Archive | August, 2010

Home Movie Day – October 16, 2010

9 Aug

“Saving our film heritage should not be limited only to commercially produced films. Home movies do not just capture the important private moments of our family’s lives, but they are historical and cultural documents as well. Consider Abraham Zapruder’s 8mm film that recorded the assassination of President Kennedy or Nickolas Muray’s famously vibrant color footage of Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera shot with his 16mm camera. Imagine how different our view of history would be without these precious films. Home Movie Day is a celebration of these films and the people who shot them. I urge anyone with an interest in learning more about how to care for and preserve their own personal memories to join in the festivities being offered in their community…”
Martin Scorsese

Washington University’s Film & Media Archive hosts the annual Home Movie Day, an international event that invites the public to share their Regular 8mm, Super 8mm, and 16mm home movies. The event will be held at the West Campus Conference Center on Saturday October 16, 2010 from noon to 4 p.m. In addition to screening home movies, the event provides an opportunity to learn how to care for home movies.

Please contact the Film & Media …Archive ( or 314-935-8679) for information about including your home movies in the program.

The Home Movie Day site provides some background on the event:

Home Movie Day was started in 2002 by a group of film archivists concerned about what would happen to all the home movies shot on film during the 20th century. They knew many people have boxes full of family memories that they’ve never seen for lack of a projector, or out of fear that the films were too fragile to be viewed. They also knew that many people were having their amateur films transferred to videotape or DVD, with the mistaken idea that their new digital copies would last forever and the “obsolete” films could be discarded. Original films (and the equipment required to view them) can long outlast any version on VHS tape, DVDs, or other digital media. Not only that, but contrary to the stereotype of the faded, scratched, and shaky home movie image, the original films are often carefully shot in beautiful, vibrant color—which may not be captured in a lower-resolution video transfer.

Why should we care about home movies?

  • Cultural History – Once considered an ephemeral form, historians and scholars now recognize the unique contribution of these films recorded and made by ordinary people. The films show how rapidly styles and environments can change, from hairstyles to clothes, buildings, and landscapes.
  • Preserving Film – Home Movie Day aims to show people how to care for their films and to give information on the archival benefits of film over video and digital media. A trained archivist will be on hand to answer questions at the Film and Media Archive’s event.
  • Fun – Many undiscovered treasures can be found in home movies, so feel free to explore your attics and basements to find those forgotten films.