the TAMI show

nope, not that one.

i am here today to sing the praises of the texas archive of the moving image because what they do is pretty wonderful. the organization was founded in 2002 and these fine folks are devoted to collecting, preserving, studying and exhibiting texan, and texas-centric, moving images. their library is extensive and contains just about every type of output you can imagine - home movies, regional indie films, instructional videos, industrial films, television broadcasts and major studio films, including some international projects - all somehow related to the heritage of the texas motion picture.

the history of the motion picture in texas is full of notable documents - established classics like hud (1963) and the last picture show (1971), more idiosyncratic efforts like the whole shootin' match (1978) and slacker (1991), the footage of the apollo missions originating from NASA in houston which turns up in the documentary for all mankind (1989), among other places, and the world's most famous home movie, the 486 frames of 8mm film that abraham zapruder shot in dallas on 11.22.63. these, and countless other examples like them, add up to a pretty rich and significant film history.

thanks to the TAMI all of us can take part in building that history. this is the best thing about them, in my opinion. do you have home movies that are of great sentimental value to you or your family that you would like preserved? great! they offer a digitization service. they will clean up (as best they can) your original elements and make you a digital copy of anything you'd like to bring them. if the condition of your items has degraded to the point that it would be dangerous to try to copy them they can refer you to folks who specialize in restoration. 16mm, 8mm, super 8, vhs, beta - they can transfer just about anything. this service is completely free of charge as long as your material is texas-related - shot in texas, by texans or about texas - and you agree to let them post a copy in their online library. you retain the copyright to any and all material and they will even teach you how to better store and care for the original elements. win-win.

their library is a treasure trove of little epiphanies. you can take a glimpse into people's daily lives, catch news bulletins you might have missed fifty years ago and see history as it was being written.

here are a few favorites:

and on and on. i could spend hours digging around in these archives. i hope you have fun with it. i hope you find something that makes it worth your while. if you're not from texas, i'd be interested in hearing if there are similar programs wherever you hail from. texans, i heartily recommend that you avail yourself of their services if you have anything you want to preserve and see saved for posterity. make some history.

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