? Radio (national), BNR Nieuwsradio – Nieuwsupdate, Interview, October 13, 2012
? Televisie (national), Hart van Nederland – SBS6, Item HMD Rotterdam, October
15, 2012
? Internet, Sound and Vision newsletter, Announcement HMDs, October 16, 2012
? Internet, Vuurwerkcrew.nl forum, “Filmarchivarissen op omroep Max.”, October
16, 2012
? Newspaper (national), Volkskrant, Article “Verstofte video’s”, October 16, 2012
? Internet, De Gooi- en Eemlander, Short press release, October 16, 2012
? Television (national), Omroep MAX Live, Interview, October 16, 2012
? Newspaper (regional), Ijmuider Crt; Haarlems Dagblad 2 ed.; Leidsch Dagblad 3
ed.; Noordholl.Dagblad 8 ed.; Gooi en Eemlander 2 ed., Article “Beeld en Geluid
is ook blij met verjaardagsfilmpje tante Greet”, October 17, 2012
? Radio (regional), RTV NH, Arjan Burggraaf op Radio N-H – interview, October 17,
? Newspaper(national), NRC Handelsblad, Article (full page) “Amateurfilm blijkt
cultuurdrager”, October 18, 2012

Post-event press:


? Radio (regional), FunX, Interview during HMD, programme Sound of the city, October 20,
? Internet, Totaaltv.nl, Instituut Beeld en Geluid wil oude videobanden inzamelen October 25, 2012
? Magazine, Spreekbuis (magazine for mediaprofessionals), Interview, October 26, 2012
Report submitted by?????????????????? Lotte Belice Baltussen and Harry van Biessum (The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision)

The Home Movie Day by Sound and Vision was organised within the scope of the Amateur Film Platform project (www.amateurfilmplatform.nl). The aim of the project is to make a diverse and broad range of amateur films of four Dutch archives available online. Sound and Vision and its three regional archive partners all organised a Home Movie Day. Unique about these four days was that the focus lay exclusively with video, since one of the main project goals is to save amateur recordings from the video era (+/- 1980-2005) before it is too late. The target of the project is to acquire 100 hours of new material.

The Home Movie Day in Artis brought together amateur film enthusiasts from all over the Netherlands: Sound and Vision, SuperSens, EYE Film Institute Netherlands, the amateur film research project Changing Platforms and the Dutch Organisation of Audio Visual Amateurs.

So, in collaboration with technical partner and Home Movie Day sponsor SuperSens six viewing stations, each with a broad variety of video players were set up. People were asked to bring any type of format with them, from Hi8 to VHS, and from MiniDV to Video2000. Even then, two people managed to bring with them some tapes that we were not able to play: an NTSC Betamax tape from 1986 containing footage of a trip through the jungle of Panama and a VCR V60 from 1979 with a amateurfilm tv programme made in a professional studio. We decided to take them with us, in order to view them at a later stage.
A very wide and surprising range of videos were brought in. One person brought in VHS-material from the early days of prolific Dutch filmmaker Jiska Rickels, who was her class mate at the Dutch Film Academy.

There was also a remarkable VHS-tape from 2005 on which the 55th birthday of a woman was recorded, the late mother of the man who brought us the tape. The party included a rather large band, an amazing banquet food, beautiful dresses of the woman who changed into three different ones as the evening progressed, and the tradition of honoring the guarding angel of the woman (the honor was fulfilled by putting a large cup on her head with many red roses in it). Her son told that it was a typical, traditional birthday party for people from Suriname, the party itself was held in Amsterdam.
Furthermore there was interesting material shot at the anniversary of a restaurant in Baarn in 1989, where the world record of grilling chicken was set. The video showed a skewer with no less than 353 chickens on them.

At the end of the day, a total of 34 tapes from 14 different people were selected to be acquired by Sound and Vision and thus to be included in the Amateur Film project.
A report of the day can also be found on the blog of the Dutch project Changing Platforms

See also the event reports of the other Home Movie Days of the Amateur Film Project:
? 13 October, Groningen, GAVA
? 14 October, Rotterdam, Stadsarchief
? 27 October, Venlo, Limburgs Museum

Project URL: www.amateurfilmplatform.nl



HMD Report: Gronigen

?2012 Event Report City: Groningen

Event Venue: Groningen City and Province Archives (RHC Groninger Archieven),
Cascadeplein 4, 9726 AD, Groningen, the Netherlands

Event time (screening): Saturday October 13th 2012, 11 AM – 5 PM

Event time (inspection): same as above. Also, inspections are done throughout
the year at the archives.

Total Audience: HMD was part of a bigger event: the annual Groningen History Day, attended by approximately 3,000 visitors.

Number of people bringing films: 5

Films screened by Gauge:

8mm: – Super 8: – 16mm: – 9.5mm: – Video: 10

Gert Plas (staff)
René Duursma (staff)
Marij Kloosterhof (staff)
Tjerk Bekius (volunteer)
Ferdie Wielstra (volunteer)
Henk Doeve (volunteer)
Sebastiaan Vos (staff)

Press (pre-event and post-event):

The information about the HMD appeared on websites and was broadcasted on two local radio shows. Also we had a commercial for local television stations.

Report submitted by Sebastiaan Vos

The Home Movie Day by the Groningen City and Province Archives was organized within the scope of the Amateur Film Platform project (www.amateurfilmplatform.nl). The aim of the project is to make a diverse and broad range of amateur films of four Dutch archives available online. Together with project lead The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision and the two other regional archive partners, four HMDs were organized within the scope of the project. Unique about these four days was that the focus lay exclusively with video, since one of the main project goals is to save amateur recordings from the video era (+/- 1980-2005) before it is too late. The target of the project is to acquire 100 hours of new material.
The Groningen HMD (also covering the other two northern provinces of the Netherlands, namely Friesland and Drenthe) was a success. A lot of people showed up (mostly for the Groningen History Day, but still a great attendance) and many of them walked by in the reading room where we had our wall of screens on which we played the home videos that people brought with them, along with a compilation of home videos from our own collection.

The yield of videos wasn’t that big on the day: 10 tapes. However, a lot of tapes were sent after the event, after people had been stimulated to dig up videos from their personal archives. Watching some home movie footage of children playing etc, people that walked by during the day, reacted: “Well, if you’re looking for this kind of footage, I have tapes like these at home as well!” So there is a lot more stuff out there at home. And off course we know there is. The question is how to get these tapes into the archives. We’re glad to report that since the HMD, we have received approximately 200 videotapes (by several people), with amateur footage, with (hopefully) many more to come. We are working hard on getting the contributions we’ve gotten so far into our archives now
The day before the HMD I was in a radiobroadcast of the local radio station to which many people in Groningen tune in, to talk about the HMD.

In a couple of minutes four people made a telephone call to the radio, made clear what kind of videos they had and asked me, directly into the broadcast, if that is what we were looking for. Sure! For example, an older woman told that her late husband had filmed all the bridges in the city of Groningen around 25 years ago. The next day she came along and showed us the tape. Indeed, almost 50 local bridges came by, very interesting stuff. Not only because of the bridges themselves, but also because of the traffic and people passing by, buildings on the background etc. A magnificent time image altogether.
It’s hard to say how many people exactly have been at our placing and to how many we talked during the day. In any case, there were always at least some people around.
To summarize: For us this HMD has been a great starting point to collect amateur home movies for our audiovisual collection in the near future, and for the Amateur Film Platform Project as well.

See also the event reports of the other Home Movie Days of the Amateur Film Project:
• 14 October, Rotterdam, Stadsarchief
• 20 October, Amsterdam, Sound and Vision
• 27 October, Venlo, Limburgs Museum

Project URL: www.amateurfilmplatform.nl



HMD Report: Rotterdam

City: Rotterdam
Event Venue: Kriterion, Groothandelsgebouw, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Event time (screening): Sunday October 14th 2012, 12PM – 4PM
Event time (inspection): same
Total Audience: 60
Number of people bringing film/video: 12
Number of films/video received: 130

Films screened by Gauge:
VHS, HI8, dvd’s, umatic, 8mm film.

Volunteers (No. and names):

Anouk de Haas
Guus van Veldhuizen
Hans Brouwer
Gwenny van Hasselt
Peter Berghout

Peter Dekker
André Guido Bruin
Also, 4 members of the Rotterdam Video and Smallfilm Liga were present.

Special events/screenings:

– Marriage film Ridderkerk early 90ies
– DIY-documentaries about city of Rotterdam from 1980-2010
– Extensive documentation of Pink Saturday Rotterdam 2001
– Personal videoarchive of abuse activist 1980-2010
– 8mm’s: homemovies and documentaries from 1960-1980

Press (pre-event and post-event):
Radio Rijnmond – interview Radio Schiedam – interview Algemeen Dagblad Stadskrant
Report submitted by Anouk de Haas

The Home Movie Day by the Rotterdam City Archives was organised within the scope of the Amateur Film Platform project (www.amateurfilmplatform.nl). The aim of the project is to make a diverse and broad range of amateur films of four Dutch archives available online. Together with project lead The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision and the two other regional archive partners, four HMDs were organised within the scope of the project. Unique about these four days was that the focus lay exclusively with video, since one of the main project goals is to save amateur recordings from the video era (+/- 1980-2005) before it is too late. The target of the project is to acquire 100 hours of new material.

??A wide variety of formats and films were brought in, from VHS, to Hi8, and from Umatic to 8mm films, ranging from the 70s to 2010. The topics were also very broad, many videos contained family material (marriage), but also the demolition of a historical railway, a ‘Pink Saturday’ gay pride parade from 2011 and a report on the festivities of the jubilee of the ‘Red Woman’ group in 1980.

Many visitors indicated that they also had more materials at home, so we expect to receive more contributions after the Home Movie Day. Viewing and selection is expected to be completed before Christmas, at which time a selection of material will be officially acquired by the Rotterdam City Archives, digitized and made available online in the context of Amateurfilmplatform.nl.

See also the event reports of the other Home Movie Days of the Amateur Film Project:
• 13 October, Groningen, GAVA
• 20 October, Amsterdam, Sound and Vision
• 27 October, Venlo, Limburgs Museum

Project URL: www.amateurfilmplatform



HMD Report: Venlo

City: Venlo
Event Venue: Limburgs Museum, Venlo
Event time (screening): Saturday October 27th 2012, 11PM – 5PM
Event time (inspection): same
Total Audience: 30
Number of people bringing film/video: 12
Number of films/video received: 27 video tapes

Films screened by Gauge:
VHS, HI8, Betamax, DVD.

Volunteers (No. and names):


Frank Holthuizen
Eddy Tielemans
Frits van Aarssen
John Bongers
Kees Smit
Harrie Vaessen
Frans Janson

Hay Janssen
Ans Janssen
Jelle van der Meer

MISC volunteers
Tim van der Heijden (PhD candidate, connected to the NWO-project “Changing Platforms of Ritualized Memory Practices: The Cultural Dynamics of Home Movies”)
Special events/screenings:
– Nader tot Maxima, documentary by Albert Elings and Eugenie Janssen, compiled of footage by 120 people who were present at the royal wedding in Amsterdam, 2002.
– Pinkpop 1970-1974, amateur footage of the first years of this pop festival in Limburg, Holland.
– short fiction movies recorded in Venlo, 1959-1961 and 2011
– various documentary amateur productions on subjects concerning Limburg history and daily life, 1950s and 1960s
– Compilation of home movies shot by the photographer Werner Mantz between 1940 and 1960 in and around Maastricht.

Press (pre-event and post-event):

• Omroep Venlo, radio – interview
• Omroep Venlo, television – interview
• L1 Radio – interview
• Dagblad De Limburger – preview
• Free weekly papers – press release
• National media mentioned in the HMD report Amsterdam

Other publicity:

• Websites of filmclubs, museums, news-magazines etc
• Free cards and flyers
• Social media

Report submitted by Frank Holthuizen

The Home Movie Day at the Limburgs Museum, Venlo, was organised within the scope of the Amateur Film Platform project (www.amateurfilmplatform.nl). The aim of the project is to make a diverse and broad range of amateur films of four Dutch archives available online. Together with project leader The Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision and the two other regional archive partners, four HMDs were organised within the scope of the project. Unique about these four days was that the focus lay exclusively with video, since one of the main project goals is to save amateur recordings from the video era (+/- 1980-2005) before it is too late. The target of the project is to acquire 100 hours of new material.

?In Venlo, the effect of this one day was – in terms of quantity – modest.

Within a variety of some video formats, VHS, Hi8, Betamax and DVD, material was brought in on subjects in the region of Venlo / northern part of Limburg, specially dating from the 1990s. Some of the material was more or less unknown, like the first gig of a regionally famous band, or video recorded during the dramatic flood of the river Maas in Venlo, 1994. Also family topics in the early ’90s, and videos on communal life and music or carnaval associations.

Some visitors mentioned their 8mm film material they didn’t bring, but looking at the subjects of this material, we were not surprised very much, because our film collection still exists of a wide range of professional and amateur film, which can be divided in broad themes. There were also owners who contacted us to tell us they have interesting material at home, which we can pick up to go through.

A selection of this material will be made ready for access on the Amateur Film Platform in 2013.

It is our aim to try and acquire more video on themes that are somewhat underexposed. This will be done the coming months by contacting the makers / owners directly, instead of waiting for the next Home Movie Day. The effect of this first Home Movie Day in Venlo was positive in terms of publicity and profile, and a good kick-start for the Amateur Film project.

See also the event reports of the other Home Movie Days of the Amateur Film Project:
• 13 October, Groningen, GAVA
• 14 October, Rotterdam, Stadsarchief
• 20 October, Amsterdam, Sound and Vision

Project URL: www.amateurfilmplatform.nl


December 8, 2012


HMD Report: Baltimore

Event Venue: University of Baltimore Langsdale Library Auditorium
Event time (screening): 2:00-4:00
Event time (inspection): 1:00-3:00
Total Audience: 25
Number of people bringing films: 8 individuals, as well as loans from archives

Films screened by Gauge:
8mm: 2
Super 8: 6
16mm: 6
9.5mm: 0
Video: 3


Taylor McBride
Siobhan Hagan
Tim Wisniewski
Jeannette Lichtenwalner
Pat Doyen
Dwight Swanson

Special events/screenings:
Tracey Melhuish. Peabody Institute (see below) and John Waters Home
Movies (from DVD)

Press (pre-event and post-event):
Primarily University of Baltimore Library and local online calendars.

Report submitted by Dwight Swanson

  1. “Chemical Ballet” Peabody Institute’s Carroll Lynn Collection. Tracey Melhuish introduces how the film was acquired as well as 100th anniversary of Peabody in 2014. Colorlab did preservation work. Carroll Lynn dancer and director of Peabody in the 40s-60s and choreographer. She is a pioneer in the early filming of dance.
  2. Super 8mm low light home movies of Greg Shearer’s family in the 70s in Baltimore (Hampden). Young son’s birthday party, playing in snow, Greg’s grandmother long since passed.
  3. Pat Doyen’s “Niagara Falls/Kodak Sales Training Film”: Kodachrome. Filmed by an employee of Kodak in Rochester, NY in the late 1950s or early 1960s.
  4. DVD Transfer of John Waters Home Movies 1946 and 1950
  5. Jim Hagan’s college football highlights (and lowlights) from the mid-70s from University of Maryland. 43 yard touchdown pass, winning the game against Clemson. Followed immediately by the play where he injured his knee and that was the end of his career as a football player.
  6. Megan McShea works as a film archivist. Brought her grandparent’s home movies. Catholic procession and town parade 1950s. Roland Park?
  7. 1927 Fair of the Iron Horse film from the collections of the Maryland Historical Society Library. Donated to Baltimore City Life Museums by Bunny Siebert (little girl at the end of the film).
  8. Megan McShea: Smedley Park Atlantic City, kids playing in water sprinkler (Megan’s parents)
  9. Eric Krasner: filmmaker and film collector. 1950s Kodachrome of a young boy putting together/setting up a film projector: amazing Americana patriotic curtains in background. Boy threads the film through the projector; very instructional; with close-ups. RCA 400 film projector. “The Boy and His Projector” on youtube.
  10. Tim Wisniewski: DVD transfers of collection of B&W 16mm film from Johns Hopkins Medical Archives; 1929 Hugh Hampton Young; Dinner party of tuxedo men smoking and talking. White people mimicking Native Americans wearing a feather headdress. (Microphone stopped working: ran out of batteries?)
  11. Robert DiLutis’s 1960 film of his dad at the airport leaving family for military basic training. Walking through park; people mugging for the camera.
  12. Eric Krasner: Rodell Film Studio: 16mm optical sound home movies; cut out a little water damage at the beginning: drunk people singing at piano: on youtube.com/cinegraphic Sound did not work, had to cut the screening short
  13. Shelley Aloi: Karate exams when she was about 16 years old: breaking boards and things. Early 1970s. Private White House tour from the same time; when Carter was President.
  14. Dwight Swanson eBay purchase. Pimlico Horse Races: women tearing up bet receipt. Sherwood Garden (Guilford, MD?)


October 26, 2013


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.



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: 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: 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: 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: 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: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


October 28, 2013


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…



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.


November 19, 2013


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).



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: 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: 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: 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: 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

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