Our Pitch is Simple – You Can Help Save Our Collective History
- Ron Merk has been a producer-director-writer and distributor for more than four decades. His work has won numerous awards around the world. Ron has also been a passionate supporter of film preservation, with major collections at MOMA, UCLA and The Academy of Motion Pictures Film Archives.
- Our Head of Preservation, Antonella Bonfanti is an Eastman House-trained film preservation speciailist with more then ten years in the field. She is highly respected within the film preservation community, and both teaches and speaks at conventions and symposia.
- The Metro Theatre Center Foundation has been a supporter of filmmakers, film festivals and non-profits since 2003. This year’s focus is on film preservation and the foundation’s initiative, The Preservation Project Partnerships, which seeks to bring the plight of our film heritage to the public and to focus on home movies as a genre. Home movies are often the only record that we have of a place, a time or a person, and are unique depositories of culture and history. www.MetroCenterFoundation.org
- The preservation of the home movies of David Eugene Bell is the first partnership that we are seeking to create with the public. Mr. Bell was a well-known designer who worked at Bloomingdales in New York, and whose home movies documented the gay life from the late 40s – 80s. At a time where being gay could result in loss of job, home and even arrest, this is a unique look into the hidden world of being gay 60 years ago. Gay men at numerous events who allowed Mr. Bell’s camera to record them was an act of rare courage. The footage also contains 15 seconds of never-before-seen close-up color footage of the Robert F. Kennedy in the NYC St. Patrick’s Day parade in the mid-60s.
- Like many home movies, these films have suffered from poor storage and care for many years and were affected by mold, which has been cleaned, but which leaves the films in a fragile, deteriorating condition. If we do not digitize and save these films now, this unique piece of history will be lost forever. Time is simply running out!
We Need Your Money. Could We Be More Clear? You Get Great Perks!
- To digitize the material to 2K resolution (which will also allow us to later re-transfer the material back to film for long-term preservation and storage) we need $12,500 to transfer the 70 reels of 8mm and Super 8mm film. Except for the cost of our preservation supplies and a small amount of in-house labor costs, almost all of the money will go directly to the lab which will be digitizing the material.
- We’ve got something for everyone, including a button you can wear proudly or a T-shirt that tells the world to “save a film today.” We’ve also got DVDs of a film that we preserved starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, and a great art reprint of Uncle Sam in drag saying, I Want You!
- If we don’t reach our total goal, we will use the funds raised to preserve as much of the material as the money will allow. Since there are many separate reels, we will select the most important ones.
You Can Save a Film Today!
- With tens of millions of feet of film at archives, basements and attics all over the world waiting for preservation, and with time running out to save this material, we hope to bring the plight of our soon-to-vanish culture and history to the public, and to get them involved.
- Hercules in New York, the first Arnold Schwarzenegger film, was lost to history until Ron Merk discovered the original negative in a lab in New York, and acquired the film. It was completely restored, including the re-insertion of Arnold’s voice tracks (he was dubbed in the original release). It’s now in release through Lionsgate. We also preserved a 16mm color home movie of the famous film comedian, Stan Laurel (of Laurel and Hardy). Shot in 1965 at his home, it was one of the last times Stan ever appeared on camera. The footage has been seen recently in a brand-new documentary made for German TV and continue to delight movie fans all over the world with the work of this great star.
- Everyone makes home movies, although to day we do it with cell phones and digital cameras. Have you ever thought what will happen to those films of your life if they are not saved or properly preserved? Home movies are universally understood as a special way we look at ourselves, and where we came from. This is your chance to be part of an important initiative to save our collective histories from oblivion.
If You Can’t Donate Money, Give Us Your Time
- Please go to your social media pages, like Facebook and Twitter, and let your friends know about this campaign Make phone calls, send e-mails, and help us get out the word about this important, amazing project..
- You can also use the Indiegogo share tools, which make is very easy to share this campaign with friends and colleagues.
**Please check the gallery section on this page to see the perks**
We welcome donations of any size $1, $2, $5, or anything that you can do will help put the campaign over the top.