New Boulder History Museum film exhibit highlights CO films past and present, including Boulder’s filmmaking Festival

Bell Howell Filmo 70DA 16mm


The Shoot Out 24 Hour Filmmaking Festival Boulder will also be represented as part of the display along with some other filmmaking items provided by Michael Conti (see camera above) for the exhibit. Thank you Boulder History Museum!

The Boulder History Museum’s new film exhibit opening Friday, January 13th, 2012 celebrates over a hundred years of filmmaking in Colorado with film posters and footage dating back to 1898. A special sneak preview with drinks and appetizers will take place Thursday, January 12th from 5:30-7pm. Admission is $10 for the general public, free for members. From the museum’s website:

“Colorado was the backdrop for over 500 movies since 1898. Whether it was for early silent films, Westerns and ski movies, or Stan Brackhage’s famous works of avant-garde art cinema, Hollywood came to Colorado to set the scene. View original movie posters and footage of more than 100 years of Colorado films set in areas such as Golden, Morrison, Cañon City and throughout the high country. This exhibit will also be supplemented with material highlighting Boulder’s own movie history.”


Here is a bit more information about the item shown above:

Bell & Howell Filmo 70DA 16mm Camera (Circa 1940s-1950s)
As a student at The Colorado College in 1986, Michael Conti (Executive Director of The Shoot Out 24 Hour Filmmaking Festival) was given the camera by a film lab technician at Alexander Film and Video in Colorado Springs during post production work on his senior thesis film project “Public Fixture“.  At the time, Michael was editing his black and white 16 mm student film under the mentorship of Boulder filmmaker Stan Brakhage.

PUBLIC FIXTURE: A Poetic Journey to the City – Denver 1985 from Michael M. Conti on Vimeo.


Alexander Film and Video was the last incarnation of now defunct Motion Picture Alexander Corp., which began in 1919 and eventually became heavily involved in commercial production for national accounts. They were the world’s largest producer of screen ads for the theater industry and by 1955, had agreements with 2,500 drive-ins. It was estimated that 10,000,000 people a week saw their ads.  All of which was produced from their studios in Colorado Springs which made them the biggest film studio between New York and Hollywood!

While the camera may have been part of Alexander’s trailer making arsenal of equipment, it is important to note that the Bell & Howell Filmo helped usher in the beginnings of television news. In the mid to late 50’s and early 60’s when local stations first began to venture out of the studio and incorporate film into their nightly news programs, it was the well proven 16mm Filmo they chose to acquire B&W footage of local events.
Because of the short deadline between filming the news and then getting on the air, cameramen typically shot in-camera or in continuity which required no editing in a post production facility.  The film only needed to be processed and projected for television.  
This concept is still in action today at The Shoot Out 24 Hour Filmmaking Festival Boulder (September 28-30, 2012) as a requirement for its filmmaking contestants in order to encourage their creativity.
Motion Picture Alexander Corp (Pictures)
In-Camera Editing – The Shoot Out Boulder
Bell & Howell Filmo 70DA 16mm Cameras

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