Dear moving-image aficionado: How did you come to be one?
Skip Elsheimer, who travels far and wide presenting selections from his collection of 23,000 films, describes how he entered the field, and became an “educational film archivist” and self-style “Skip the AV Geek” in a posting on Reesenews, a multimedia magazine devoted to life at and around the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill.
In Jonathan Michels’s four-minute video and accompanying article, Elsheimer relates that after an impulse purchase of 500 films for $50, “something clicked in my head” and he has ended up collecting umpteen thousand educational films. Many are campy – or appear so, now – but he says they also are suggestive cultural artifacts of their times.
How did it all happen? “I’m not exactly sure what happened,” Elsheimer says, “but it just seems there were lots of factors in the past that led up to the present.”
Reesenews, by the way, is an experimental, research-driven digital news site run by students at the UNC-Chapel Hill School of Journalism and Mass Communication as part of the Reese Felts Digital News Project; it practices and experiments in online journalism by incorporating moving images, photojournalism, interactivity, and social media into reporting.
Presumably someone is archiving all that.