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IBM Collaborates With the Film Foundation and the UCLA Film and Television Archive on Educational Curriculums and Film Preservation

IBM's e-Infrastructure Technology Powers Digital Archive and Educational Portal Aimed at Teachers Nationwide

SOMERS, NY - 19 Jun 2003: Today IBM announced a collaboration with The Film Foundation and the UCLA Film and Television Archive to launch its involvement in two separate projects to help create an innovative educational curriculum and provide online public access to almost 60 years of previously unavailable historic newsreel footage to the general public.

The Film Foundation, chaired by award-winning director Martin Scorsese, has developed an educational middle school curriculum called "The Story of Movies" designed to expose young people to classic cinema and help them understand the social and cultural significance of film, and think critically about film as an expression of American history and culture. The project will include online access for middle school teachers to lesson plans, discussion groups, and collaboration and communications tools for discussing the best possible teaching practices for The Story of Movies curriculum.

IBM is assisting UCLA in its efforts to digitize large portions of the Hearst newsreel collection, including plans to assist in the digitizing of all the released newsreels, approximately 850 hours. A transformation is taking place in the media and entertainment industry as companies and institutions look not only to protect and preserve their archives through digital content management technology, but also manage and provide access to that information. IBM's middleware -- leading infrastructure software including DB2 Universal Database, DB2 Content Manager, WebSphere Portal, and Lotus Sametime and Quickplace -- as well as IBM eServer pSeries systems, will play a critical role in this transformation, providing the storage, management and collaboration technology. IBM's Research expertise is also being leveraged to support the projects.

Educational Curriculum with The Film Foundation
"Movies are a door to knowledge -- about society, about prejudice, about history, about art -- and teachers are eager for someone to help them make the link between education and film," said Margaret Bodde, The Film Foundation's Co-Executive Director. "We have tapped into the talent and resources of professionals from the filmmaking, academic and technical fields, to make that link and turn the teen movie-going experience into one that is full of learning and personal growth."

The Story of Movies is a nationwide program that features a teacher's manual, interactive lesson plans, DVD and website. The curriculum introduces students to film in an inter-disciplinary approach, making film a new field of study and allowing students to use knowledge and skills developed through other disciplines such as English, social studies, art and science to better understand film.

The curriculum is both grade-specific and sequential, allowing for more in-depth study of each film. At the core of the project are national film study standards. The standards provide criteria that educators across the country can use to plan their lessons, dovetailing instruction with existing state standards. The national film study standards are designed to meet the needs of students and teachers and to ensure quality and consistency of instruction.

As part of the effort, IBM will create an online portal, based on WebSphere Portal software, that will provide educators with access to a teachers manual, lesson plans, and tools that will enable teachers nationwide to communicate with their peers on the best teaching practices for The Story of Movies curriculum. Lotus Sametime and Quickplace will provide the collaboration and instant messaging capabilities.

Providing Public Access to the Hearst Metrotone News Collection
The Hearst newsreels document, as only pictures and sound can, the fabric of 20th century life from 1914-1971. Historical milestones such as the formation of the League of Nations in 1919, the establishment of the United Nations in 1945, Charles Lindbergh's first solo Atlantic crossing in 1927 and the orbital flights of Yuri Gagarin and John Glenn are included in the collection. Alongside these events, the Hearst newsreels feature technological and transportation advancements, medical breakthroughs, major sporting events, fashion, recreational diversions and socio-economic developments such as soup lines and the growth of the two-car family. "Our work with IBM will make the moving image history of the 20th century available, and accessible to the public," said James Friedman, project leader for the UCLA Film and Television Archive.

The first phase of the UCLA/IBM project will include the digitization of Hearst newsreel documentation, currently a deteriorating paper-based system, and the creation of a searchable online index. The paper system comprises 675,000 hand prepared index cards, nearly 7,700 synopsis sheets and approximately 190,000 records that provide chronological access to collection materials. To realize this ambitious goal, IBM has committed a team of research scientists to create new optical character recognition software utilizing deep research scanning technology that can be applied to complex and varied records. The original documentation will be scanned, with image files saved for each element, and automatically fielded within an IBM DB2 web-based relational database. The new database, which was initially implemented in April 2003, will allow users to search the newsreel holdings by subject, description or date.

A planned second phase of the collaboration will relate digitized film and video to the digitized newsreel documentation. Presently, only a small portion of the Archive's Hearst newsreel collection is formatted in high-quality video, and efforts are underway to digitize an additional 850 hours of important footage. UCLA will create high quality video masters from the newsreels and use IBM's DB2 Content Manager software to both digitize the video and log the resulting clips. Newsreel documentation and video files will then be linked within a single digital repository and made available via the web to the general public, as well as to scholars and educators.

As part of its collaboration with the UCLA Film and Television Archive, IBM will provide research expertise and software -- including DB2 Universal Database, DB2 Content Manager, WebSphere Portal and Lotus Sametime and Quickplace -- as well as hardware, specifically IBM eServer pSeries systems. In addition, IBM will provide ongoing technical support for both the hardware and software. The goal of the project is to provide public access, along with on-line tools for educators, historians and scholars, to one of the nation's most comprehensive newsreel collections, which comprises a moving image history of the 20th Century.

In an effort to maximize use within the educational community, plans are underway to include editing tools within the online interface.

Contact(s) information

Claire P. Briggs
IBM Media Relations
(617) 693-8115
cpbriggs@us.ibm.com

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