INTRODUCTION: Welcome to the Moving Image Archives and Preservation (MIAP) Studies Guide! This guide focuses on useful resources for various types of information (e.g. books, scholarly articles, streaming video and archives) relating to the moving image.
The Entertainment Industry Magazine Archive offers digitized primary sources for studying the history of the film, music, theater, and broadcast industries from 1880 to the near present. Magazines include American Cinematographer, Back Stage, Billboard, Broadcasting, Hollywood Reporter, Mix, Musical Express, Radio and Records, Reggae & African Beat, Spin, Stage, Variety, and Writers Guild of America.
FILM PLATFORM serves as a bridge between the film world and academia. The collection is curated by film experts and leading academics to showcase meaningful documentaries of social, political and cultural importance by some of the world’s top international filmmakers. The catalog combines in-depth stories with out-of-the-box storytelling on a broad range of topics. In many cases, the films will be accompanied by a selection of study guides, as well as press kits, articles, and interviews with the filmmakers and their subjects.
The Virtual and Augmented Reality (XR) ecosystems have been gaining substantial momentum and traction within the gaming, entertainment, enterprise, and training markets in the past half-decade, but have been hampered by limitations in concurrent user count, throughput, and accessibility to mass audiences. Although a litany of XR devices have been made available for public purchase, most XR experiences have been developed for either a single user or a small set of users at a time. Few systems or experiments in co-located XR environments have expanded past a small set of users, leaving the paradigm of being part of a larger virtual audience relatively untested.
This thesis presents a set of components, systems, and experiments that assist in the creation and scaling of multi-user virtual and augmented reality experiences,and outlines the strengths of techniques found in traditional co-located media for the design space of scaled co-located XR.
Documentary filmmaking has evolved through its inceptions in 1922’s Nanook of the North to 2018’s Icarus alongside disruptive changes in technology, production methods, and filmmaking styles. Ubiquitous video devices and internet distribution platforms have expanded the universe of nonfiction video in forms as divergent as fleeting, six-second Vine videos and studio-developed, feature-length films. Given these immense changes, film archivists have begun to wrestle with the conundrum of preserving digital moving images. Before the digital age, films could be preserved using relatively-settled archival techniques; digital production and distribution have thrown wrenches into the moving image preservation works. Documentary films are particularly fragile cultural objects because they are often produced by independent filmmakers with limited resources for preserving their digital media.
In this project, I advocate for an historical orientation toward the underlying processes and contingent circumstances by which a material culture of cinema enters various stages of decline. From this orientation, I present four case studies as evidence that cinema can be understood according to its impermanent manifestations. I advance this general historical framework to challenge the logic of innovation, which typically bolsters common perceptions of progressive technological change and the perpetuity of moving image cultures. To this end, I argue that objects of cinema history, when given their due as objects, have the suasive force to speak history and encourage a more robust and dynamic understanding of cinema’s many lives (and deaths). Through a selection of sites, discourses, and physical conditions out of which changes occur to the “stuff” of cinema, I elevate examples of cinema’s material culture to a level of historical significance that substantiate the role impermanence plays in heralding episodes of decline. The project begins by introducing the problem of impermanence in relation to the way historians approach their object(s) of study and proceeds with four chapters that showcase impermanence according to the conditions out of which decay, ruin, abandonment, and demolition take place. Chapter 1 considers perceptions of acetate film’s durability by members of the Society for Motion Picture Engineers and weighs their anxieties about acetate’s potential for decay against emerging attitudes about film heritage during the 1930s. Chapter 2 assesses the relationship between urban ruins in American cities in the late 1970s and the raw material needed for the production design schemes used in the movie Escape From New York that was shot on location in St. Louis. Chapter three examines visualizations of impermanence in photographs of abandoned movie theaters and measures the value of photographic encounters with the physical remnants of such places lingering in small towns and neighborhoods. Chapter 4 confronts the aftermath of demolished factory buildings at Kodak Park where film stock was produced and surveys the material manifestations of obsolescence in public discourse and photographic works recording the demolition events.