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August 1, 2010

Skydiving and a College Film, as Part of the Great Scan Initiative

As part of the elimination of my paper life, I've been scanning lots of photos over the last year. But there are some old VHS tapes that have been sitting under my bed for over a decade. I do still have a VHS player, but it hasn't been used in a long time. I gave up all my commercial VHS tapes last spring in a donation to Goodwill, but hung on to the sentimental homemade ones.

This week I finally figured out how to digitize and post a few of them! I'm so excited to be getting this project done. A friend with a digital video camera ran the VHS tapes through his machine and recorded onto the camera. We imported the footage into my Mac, and I had to watch some tutorials to learn how to use iMovie. I edited, and was able to post to YouTube, and to the blog! The conversions aren't great, so I'm not sure I'll be getting rid of the original footage quite yet, but at least I can now share these projects for the first time in a long time.

This first tape is my skydiving video. On August 4, 1993 I went to celebrate my 18th birthday. I'd had this on my "bucket list," so I'm proud to have done it, but once was enough. I did a full somersault in the air before pulling the rip cord, and you can see it on the video. It's done at Utah Sky Ranch in Salt Lake City. I've searched online for the dive school and the guys in the video, and it looks like this business is no longer around. They were great guys and very safety conscious. I was surprised though at the little private plane. You weren't going that fast, it was tiny--it really felt like riding in a car. Until they opened the door and pushed you out.

The next three minute short is a project I made for a film class at the University of Utah in 1994. I donated my time in college as a tutor for Literacy Volunteers of America. My first student was Anna Atwood. She was learning to read at 59 years old. She had grown up in the area, and had grandchildren she tried to hide it from. What amazed me was that Anna had graduated from high school. Michelle Huff & Sheridan Sullivan were fellow tutors working with Anna who are in the video. When I had to make a documentary film, Anna was a natural choice. She's so inspiring to me still. LVA is still around as a nonprofit, though they've merged with another organization in the years since.

Thanks for letting me share these sentimental projects with you! What have you done with all your home movies? Have you converted any to digital yourself, or paid to have it done? Leave a comment on the blog with your storage solutions.

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