Movie Lab: make a film from public archives

Event has passed (Tue Apr 9, 2013 - Tue Apr 9, 2013)
The Emerald Tablet
6:30 to 8:30


Movie Lab is a five-week workshop that seeks to engage people, through theory and practice, with the film archive as a key public space of the digital world. Focusing on the publicly available collection of, the course offers the basic training needed to access and legally download the footage, as well as elementary editing skills that will allow students to create their own pieces. Student work created during the workshop will be presented to the public at a special closing event. Participation in all parts of this program is completely free of charge.


The Internet Archive (, headquartered in San Francisco, houses a collection of ephemeral and amateur films, made available to the public domain as important cultural artifacts of historical value. Anyone can access and download those films, free of charge, and use them in any way as long as the purpose is non-commercial. The films available in the Archive are an invaluable resource for developing an alternative understanding of 20th century history through publicly available moving images. In effect, these resources create a public digital space, where citizens can challenge the institutionalized vision of history that we are raised to believe from a young age.

To inspire this civic intervention in historical time, Movie Lab offers a series of educational workshops in which people will learn about the Archive and enjoy curated programs of films from its database. These short programs will open the initial session of the workshops, and serve to demonstrate the importance of these forgotten documents, especially in the attempt to challenge institutional and official historical discourses.

The workshops will include all necessary practical information and training. Students will be empowered to:

* Access and navigate the Archive and all its online databases
* Download the content
* Put together short programs with basic editing tools.

WHEN: Tuesdays, 6:30-8:30 pm. Five sessions, April 9 to May 7. Final screening: Saturday May 11, 7-9 pm.
WHERE: The Emerald Tablet, 80 Fresno Street, North Beach, San Francisco, CA 94133.
COST: Free. This University of the Commons workshop is free and open to the public.
REQUIREMENTS: Bringing a laptop is strongly encouraged, since a big part of the workshop is based on editing tutored sessions where the student will practice the skills taught previously. We cannot provide laptops for each student. However, if you don’t have your own laptop, you can still attend and we will do our best to make arrangements for you.

Please see the listed link for more information and related media.


  1. The Emerald Tablet
    80 Fresno St., San Francisco, CA

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