Google Up, for a Free Online Symposium

On Sunday 2 November 2014 at 3pm US West Coast Time (GST-7hr), several experts will lay out the core considerations and possibilities for the preservation and restoration of moving-image media


If you’d like a rapid grounding in the challenges and joys of film preservation, here’s a free event that you can attend, pretty much wherever you are, by way of the newfangled Information Superhighway.

alicia meyerLog on to attend the inaugural Film Preservation and Restoration Summit. The event will stream live online on Sunday, 2 November 1014 at 3pm US West Coast time, in the form of a Google+ Hangout on Air,

The host of the feed, Alicia Mayer (right), who operates the website Hollywood Time Machine and the blog Hollywood Essays, and also airs   an online radio show, has assembled a panel of highly qualified experts who, she says, “will showcase the delicate, rare, and valuable films they are seeking to preserve and restore.”

Thanhouser Studio docoAmong those anticipated to appear at the free-admission event is the director of UCLA Film & Television Archive, film scholar Jan-Christopher Horak, whose books include his just-released study of a renowned figure in film history, titled Saul Bass: Anatomy of Film Design.

Theodore E. Gluck, the director of library restoration and preservation at The Walt Disney Studios, as will Ned Thanhouser, president at Thanhouser Company Film Preservation, which is dedicated to preserving films that were among the more than 1,000 films that the Thanhouser Company made in an extraordinary burst of less than eight years beginning in 1910. That history is the subject of a new documentary film that can be viewed online.

A New York Public Library archivist, Elena Rossi-Snook, will be on hand, as will Dino Everett, an archivist at the Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive at the University of Southern California.

vitaphone coverFinally, you can hear from Ron Hutchinson about the project he leads, the Vitaphone Project, which since 1991 has located some 3,000 privately held 12- and 16-inch shellac soundtrack discs that accompanied early 1926-1930 Vitaphone (and other) talkie shorts and features. The project’s film buffs and record collectors have to date raised almost $300,000 to restore more than 35 shorts and 12 features. The members also assist various groups and organizations that are searching out and restoring the films, themselves. Those include film studios, particularly Turner/WB; film archives including those at UCLA, the US Library of Congress, and the British Film Institute; and private collectors. The films included some 2,000 talkie short films that Vitaphone made between 1926 and 1929 that featured vaudevillians, bands, opera singers, and comedians.

The event would be worth virtual-attendance to hear about that project, alone.

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