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November 1, 2005 > Documenting America

Documenting America

by Robert Hanley

Ted Nguyen, owner of Ted's Video Services in Fremont has joined with Producer Director Robert Hanley, owner of Home Video Studios, Inc., the nation's largest chain of home video studios, to collect and archive America's home movies to preserve a part of American history that is literally fading away. According to Hanley, "Because of the popularity of Sunday night's America's Funniest Videos, people think of home movies as capturing an unusual, funny events on tape or film. But home movies are so much more than that. People have been filming home movies since the 1920s - there are millions of feet of film (8mm, Super 8mm and 16mm) and we and our 80 home video studios around the country, are collecting footage to create a feature length documentary to capture America through the eyes of home movies."

Hanley adds, "What I've seen over the past 21 years of transferring film is fabulous -- hundreds of thousands of home movies showing America at its most basic, personal and human level. I've watched America unfold before my eyes - the backyard barbeques, Model T-s rolling down dirt roads, small town fish fries, New York City in the '40s, families at the beach, dance recitals, baby's first steps - a different view of history that provides insight into the American spirit. Our goal is to combine this into what I call The Great American Home Movie Project."

The Great American Home Movie Project will span more than half a century and will give viewers the feeling of traveling through time watching everyday people in natural settings. Hanley believes his Great American Home Movie Project is the first documentary of its kind. "It's truly unique because anyone who has home movies can participate and possibly become part of a motion picture," says Hanley.

If you'd like your home movies to be a part of GAHMP, please email Ted Nguyen at or call him at 510-796-2200 for details.

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