Last Thursday, nine lucky attendees were able to tour the UCLA Film & Television Archive at PHI Stoa in Santa Clarita. Our tour was led by Todd Wiener, Motion Picture Curator, and Mark Quigley, the John H. Mitchell Television Curator. Our first stop was to visit the Head of Preservation, Jillian Borders in a preservation work room. She was working on a 1936 Technicolor cartoon, The Little Stranger. In the next preservation room, the group was introduced to Jeffrey Bickel, the Senior Newsreel Preservationist, and he shared some film frames of the Hindenburg disaster. Bryce Lowe was in the final preservation room, and they spoke about the importance of preservation. The tour descended into the vault storage where we met Yesenia Perez, Junior Collections Assistant, and they described winding through nitrate and working with the Fuhs Collection of VHS tapes. While down there Todd Wiener showed the group an example of nitrate film that was showing signs of deterioration related to leader incompatibility. The group explored further into the climate-controlled nitrate vaults and Todd explained the safety precautions and equipment. The tour also met with Wallace Meek, Collections Assistant, and he shared some of the collections they were currently processing. As the group surfaced, they were introduced to Randy Yantek, Digital Media Laboratory Manager, and he shared the equipment they used for transferring format, color correcting, and editing. The tour concluded with Mark Quigley showing the television portion of the Archive and he spoke about the outsourcing of the digitization for the 2-inch film as well as the loss of irreplaceable and valuable programs due to taping over the film. It was a very impressive and memorable tour, to say the least.
San Jose State University