AMIA Annual Conference Offers Wide Range of Sessions

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Mon, 11/16/2015 - 11:49 -- Nick Dager

The Association of Moving Image Archivists will hold the 2015 edition of its Annual Conference in Portland, Oregon, from November 18- 21 at the Hilton Portland & Executive Tower. Over 600 members of the global media preservation community will gather to discuss not only the safeguarding of valuable archival elements, but how to keep those assets viable and accessible for the future.

As part of the Conference lineup, representatives from Hollywood studios, universities, national and regional archives, corporate libraries, museums, and more will present case studies and workshops.

Highlights include:

Maintaining television archives, including the 27-year-old C-SPAN Archives, which contain over 210,000 hours of free online, indexed, digital content that can be viewed, clipped, and shared. Learn how this national network saves every minute of its three 24-hour broadcasts.

Former dictator Kim Jong-Il was a noted cinephile. Explore his fascination and the potential value of his massive private collection as both an archive of North Korea’s film history and a diverse international collection.

Experts from the Academy Film Archive and George Eastman Museum trace the journey of a hypothetical collection (illustrated by several real world examples) from arrival at the repository, to assessment and inventory, de-accession and disposal while distilling a collection to its essential material that effectively honors the work, artists and donors.

Archivists from the Big Ten and Pac-12 sports conferences, join Chicago Film Archives and Northeast Historic Film to discuss creative approaches to funding, copyright and licensing, digital preservation and storage of sports collections.

The important process of redaction will be explored, using the audiovisual records of the courtroom testimonies of the Rwandan Genocide as a case study. The International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) is working to preserve and provide online access to the judicial records – a total of 27,000 hours of recordings, in three language versions and in various formats.

What is the environmental impact of digital preservation? Media disposal is not the only area where audiovisual and digital preservation impacts the environment, and keeping digital files alive over time requires power and natural resources. This presentation will outline possible options to decrease the collective “carbon footprint” while sustaining digital content entrusted to archives.

Paramount Pictures will offer an in-depth looking into their archiving practices, including how they assess the condition of their collections, developed the process of prioritization, and established principles for digital preservation.

The Academy Color Encoding System, known as ACES, was released to the industry in December 2014 as a production-ready suite of technical standards, best practices and support tools. Developed and tested by equipment manufacturers, facilities and filmmakers over the last 11 years, ACES is intended to be the standardized digital production infrastructure that enables the industry to take full advantage of coming high dynamic range and wide color gamut capture, processing and display technologies. This presentation will explain how productions using ACES will generate archive-ready files and the file formats and related standards that support long-term archiving of digital motion picture materials.

In addition to the full conference schedule for attendees, several screenings will be open to the general public. Seats are available on a first come, first served basis. A selection of free screenings includes:

Paris is Burning: Friday, November 20, 7:45 p.m., Whitsell Auditorium, Northwest Film Center

Released over 25 years ago, Paris is Burning follows a handful of drag queens who compete in balls in New York City. The film opened a window into what it was like being openly gay in New York City in the 1980s. This screening of the remastered version will be presented for the first time in its original aspect ratio, restored from original camera negative.

Reframing Portland Live!: Friday, November 20, 8:35 p.m., Hilton Hotel

This special screening event features live projections of silent moving images by local Oregon filmmakers and video artists using archival footage culled from the collections of Portland area archives and private collections, accompanied by live music performed by local musicians. 

The Thanhouser Studio and the Birth of American Cinema: Saturday, November 21, 11:00 a.m., Whitsell Auditorium, Northwest Film Center

Utilizing film clips from AMIA member archives, this documentary tells the untold story of the rise and fall of the Thanhouser Studio during the first decade of the 20th century, tracing the evolution of one family’s endeavors from live theater production to building a highly successful, independent silent motion picture studio.

This is Cinerama: Remastered: Saturday, November 21, 1:00 p.m., Whitsell Auditorium, Northwest Film Center

Plunging viewers into a startling new world of entertainment, Cinerama was a larger than life, three-dimensional, immersive cinematic process that was different in format and presentation from any other type of filmed entertainment at the time. This is Cinerama is a demonstration film, a travelogue, an opera, an Aquacade, with soaring majesty and thrilling spectacle. Presented in Smilebox Curved Screen Simulation, the film's digital restoration team will present a before-and-after demonstration prior to the screening.

Uksuum Cauyai: The Drums of Winter: Saturday, November 21, 7:00 p.m., Whitsell Auditorium, Northwest Film Center Shot in 1977, this award-winning ethnographic documentary explores the traditional dance, music, and spiritual world of the Yup’ik Eskimo people of Emmonak, a remote village at the mouth of the Yukon River on the Bering Sea coast. In The Drums Of Winter, the people of Emmonak express through performances and interviews how their history, social values and spiritual beliefs are woven around the songs and dances that have been handed down to them through the generations. Added to the National Film Registry in 2006, the film has been recently restored to its original cinematic quality with support from the National Film Preservation Foundation and the Rasmuson Foundation.

AMIA also partners with the Digital Library Federation for Hack Days, where practitioners and managers of digital audiovisual collections join developers and engineers for an intense day of collaboration to develop and refine simple tools for digital audiovisual preservation and access. The groups compete to come up with the award-winning solution.

Additionally, Poster Sessions throughout the week give attendees 1:1 access to the people in the trenches of audiovisual preservation, and there is a half-day presentation of The Reel Thing, a technical symposium that explores recent restoration projects in depth.

Visit the AMIA Conference website for full details and the complete schedule:

The Association of Moving Image Archivists