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Center for Home Movies Collaborating with HBO Documentary on Call for American Home Videos from 12/31/99

The Center for Home Movies is excited to support the work of HBO Documentary Films and filmmakers Brian Becker and Marley McDonald, with whom CHM is consulting on a project to discover home videos for inclusion in an upcoming feature documentary. Read on to hear a statement from the filmmakers and find out how you can get involved.  

Video still courtesy of Brian Langley

To sign up to submit your home video, please fill out the following Google Form:  


The first feature documentary to take an in-depth look at Y2K is in production and is seeking your home video footage from December 31, 1999 – kazoos, confetti, questionable fashions, quiet nights at home, huge parties, canned food stashes, the ball drop on TV, and New Year’s kisses.

For a major, standalone scene in the film, we intend to create a montage of everyday home videos showcasing the breadth of American experience at the dawn of the 21st century. We’re interested in diverse personal experiences of the final night of the last millennium, no matter how mundane. Did you take major precautions or did you party like it’s 1999? Using your videos, our film will spend the final moments of the last millennium counting down the seconds in the basements and living rooms across America. 

Our documentary focuses on stories ranging from the global to intensely personal. Throughout the film, we investigate the means through which a technical problem transformed into a large-scale, society-wide issue. We explore the many ways that people responded to the threat of the millennium bug: from survivalists who prepared for apocalypse to computer programmers who diligently solved the problem, and every experience in between. We’re telling the story entirely through archival footage by diving into news, documentaries, movies, culture, and personal videos from the ‘90s. Through this patchwork of characters and styles, we highlight the lessons to be learned from the different methods by which Americans grappled with potential disaster. More information about the film can be found here.

We’re thrilled to collaborate with the Center for Home Movies on this mission to discover, digitize, and preserve home videos from a completely unique moment in American history. We’re welcoming all formats including MiniDV, VHS, and DVD. All respondents will receive information about home video preservation from CHM and the option to join the Home Movie Registry. Participants whose footage is selected for the final cut of the film will receive professionally digitized high-quality versions of their home videos in addition to compensation. 

The Center for Home Movies is a volunteer-run nonprofit organization whose mission is to share, preserve, and celebrate the personal moving images of diverse communities and individuals in ways that are equitable and inclusive. 

Brian Becker and Marley McDonald are archival filmmakers and first-time directors whose previous credits include MLK/FBI, Listening to Kenny G, Spaceship Earth, and O.J.: Made in America


What formats are you accepting?

We accept all video formats and can transfer almost all video formats including, but not limited to: MiniDV, Hi-8, VHS, BetaSP, S-VHS, etc.

Will you be digitizing all submissions?

Our team cannot digitize every submission, but we will attempt to digitize as many as possible. All tapes will be returned, including non-digitized tapes.

To participate, must I be willing to give permission for usage in the film?

Yes – we can only accept tapes from participants who are willing to grant us permission to use their footage in the film. If your video contains any potentially sensitive sections, we will contact you to discuss before utilizing any of this footage. Permission must be exclusive (i.e. the video cannot be posted online or shared with other productions) until the release of the film. 

Can I share before the film comes out?

We apologize, but the digitized video cannot be posted online or shared publicly until the release of the documentary. You will retain complete ownership of your footage, and after the release you may post the video to youtube/vimeo/etc. and show it to whomever you please.

If digitized, will my home video appear in the film?

We do not know the composition of our film until our editing process is finished. We cannot guarantee that your home video will appear in the finished film if selected for digitization. All featured home video-makers will receive a credit and $250.

Will you fund shipping of the tapes?

We will fund round-trip shipping via Fedex for the first 30 respondents.

What will happen to my video if selected?

Once the video is received, producers will digitize your material at one of the top digitization houses in the country. Upon completion, producers will return the tapes and will send a secure downloadable link to preservation quality, uncompressed digitized video. 

What will happen to my video if not selected?

If producers review your video and it is not selected for digitization, we will return your tapes as quickly as possible. 

How long will it take?

We expect our review and digitization process to take 3-4 months.

If you already have digitized home movies, can I submit these?

Yes, we’d love to see these!

Is any non-12/31 Y2K-related material helpful to your project?

We are primarily interested in footage from 12/31, but if you have great additional footage relating to Y2K, please e-mail Y2K@hboprod.com 

When will the film come out?

The documentary will be released in 2023.

What is the deadline for submitting videos?

We hope to receive these ASAP, but we’ll accept submissions until 9/2/22.

Any other questions?

E-mail us at Y2K@hboprod.com

To sign up to submit your home video, please fill out the following Google Form:  


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