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Lost in Light is a videoblog about small gauge filmmaking featuring weekly posts of home movies, work by artists, articles by preservationists and film scholars, video tutorials and other film gems.




Mad Road Driving

click image to view in Flash | Quicktime

Mad Roads.

Lead us to and take us away.
Guides to our memories.
Detours in our minds.
Sharp turns.
Mad roads… Driving.

–David Howell

We’re always excited when filmmakers and videobloggers incorporate home movie footage found here at Lost in Light into their work. This week we’re especially pleased to feature this gritty and stirring work by David Howell, in collaboration with Jack Kerouac.

This video was made for National Vlog Posting Month (NaVloPoMo) 2007, a month devoted to posting an online video every day. So this was a mere one of thirty Howell created last November.

Clips featured: Idle DaysPainting with cameraShades of AlaskaUnder the new Mexican sky

Click the “REMIX ME” category on the right for a list of video posts available for reuse and remix.


click image to view in Flash | Quicktime | MPEG-2

I love this week’s film from the 1950s. A simple haircut produces tremendous drama. Our submitter, Susan S. of Louisiana, USA, sums it up best:

My Dad, Carter, is giving my brother, Stephen, his first haircut and I am sure that Mom is taking the pictures. Dad was always the one to give haircuts, bathe us, trim nails etc. I think he was way braver than mother would have been with those scissors! My brother never did like haircuts but Dad continued to be his barber until the ’60’s when he let his hair grow! I think it’s funny at the beginning of the film, that Dad thought Stephen was going to just sit in that chair with the towel around his neck and be cooperative!

Click the “MPEG-2” link above for a high-resolution version of this film, available for download and re-use under a Creative Commons copyright license through the Internet Archive.

Bootday Party

click image to view in Flash | Quicktime | MPEG-2

This week, a charming film from Susan S. from Galveston, Texas, in the 1950s. It’s all about the reactions to those boots! From Susan:

I remember having those red boots! Funny how you remember certain things! Also, I can tell from the wallpaper and a pink rose vase on the table behind me, that we are my grandparents house, Henry and Lillian Schultz, on 49th street in Galveston, Texas. Must have been my 4th birthday so it’s 1953. That is my 1st cousin, Zeb, in the bow tie, and my brother , Stephen, in the high chair. Also in the film is my very handsome Dad Carter Shirey, and my grandparents, paternal grandmother, aunt and uncle. Mother, Betty Shirey, is sitting next to me and helping me unwrap presents. I can’t think of who might be taking the pictures since the whole family is in the film! My grandparents lived in that house until I was 16 – it was built on stilts like most of the houses in Galveston after the storm of 1900.

A reminder that we’re now showing films without sound to more accurately present them in their original form. High-quality raw footage of this film and more is downloadable from the Internet Archive. Click the “MPEG-2” link above.

Sawfish and New Orleans

click image to view in Flash | Quicktime | MPEG-2

Our short hiatus ended up being a bit longer than anticipated, but Lost in Light is back in action. In this second year of the project, we are striving to present films in their original form as much possible, so we’ve decided to present silent films as silent, without our editorial addition of music, and with minimal editing on our part. We return with this wonderful film from the early 1950s U.S. Gulf Coast.Susan S., one of the children in the film, provides this background:

My parents were living around the Gulf Coast area-Galveston, Texas City, Sabine. I think that the sawfish is on the beach in Galveston. I remember my Dad telling us about the things that the fishing boats would drag up that was caught in their nets. Anytime it was something big , a crowd would be gathered around taking pictures. Once it was a huge whale that had beached itself. I am the topless brunette so it’s about 1951. Mother is the beauty getting into the car. About New Orleans, Mother doesn’t remember but I think there are some things in the film that you can’t see in New Orleans anymore – will need to do a little research!

If you have observations about parts of New Orleans depicted in this film that don’t exist anymore, please leave them in the comments. Certainly the city has changed overwhelmingly since this film was taken – makes me appreciate films like this all the more.

Interestingly, sawfish are now an endangered species and international trade is banned.

As always, a complete, high-resolution version of this film is available for download at the Internet Archive. Click “MPEG-2” above for the link.

Short hiatus

Lost in Light is on a brief hiatus as we regroup for a new year of home movies and small gauge video. We are pleased, though, to be celebrating our one year anniversary! We’ll be back soon!