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Wednesday, April 14 • 10:25am - 10:50am
Synanon on Film: Unraveling the Outtakes of a California Community

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Beginning as an innovative rehabilitation group in Southern California in the 1950s, the Synanon Foundation steadily grew into a major alternative lifestyle community with locations nationwide and membership in the thousands. After declaring themselves a religion in the 1970s, the organization eventually closed following a series of incidents, including the founder pleading no contest to conspiracy to commit murder. “Synanon on Film” will cover research into Synanon’s history and internal filmmaking practice as part of processing and inspecting the film collection at UCLA Library Special Collections. The collection includes many unassembled outtake rolls that present a challenge to match with finished films for preservation and management. By discussing the Synanon films as a case study, this presentation will demonstrate an approach to preserving a complex and controversial film collection, including organization, repair, digitization, and respecting donors’ privacy policies.

avatar for Brian Belak

Brian Belak

Video Archivist, USC Digital Repository
I'm an archivist currently working on audiovisual preservation for the USC Libraries Digital Repository. I hold an MLIS from UCLA and have recently worked with film & media for UCLA Library, Al Larvick Conservation Fund, and Home Movie Day. Previously I was Collections Manager and... Read More →

Wednesday April 14, 2021 10:25am - 10:50am PDT
Stage A