Finding “Bunty” Brennan, part 2

In an earlier post I introduced you to Bunty Brennan, she was the creator of a collection of  16 mm films and photographs. The Eileen ‘Bunty’ Brennan (nee Noble) collection is a orphaned collection currently being ‘fostered’ at the CBC Media Archives in Vancouver.

Film countdown on Steenbeck
Film countdown on Steenbeck. Photo: C. Hagemoen

What is an orphaned film? According to Howard Besser (Director of the Moving Image Archiving and Preservation masters degree program), an orphaned film is “a film without a parent…. [usually film is] taken care of by people who own the rights, claim ownership or parentage…there are a lot of films where no one takes ownership”.  Basically, an orphaned film is abandoned (intentionally or unintentionally) by its owner or creator.

The term can also refer to all types of non-commercial, neglected or little-known films like public domain materials, documentaries, silent-era films, newsreels, home movies, avant-garde works, industrials, independent films, small-gauge films, educational films, outtakes, etc. These films or “ephemeral cinematic artifacts” are most at risk due to the fact that few nonprofit and public institutions/archives have the support (financial and infrastructural) and know-how to care for the films (in a variety of formats). Orphan films generally fall out of the collection mandates or collection policies of most traditional institutions/archives, therefore making them even more at risk to be neglected.

Continue reading “Finding “Bunty” Brennan, part 2″

Home Movie Day

Home Movie Day is the perfect opportunity for people to connect with our past and to move the conversation about preserving our cultural heritage into the future.    – Ken Burns

Home Movie Day PSA – YouTube.

Do you remember the ritual of hauling out the family film projector to watch recently shot home movies –  from the latest vacation, family event or special occasion – and then rarely, if ever, watching the films again?

Many people have boxes of old family films squirreled away in their attics or basements that they have saved over the years (or recently inherited) that they’ve never seen for lack of a (working) projector, or the knowledge of how to handle and assess their films. Many of these same people may have decided to have their films transferred to DVD or [horror!] videotape, mistakenly believing that this new copy would last forever and the original films (thought now to be obsolete) could be thrown away. Well, we all know now how far into the future VHS videotape took us.

HOME MOVIE DAY to the rescue!

Continue reading “Home Movie Day”