Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Old Films Available for Boomer Generation

I ran across TV4u and thought it had some gems. The opening video clip was shot using b&w film of some gauge.

Hey, it's not exactly 8mm film but it's retro enough and nostalgic enough.

It's also got some value in historical and cultural markets. And hey, it's free.

Check it out if you're feeling the world's a much more awful place these days or if you just need to get back to your roots.


Images@20 from the Toronto Star

VHS? 8 mm? Slide shows? The avant-guard festival, which has always had two feet planted in the future, is starting to look positively retro

Apr 05, 2007 04:30 AM Peter Goddard

Against a perky, cartoonish soundtrack, semi-transparent figures flutter back and forth across an empty field in a three-minute video. The figures seem windblown on their way toward a small house, almost as if they're part of the landscape that's revealed through their ephemeral bodies.

This short, called Demonstration of Indianness #31 (2006) by Adam Garnet Jones, is one of the neatest pieces at the Images Festival's program of shorts tomorrow at the Joseph Workman Theatre (1001 Queen St. W.). The 10-day multidisciplinary art fest gets underway today.
But it's how these images came about that says volumes about this year's festival. Images is having its 20th anniversary and is beginning to show just about every year of its age.

Using 8mm film shot originally in the 1950s by his grandfather, Garnet Jones constructs a sweetly poignant look at the way his family's identity was recorded way back when. For the artist, identity and technology define each other. The work's poignancy is due to its reliance on an older technology.

Much the same can be said with the entire Images Festival, offering some 130 works in just about every media imaginable at 25 venues across the city until April 14. Look around at some of the festival's prevailing media; it's not just the digital, wireless technologies you might expect, but the obsolete: videotapes, 8mm film, even slide shows. In fact, the festival that has always had two feet in the future is now looking positively retro.

Coming of age when imaging technology was first becoming truly portable and relatively affordable – Sony's first consumer camcorders were the hot item with artists in the late 1980s – early Images Festivals offered one-stop shopping for all that was considered cutting-edge art.
Now the pressure is on the festival to embrace the instant, seemingly non-stop evolution of digital technology.

"The festival is not afraid to go where people are already," says director Scott Miller Berry. "From the beginning the impetus at the festival was to infiltrate a particular system in a way that may surprise people."

In the late `80s, Images was its audience's main source for new ideas formed by new technology. Now the opposite is true. The festival – its ideas, energy and even to some degree its direction – is being challenged by its increasingly techno-savvy audience. In response, a good many of Images' best programs, such as the "Projections" series at the University of Toronto, present new uses for proven, familiar technologies.

Surveillance video forms the basis of Dutch artist Lonnie van Brummelen's Grossraum (Gallery TPW, 56 Ossington Ave., today to May 5), a triptych of silent, 35-mm film showing border-crossing points between Ukraine and Poland, at the Spanish Ceuta district in Morocco and at the "green zone" dividing Cyprus.

There's even the festival's equivalent of your basic evening of showing family snapshots. Hitoshi Toyoda's meditative Nazuna (Sunday, 4 p.m. at the National Film Board, 150 John St.) offers a silent, live slide presentation with 500 images of simple things from everyday life.
A somewhat retro feel can be detected throughout a good many other programs too, most notably with tonight's gala, Seven Easy Pieces by Marina Abramovic, 9 p.m. at the Royal Cinema (608 College St.).

Shot by Babette Mangolte, a New York experimental filmmaker, the 92-minute film documents Abramovic's gruelling live seven-hour re-enactments of some of the most heralded but rarely witnessed performance pieces from the `60s and `70s.

With the rotunda of the Guggenheim Museum as her theatre-in-the-round, Abramovic pushes her body – and the imaginations of her somewhat bemused audiences – to extremes. For one performance, the unseen Abramovic recreates Vito Acconci's famous Seedbed performance from 1972 in which he masturbated for hours on end while sequestered in a cramped space beneath a New York gallery. In Abramovic's case, her repeated live and successful attempts to achieve orgasm, while hidden beneath the rotunda floor, are broadcast in a highly public way via the museum sound system.

Among the many difference between the two events is their public reception. In 1972, Acconci's aggressive orgasmic excesses were entirely in synch with the Me Decade, porn-satiated `70s. In stark contrast, Abramovic's efforts seem wickedly old fashioned, in a handmade sense, when contrasted to the Internet's ability to suggest instant sex with nothing more than a finger flick to click a mouse.

The Images Festival originated with artists using emerging technologies in their quest for intimate expression, even if the artists involved were often funded by one level of government or another. The irony of state support was not lost on all the young radicals involved with early festivals, allowing everyone that nice, illicit sense of getting away with something.
Well, here's an update on the irony front. It may be the least private expression and most widespread of all technologies – the Internet – that will give the Images Festival a chance to see 20 more years.



Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Police Movie Shot in Super 8mm

As you may well know The Police have announced a reunion tour. The 80s band will be back and, many say, at least as good as ever.

For those interested concert dates were confirmed in Seattle, Denver, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Dallas, New Orleans, St. Louis, Toronto and Montreal.

More interestingly is the video which was shot in Super 8mm and released on DVD. This is significant in that a prominant band uses old school techiniques to shoot a film they could just as easily have shot in movie grade or even high definition.

According to sources:

In January 2006 "Everyone Stares: The Police Inside Out" debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. This feature length film documents the formation, subsequent worldwide success and the demise of The Police. Directed, produced, narrated
and filmed in Super 8mm by Stewart from his unique perspective behind the
drums, it has been warmly received. Now out on DVD around the world and
screened at numerous Film Festivals worldwide, it will open in theatres in
Japan on March 31st.

Just goes to show the 8mm and Super 8mm format are alive and well. I haven't seen the video yet, but I think I'll do a search to see what I come up with. If I find a link I'll post. If you have the link or a review please feel free to share it here!


Monday, February 12, 2007

Open Call / Invitation for Video Submissions, XPEERi Retro Seeks Original 8mm Video

XPEERi Retro Video
Braun Communication LLC


For Immediate Release
Contact: Kristen M R Owen
Email: Kristen@xpeeriretro.com

Open Call / Invitation for Video Submissions, XPEERi Retro Seeks Original 8mm Video

ST PETERSBURG, FL February 06, 2007 – XPEERi Retro Video invites participation in expanding its digital archive for 8mm film footage. The digital archive is a catalog of materials from individuals, artists, history buffs, professors, genealogical committees, and educational organizations.

The XPEERi Retro Video site is a “work in progress”. As members participate in the community the information will expand. Information, video uploads, and resources will be updated regularly.

This project fosters dialogue and interaction across generations and demographics. Everyone is welcome to participate in the project by submitting a digital conversion of original 8mm or Super 8mm video. The video should follow appropriate copyright standards.

XPEERi Retro Video editors view submissions to encourage the preservation of the project mission. Creating a searchable catalog of digitized 8mm video for educational, historical and entertainment purposes.

Register and upload your videos today at the XPEERi Retro Video website. It’s simple, free and a perfect opportunity to participate in the cultural development of your community.

Press Contacts

For information regarding Braun Communication LLC contact Mark Brown at mbrown@brauncommunication.com.

For information about XPEERi Retro Video please visit: www.xpeeriretro.com.

For press questions or comments contact Kristen at Kristen@xpeeriretro.com.


Braun Communications Unleashes Video Sharing, Anthology Community XPEERi Retro

XPEERi Retro Video
Braun Communication LLC


For Immediate Release
Contact: Kristen M R Owen
Email: Kristen@xpeeriretro.com

Braun Communications Unleashes Video Sharing, Anthology Community XPEERi Retro

ST PETERSBURG, FL February 06, 2007 – Braun Communications LLC launches XPEERi Retro Video today, the latest trend in video sharing. XPEERi Retro (pronounced X-peer-ee) catalogs digitized 8mm videos allowing users to establish their legacy.

Mark Brown, founder of the XPEERi brand, unveils XPEERi Retro’s BETA site explaining this “site looks to archive users’ personal experiences with a unique Geographical Mapping feature.”

The exclusive XPEERi GeoChronoVideo Locator map enhances video search allowing users to find videos based on geographical location and chronological date.

XPEERi Retro’s uniqueness stems from its historical, cultural, and genealogical significance. An archive exclusively designed to preserve digitally converted original 8mm videos. Members are encouraged to build legacies by adding stories and descriptions to their videos.

“XPEERi has a robust server with plenty of bandwidth and space,” remarks Brown. “A good backup system is in place.”

Educationally stimulating, historically significant, and culturally interesting XPEERi Retro intends to bridge the divide between generations. Preserving priceless memories one video at a time. www.xpeeriretro.com

Press Contacts

For information regarding Braun Communications LLC contact Mark Brown at mbrown@brauncommunication.com.

For information about XPEERi Retro Video please visit: www.xpeeriretro.com.

For press questions or comments contact Kristen at Kristen@xpeeriretro.com.


Monday, January 29, 2007

Call for Submissions!

XPEERi Retro Video is calling for submissions!

Log on and upload your original home movies today.

Unleash Your Legacy - the new motto - says it all. Take the time to preserve your memories. Future generations will enjoy the truthful glimpse into the past.

Plus, it's free. It's about you. And, you have nothing to lose.


Friday, January 26, 2007

XPEERi Retro Live Now!

Braun Communications LLC has finally opened up it's XPEERi Retro site in BETA.

Users are encouraged to visit the site, look around, and upload videos.

The site's uniqueness springs from its focused content, its historical and cultural value, and its usability.

Users who aren't into the cluttered YouTube models will enjoy the clean layout and easy naviagtion.

Signing up is easy too.

Check it out and share your opinions!

Friday, December 29, 2006

Worth a Look

Blogs, sites, and other links of useful and interesting topics concerning 8mm footage.

I found a lot of these by using my Google Alerts and thought I'd share the wealth.

This blog and video captures the essence of family Christmases long ago.

Here's a blog with a video link about Christmas long past also. It feels like snooping!

Here's a frame from an old 8mm film. Kind of creepy at first.

This guy is an amazing writer. He talks about capturing memories. There's no video though.

Remembering the "Spirit of Christmas" - an article and video.

Here's a guy who knows a guy who will do 8mm film of weddings. Video footage included. Why didn't I know about this for my wedding?

Well that's what I've run across, the abridged version.

Hope everyone is having a happy holiday season!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Calling All Film Makers, Home Video Buffs and Artists!

Would you be interested in archiving, organizing, and sharing your work for free? A new web site set to debut in early January is seeking submissions of 8mm and Super 8mm original videos. The site plans to cater to the amatuer film maker, the historical documentation and preservation of precious home videos, the experienced film collector and the educational/scholastic or cultural/anthropological/historical minds as well.

This new online community will provide a structured database of our preserved cultural heritage. Our legacy, our parent's and grandparent's legacies.

The site is not yet live but will be shortly. Please contact me directly for more information.

blog[at]contentworth[dot]com <-- please note, ContentWorth is not the site, it is simply the best current address.

8mm Preservation and Conversion

I ran across this site when looking for more information on preservation, conversion, and archiving of 8mm and Super 8mm films. It has an offer to transfer these films from film to digital or tape free.

I've emailed them a query and will post the findings. It doesn't appear to be indexed by Google so I'm wondering what type of traffic they're seeing. The site does appear to be updated as recently as Nov 2006.