How did you first hear about BAVC Media?
I heard about BAVC Media from the documentary filmmaker Sam Green who is doing preservation work with BAVC Media for the estate of Sarah Jacobson.
Tell us your BAVC Media story.
I’m working on a new documentary about a woman named Marion Stokes, who recorded television 24 hours a day for 30 years to create an unprecedented archive of television. Marion had 40,000 tapes which are now being cared for by the Internet Archive. As part of my film I’m digitizing a small selection of these Betacam and VHS tapes from key dates in history. It’s fortuitous that BAVC Media and the Internet Archive are both in San Francisco. We were able to bring tapes over, and BAVC Media’s incredible staff works with us on this unconventional endeavor with the utmost care. For analog media there’s no easy fix, you have to digitize tapes in real time. And most of Marion’s tapes are extended play, often with 8 hour runtimes! An incredibly dedicated preservationist monitors the tapes, assuring the cleanest and highest fidelity transfers possible. When I received a drive with these transfers back in New York I was astounded by the quality. I feel so grateful to be working with a team of preservationists who care about this kind of obsolete media, and who understand and believe in the mission of my project. I look forward to continuing to work with BAVC Media on the Marion Stokes project and many more films in the future.
Why do you think others should get involved at BAVC Media?
BAVC Media has the tools to preserve history. We are inundated with so much media in the present, but it’s critical that we look to the past to better understand where we’re at today. BAVC Media’s programming is helping people reimagine the media now and to preserve delicate media from the past, and all of this is a great investment in our futures.
Check out Matt’s films.