Second Annual Oregon

Film History Conference

May 13, 2016

In 2016, Oregon Movies, A to Z (a sub-project of the OCI) presented the second annual one day Oregon film history conference. By invitation only, the “invitational” was designed to showcase the complexity and diversity of Oregon film history. It was intended for educators, historians, and museum professionals, filmmakers, archivists, preservationists, writers, and  urban planners.

Click here for the archived original document as pdf.

One of the invited guests was Robert Laurance Zurcher, the former president of TekniFilm Labs (read about the significance of this company in Oregon film history here). An archived copy of the invitation letter is available here.

As event space, OCI used a room at The Little Church, located at 5138 NE 23rd Avenue in the Alberta district in Portland, Oregon, envisioning an audience of 60 guests (see the archived document here).

The speakers and their topics

  • Larry Telles/ Ranch Girl On A Rampage: Helen Gibson, Hollywood’s first professional stuntwoman, visits the 1913 Pendleton Round Up. Writer, producer and film historian, Larry is one of the founding members of the Niles Essanay Silent Film Museum in Niles, California. He is the author of Helen Gibson: Silent Serial Queen, and serves on the board of Film Alliance Northwest.
  • Dennis Nyback/ Portland’s Film Row: Hollywood’s distribution infrastructure on NW 19th maintained an analog media empire. Dennis Nyback‘s first theater, the Rosebud Movie Palace, opened in 1979. By 1995, he was showing rare 16mm films from his personal collection in museums, schools, festivals, and micro cinemas around the world. Master projectionist, film archivist and historian, he is co-founder of Oregon Cartoon Institute.
  • Libby Burke, librarian & archivist/ Citizen Kahn: the BPA filmmaking of Stephen B. Kahn. Woody Guthrie recorded “Roll On, Columbia, Roll On” for the first time in NE Portland, just blocks from where Libby Burke supervised the restoration of the Stephen B. Kahn film (“The Columbia”) for which it was commissioned. Libby Burke, MLIS, CA, came to the Bonneville Power Administration Library from the Lyman Museum and Mission House in Hilo, Hawai’i, where she participated in the pilot project for “’Ulu’ulu: The Henry Ku’ualoha Giugni Moving Image Archive of Hawai’i.”
  • Harry Dawson/ My decades long collaboration with artist Bill Viola. Harry Dawson attended the Pacific Northwest’s first film school, the Center For The Moving Image at PSU (1969-1982). His credits as director and cinematographer includeNational Geographic Explorer, The Guggenheim, NBC, Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Paris Opera, National Cowgirl Museum and Hall of Fame, Leverage, MOMA, Discovery Channel, The Whitney, The Plains Indian Museum, TNT, The Getty Villa, Tate Modern, PBS,Grimm, National Portrait Gallery,Twilight.From McMinnville.
  • Richard Blue/ An update on the international search for the lost negative of James Blue’s THE OLIVE TREES OF JUSTICE (1962). Like his older brother James Blue (1930-1980), Richard spent much of his life in working outside the USA. He worked in Eqypt, India and Bangkok, first as a political scientist for USAID and later as an officer for the US Foreign Service, retiring as Senior Foreign Service Minister Counselor. He founded the James Blue Alliance in 2013. James Blue, Oregon’s first Oscar nominated director, made films in India, Africa, and South America. A member of the founding faculty of AFI, James Blue was the founding director of Rice Media Center in Houston. Both Blues graduated from Jefferson High School.
  • Mike Richardson/ My transition from publisher to producer with DR. GIGGLES in 1992. Graduating from PSU with a degree in art, Mike Richardson always knew he wanted to make movies. He founded Dark Horse Comics in 1986, and in 1992 made the move from the page to the screen by co-producing a low budget thriller, DR GIGGLES, in Portland. Dark Horse Comics was now Dark Horse Entertainment. In 1995, he executive produced THE MASK, starring Jim Carrey and Cameron Diaz, based on characters he had created in 1985. A steady stream of comics, films, comics based on films, and films based on comics, followed. In 2004, HELLBOY put him on Hollywood’s A list.

“Heroes are not giant statues framed against a red sky. They are people who say; This is my community, and it’s my responsibility to make it better.” 

Tom McCall