Save our precious film heritage

Much of the world's film heritage is at risk of being lost forever. We are running out of time to save our history.
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Ron Merk
Film
San Francisco, California
United States
1 Team Member

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.

$890USD
raised in 1 month
7% funded
No time left
$12,500 USD goal
Flexible Funding This campaign has ended and will receive all funds raised.
Campaign Closed
This campaign ended on February 28, 2013
Select a Perk
  • $1USD
    A hearty thank you

    A personal e-mail from Ron Merk will be sent to everyone who contributes at this level and one lucky person will also get a T-shirt.

    0 out of 5000 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2013
  • $5USD
    Certificate of Commendation

    A beautiful certificate acknowledging your contribution will be sent to you electronically for posting on any of your social media sites. It includes our great logo and the words "I saved a film"

    0 out of 2000 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2013
  • $25USD
    Honor Badge

    A great button you can pin on your shirt that tells your friends that you helped save a film, and that they can, too!

    3 out of 500 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2013
  • $50USD
    Arnold before he was a star

    A DVD of "Hercules in New York," Arnold Schwarzenegger's very first movie, one of many films saved and restored by Ron Merk.

    0 out of 250 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2013
  • $100USD
    Preservation Warrior Uniform

    T - shirt featuring great film graphic and the proclamation - I saved a film. Can be worn with our badge of honor!

    2 out of 125 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2013
  • $500USD
    Uncle Sam wants you

    Fabulous limited edition print of the artist George Vasilatos' hilarious parody of the classic US - Army recruiting poster. Mascara and nail polish included ( Just Kidding!)

    0 out of 25 claimed
    Estimated delivery: March 2013
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