Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Home Movies

I finally got out my old 8mm projector, blew the dust off, and plugged it in. It worked. The bulb even worked for about a half second. I bought a new bulb on eBay, and tonight I watched 18 of my old "Super 8" films from the mid to late 1970s. It's funny to look back and see what I filmed once I had that three-minute roll of movie film in my camera. I have a lot of movies of the cats I had back then (Misha, Sylvie, and Bessie, may they rest in peace), and of the husband I had back then (Ed). Most of the movies were taken while we were in Massachusetts, stationed at Fort Devens. I have movies of famous places, like the House of the Seven Gables, and some things in Boston, but not enough film of those things. Movies of visiting relatives. Movies of relatives we visited.

The one film that perplexes me is a single, three-minute reel that starts with movies of the cats in Massachusetts, then changes to the outside of my brother's cabin in Avery, California, then goes back to the cats in Massachusetts with snow outside. What possessed me to take the camera to California, use about a minute of film to film the cabin, but nothing else, then bring the camera home to Massachusetts and finish the roll with cat-in-the-snow movies? That's just weird.

The movie camera had the ability to shoot one frame at a time, so I went to the trouble of making an animation stand for the camera. I must never have used it because the only thing I have are test shots - distances, lights, settings - using the stand. I did make a little animation of two feet walking across a desk and writing "tschuess" (bye, in german) with an invisible pen. Ed made a better short movie with little toy cavalry soldiers, horses, and an ill-fated native-american. That was my short-lived brush with animation. Animation still interests me, but I've never done anything else. Pity, since I have all this neat computer stuff to help me.

At some point in the past I spliced together enough rolls of film to create a seven-inch roll of movies. I didn't watch that because I have sent it off to be transferred to a DVD. I figured since I'd already put it together in some sort of order (I hope), it could go off to be transferred without any review. Those movies are going to be from Germany, when Ed and I did some travelling. We were in Garmisch when we bought the camera. We were up in the Alps trying to capture a beautiful panoramic view with a still camera. When we got down the mountain we found the PX and bought the movie camera.

I suppose once I get the DVD back I'll post some, if not all, of the movies on YouTube. I'll probably write about it here when I do.

There are some movies of Ed's mom, dad, and other family. I'd like him to have those. I guess I'll have to try to get in touch with him. I had an e-mail address that worked. It doesn't anymore. Maybe he'll read my blog and contact me.

I shouldn't be up this late. I have to work tomorrow. Um, today.

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