A Longer Drive

These films were taken, fully or in part, in destinations at least a four-hour drive from Palm Springs, California. The captions in [brackets], whenever possible, include labels from the original item in “quotation marks.” We add estimated dates and other details. For best viewing experience, choose the 720p or higher setting on the player.

#36. [“Las Vegas Daytime,” — and nighttime. 1970s.] Super 8mm. Color. Stars with some nice nighttime neon shots on Fremont Street too.
#121. [“Mesa Verde National Park, Colorado, Cliff Palace,” 1970s.] Super 8mm. Color. Description forthcoming.
#79. [“Solvang, CA/Calif. Vacation,” ca. late 1960s.] 8mm. Color. Description forthcoming.
#55. [“Arizona,” ca. 1960s.] 8mm. Color. This filmmaker experiments a lot with the camera’s zoom function. Description forthcoming.
#209. [“San Francisco with Myrna, 1964.”] 8mm. Color. Includes wonderful opening and closing titles and great images of San Francisco.
#301. [“Black Hills, Mt. Rushmore, Train ’69, Buffalo, Mountains,” 1950s.] 8mm. Color. South Dakota: Black Hills vistas, amazing shots of fog in the valley and mountains, field of flowers, beautiful shots of an artist at his easel painting the scenery, buffaloes and elk, fog, Lookout Amphitheater in Spearfish, the Black Hills Central ‘Klondike Casey’ Locomotive #69 pulling out, a beautiful gorge, Mt. Rushmore.
#306. “Etna, Menlo, Noyo – Charlotte Party,” 1930s.] These are probably Etna and Menlo Park, California, as well as Noyo Headlands Park, also in California. Description forthcoming.
#358. [Tourists Visit Pueblo of Laguna, Film Community, San Jose de la Laguna church, ca. 1960s.] 8mm. Color. Inhabitants of Pueblo of Laguna (Mesita, Laguna, Paguate, Paraje, Encinal and/or Seama?) going about their business, San Jose de la Laguna church, landscape, etc.
#356. [Monument Valley, Young/Teenage Diné/Navajo Woman Visits on Horse, ca. late 1960s.] Super 8mm. Color. Monument Valley and Gray Whiskers Butte, practicing zoom function, young Diné girl rides by the parking lot, poses on horse.
#300. [“SF,” 1950s.] 8mm. Color. Group posing yard, aboard a fishing boat and hauling in a huge catch (swordfish?), demonstration of an old-fashioned diving suit in a tank, harbor shots, piers, Coit Tower, cable car turning around outside what is now the Cable Car Museum and again down at Powell.
#257. [The Grand Canyon In Color, Driving Through Mountains (Around Flagstaff?), Dancers at At Hopi House., ca. 1950s.] 8mm. Color. Description forthcoming.
#190. [Yosemite, In-camera Edits, Zooms, ca. 1960s.] 8mm. Color. Description forthcoming.
#220. [“Las Vegas,” ca. 1962.] Beautiful shots of Fremont Street-era neon signs at night.
#354. [“Calif. Trip,” n.d.] 8mm. Color. Description forthcoming.
#363. [Group At Hoover Dam, Down Colorado River, ca. 1941.] Group of travelers at the Hoover Dam admiring deco winged bronzes and base which reads, “It is fitting that the flag of our country should fly here in honor of those men who, inspired by a vision of lonely lands made fruitful, conceived this great work and of those others whose genius and labor made that vision a reality.” Then the group has an open-air sit-down and one sketches another, then they spend an afternoon on a speedboat on the Colorado River near the dam.
#364. [San Luis Obispo, CA, Camp San Luis Obispo/Camp Merriam, Avila Beach, ca. 1950-1953.] 8mm. Color. Description forthcoming.
DR#1. [“Len AIDS benefit, Castro Street Fair, 1990” + House Party, Fulton Street and San Francisco Apartment.] VHS. Color. Sound. 18+ In this video, David Root captured a house party, and the 1990 Castro Street Fair in San Francisco, CA on October 7th — including a USO drag performance for AIDS charity by his friend Len. He then walks around Folsom Street, and returns to relax in a San Francisco apartment. You can catch a glimpse of Root at 01:28:00 in the reflection of a car’s rear window.

[Note: Why no full nudity is depicted, there is still partial on occasion, and so it may not be ideal for viewing at work. (We suppose that depends on where you work!)] To learn more about David Root, see also DR#2 and DR#5 under “Publications & Resources.” See Root’s other videos too: DR#15 under “Holidays, Special Events, Parties, & Weird Stuff,” and others on this page.
DR#3. [“Letter from California, March 1980.”] VHS. Color. Sound. In this video, David Root, sometimes accompanied by his friend or boyfriend John, shows his family around his new home and property in Concord, CA, in this lovely video letter to folks back home.

Around 28:30, Root and John show us what he’s shooting the video with – a portable Quasar VH5200RQ video cassette recorder and mic (powered by a car battery they carry around with). Sadly, we could not find any tapes he claims he was going to shoot “next week” in Los Angeles and Palm Springs. Root did end up moving here though in about 2000.

What also makes this video particularly fun is at about 01:41:57 Root addresses his family’s inquiry about how they might view their old 8mm home movies. He discusses the various options — one being he could bring his video camera when he next visits and they could project them on the wall and chat about them while he records the conversation. See DR#2 for when they did just that, and to learn more about Root, on the “Publications & Resources” page. On that same page, DR#5 is another example, but Root alone narrates his own home movies shot after he left home. To learn more about David Root, see also DR#2 and DR#5 under “Publications & Resources.” See Root’s other videos too: DR#15 under “Holidays, Special Events, Parties, & Weird Stuff,” and others on this page.

DR#6. [“Gold Country Trip, 05/05/1984.”] VHS. Color. Sound. In this video, David Root and a friend or boyfriend go on a road trip through California’s “Gold Country” where they head towards Tracy, Merced Falls, Mariposa City, a historical trading post in Stanislaus Country, and more. This is followed by another video letter for friends and family: his cats and a tour of his yard and changes he’s making to his home, a demonstration of puppets he made (Root’s parents were puppeteers), friends or family in the pool and hanging out, and more. You can see David Root behind the camera throughout at 01:14:16.
[Note: We blurred a few seconds of full-frontal nudity —shot during a private, silly, moment between two consenting adults — so we could share this entire fun video.] To learn more about David Root, see also DR#2 and DR#5 under “Publications & Resources.” See Root’s other videos too: DR#15 under “Holidays, Special Events, Parties, & Weird Stuff,” and others on this page.
DR#8. [“David 1985, Hawaii, etc.” Edited by DF.] VHS. Color. Sound. This video is a great example of David Root’s familiarity with his video camera (a Quasar…), especially his understanding of its built-in title maker and other graphics settings. Root and friends go to a square dance retreat in Casadero, CA, Lake Tahoe, Yosemite, a “Motorcycle Campout”, a Castro Valley teachers’ union protest, and Hawaii. At the very end, he splices in off-air television clips of commercials, of a CA lottery winner who’s awarded 2 million. [Note: For the sake of the students’ privacy, we have edited out footage of a Halloween celebration Root recorded at what looks like a juvenile treatment or detention center for girls where he taught.] To learn more about David Root, see also DR#2 and DR#5 under “Publications & Resources.” See Root’s other videos too: DR#15 under “Holidays, Special Events, Parties, & Weird Stuff,” and others on this page.
#339. [Neighborhood (Possibly University Grounds?) Stroll, post-1956.] 8mm. Color. Unidentifiable neighborhood scenes (looks like central or northern California), a cow nurturing a calf, and brief landscape scene from the perspective of a driving car. [Digitized and partially described by UCLA grad students in IS289-3 “Special Issues in Information Studies: Motion Picture Film Preservation” course, Fall 2022. See notes about the collaboration on the “Events and News” page.]
#344. [Summer Road Trip, 1952] 16mm. Color. Silent. Road trip (with GREAT hand-drawn titles!) footage includes the Grand Canyon (South Rim and North Rim), Zion, and Hoover Dam. Mostly landscape shots, POV shots from the car, and Diné/Navajo dancers (and perhaps dancers from another nearby tribe) perform somewhere along the way. [Donated by Beth Campbell, whose father, Donald “Ramsay” Lawson, was the amateur enthusiast who shot the films. Digitized and partially described by UCLA grad students in IS289-3 “Special Issues in Information Studies: Motion Picture Film Preservation” course, Fall 2022. There are some washed out areas, but overall they did a great job! See notes about the collaboration and the donor on the “Events and News” page.]
#343. [Sequoia National Park, Kings Canyon, Yosemite, 1960.] 16mm. Color. 1960. Sequoia and Kings Canyon 1960 title card; Buck Rock lookout sign; sky through trees; mountain views; looking down a mountain at an old truck; people on a bridge or ladder setting something up on a rocky mountain; a river; people camping; looking up at rocky mountains; Yosemite title card; looking at the famous rock faces; waterfalls; trees; two deer in an open field; camping; more views of famous rock faces; views from a platform with horizontal wire railings; bonfire set up on a platform; fire at night – presumably the famous Yosemite Firefall; trees and blue skies; framed views of El Capitan through trees. [Donated by Beth Campbell, whose father, Donald “Ramsay” Lawson, was the amateur enthusiast who shot the films. Digitized and partially described by UCLA grad students in IS289-3 “Special Issues in Information Studies: Motion Picture Film Preservation” course, Fall 2022. There are some washed out areas, but overall they did a great job! See notes about the collaboration and the donor on the “Events and News” page.]

Coming Attractions

Below is a list of films we will be digitizing in the coming months.

  • Keep an eye on this space!

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