Conference Sessions & Workshops: Saturday

Posted on July 31, 2015

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Schedule at a Glance

SATURDAY . November 21, 2015


8:00am – 9:30am | Grand Ballroom II | Breakfast available 7:45am – 8:15am
AMIA Annual Business and Membership Meeting and Continental Breakfast

Members and guests are welcome and encouraged to attend the Membership Meeting to hear the annual “State of the Association” report, updates about current projects, and offer special recognition to AMIA members who have gone “above and beyond” in their service to all of us. The open forum will provide an opportunity to raise questions not addressed elsewhere in the conference. And at the end of the meeting, the 2015/6 Board of Directors will take office as we thank departing Board members for their great service to the Association.

9:45am – 10:45am | Broadway I & II
Archival Education in Transition: Taking Stock

Snowden Becker, UCLA
Eef Masson, University of Amsterdam

Jeffrey Stoiber, George Eastman House/Selznick School of Film Preservation
Howard Besser, NYU MIAP
Eric Rosenzweig, FAMU
Madeline Bates, Creative Skillset

With new audiovisual archiving and preservation programs launching in London, Prague, Frankfurt and Potsdam, and significant changes taking place in some of the longest-running degree programs in this field, it’s time to take stock of the state of professional education in audiovisual preservation and archiving. Representatives from new and established programs will provide comprehensive updates on their successes (and frustrations) to date, as well as their current status, philosophical approaches, and future plans.

9:45am – 10:45am | Galleria South
Circumscribing the World of Indie Cinema: Collection, Preservation, and Naming Challenges

Sandra Schulberg, Laboratory for Icon & Idiom, Inc.

Israel Ehrisman, Laboratory for Icon & Idiom, Inc.
Ed Carter, Academy Film Archive
Tanya DeAngelis, Sundance Institute
Shola Lynch, NYPL, Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture

The non-profit organization, Laboratory for Icon & Idiom, launched the IndieCollect campaign to create a comprehensive catalogue of American independent films and to facilitate their preservation. How does one define “independent” film? What constitutes an American indie Latino, Asian American, African American or LGBT film? How does one determine what “independent” films are already held by collaborating archives? How can filmmakers work with film archives to find homes for the vast numbers of indie films that may soon be “homeless” if provision isn’t made to secure long-term storage. How can those who have a stake in preserving indie films educate makers about the challenges of preservation in the digital age? This case study includes a virtual tour of the IndieCollect Index, plus a discussion of these key questions with representatives from some of IndieCollect’s main collaborators.

9:45am – 10:45am | Galleria North
Preserving Film Collections for the Future: An Essential New Web Application

Jean-Louis Bigourdan, Image Permanence Institute/RIT
Alex Bliss, Image Permanence Insitute/RIT

Implementing the best possible preservation strategy is an intricate and difficult process. IPI worked on an NEH-funded project to create a web-based application called The objective of the project was to design a tool for self-education and to provide an easy-to-implement decision-making platform for preserving film materials. In essence, is designed to bridge the gap between what is known today about film stability and what can be done to make preservation efforts in any repositories a reality. provides access to critical information in a concise format, and most noticeably guides preservationists through the process of making informed decisions on optimizing the longevity of film collections. Many otherwise tedious tasks are facilitated by to make collection personnel self-reliant in their effort to preserve film materials. During the session, panelists will present for the first time, discuss its origin, purpose, methodology and architecture in an attempt to foster film preservation efforts and sustain them over time.

11:00am – 12:15pm | Whitsell Auditorium | Wear your Conference badge for admission
SCREENING: The Thanhouser Studio and the Birth of American Cinema

The documentary recounts the untold story of the rise and fall of this remarkable pioneering motion picture studio during the first decade of the twentieth century. Utilizing film clips from AMIA member archives, it is an excellent case study of how the work of member organizations can be used for documenting early film history. The documentary traces the evolution of one family’s career as it transitioned from producing live theater to establishing one of the most successful independent silent motion picture studios in early cinema. Set against a backdrop of Thomas A. Edison and his Motion Picture Patents Trust companies dominating the industry, the story plays out in New York, Florida and California. It is a compelling story of fame and fortune, twisted by the vagaries of fate and ending on a bittersweet note.


11:00am – 12:00pm | Broadway I & II
Competency-Based Frameworks for Moving Image Archiving Education

Kelle Anzalone, Mission Hills High School

Karen Gracy, Kent State University
Dino Everett, Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive
Edward Benoit, Louisiana State University

This session will consider the potential for competency-based pedagogical frameworks to shape moving image archiving education. Presenter Karen Gracy will offer an orientation to the core competency model and how it might be applied in the moving image archiving domain for graduate-level and continuing education programs. USC Moving Image Archivist Dino Everett will also be addressing how competency-based educations can and will better suit employers looking to hire students fresh out of master programs. Ed Benoit will present preliminary findings of a competency focused analysis of recent audiovisual archiving job postings in traditional archives.

11:00am – 12:00pm | Galleria North
AO&U: Moving Beyond Access: Unlocking the Potential of Moving Image Archival Collections

Johan Oomen, Netherlands Institute for Sound and Vision

Erica Titkemeyer, Southern Folklife Collection, UNC Chapel Hill
Lily Troia, Simmons College
John Campopiano,  Frontline
Jennifer Steele, YOUmedia, Chicago Public Library Foundation

Once the public has access to our digital moving image collections, what can they do with them? This presentation will focus on ways that archives can inspire users such as scholars, educators, students, artists, journalists, etc., to use their collections in innovative and nontraditional ways. How can archivists encourage experiential and inquiry-based use of moving image collections for research and learning? The presentations will cover methodologies, experiments, and report on meetings with scholars on ways of using moving image collections to the full potential of their value. Finally, this session will discuss some of the implications for archives of these less traditional uses of the materials and how this might affect moving image archives in the long term.

11:00am – 12:00pm | Directors
Film Advocacy Task Force Open Forum Discussion: Planning for Film

Elena Rossi-Snook, The New York Public Library

The FATF invites conference attendees to participate in an open forum discussion with film stock manufacturers and laboratories on film sustainability. Short presentations by invited speakers, including the introduction of new ideas and plans, will be followed by a guided Q&A with the audience. This discussion is an extension of the FATF Film Stock Assurance Plan Summit meeting held in NYC in June 2015.

11:00am – 11:30pm | Galleria South
Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals: Audiovisual Redaction Project, a Matter of Life or Death

Tom A. Adami, MARS Arusha, Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals

The audiovisual records documenting the courtroom testimonies of the Rwandan Genocide at the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda (ICTR) in Arusha, Tanzania are a collective memory and legacy of the judicial work conducted by the Tribunal. The ICTR implemented an audiovisual digitization and redaction project to preserve and provide public online and research access to the audiovisual judicial records. A total of 27,000 hours of recordings, in three langauge versions and in various formats, were digitized to preservation-quality files and have now been transferred to the Mechanism for International Criminal Tribunals (MICT) for future integration into its digitial preservation system, currently in development. The redaction of the audiovisual records enatils the removal of classified information from the recorded courtroom testimonies to protect the witnesses who testified during the course of the trials. The redaction process results in the creation of publicly accessible preservation-quality master files, from which browsing access copies are created. The goal of the project is to raise public awareness of the work and accomplishments of ICTR.  While the digitization of the audiovisual recordings of the ICTR has been completed, the majority of the recordings have not yet been redacted. Cntinuing to enhance the public accessibility of these recordings remains a responsibility of the MICT.

11:30am-12:00pm | Galleria South
AMIA/DLF Hack Day: Results and Solutions

Kara Van Malssen, AVPreserve
Steven Villereal, University of Virginia
Lauren Sorensen, Library of Congress
Hack Day Participants

Earlier in the week practitioners and managers of digital audiovisual collections joined with developers and engineers for an intense day of collaboration to develop and refine simple tools for digital audiovisual preservation and access.  In this morning’s plenary, we’ll review their work and hear the results of some of these collaborations!

12:00pm – 1:00pm | Galleria North
Pop Up! Access & Use

Bring your lunch and hear lightning talks from colleagues on topics related to access and use of audiovisual collections. Voting for the lightning talks will take place on Thursday and Friday at AMIA.

If you have an idea for a 5 minute presentation related to access, outreach, or use of audiovisual collections, please fill out this form:

Nominations close at 5pm on Friday, November 6. Voting will commence on Monday, November 9 and close at 5pm on Friday, November 13. We will announce the selected lightning talks on Monday, November 16!

12:00pm – 1:00pm | Council
Meeting: Magnetic Media Crisis Committee (MC2)

12:00pm – 1:00pm | Forum
Meeting: Regional Audiovisual Archives (RAVA) Committee

1:00pm – 2:00pm | Forum
Meeting: Preservation Committee

1:00pm – 4:15pm | Whitsell Auditorium | Wear your Conference badge for admission

Randy Gitsch, (on behalf of) Cinerama Inc.
David Strohmaier, (on behalf of) Cinerama Inc.

“This is Cinerama” plunges you into a startling new world of entertainment. That advertising herald is as accurate today as it was in 1952, when first night viewers found themselves suddenly riding a rollercoaster. Cinerama was an immersive cinematic process different in format and presentation from any other type of filmed entertainment. Captured in a triptych of 35mm images, with the image on each panel taller, clearer, and with 7 tracks of discrete sound, the picture was then projected on a gigantic, deeply curved screen, in a theater with surround sound speaker placement. The result was larger than life, three-dimensional and awe-inspiring. “This is Cinerama” is all at once, a demonstration film, a travelogue, an opera, an Aquacade, with soaring majesty and thrilling spectacle. Presented in Smilebox (TM) Curved Screen Simulation. Prior to the screening, the film’s digital restoration team of David Strohmaier and Randy Gitsch will present a before-and-after demonstration and discuss their work.

2:00pm – 3:00pm | Galleria South
Home Movie Registry: A Model for Uniting Collections & Users

Dwight Swanson, Center for Home Movies

Skip Elsheimer, A/V Geeks, Center for Home Movies
Jasmyn Castro, National Museum of African American History and Culture
Rick Prelinger, UC Santa Cruz/Internet Archive

The Home Movie Registry is an online portal that aggregates the catalog records and digitized files of amateur film and video in one central location. The Registry is a curated search engine for amateur films. It doesn’t replace the efforts of film archives and their online presence but is a new way to show researchers and site visitors the home movies these collecting institutions have. The Registry is a new project of the Center for Home Movies (CHM) in partnership with a number of moving image archives and, eventually, any individual with films or videos of their family. The Registry is a work in progress. Originally built on the open source platform Omeka and later migrated to WordPress, the Registry has evolved quite a bit since it was first conceptualized. This plenary will serve as an official launch of the Home Movie Registry to the AMIA community, as well as a case study in how to turn big ideas into a reality through the utilization of low-cost readily available online tools (and a bit of hard work!).

2:00pm – 3:00pm | Broadway I & II
Growing a Global Slow Film Movement – Case Study L.A. Filmlab

Dino Everett, USC Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive

Kevin Rice, Process Reversal
Lisa Marr, Echo Park Film Center

This project marks the first time a traditional film archive will be building a film lab that will be made available to the artist community free of charge. Artist run film labs have existed for some time, but are often looked down upon by archives as a subpar solution to preserving film. This project aims to create a space that can both accommodate the artist, but also exist on a high enough quality level to benefit the archivist. Hopefully the L.A. FilmLab will be the first of many new small labs that benefit from the collective knowledge of multiple communities all interested in the same goal of keeping the film medium viable. The panel will feature representatives from each of the three groups involved in the creation of this lab in a discussion of how it came to be, and how collectively more labs can follow.

2:00pm – 3:00pm | Galleria North
AO&U: Methodologies for Assessment and Evaluation of Access to Moving Image Collections

Dave Rice, CUNY

Karen Cariani, WGBH
Deborah Steinmetz, Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archive
Eric Saltz, NC A&T State University

Understanding the needs and expectations of users is critical to providing access to moving image archival collections. In developing preservation and access systems, archives can engage with users in the development and design phase, assessing the needs to determine functional requirements. After an archive launches new initiatives to provide access to its collections, evaluation is necessary to monitor program success and to ensure that user needs are being met. During this session, panelists will discuss methodologies of user-centered design and evaluation, including both qualitative and quantitative forms of research.

3:30pm – 4:30pm | Broadway I & II
The Environmental Impact of Digital Preservation

Linda Tadic, Digital Bedrock

Archives with audiovisual collections are racing the clock to digitize video and audio tape before total media failure and obsolescence. The resulting digital files are stored on spinning disk (servers, hard drives) and/or digital tape, both of which will fail or become obsolete in time and must be replaced. As collections are digitized, millions of audio and video recordings will be discarded globally in the coming years. Much magnetic media and e-waste go to landfills and are incinerated, creating a toxic environment for humans. According to the 2013 Blacksmith Institute report, an e-waste processing center in Ghana was the most toxic site on the planet — ahead of Chernobyl. Media disposal is not the only area where audiovisual and digital preservation impacts the environment. The process of keeping digital files alive over time requires power and natural resources. How will our media and digital archives contribute to damaging the planet, and what can be done to mitigate our actions? Digital collections could require a stricter appraisal and selection policy than legacy collections to decrease the amount of digital content that is saved. This paper will outline possible options to decrease the collective “carbon footprint” while sustaining digital content entrusted to archives.

3:30pm – 4:30pm | Galleria South
Sustaining Consistent Video Presentation

Dave Rice, CUNY Television
Kelly Haydon, BAVC

Instead of video decks and projectors, archivists increasingly rely on software to render an authentic presentation of audiovisual content. However, the same file may appear differently from one player to another with discrepancies in significant characteristics such as color, contrast, aspect ratio, or even duration. This presentation investigates aspects of the design and decisions within digital media that impact the consistency of video presentation from one playback device to another. Archival strategies such as migration, emulation, and normalization are evaluated according to their potential impact on presentation consistency. Although the technological diversity and complexity of codecs, containers and implementations within digital video collections challenge one-sized presentation solutions; the panel will go behind-the-scenes within playback software. Details and qualities about digital video that are often unseen shall be scrutinized in order to provide more technical control over digital content and better understanding of the challenges involved in sustaining consistent video presentation.

3:30pm – 4:30pm | Galleria North
AO&U: Apples and Oranges: Providing Meaningful Access to Mixed Media Collections

Elizabeth Walters, Harvard University

Alan Gevinson, Library of Congress
Mary Miller, Peabody Awards Collection, University of Georgia
Stephanie Sapienza, Maryland Institute for Technology in the Humanities

Media doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Much of the audiovisual material housed in archival collections is linked to a web of related textual and material documentation — transcripts, press scripts, correspondence, production notes, etc. — which provides important context and add value for researchers and the public. However, in many cases, the media and related paper/textual collections are accessioned and processed using very different and separate techniques, guidelines, and description schemas. In some cases, the materials are separated geographically as well as intellectually, making it even more difficult for users to understand and make use of the full potential of the material. This session will discuss the specific challenges and benefits of providing meaningful access to mixed-media collections, with a focus on methods for using text and documents to contextualize audiovisual materials. .

4:45pm – 5:15pm | Galleria South
Through Chaos Comes Clarity: Building, Implementing & Promoting Taxonomy for Media Collections

Kathryn Gronsbell, Carnegie Hall
Sarah Knight, NPR

Well-controlled descriptive metadata enables audiovisual collections to be accessible; organizations should be equipped with practical knowledge about taxonomy development and implementation. This session provides basic information about common practices that may help organizations determine the benefits of pursuing or resurrecting various types of vocabularies. The session will include a brief primer on taxonomy basics, sharing lessons learned from Carnegie Hall’s recent digital asset management efforts which included locally-developed vocabulary structures. In addition, the session will explore NPR’s strategic approach to taxonomy, with a focus on the organization’s unique business cases and audiences. The speakers aim to ground the introductory conversation in real-world terms and open the floor for exploratory conversation about taxonomy and its relationship to media collections.

4:45pm – 5:45pm | Broadway I & II
Mistakes Were Made: Lessons in Trial and Error from NDSR

Kristin MacDonough, Video Data Bank

Shira Peltzman, UCLA Library
Julia Kim, Library of Congress
Rebecca Fraimow,  WGBH

Sometimes it feels like half of digital preservation is just copying files from one place to another — but even something that simple in theory can go wildly wrong in practice. This session will use a series of case studies to demonstrate some of the unexpected failures that can be encountered in theoretically routine digital archiving workflows. From pulling corrupted files off of old hard drives, to shoving round file type pegs through square emulation holes, to shaking legacy LTO tapes and seeing what falls out, the presenters will go through their experience in troubleshooting tech failure in digital archives and encourage attempts at finding solutions beyond ‘bang your head against a wall until you don’t care anymore.’

4:45pm – 5:45pm | Galleria North
AO&U: Keeping it Real: Providing Access to Physical Collections

Dan Erdman

Chris Lacinak, AVPreserve
Elena Rossi-Snook, The New York Public Library
Jennifer Jenkins, University of Arizona
John Vallier, University of Washington
Andrew Weaver, University of Washington

As the physical technology of film and analog a/v materials becomes increasingly unfamiliar to new generations of users, archivists are responding with increasingly innovative methods of making sure that physical collections remain useful and accessible. In this session, archivists working with physical film and video collections will report on their experiments with turning libraries into spaces for interacting with film, bringing archival materials into the classroom, using open-source applications and improved workflows for discovery of analog video, and encouraging the remix, reuse, and re-imagining of physical media.

5:45pm – 6:45pm | Grand Ballroom
Closing Night Cocktails

A chance to say goodbye to colleagues, and maybe catch a picture or two in the photo booth to remember Portland by!

7:00pm – 8:30pm | Whitsell Auditorium | NW 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. Dance was once at the heart of Yup’ik spiritual and social life; the bridge between the ancient and the new, the living and the dead, a person’s own power and the greater powers of the unseen world. 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. Throughout the film, archival photographs and film footage accompany the words of early missionaries who brought with them both Christianity and cultural repression. 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. (90 mins.)

7:30pm – 8:30pm | Broadway I & II
SCREENING: Big_Sleep™//a codec tutorial

By Evan Meaney, Amy Szczepansi, Big Sleep™ is part software demo, part documentary. It explores problems in our archival urges. Via a single-channel desktop screencast, informatic elements ebb and flow—creating and relating interface absences. These gaps suggest that no amount of hard drive space can defy mortality. The only way to fully prepare our media for the future is to prepare ourselves for a future apart.  The piece presents material from the late William Birch, one of the most important Fox Movietone cinematographers.  Examining his now-decaying body of work—we find an argument for access in the present. Digital migrations of these early films are often met with limited, temporary success. Looking into the future, one might see a canon of obsolesce. Looking further, one might not see anything at all.

8:30pm – 9:30pm | Broadway I & II
It Happened in 16mm: A Night of Regional Film, Part Deux

Taylor McBride, Smithsonian Institution
Siobhan C. Hagan, University of Baltimore Langsdale Library

Amy Ciesielski, University of South Carolina
Kelly Haydon, BAVC
Erica Titkemeyer, UNC Chapel Hill
Laurel Gildersleeve, Harvard Film Archive

The Small Gauge Amateur Film Committee (SGAFC) and the Regional Audiovisual Archives Committee (RAVA) are co-sponsoring the second annual small gauge regional film screening event to take place during the Portland conference (a continuation of the event that began in Savannah). The program will be curated from the collections of RAVA’s institutional members and local regional archives. It will feature 16mm film from regional archives highlighting content of the Portland/Pacific NW Region.