From Genevieve Maxwell in San Luis Obispo:
I hosted a home movie day event in San Luis Obispo, California. This was the first HMD I have ever hosted and the first in this location. Thankfully, it was a big success! We had 40 people in attendance and 14 who had their films screened. Although the event was in SLO, the vast majority were neighbors or former neighbors and friends from the community I grew up in, Garden Farms. It is a very small, close-knit community and the amount of participation was in large part due to the efforts of my mother, Janice, and the fact that some of the films were shot in the neighborhood. There is a great interest in Garden Farms history and preservation among its residents and I was excited to see HMD provide a whole new way of coming together and exploring that history.
One of our biggest highlights came from Billy Wilson, a neighbor who brought in a beautiful 16mm film that he shot in Japan and Korea when he was in the air force in 1946. Another popular film was one belonging to a neighbor, Art Robinson, which featured him as a child in Garden Farms from 1937 to the late 1940s. This was exciting because it gave us all a look at what the neighborhood looked like back then. One film from the 1970s was done as a project for an architecture course at Cal Poly and documented some architectural oddities, particularly in Southern California and Las Vegas.
Overall, I have gotten a lot of great feedback from people who had either never seen the films they brought, or hadn’t seen them for over 30 or 40 years!! I really loved that everyone narrated their film and there was a lot of banter and giggles all round. Thank you HMD organizers and founders for inspiring us to participate in such a cool event!
Venue: San Luis Obispo Senior Center
Total Audience: 41
Number of people with films: 14
8mm: 7 films, Super 8: 4, 16mm: 3
Volunteers: Janice Maxwell, Jessica Bockelman, Nick Colin, Josh C.
Press: local newspaper the Telegram Tribune and weekly, The New Times, online community calendars, ads in the senior center (venue) newsletter and Garden Farms’ local newsletter, The Gazette.
Genevieve Maxwell: color,16mm film of me and my mom circa 1983
Wes Burke: 4 color, super 8 films including camping in Texas, Sea World, Six Flags in 1980 and 1977 respectively, waterskiing and Wes on his mini-bike (motorcycle)
John Pinson: color, 1960’s, travel footage, location unknown, family party with dancing, feigned drunkenness and an uncle playing guitar, ends with footage of the uncle’s country band performing
Art Robinson: b/w, 8mm, Garden Farms from 1937 to late 40s
A.A.: b/w, color 8mm, 2 short films of her and her brother as children playing in their yard in a Chicago suburb
Duane English: color, super 8, climbing Bishop’s Peak in San Luis Obispo in the form a Keystone Cops spoof with music
Billy Wilson: b/w 16mm, beautiful film from when Billy was in the airforce, circa 1946 in Japan and Korea
Don O’Daniel: color, super 8, project he did when attending Cal Poly in the 1970s, focusing on architecture of a fanciful nature primarily in southern california
Tao: color, super 8 films of family vacations in Mexico, Jamaica in the late 70s-80s
Kara: color, 8mm film of family camping trips in colorado, shot of her and her friend getting bucked off a horse, a lot of trains and scenery, 1960s
Ron: 8mm, color, shot by his father who was also in korea and japan after WWII, children playing on a see saw, very young girl does a beautiful dance for the camera in traditional Korean dress
Beth Kilimnik: color, 16mm project done for an art class when she was in college, animated drawings done directly on the film
Chris Kelley: color, 8mm, films of her childhood parties and events, such as xmas and halloween, some fun stuff
Jim Ream: 8mm, color, college basketball games and pole vaulting, 1960s, one interesting shot where someone was filming the tv set
John Kelley: 8mm, color, S.F. zoo and family trip to visit relatives in S.F., training at Fort Ord.
Interestingly, despite press in San Luis Obispo, all the attendees were people who live or once lived in the small community of Garden Farms, technically a part of Atascadero. All the outreach to acquire those films was by word of mouth. Many of the participants are planning on doing another screening for other neighbors who weren’t able to attend Home Movie Day. My mother, Janice, who helped me immensely in getting the films together loved the event and is encouraging neighbors to come to us for any help in transferring or donating their films.