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Share your filmed memories at “Home Movie Day” on Oct. 19

Posted 10/15/13

Home Movie Day posterFitchburg State University will be hosting a local observance of national Home Movie Day on Saturday, Oct. 19 from 1 to 4 p.m. at Ellis White Lecture Hall in Hammond Hall. Home Movie Day provides an opportunity for people to dust off long-forgotten reels of film and enjoy them in their original format with an enthusiastic audience.

The free screening is also a forum to learn more about film preservation and archiving. Visitors are invited to share their own films or just enjoy the show, popping into the screening for a few minutes or enjoying the entire afternoon’s offerings. Admission is free.

Fitchburg State Communications Media Department faculty member Kevin McCarthy organized the local screening, in which visitors may bring in home movies in 8mm or 16mm formats, as well as selections shot on VHS tape or transferred to DVD.

Home Movie Day is a celebration of amateur films and filmmaking held annually at many local venues worldwide. The events provide the opportunity for individuals and families to see and share their own home movies with an audience of their community, and to see their neighbors’ in turn.

All films will be inspected prior to screening to insure they can be safety projected. Submissions for Home Movie Day will be accepted starting at 11:30 a.m. on Oct. 19.

Home movies provide invaluable records of our families and our communities. They document vanished storefronts, questionable fashions, adorable pets, long-departed loved ones, and neighborhoods in transition. Many people still possess these old reels or tapes, passed down from generation to generation, but lack the projection equipment to view them properly and safely.

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.

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