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  1. Signal Chain: an unconference for media preservation professionals

    On July 17-18, the Stanford Media Preservation Lab team welcomed a small group of media preservation professionals from around the region and across the country to our home on the Stanford Redwood City campus for two days of “unconferencing". While Stanford has been a leader in media preservation among academic libraries for over a decade, this was our first time hosting a community-oriented event with the goal of advancing our collective work: to ensure ongoing, long-term access to audiovisual recordings of all kinds in the interest of scholarly research, artistic continuity, and the public good. The invitees represent cultural heritage institutions with established programs focused on preserving media systematically. As such, our sessions covered a spectrum of advanced technical topics as well as higher-level issues of mutual interest. Creating the agenda together as a group, we talked about long-term program sustainability, reformatting workflows, automation of quality control, challenges of born-digital media, metadata of all kinds, working with vendors, conservation treatments, professional development and training, the FFV1 codec, and motion picture film digitization.  First-time attendees to the Stanford Media Preservation Lab's unconference, or the "Signal Chain" gang The institutions represented at the meeting were: Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Bay Area Video Coalition Berkeley Art Museum & Pacific Film Archive Computer History Museum Getty Research Institute Indiana University New York Public Library New York University Libraries Oregon Historical Society San Francisco Symphony San Francisco Silent Film Festival Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of African American History & Culture Stanford University Texas Archive of the Moving Image University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill In addition to plenary sessions and smaller breakout discussions, we shared demos of project work, such as an open source database for managing digitized recordings developed by the University of North Carolina Southern Folklife Collection and a soon-to-be-released website featuring a slick interface and media player for accessing the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences’ impressive collection of oral histories. All the discussions resulted in a healthy list of action items and deliverables we can continue to work on for the benefit of the larger group over the course of the coming months. Knowing we would want to meet again, the group brainstormed ideas for a name for the event. The winning idea is “Signal Chain”, adopting the term used in our field to describe a series of components in a system connected to receive, process, and output a signal. The name cleverly and succinctly reflects our sense of connection and a collective purpose to share information that advances our work.  We hope to do it again next year! *** Follow SMPL on Instagram  

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  2. Q&A: Is there a way I can find old movie/film scripts?

    Question: Is there a way I can find old movie/film scripts? Answer: For older movie scripts: The Delmer Daves collection within Special Collections in Green Library has scripts up to 1965. Other collections within Special Collections may have scripts as well (film and theatre). You can get a list of these by doing an advanced search in SearchWorks. In the keyword search box, type "scripts," and then search the catalog. This bibliography may help you find scripts before 1975: Published Radio, Television and Film Scripts by Howard Poteet (Z7223 .S3 P68 in Green Library). For movies made any time: Movie Scripts and Screenplays, a web-based script search site. You may be able to get additional film information at the Internet Movie Database. Yale University's guide to finding screenplays and filmscripts. A SearchWorks subject search using the (slightly odd) phrase "motion picture plays". The term "motion picture plays - bibliography" will lead to bibliographies, but there aren't many. You can also try these terms in WorldCat or any other US library catalog. For movies made in the 1990s and beyond: The Contemporary American Screenplay Collection in Special Collections (PN1997 .A1 C66 1990). The finding aid has details of each script title.

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  3. Public displays of movies & video

    Generally speaking, video tapes and DVDs that are purchased, rented, or checked out of the library are for home viewing purposes, unless you have a license to use them elsewhere.  That means no license is required to view a recording in your dorm room, or with family or friends.  However, any public display - on campus or off - requires a license, unless the display qualifies for the face-to-face teaching exemption, as discussed below.  There is a common misconception that you only need a license if you plan to charge a fee to view the movie. Even where do you not plan to charge a fee, you must secure a license unless the narrow face-to-face teaching exemption applies. To obtain a public performance license, you need to contact a licensing organization. Major firms that handle these licenses include: Swank Motion Pictures, Inc. (800) 876-5577 Criterion Pictures (800) 890-9494 Motion Picture Licensing Corporation (MPLC} (800) 462-8855

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