NEW LOCATION? I decided to move Preservation Insanity (man, do I regret that name now) here from its previous location for various reasons, and fix it up a bit. All previous posts are intact. If you’ve bookmarked or listed the site on your site, please do update the address (and thanks for your support!) The following is just background/contextual information for new/masochistic visitors.
FIRST TIME HERE? For those who haven’t been here before, this site is basically an ongoing collection of material usually pertaining to the conservation and preservation/restoration of experimental films. Other stuff will creep in from time to time, but that’s the primary focus. My name is Mark Toscano, I’m based in Los Angeles, and have been a film preservationist specializing in experimental films since 2003, prior to which I worked at Canyon Cinema for three years, so I’ve been pretty deeply immersed in this work for quite a while now. I love what I do, and I also love sharing information, discoveries, filmic anomalies, and whatever arcane empirical knowledge I’ve picked up by doing this work, so thanks very much for your interest in this site.
HOW DOES IT WORK? Its primary structure is that of a blog, since that’s the easiest way to share the combination of text and images that my posts tend to comprise. At some point I’d like to add a few other features that I’ve been mulling, such as a guide to historical 8mm/Super 8/16mm film stocks for the archivist/historian (which is pretty fleshed out already), and other information having to do with the conservation of and interaction with independently produced media.
WHO MIGHT BE INTERESTED IN THIS SITE? Media archivists (even those that hate experimental film), experimental filmmakers, film nerds in general (especially film preservation nerds), film academics, curators, film students, art conservation professionals and students, projectionists, photography people, etc. I’m being presumptuous, but I’d like to think folks from any/all of these categories could find something of interest here!
WHY/WHEN DID THIS START? I started this site very impetuously in 2007 just to share a few images of interesting things I encountered in my work as a film preservationist. It turned into something mildly more ambitious than that, and I was honestly amazed at how many people took an interest in it. The typical laments I hear from friends and colleagues (and strangers, even) about the lack of regular posts is both extremely flattering and deeply shame-inducing, especially since I do want to make writing about and sharing this information a more habitual part of what I do. So thanks for your encouragement, I’ll try to be better!
MORE INFO YOU DON’T NEED? After procrastinating for two years and not posting anything, I started posting things on Instagram instead (@preservationinsanity if you want to follow). Doing that for a bit got me back in the regular habit of sharing this kind of material, and that platform was more conducive to quick discoveries, observations, and notions, whereas this site had seemed to demand more involved, essayistic writing. I’m going to try instead to synthesize the two approaches and get more regular info up here — some brief, some more involved.
GOT A QUESTION? Feel free to send me questions/requests/suggestions via the Contact tab, I’ll do my best to respond. If there’s a project you’d like to hear about, a film stock, a specific filmmaker or film, a question you have about film preservation or experimental film or both, etc., don’t hesitate to contact me. Hope you enjoy the site!
A BRIEF DISCLAIMER? The texts appearing on this site remain the property of their respective authors (Mark Toscano, unless noted). Ownership/copyright of images may vary. Please don’t hesitate to reach me via the CONTACT page to inquire about re-use. Thanks!