Category: TRI Fellowship

Undergraduate Fellow Studies Historical Film Medium

Undergraduate Fellow Studies Historical Film Medium

By Cecelia Bellomy

When I ask Jayce Fryman, current Special Collections Undergraduate Research Fellow, to see the film for the 9.5 mm projector he is studying, he opens the box with sudden excitement. He unravels a bit of a slender roll of film where I see several successive black-and-white frames of a towheaded boy squinting into the sun stationed in front of a large, gnarled tree. Jayce seems to be easy going by nature, but it is easy to see his passion for the work he is doing.

Jayce Fryman with Baby Pathé Projector

Jayce Fryman with Baby Pathé Projector

 

Fryman, a rising junior, is studying The Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute’s Baby Pathé Projector. The Baby Pathé reads 9.5 mm. film and was one of the first at-home video apparatuses, a French machine which, surprisingly, “encroached” on the American film market. The projector is a new acquisition for the TRI which has found a home in the Magical Lantern and Optical Entertainments Collection.

The Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute’s Baby Pathé Projector

The Lawrence and Lee Theatre Research Institute’s Baby Pathé Projector

 

Jayce, a film studies major himself, indulges my ignorance of all things film history with grace: the art of 9.5 millimeter film “didn’t last terribly long,” he says, but it “was popular for a short time” from the mid-twenties to late-thirties before being overtaken by the 8 millimeter format. 9.5 mm. can be distinguished by its central sprocket holes, or holes in the middle of the strip at the bottom of each frame which, according to Jayce, creates a “much better image” than 8 mm. He hopes to get one of the TRI’s two Baby Pathé projectors working while he is studying at the TRI. He tells me a part has been ordered to try to restore the machine.

When I asked Jayce what was the most surprising thing he has learned so far, besides more knowledge of the medium, he reports that the projector was acquired by the TRI from the West End Lyric Theatre in St. Louis, where it was owned by the Skouras brothers, one of whom, Spyros, would become the president of 20th Century Fox. Jayce is clearly a bit awestruck by the history of the objects he is studying.

It is important to Fryman, as an undergraduate, to get “exposure” to research “as early as possible” since he hopes to teach and do research in the future. In the upcoming months, he reports that he will be doing research on the niche genre he calls “horror musical films.” He says he wants to know why some genre mashups are successful and others aren’t. It is a similar drive that pushes Jayce forward in his TRI research. The 9.5 medium had blown over in America by the beginning of the 1940s but survived in Europe into the 1960s, and Jayce hopes to find out why this style of film was so short-lived in the United States.

WELCOME TO BIANCA SAMS

TRI’s newest research fellowship candidate:

TRI fellowship candidate Bianca Sams

TRI fellowship candidate Bianca Sams

Biography:

 

Bianca Sams is an Actor/Writer/Producer hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area. She is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School, where she earned the distinction of being Tisch’s first ever Triple Major (Acting, Dramatic Writing, Africana Studies). At NYU she studied acting through the Strasberg Film Institute and Royal Academy Dramatic Arts (RADA) London, England. Her work has been seen at Karamu House, Cleveland Public Theater, Old Vic Theater London and Public Theater in New York. She has performed as an actor at Cleveland Public Theater, Florida Studio Theater, Old Vic London, Public Theater NY, and can be seen on film in RENT directed by Chris Columbus. She is a full member of the Old Vic New Voices Network New York under Artistic Director Kevin Spacey. She has produced several ten minute play festivals in New York and Los Angeles, and is moving into full length off broadway theater. She is currently pursuing her MFA in Playwrighting at Ohio University with Charles Smith and Erik Ramsey.

 

Awards and honors include the Kennedy Center American College Theater Festival Awards Lorraine Hansberry (2nd place) and Rosa Parks Award (2nd place) (2013), Kennedy Center/Eugene O’Neill New Play Conference fellow(2013), Jane Chambers Student Playwright Award/Athe (2nd Place) (2013), Ohio University Student Enhancement Award (2013), TRI Research Fellowship at Ohio State University (2013). For more information and samples of her work please go to www.biancasams.com or check out her food blog at www.fingerlickinkitchen.com

 

 

“Oh What Horrors! What Delights!”

 

Three Centuries of Making Mischief with the Magic Lantern

Dr. Mervyn Heard

Introducing Dr. Heard

Introducing Dr. Heard

Theatre Research Institute

Fellowship Lecture

Monday, April 22, 4:00 p.m.

Bowen Theatre

Drake Performance and Event Center

 

Magic lantern

Magic lantern image

The event is free and open to the public

Dr. Mervyn Heard is an arts professional with a broad interest in theatre practice and all aspects of the history of popular entertainment and cross-form visual media. For the last thirty years he has held a particular fascination for the magic lantern and its use within the context of live performance. He lectures and publishes on the history of the magic lantern and has served as a consultant on several television and motion picture productions, including Mysteries of Magic (1996) for the Discovery Channel and Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow (1999). Dr. Heard stages magic lantern entertainments and has performed in galleries, theatres, cinema venues and at festivals throughout Europe, in the USA, Canada, Australia and Japan.

 

Professor Mervyn Heard's Magic Lantern Show

Professor Mervyn Heard’s Magic Lantern Show

 

Welcoming Dr. Mervyn Heard, 2012-2013 TRI Fellowship Recipient

Introducing Dr. Mervyn Heard, our 2012-2013 TRI Fellowship Recipient

Introducing Dr. Heard

Introducing Dr. Heard

Dr. Mervyn Heard is an arts professional with a broad interest in theatre practice and all aspects of the history of popular entertainment and cross-form visual media. He holds a PhD in Drama from the University of Exeter. For the last thirty years he has held a particular fascination for the magic lantern and its use within the context of live performance. Dr. Heard lectures and publishes on the history of the magic lantern and has served as a consultant on several television and motion picture productions, including Mysteries of Magic (1996) for the Discovery Channel and Time Burton’s Sleepy Hollow (1999). He is the author of numerous essays and monographs, including Phantasmagoria: The Secret Life of the Magic Lantern (Hastings: The Projection Box, 2006). Dr. Heard served as the Chairman of the Magic Lantern Society from 2006 to 2011. In addition to writing and publishing on the magic lantern, Dr. Heard also stages magic lantern entertainments and has performed in galleries, theatres, cinema venues and at festivals throughout Europe, in the USA, Canada, Australia and Japan. Dr. Heard has received the TRI Visiting Research Fellowship for 2012-2013. He will be on campus from April 3rd through April 31st working with the TRI’s Joel Rubin Collection.

 

Professor Mervyn Heard's Magic Lantern Show

Professor Mervyn Heard’s Magic Lantern Show

Here is a link to his web site http://www.heard.supanet.com/