Re: Experimental films showing at various Universities

From: C Keefer (email suppressed)
Date: Wed Nov 26 2008 - 15:09:44 PST

There's a huge 16mm presentation problem. My comments are more on this.

At CVM, we talk and email with programmers & organizations every week who are looking for and would be happy to rent experimental film x or y as a 16mm print (usually from Canyon), but they no longer have a 16mm projector, have access to one, or know how to find one.

These conversations sometimes occur when they call for permission to screen from our Fischinger DVD, and are looking for other titles as well. We respond by informing them, no from the DVD, please rent the print from Canyon (or Light Cone). Or, they are calling to ask about a number of titles, do we have them on DVD for their screening? We advise of the 16mm rental agency handling those films. And then it's a dead end, the caller can't project 16mm. They have a budget for their screening, they want the film and would be happy to rent and screen in film, but the story stops for lack of a 16mm projector. Time and time again...

My two cents - perhaps someone could donate a couple of good working 16mm projectors to Canyon, maybe they could rent the projector out as well to these types of organizations and people? Maybe not, maybe the transport would be too prohibitive. But if we could direct these inquiries to a source to rent a projector (and sometimes a projectionist as well), they'd be renting 16mm films from Canyon and other coops.

CVM has a new travelling curated 16mm show (Rare Classics of Visual Music) - we've had to decline bookings from a number of places that don't have a 16mm projector or don't know where to find one in their smaller city. But they would be happy to book and pay for a 16mm show if they could only find a projector! On this note, we'd like to know of projectionists who can be booked for an evening with a good working 16mm projector, in smaller regional markets (not LA, NY, Chicago, Seattle, the major cities where we know how to find a 16mm projector).

Perhaps someone could put a list together online for everyone's benefit, would that help Canyon and the coops?

Cindy Keefer
Center for Visual Music

-----Original Message-----
>Date: Wed, 26 Nov 2008 12:21:18 -0800
>From: 40 Frames <email suppressed>
>Subject: Re: Experimental films showing at various Universities
>It would seem that 16mm distribution is (or has become) "passive" to use
>Steve's description.
>I cannot think of a single distributor who actively promotes the 16mm
>holdings in their collections. There are a number of distributors out there
>who still have 16mm prints sitting on their shelves, and these prints are
>technically still in circulation, but you have to ask to know.
>WMM sends me monthly news updates, but it's largely about new work. I've
>never seen mention of renting 16mm prints from their
>collection, and they have a number of 16mm prints for rental.
>If Canyon Cinema can find the time, and a graphic designer, a more active
>approach to outreach could help bring about more awareness, but this does
>not solve the problem that others have pointed out - 16mm presentation. Her=
>in Portland, the local theater supply and repair company is preoccupied wit=
>2K projection installations. Fixing or maintain 16mm projectors is a very
>low priority for them. It took
>12 months to resolve a projection problem at a local theater, and only
>because the theater was persistent about fixing the problem. The
>quality of work is also very poor, and the approach by repair persons is
>often "it's good enough for 16mm".
>Regarding 16mm projectors, I think schools would do well to connect with
>more film collectors. This community is highly organized, and has a solid
>list of people who offer supplies, parts, and service. The traditional AV
>supply and maintenance businesses are not going to offer the services they
>once did.

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