Old_Movies.163173643_stdWe recently launched a fund-raising campaign to specifically fund the acquisition of two film scanners for our film preservation program which we have finally ordered from our friends and supporters at Moviestuff in Utopia, Texas. Their owner, Roger Evans, has been a big help with our scanning project, walking us through the use of an older Moviestuff scanner which was recently retired in order to make room for Roger’s new line of HD film scanners, the Retro 8 and Retro 16 Pro scanners. We are looking forward to working with these new machines starting in early summer, and scanning the more than 1600 collections of culturally and historically significant home movies that we have acquired or which have been donated to the foundation over the past three years of the Preservation Project Partnership initiative

Raising money for any purpose is never easy, but with so many non-profits looking for money, the competition for donations is fierce, and often people just hit the delete button when they see a “pitch” for a donation. I’m happy to report that a very select, but very special few donors have dug deeply into their pockets to help us fund the acquisition of these great new scanners.

Screen Shot 2015-03-31 at 11.03.19 AMBut the battle is not over, we still need to raise money for the purchase of the computers and other support equipment that is needed to run with the scanners, and we hope that those of our friends and colleagues who have not yet made a donation will dig into their pockets and help us fund these additional needs.

It’s really hard work raising money for a good cause, and we think saving our collective culture and history are well worth fighting for. If you haven’t yet given, please remember that if these films are not saved, it will be like losing a piece of ourselves.

Thanks for your help.

Ron Merk
Director of Film and Cultural Programs

ron-and-film-reelWelcome to Ron’s MetroBlog. This is the first installment of this new feature from The Metro Theater Center Foundation, of which I’m the Film Program Director. So, I’ll get right into it.

Most film archivists like myself understand the sad fact there are never enough resources (money and time) to save all the films that need to be saved. There is so much material that is going to be lost to the ravages of time and neglect, and we need to focus the public’s attention on this problem by getting them involved and asking for their financial support. Time is running out for these wonderful documents of our zeitgeist. When they are gone, pieces of our collective consciousness will be lost, never to exist again for future generations to study, learn from and enjoy.

This is why I came up with the idea of Preservation Project Partnerships. The idea is a simple one. While it might not be “sexy” to the public as film preservation, it might be interesting and exciting for the public to focus on “subject matter” that needs to be saved. Footage of Jackie Robinson for baseball fans, or of Spencer Tracy for classic movie fans, or President Kennedy for those interested in politics or history.

Upcoming Preservation Project Partnerships will be listed on the foundation site as we begin the preparations to preserve specific films or collections and launch the fund-raising needed to accomplish those goals.

Everyone can help, and you can earn a badge or a T-shirt (depending on your donation level) that says, “I Saved A Film Today.” Even $5 makes a difference. Please help. We can’t do this without you.
End of pitch. End of Ron’s MetroBlog #1.

Stay tuned.

Ron Merk