Texas Film Round-Up Focuses on Digital Video This March
The Texas Film Commission and the Texas Archive of the Moving Image (TAMI) ask Texans to re-discover their favorite Texas-related videos from their smartphones, computers and hard drives and to share those videos during the award-winning Texas Film Round-Up’s first digital event. Starting March 1 through March 31, Texans and others with Texas-related videos can answer the call to “Show Us Your Texas” by visiting TexasArchive.org/Digital to contribute a digital video file telling the story of themselves, their family or their community to the project. The Texas Film Round-Up, which has focused on physical film and videotape in past years, is shifting its focus to digital video during this special event aimed at capturing more recent moving images that document or demonstrate places, traditions, events or other Texas topics.
Over the last 12 years, the Round-Up has focused on quickly obsolescing film and videotape formats, resulting in the conversion of more than 50,000 films and videotape to digital video files. A curated collection of more than 5,000 of those videos is available to watch at TexasArchive.org, but less than 200 of those date from the last 20 years. With the Digital Round-Up, the organization hopes to increase its coverage of the last 20 years while opening the program up to a more diverse audience.
“Not everyone had a film or video camera, but approximately 96 percent of Americans have a smartphone,” said Managing Director Elizabeth Hansen. “I encourage Texas to open up their phones, take a look at their videos, and send us that one video that sums up their Texas experience. It could be a video of a festival, a family tradition, a sporting event, a short film or a commercial for your business. With the idea that ‘lots of copies keep things safe,’ share a copy with TAMI so we can help to make sure those files exist for as long as possible while also bringing those videos into a larger conversation about Texas history and culture.”
With a call to “Show Us Your Texas,” the organization is leaving it open to participants to decide what to contribute, but will be providing examples and prompts over the organization’s Facebook and Twitter during the month of March. From the contributions, materials will be incorporated into TAMI’s collection in a number of ways: video posts, edited videos, educational resources and more.
“We are excited to co-present ‘Show Us Your Texas’ with TAMI,” said the TFC Director, Stephanie Whallon. “The evolution of personal devices in recent years has made it easier than ever for Texans to capture meaningful moments, and we can’t wait to see what recent memories can now be preserved in the archival library of Texas history and culture.”
The Texas Film Round-Up is a preservation program presented by the Texas Archive of the Moving Image (TAMI) and the Office of the Governor's Texas Film Commission (TFC). Since 2008, thousands of residents, businesses and cultural institutions have participated in the Film Round-Up. The program has resulted in the digitization of more than 50,000 films and videotapes, dating as far back as 1910 and spanning through the decades of media technology. A curated collection of more than 5,000 videos is available at TexasArchive.org. This online video-sharing platform welcomes the public to watch, explore and learn about Texas history and culture. It also includes free lesson plans to assist educators in using the videos as primary and secondary source materials for teaching Texas and US History. The award-winning program has been honored by the Texas Digital Library and the American Association for State and Local History.