October 2017 Huntley Film Archives Newsletter
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View From An Intern

Huntley Film Archives operates an internship scheme and we were recently joined by Maggie from Canada; who spent a month at the archive. We thought you might like to hear about her experience in her own words.

I had been trying for a while to get work experience in a role that could combine my background in library science and my love of film.  When I was offered a chance to intern at Huntley, I immediately jumped at the chance!  As I got closer to the start date, I had a million questions in my head:  would I be able to keep up with all the information I'd get in a short amount of time?  Would it just be me and a room full of film to sort through?  Is there a room full of film?  Well, yes, no and yes.  I got my answers and more, starting with what to do after receiving films, how to catalogue a film, the commercial side to running an archive, and how to deliver a finished professional scan of a clip to a client.
I've enjoyed learning about all the different aspects, but the parts I enjoyed the most were: handling the different film gauges and learning to use the Steenbeck projectors, film cataloguing and research, and scanning and processing of film clips.  I learned that an accurate, detailed cataloguing of a film will lead to more effective research results, so in a way they go hand in hand.  While describing films, I found myself researching more about the subject online to try and get more accurate information.  
Car racing in France, 1900's.
Click play to view short film

Busy Paris street market 1900's. 
New York skyscrapers from the 1910's.
Follow above links to view


When I observed the scanning process, I realised that it's not as easy as I thought.  There are so many factors to consider depending on the type and condition of the film you're using.  And then there are the many settings to work out, and calibrating the scanner, and colour correcting the image, and making sure the film behaves the way it should, and...  so yes, many factors!  While trying my hand at editing and processing the scans (a little easier and quite fun), I was shown how to use various software to extract audio, and how to clean up film to make it look as good as possible.  After being reassured that I wouldn't be able to accidentally alter the master scan forever, I noticed that you could do a lot to make a film look its best.  
I've learned a lot in a short amount of time, and this internship has taught me the importance of conserving our history in whatever way we can.  We'll probably never know how much undocumented film is out there, but all of it is important, and all of it should be preserved (it's surprising how much information you can get from a 30  second advert about grocery shopping in the 1960s!)  I hope to take this experience, and find a position where I can apply what I've learned.  Thank you Jolene, Amanda, Bronwyn, Robert and Thomasin for letting me into your work space, and putting up with me and my many questions!
If you’d like to do an internship at Huntley Film Archives, please contact Amanda Huntley.
Grocery shopping in the 1960s.
Click play to view short ads

How Mum used to do the laundry.

Remember the Automat?
Follow above links to view
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