The Hard-to-Find Mormon Videos channel is going to recover some actually lost films!
Hey guys! I want to digitize a hugely influential Mormon film that has not been easily available for nearly a half-century! The film is now public domain (I think, there might be some issues with the musical soundtrack: copyright is complicated) so the result of this is a film that anyone can use and re-use however they want! However, it's too expensive to accomplish quickly. If you want to help things get done faster please get in touch with me personally or you can also follow the link at the end of this post for other options.
Who I Am
The “Hard-to-Find Mormon Video” YouTube channel has helped to bring to light a lot of videos that have been lost over the years. A video from the channel tends to get shared every week or so around the Internet as someone finds another diamond/coprolite in the rough (which makes me happy every time). The project really has turned into a (wait for it!) labor of love to me! (commence vomiting now for use of that phrase)
So far the project has centered almost entirely around old VHS videocassettes from assorted ward libraries and eBay (a lot of eBay wins). I've recently begun scanning in old filmstrips, but it turns out that a ton of libraries have either films or audio tapes for these presentations but often not both, so that's been slow going as I try to match inventories from various buildings
But that's not the exciting news...
I Have Some Actually Lost Videos!
I now have about 6 reels of 16mm films to be digitized (and more in the future whenever I can find them). Some of them I already have versions on the channel, so I'm not too interested in digitizing them (yet). Still, the fact that 16mm film is very high resolution (it's actually akin to 2K resolution!) might mean that it'd be fun to get better versions of these existing films online (“The Three Witnesses”, “Families are Forever”, and the short version of “Windows of Heaven” re-edited in 1979).
Included in this new collection I've started are:
- Meet the Mormons (1973) – A famous interview collection with worldwide Latter-day Saints, though not really that impressive of a concept in 1973, let alone over forty years later when the Church made another film of the same name and style that everyone seemed think was somehow groundbreaking. There are a lot of people who have been clamoring for me to get this video and I'm happy that I can (hopefully) oblige!
- You Make the Difference (1974) – Some Mormon kids would rather watch X-rated films than study their Seminary coursework. Oh noes!
and then there's the grand item I've called your attention to today:
Windows of Heaven (1963 The Original Version)!
That's right, I have the original version! I go into its significance on the crowdfunding page, but the long and short of it is that this film is famous both for popularizing an enduring-though-fabricated LDS tithing miracle as well as helping in no small part in resolving a budgetary crisis for the LDS Church through increasing tithing awareness and payment. It's something of a big deal, and I can't wait to put it up on the YouTube Channel and elsewhere so it never gets lost again!
Why I Need Your Help
But it turns out that it is way more expensive to do this than I had previously anticipated: painfully expensive.
So I'm reaching out to the wider community for some help. Obviously, I'll just save up on my own budget if this doesn't work, but everyone who helps cuts down the wait time on this as it means that much less for me to wait to amass in my monthly budget.
My aim is high, but that is two-fold: first I'm aiming for the stars and will be satisfied if I hit the moon instead. Two grand will get us nearly the highest quality version of this old and damaged film possible. Less than that will still get us a version, but perhaps without as much post-processing and cleanup. And if I can get even more than that I will be applying that extra cash towards those other film reels I currently have and will continue to get in the future.
I will be 100% open and upfront with how I use any assistance. It will never be spent on anything but further preservation options and I will always post opening both on the YouTube channel and here and elsewhere what I am spending it on.
Anyone can help immensely by sharing the crowdfunding link on Facebook and other places. The more people who see it the easier and faster this will be.
Be Part of Recovering History!
Let's bring this old film back. I'm sure it's a terrible movie so I'm very much looking forward to what is done with it by others. My hope? I want a full MST3K by some group, and I want an expert like Mithryn or Daymon Smith to create a version with voice-overs and short tangents about the history of Lorenzo Snow and tithing and about the rise of Correlation (all subjects that intersect in this film). But human inventiveness and imagination is pretty amazing; who knows how it could be used!
Thank you guys!