Post World War II America – the Baby Boom generation era, beginning in the mid-1940s and climaxing in the 1960s, stretching into the 1970s – redefined and challenged the traditional American experience. It was an amazing time of great Change – the re-industrialization of America, the Korean Conflict, the birth of Television and Rock 'n Roll, Camelot, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Civil Rights Movement, the British Invasion, the Cold War, Vietnam, the Summer of Love, Woodstock, the Moon Landing, Watergate, Computers and the birth of Apple and Microsoft. Yet this era of sweeping change brought unparalleled stability for average Americans – jobs, careers, businesses, automobiles, birthing babies and raising families, childhood, toys, family gatherings, cookouts, picnics, holidays, vacations, schools, sporting events, weddings and funerals – life and living.
What is even more amazing is that all across the country, Americans captured these precious moments as they happened on 8mm and 16mm motion picture film – the Greatest Generation, the parents of the Baby Boomers, documented this "Coming of Age" period in American history. This is the context and cinematic canvas for The Great American Home Movie – a feature-length documentary shot by parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, and yes, even their children.
Over the past twenty years, Producer/Director/Editor Robert Hanley has been evaluating, capturing and archiving America's home movies. Culled from over 4,000 hours of 8mm, Super-8mm, and 16mm film, The Great American Home Movie engages and electrifies the viewer, first in the simplicity of its subject matter and then in the poetry of moving images – Dad grilling hamburgers on the back porch for the family's 4th of July cookout; Betty unwrapping her brand new Barbie Doll on Christmas morning; Billy riding his first Schwinn bike down a gravel road, fishing pole over his shoulder; Baby Karen taking her first steps; and Corporal Johnson, home from the war, washing his brand new Chevy.
Added to these iconic images is our American landscape – small towns, big cities, suburbs, farms, schools, roads and highways; city parks, national parks, zoos, and monuments. These scenes, and thousands of others, comprise the single, constant theme that ties The Great American Home Movie together. Kids swinging on a rope into the river on a hot summer day or Mom setting out a picnic lunch in the park – true classic images of Americans at play. Multiply these by the more than thirty-year chronological time-span of this documentary and the very ordinary becomes truly extraordinary! Hanley has rescued, edited, and woven together these incredible, priceless images, and then, he sets it all to the music that changed America: "Elvis, The Beatles, Beach Boys, Rolling Stones, Simon and Garfunkel, The Mamas and Papas, Sonny and Cher, Credence Clearwater Revival, Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young, Sly and The Family Stone, The Band, The Monkees, and so many more.
The Great American Home Movie has a universal impact and is like no other documentary ever produced. American families tell their own stories with their own cameras, displaying their hopes, desires, and most special moments. They captured scenes from everywhere – from living rooms, back yards, parades and playgrounds to Disneyland, the Mississippi River, and the Washington Monument; indeed from "sea to shining sea." And while they were at it, they covered most of America's historical moments as well. As groundbreaking and graceful as Disney's Fantasia, reflecting the real and surreal spontaneity and liveliness of Woodstock with the elegance and fun of The Sound of Music, The Great American Home Movie will grab your heart and move you to tears of joy. It's America in Red, White and You!™
©Home Video Studio, 2004 – 2011.
The Great American Home Movie™
Runtime: 69 minutes, Aspect Ratio: 2.40:1
Produced, Directed and Edited by Robert Hanley
Robert Hanley Productions, LLC in association with Home Video Studio.
8141 Raven Rock Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46256
The Great American Home Movie Project Synopsis Copyright 2004 – 2012 Home Video Studio, Inc.
All Rights Reserved
The Great American Home Movie Project is a Trademark of Robert Hanley Productions, LLC
America in Red, White and You is a Trademark of
Robert Hanley Productions, LLC
Who is Robert Hanley?
Who is Robert Hanley? Producer/Director/Editor Robert Hanley, CEO and founder of Home Video Studio has been involved in most aspects of the film and video industry as a writer, producer, director, technician, cinematographer, and editor. He has shot on both coasts in every format including 35mm, 16mm and Betacam. He has paid his dues in the editing suites logging thousands of hours, and has written, produced, and directed a feature film (Good Cop/Bad Cop).
While taking film classes at Danville Junior College in the mid-1970s, Robert shared an experience many film enthusiasts remember: Star Wars. After viewing that classic sci-fi movie, he immediately realized that he wanted to become a motion picture director. Robert attended Southern Illinois University, but after one semester, the lure of "Hollywood" was too much to ignore and he dropped out. Although he got sidetracked for four years in the fast food business (owning his own 50s' style drive-in restaurant), Robert eventually produced his first 16mm film - a 23 - minute documentary for the Indiana Lions Club Eye Bank entitled Our Goal Is In Sight.
In 1982, with the success of his first major project, Robert started his own film company and moved from his small hometown to Indianapolis. As a full-time professional, Robert produced local and national TV commercials, corporate image films and videos, training tapes, and a host of other similar projects for large companies, such as: General Motors, General Foods, Jayco RVs and Airstream, as well as dozens of advertising agencies, and local and state government organizations. But in the end, he discovered that this type of work was not to be his future.
Even with his lengthy list of successful projects, he became the quintessential "starving artist." So, in 1991, Robert decided to do what so many successful entrepreneurs do: he reinvented himself. He took the knowledge and experience he had gained and retooled his production business into what it is today - the most successful video production and post-production franchise in country: Home Video Studio. The new company focused on offering video services that others couldn't or wouldn't offer but that were definitely needed. In the summer of 1991 Robert started his first Home Video Studio and from that time through 1999, he perfected his business model. Today, HVS is America's leading video production services company with studios located across the country, in Canada and in Sweden! Ten of these are studio stores located in strip malls and other suburban locations.
Back in the early 90s when Robert was transferring home movies to videotape, he was just enamored with the scenes of Americana that flashed by on his screen: marching bands, mom and dad barbecuing in the backyard, kids on old bikes, dance recitals, funny scenes at picnics, New York City in the 1940s, a bride and groom in Alabama - just fascinating stuff. Far removed from those days of transferring 8mm and 16mm on his own, Hanley now owns the premier film transfer facility in the country: HVS Transfer in Indianapolis, Indiana. There his skilled staff of professionals transfer film to digital video and DVD 24-hours-a-day.
Hanley remarks, "What's really exciting is that not only are we restoring these old movies for families and individuals, but we're also preserving those memories and images for generations in the future! The Great American Home Movie Project is more than just a feature-length musical documentary; it is the beginning of an entire franchise in and of itself. We've got a lot of content spanning seven decades."