Amateur Night: Home Movies from American Archives

Welcome San Francisco Movie Makers

Welcome San Francisco Movie Makers [excerpt] by Dr. Frank S. Zach

Courtesy of the San Francisco Media Archive,

16mm, b&w, sound, 1960

Welcome San Francisco Movie Makers opens with a montage of classic San Francisco sights, setting the backdrop for the first meeting of the San Francisco Movie Makers Club. After an introduction of the club’s members and its activities, filmmaker Dr. Frank S. Zach, along with his wife Helga, proceeds to demonstrate the proper use of 8mm and 16mm cameras and film sound recording techniques. Shot, scripted, edited, hand titled and over dubbed with music by Dr. Zach, this film seeks to encourage, teach, and recruit image makers. San Francisco Movie Makers was just one of plethora of amateur film clubs that sprang up between the 1920s and 1960s, giving amateur movie makers a place to meet to watch films, share technical tips, critique each others efforts, and make films together

The San Francisco Media Archive is a non-profit institution dedicated to acquiring, preserving, and making available film and related material to historians, researchers, image makers, and the general public. The archive is composed of thousands of films, videotapes, filmstrips and other materials including important historical and contemporary documentaries, educational films designed to inform, feature films produced for entertainment, independent and avant garde films by cinematic visionaries, industrial sponsored films showcasing manufacturing and business, television and news films including newsreels, television news films, amateur films including home movies, cine clubs and community based films, promotional advertisements, and outtakes from collections around the world.

View the complete version of Welcome San Francisco Movie Makers at the National Film Preservation Foundation’s website.