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Thursday, September 9, 2010

A Hop, Skip and a Jump

Although Labor Day no longer signals the beginning of the academic school year for everyone (as many parents and reluctant students know all too well!), those of us at the at the Human Studies Film Archives who are nostalgic for longer summers would like to share this light-hearted clip from the diverse collection of films at the Human Studies Film Archives.

96.6.52 ROPE SKIPPING (1965) from the Martin Moyer Film Collection

Martin Moyer was an independent documentary filmmaker from Seattle, WA who produced more than 60 films for the educational market on subjects as diverse as geology and environmental science, Native American culture, mathematics and, like this film, physical education.

Moyer was one of the many makers of educational, travelogue and industrial training films in the 1950’s that helped to transform 16mm motion picture film from the primarily amateur format that it was before WWII into a fully professional “non-theatrical” format for use in schools, workplaces, libraries and civic auditoriums. Along with its uses in television production (most notably for news filming) the dedication and persistence of filmmakers such as Moyer to make a livelihood from 16mm film production pushed the film and equipment manufacturers to introduce more technically sophisticated 16mm film stocks, cameras and projectors. The more scholarly research filming that took place in the field of Visual Anthropology in the 1970s-80s directly benefited from the many innovations in 16mm film production due to these popular uses of the medium developed in the 1950s-60s. In a certain sense, the films of Martin Moyer can be viewed as part of the film pre-history of the large body of 16mm motion picture film documentation created by the Smithsonian Institution under the program established in 1974 as the National Anthropological Film Center.

The Human Studies Film Archives would like to wish a great fall semester to students of all ages returning to the classroom this month.

Mark White, Human Studies Film Archives

1 comment:

  1. Mark, this is a fantastic clip! I love the music. Swing-Step Forward is my favorite basic move shown here. Takes me back to elementary school, jumping/skipping rope solo and doing double-dutch!