Do you have a 16mm masterpiece waiting to be discovered? How about an 8mm film of your family vacation from 30 years ago? What about that Super 8 that you found at your grandparents’ house? Now is your chance to have that film inspected and possibly screened at the Walker Art Center during Home Movie Night on Thursday, July 12.
Bring in your Super 8, 8mm, or 16mm home movies between 4 and 6:30 pm (G and PG content only). Later in the evening, a selection of these films will be projected on the big screen in the newly-renovated Walker Cinema. An archivist will also be on hand to tell you how to preserve your celluloid treasures.
Bring in a film for inspection and receive two free tickets to Amateur Night, July 13 at 7:30 pm in the Walker Cinema.
Home Movie Night Schedule
4-6:30 pm Bring your 8mm, Super 8 and 16mm home movies to the Walker Cinema. Talk to an archivist about how to best preserve your home movie treasures or allow our projectionist to inspect your film for possible screening in the Walker Cinema.
7:30 pm Home Movie screening in the Walker Cinema! Come and see your home movies or your friend’s home movies or a complete stranger’s home movies on the big screen! Program length: approximately 30 minutes.
8:30 pm More Home Movies in the Walker Cinema! Program length: approximately 30 minutes.
Home Movie Night FAQs
What should I expect at Home Movie Night at the Walker?
We will have an inspection table set up on the stage of the Walker Cinema from 4:00 pm to 6:30 pm. Follow the signs and come on in! We will have archivists, projectionists and curators on hand to inspect the physical quality of your film. You will be expected to fill out a form with your name, address and phone number to ensure your materials—if selected for projection—do not get misplaced or lost. In addition, you will be required to sign a waiver in case of damage to your film. We will do our best to assess the durability of your film before projection and handle all films with the greatest of care. Only films in good condition will be chosen for projection.
Films will be selected on a first-come-first-served basis. Arrive early! If your film is selected, it will be put on the roster for the evening’s programs immediately so you will know when it will screen. All films will be kept in an envelope with your name, address and phone number stapled to it.
Archivist Dwight Swanson and Walker Film/Video Curator Sheryl Mousley will moderate the home movie screenings and encourage participants to speak about their films as they are being projected. This will be your chance to tell the story of your home movies!
Films screened at 7:30 will be returned to participants shortly after the first program, around 8:00 pm in the Bazinet Lobby. Likewise, films screened in the 8:30 pm program will be returned to participants in the Bazinet Lobby around 9:00 pm. Any unclaimed films will be held at the Walker, and Film/Video staff will contact the owner via phone about reclaiming their films.
I have a whole box of weird old films—should I bring them all in?
We will not have time to inspect all of your films. Bring one or two and select the films that seem to be in the best shape. We will assess the quality and durability of your film on inspection. Some films will be far too fragile to run through a projector.
I’m not sure what format my film is—can I bring it in anyway?
Bring it in and we can let you know what you have and if we are able to project it. We will also be able to see the general content of your film on a viewer during inspection.
I don’t want my home movies projected on the big screen, but can you tell me if it is worth keeping?
We will only project your films with your consent and if the films are in good condition. Whether or not your home movies are worth keeping is entirely up to you, but we can help make suggestions on how to best store your films so they will last for many years to come.
Nobody really wants to see my dumb old home movies, do they?
Sure they do! Home Movie events have had great success across the nation, and your home movies will help make the Walker’s Home Movie Night a success. The home movies of amateur filmmakers are the unsung treasures of history. Many people are interested in home movies—of completely normal people, doing completely normal things—for a number of valid reasons: they show a world that looks radically different from the one we live in now; kids rode their bikes without helmets on; men wore hats and spats, and women wore gloves and girdles! Seeing this world in home movies is useful for historians, writers, documentary filmmakers, costume designers, and even ordinary viewers who live in the same (but somehow different) places today.
Also, you may be surprised to find that your “dumb old home movies” aren’t like you remember them at all—they might have pictures of family members, friends, or places you haven’t seen or thought about in a long time. We think they’re definitely worth a look!
What kind of movies will be shown? Is it OK to bring my kids/ parents /grandparents to this event?
Home Movie Night is a family and community event, and we encourage families to come and watch their films together. We do ask that you bring content appropriate for the whole family. If you are unsure what the content is, we will try and help when we inspect the film.
I have/found/inherited/bought some old home movies that I don’t want to keep anymore. Is there an archive somewhere that wants them?
The ideal archival home for your materials will be able to provide proper storage conditions, adequate regional/historical context, and public access to researchers. Try sending a description of your home movies (provide as much detail as possible regarding format, condition, origin, and content) to archives and historical societies in your region first. There’s a list of motion picture archives organized by region on the National Film Preservation Foundation web site at www.filmpreservation.org (click on “Community of Archives”).
The more an archive knows about your materials, the more interest they may have in providing a new home for them. If the archives you initially contact do not collect amateur film, ask them for help in finding a repository that does take the sort of material you have. And keep trying! Many archives have only begun to collect amateur film in recent years, and new ones are collecting in this area every year.
Home Movie Night will be a fun event for both participants and audience members as we explore our history together. Although this is the Walker’s first Home Movie Night, we hope it will not be our last. Thanks in advance for your participation and helping to make our first Home Movie Night a success!