Scorsese Adds Support to Kodak Film Rescue

Screenshot 2014-08-05 00.07.15“Last week Kodak revealed that it plans to continue to manufacture film following negotiations with the major studios — and urged by film proponents such as J.J. Abrams and Chris Nolan — that are helping the iconic director to create a viable model for film production.

Said Scorsese, who chairs The Film Foundation, in a statement: ‘We have many names for what we do — cinema, movies, motion pictures. And … film. We’re called directors, but more often we’re called filmmakers. Filmmakers.’

He also warned that film remains the only proven archival medium that can last a least a century without the need to migrate to new media. Scorsese said: ‘We have to remember that film is still the best and only time-proven way to preserve movies. We have no assurance that digital information will last, but we know that film will, if properly stored and cared for. … This news is a positive step toward preserving film, the art form we love.'”

See the full story from The Hollywood Reporter.

Orphan Film Symposium 2014

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Orphans 9, Amsterdam
(March 30 – April 2, 2014)

In the next few posts we will be recapping some of the exciting developments for The Media Ecology Project in the year since we held our opening symposium at Dartmouth College. This is the third of five installments focusing on conference presentations about MEP in 2013-2014..

The 9th Orphan Film Symposium, hosted by NYU Cinema Studies, the EYE Institute, and the University of Amsterdam focused on The Future of Obsolescence, which presented a perfect opportunity to present MEP to an international community of archivists, academics, and artists from more than 30 countries.  Orphanistas are committed to the discovery and preservation of what might otherwise be shunned and ignored historical media.

Mark Cooper (University of South Carolina), Karen Cariani (WGBH), and Mark Williams (Dartmouth) presented on a panel entitled “New Research Networks for Obsolete Media,” which was moderated by Scott Curtis (Northwestern University).  The panel had been proposed as one of the initiatives of the MEP Symposium at Dartmouth in May, 2013.

This was the first Orphans Symposium hosted outside the U.S., and featured many memorable events and screenings, including a keynote address entitled “The Poetics of Obsolesence” by Thomas Elsaesser (University of Amsterdam).

Thanks as always to Orphans founder and congenial spirit Dan Streible (NYU), part of the MEP Symposium, who deserves a MacArthur Fellowship for his inestimable work to transform a bad object–orphaned media–into a powerful and inspired international movement. We are also extremely grateful to our gracious host: head curator at EYE, Giovanna Fossati, who is Professor of Film Heritage and Digital Film Culture at University of Amsterdam.

FYI, here a post about The Eye Institute’s commitment to leadership in digitisation and restoration of film history.

Thanks to Mac Simonson for his help with this post!

SCMS Recaps 2013 & 2014

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In the next few posts we will be recapping some of the exciting developments for The Media Ecology Project in the year since we held our opening symposium at Dartmouth College. This is the second of five installments focusing on conference presentations about MEP in 2013-2014.

 

 

The Society for Cinema and Media Studies conferences have been invaluable to The Media Ecology Project as opportunities for collegial and intellectual exchange. In March of 2013 we provided an overview of MEP and its intended architecture for a workshop entitled “Designing for Open Access.”  Little did we expect that a raging Chicago snowstorm would delimit participation during this opening conference session, but Mark Williams was able to Skype in workshop chair Eric Hoyt (University of Wisconsin, Media History Digital Library) as he awaited the morning bus from Madison.  James Steffen (Emory) helped to lead a spirited discussion of open access goals and the work it takes to sustain them.  Hoyt also participated in the May 2013 symposium at Dartmouth, and is a most valued colleague and participant in MEP.

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At the 2014 conference in Seattle, MEP was featured in a workshop entitled “The Televisual Archive: New Directions of Research and Access” which allowed us to introduce and promote two of our pilot projects that specifically demonstrate the usefulness of television archives for studying  the history of the 20th century.

 

Excellent colleagues Mark Cooper (University of South Carolina) and Amelie Hastie (Amherst) discussed insights drawn from their experience in utilizing archives for original primary research.  Especially notable was the participation of two essential resources from the U.S. television archive world: Karen Cariani from the WGBH Archive in Boston and Mark Quigley from the UCLA Film and Television Archive. Cooper had just finished serving as the Acting Director of the Moving Image Research Collection at The University of South Carolina.  The MIRC, WGBH and UCLA Archives are central participating partners in MEP, especially regarding the News pilot project and the pilot devoted to augmenting study of the historic television series In the Life, which assays gay and lesbian life in the U.S.

Kodak Movie Film Gets a Reprieve (Media Archive News, from WSJ)

The Wall Street Journal has reported important news regarding a reprieve for the production of motion picture film by the historic Eastman Kodak Co, announced by Kodak’s new chief executive, Jeff Clarke:

“Mr. Clarke originally had hoped that a group of studios, producers and filmmakers would invest directly in Kodak’s film-manufacturing plant, as a joint venture. But that proposal fell flat earlier this summer. A subsequent effort to solicit long-term orders from studios gained traction when several prominent filmmakers joined Kodak’s cause, according to people involved in the discussions.

Among the big name directors who lobbied the heads of studios to help find a solution were Quentin Tarantino, Christopher Nolan, Judd Apatow, and J.J. Abrams, who is currently shooting Star Wars Episode VII on film.”

Wall Street Journal graphic

Wall Street Journal graphic

Here is the full story from The Wall Street Journal.

AMIA 2013 MEP Panel

AMIA website image

AMIA website image

 

 

In the next few posts we will be recapping some of the exciting developments for The Media Ecology Project in the year since we held our opening symposium at Dartmouth College. This is the first of five installments focusing on conference presentations about MEP in 2013-2014.

 

 

 

In November of 2013 we were honored and pleased to present a panel about The Media Ecology Project at the annual conference of The Association of Moving Image Archivists in Richmond, Virginia.

Dartmouth’s own Mark Williams chaired the proceedings, introducing the project to the assembled specialists in a panel discussion that focused on the goals of our project and the resources we have already assembled. Our esteemed panel members were MEP architect John Bell (University of Maine), Mike Mashon (Head of Moving Images for The Library of Congress), Jan-Christopher Horak (Director, UCLA Film and Television Archive), Karen Cariani (Director, WGBH Archive and Libraries in Boston), and Dan Streible (NYU, Orphans Film Symposium).

We presented MEP as a way of extending discoverability within each participating archive but also expanding discoverability and reach across archives (two different kinds of value-add).  Work on MEP contributes to and advocates for renewed interest in the dedicated historical and cultural work that the archives pursue.

We were delighted to meet with various AMIA members who have been and will be crucial to the success of the project.  The Media Ecology Project would not exist, after all, without the support of the archival community and AMIA’s vision of leadership to promote both preservation and access to marvelous and historic moving image collections.

Thanks to Mac Simonson for help with this post!