Friday, October 26, 2012

Everyman His Own Historian

"History is the memory of things said and done."

I was reminded the other day of a brilliant presentation by Carl Becker who was the president of the American Historical Association in 1931. It is as relevant and perhaps just as controversial as it was then.

Friday, October 5, 2012

A Film Library

If you are like me you probably have some movies at home. And you probably have them in several different formats too. We recently upgraded our DVD player to Blu-ray so now I enjoy the great picture you can get onto an LCD screen. Blu-ray is now my preferred format for watching movies at home. It looks great, is convenient  doesn't take up much room. In addition to this newest format I still have NTSC and a few PAL formated DVDs, VHS, DV, HDV, Hi-8, BetaSP, (got rid of my laser and CED analog discs a long time ago), and a handful of HD-DVDs that I play on my Xbox, not to mention all the various file formats of films: MPEG-2, MPEG-4, , etc. Which brings me to my other favorite format, film. There I have the usual suspects Standard 8, Super 8, 16mm, and some 35mm - all safety film too. My only nitrate film (which was a mistake to acquire) was donated to the Library of Congress and shipped off in with a slew of special paperwork no doubt to protect, from litigation, any harm that might result from a mishap. So there you have a library of some fourteen plus formats all vying for attention. I'm sure there are more I've forgotten. All, or most all, requiring there own player and hardware.
I was thinking about all of the above, well some of it, when I started to read this article from the March, 1927 edition of Amateur Move Makers. Of the competing formats at that time, 35mm, 17.5mm, 28mm, and likely some more too, this size - 16mm - won out for a host of reasons and had now become the most popular format for home use. The amazing thing to me is that this library, some 85 years old now, can still be played and enjoyed. I hope my Blu-ray discs last as long.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Seattle HMD 2012 Schedule

This year, like most every year, Home Movie Day is officially on October 20, 2012. I say officially  but not literally. Each location has the option to work out a schedule that is a best fit for what is happening, or if there is another event tie-in. This year Seattle is host to the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA) during December 4-7, 2012. We'd like to take advantage of this audience and will have the Seattle HMD on December 8, 2012 at our favorite facility, Northwest Film Forum. This year is also special because it is the 10th anniversary of HMD and Hannah Palin, my esteemed partner in this HMD affair and hostess since year 1 of the event, will be co-hosting it again with me.

Final details still need to be worked out, but here is what we know:

Location: Northwest Film Forum
Date: December 8, 2012
Time: 10am - 1pm
Cost: FREE!

Volunteers to help with the event, screen films, etc. would be more than welcome. This has been a pretty low-key affair here in years past so hopefully with this anniversary we can kick it up a notch or two with your participation. Please let me know if you can help.