Have you ever wanted to watch an older movie, but couldn’t find any kind of digital copy? No streaming, no digital purchase or rent, it was as if you were crazy for thinking the movie existed. Well, that’s what happened to screenwriter John August who recently tried to watch The Flamingo Kid from 1984. He couldn’t find the movie available digitally anywhere. Normally, people would just complain and sigh. August has decided to do something about it though. He posted on his personal site his plan and I’ll try to sum up.
First, August has created a crowdsourcing document called “Missing Movies” for people to add film titles. Before you go and start adding random titles, please make sure that they are indeed unavailable via streaming, rental, or purchase digitally. The list currently boasts over 300 unique entries and is growing on an almost daily basis. Films like Willow, Cocoon, and True Lies are already on the list.
Of course, making a list of films is not going to do anything in terms of getting these films available. That’s why August is wanting to do more. He is a member of the Academy and has already started discussing this with other members and mentioning that this is indeed a form of film preservation. He’s also wanting to talk to directors like Ron Howard and James Cameron to get them to start pushing for this digitization too.
There is a bit more that August discusses, and it’s a lot more detailed, so go read the whole article on his site. I do want to share the last part that addresses everyone saying to just go download torrents.