posted September 2, 2020
Public access to free-to-air and cable television resulted from a lot of activism by pioneers in the face of many obstacles. From 1971, the plucky New York state collective, Portable Channel, created some of the earliest citizen-made documentary television in the United States. Now Visual Studies Workshop, based in Rochester, NY, is digitizing and making available hundreds of video tapes created by members of Portable Channel.
posted August 17, 2020
Home Movie Day won’t be quite the same, this year. But as sometimes happens, restrictions — in this case, imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic — will force changes that may turn out to be fruitful innovations. In 2020, Home Movie Day goes virtual, and with that the local becomes global.
posted August 12, 2020
The Israel Film Archive wants your home movies, whether you’re within Israel or anywhere in the Jewish diaspora. But collecting home movies is just part of a larger project of Russo Meir and his colleagues at the Archive. As the Archive is the official institute responsible for the collection and preservation of Israeli films, they want to be able to provide original reels or digital copies of every film ever made in the country.
posted May 6, 2020
Late March was to have been Tammy Burnstock’s big moment in smelling movies. Yes, smelling them. For months, the Australian filmmaker and TV producer had been preparing for the premiere of her documentary film In Glorious Smell-O-Vision!: The True Story of the Godfather of Scented Cinema. It was to have been screened along with a great deal of olfactory frolicking.
posted May 4, 2020
Films of American roots musicians and pioneers of atmospheric research, and as well as home movies about flying, are among many historical records that will be preserved thanks to this year’s Recordings at Risk awards from the Council on Library and Information Resources. In the seventh of its award rounds, the CLIR has granted more than $650,000 to 19 preservation projects, bringing the total projects assisted by the fund to 109.
posted March 3, 2020
Film restoration is a painstaking endeavor. It involves much careful observation of archival film, repair of any damage, and preservation from future ravages of time. The tools for doing all that are increasingly sophisticated. Specialists certainly can relate as much, but it may interest the general film enthusiast to hear a little about what the modern-day process of digital restoration entails.
posted January 9, 2020
Collections relating to public-broadcasting and other audiovisual collections are among 18 projects that have been granted 2019 Digitizing Hidden Special Collections and Archives Awards from The Council on Library and Information Resources.
posted December 12, 2019
United States Librarian of Congress Carla Hayden has announced the annual addition of influential American motion pictures to the National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Twenty five films are being added for their cultural, historic, and aesthetic importance: Among them are blockbusters, documentaries, silent movies, animation, and independent films.
posted September 10, 2019
Suddenly, the realistic but concocted moving images known as “deep fakes” are very much in the news. Those are versions of existing footage that has been jerryrigged to look very like the originals, but to convey something different, often with great plausibility. What challenges will they pose to archivists, and how ready are archivists for their onslaught? Less so than they probably should be.
posted August 23, 2019
The National Film Preservation Foundation has announced grants to 35 institutions to save 74 films. Since Congress created the NFPF in 1996, the agency has provided preservation support through grants and collaborative projects to 304 institutions to preserve 2,478 films. The preservation grants target newsreels, silent-era films, home movies, avant-garde films, and endangered independent productions that are unlikely to be preserved by commercial programs.