A great deal has happened since the update in July. The digitization of 16mm, Regular 8mm, and Super 8mm film prints, the subject of the July post, was completed in August. In September, the New York Public Library lent me their Digital Beta cam copy of their preservation print of Julien Bryan’s Japan (1957), a preservation completed in collaboration with the National Film Preservation Foundation. At this point all of the moving image digital files were uploaded to the River Campus Library server. On 26 September, the 16mm Timeline was completed with thumbnails for all 16mm prints. Twenty-three titles can be viewed at present; two titles are from the Internet Archive, because the prints that are in my collection are less complete or in worse condition than the versions already available for access there. I am waiting for copyright permission to post the remaining titles, or fair use excerpts of them. In the meantime, I will be posting descriptions for each title. Work on a similar Timeline for the Super 8mm films will begin soon.
The digitization of the Regular 8mm films is a separate process requiring different equipment. In September, Selznick MA student Sophia Lorent prepped these films while we waited for a new dual 8mm scanner to arrive at the Moving Image Department of George Eastman House. Sophia and fellow MA student Joshua Yocum have been scanning these films since this piece of equipment arrived 16 October.
Adding moving images to Re-Envisioning Japan has been the most labor-intensive process so far, but it has been extremely rewarding. The collection is full of surprises: who knew, for example, that the composer Tōru Takemitsu, who composed soundtracks to films of the Japanese New Wave, also scored a 1961 film for the Japan External Trade Organization (Japan Today: The Spring of Energy)? The 16mm titles were made between approximately 1920 and 1981, and encompass a range of genres including educational titles, an amateur film, news documentaries, television commercials, a reel of film labeled “stock footage,” and cartoons.