The current condition of Hawaiian film and moving image heritage is in a precarious state. Until recently, there was no institution that focused its effort on preserving moving image materials. With each new paradigm shift in media communication and technology, older formats are neglected, destroyed, or discarded. In the transition from film to videotape, a large amount of early Hawai’i film was neglected. Coupled with the tropical environment of high temperatures and humidity, the overwhelming majority of film materials have been lost. What is left is of paramount importance to preserve.
Similarly, despite the abundance of visitor and vacationers, who undoubtedly have snapped, filmed, and recorded the beautiful beaches and geography of these majestic islands, the Hawaiian voice and people’s history were traditionally overlooked or ignored. The filmmaker Esther Figueroa notes that Hawaiian (and Pacific Islands' in general) culture and traditions are as fragile as the ecological environments found on these islands… that they are “one of the most fragile cultures in the world”. As such, a systematic, well planned and executed archive whose mission is to preserve Hawaiian moving image and media heritage was needed to keep these traditions and voices alive.
This notion was not lost on Heather Giugni, a Hawaiian filmmaker who saw her own work and that of her colleagues disappearing. When an opportunity came to honor her late father she jumped at the chance of creating an archive in his name to care for Hawaii’s rich moving image heritage. She was able to secure funding for the first phase of the project and Chris Lee, Hollywood producer and founder of the Academy for Creative Media at the University of Hawaii, was able to secure a home for the project at the University.
In the spring of 2009, I had the good fortune of being selected to consult on the new archive project in Hawaii, and to work with some very amazing, passionate, and incredible people. The report I produced was to be used as a blueprint for the establishment of a new moving image archive program. It is divided into three main parts (and can be found on the Henry Ku’ualoha Digital Archive website.
Part 1 – Describes the current status of audiovisual materials in Hawai’i. The section provides an overview of past practices and efforts of preservation. Part 2 ‐ outlines the considerations of starting and operating a moving image archive and an exploration into fundamental preservation issues. Part 3 – Describes important recommendations and implementations necessary for the creation of the Archive. The section offers archival systems and procedural suggestions, policies and procedures and estimated budgets.
Later that the year, I joined the HKG Digital Archive project for a 8-month period that initiated Phase 2 – a pilot project that would work with local media sources to preserve and put a collection online. The brutal winter this year in Boston made me wonder if I was mad to have left the Project. And while Phase 2 it is yet to be completed, there have been many accomplishments to be celebrated and concrete steps take to solidify the Archive and bring it to fruition.
In : Archives
Tags: hawaii archives "hkg archive" preservation film "moving image" "giugni"