Category Archives: Educational

Tom (1972)

Watch on Archive.org

Institution: Internet Archive
Collection: Prelinger Archives

Running time: 18m 52s
Source film:  16mm; color; sound
Year: 1972
Director: Peter Schnitzler
Production: State of Georgia Department of Education Film Library; Extension Media Center, UCLA; National Institute of Mental Health
Photography/Camera: Neil Reichline
Editor: Howard Lester
Sound: Alvin Tokunow
Production Manager: Edward Hutner
Production Assistants: Kathy, McGinnis, Gene Kopp


After spending several days as the primary subject of a cinéma vérité documentary — surfing, making pottery, and drinking hallucinogenic tea before a vision quest — is it possible to recede into the background of normal life and just move on? We’re unlikely to ever know what became of the long-haired, mustachioed focus of the 1972 film, Tom — he’d be in his early 70s today — but if his belief system held firm through his golden years, he’s probably somewhere in the hills of northern California, playing the flute in between ruminations on the meaning of life.

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Cipher in the Snow (1973)

Watch on YouTube

Running time: 21m 20s
Source film:  16mm; color; sound
Year: 1973 (copyright); 1974 (release)
Director: Keith J. Atkinson
Production: Wetzel Whitaker, Brigham Young University
Writer: Carol Lynn Pearson
Cinematography: Reed Smoot, Ted Van Horn
Story: Jean Mizer Todhunter
Editor: Peter G. Czerny
Music Editor: Dennis Lisonbee

Cast: Robert Bridges, Bruce Kimball, Jacqueline Mayo, Roberta Shore, Walter Stocker, Mary Cox, Larry Watts, Martha Henstrom, Kirk Hutchings, Ronald Jenkins, Court LeRoy


During a school bus trip one morning, a sullen boy named Cliff Evans asks to be let off. The driver obliges and Cliff stumbles a few steps before face-planting in the snow (complete with a freeze-frame and title text). The driver of the car behind the bus —  a math teacher named Frank Carter — rushes to the boy’s aid as the oafish driver pleads disbelief. A crowd of kids exits the bus and assembles around their fallen peer, who is confirmed dead at the scene by EMTs. What could have caused this? Dehydration? A seizure? A drug overdose?

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Football: A Woman’s Guide (1999)

Distribution: Borndreamer
Collection: Private

Running time: 35m 00s
Source: VHS; color; sound
Year: 1999
Production: Borndreamer, Rebecca Ayers
Director: Rebecca Ayers
Writer: Rebecca Ayers
Camera: Bob Ayers
Lighting: Bob Ayers
Sound: Bob Ayers
Graphics & Editing: Motion City Films, Santa Monica, CA
Audio Editing: Marty Blasick

Cast: Nancy Barnes, Bob Ayers, Gene Moore, Nick Ayers, Brian O’Brien, Jewell Holmes & Raymond


When the American news cycle starts to contain stories of catastrophic injuries and failed adherence to concussion protocols, it means the NFL season has arrived. Often lost in the deluge of bloviating talking heads and game highlights are the rule changes approved by team owners during the league’s offseason (there were seven this year alone). Such changes — which occur nearly every offseason — can affect everything from player safety to the pace of the game itself. With so much turnover in how the game is played from year to year, how does a football fan keep track of it all? And more important, how can someone married to a football fan keep track of it when they are: a) not a fan of football; and b) a woman? Filmmaker Rebecca Ayers sought to assuage all gender-specific, football-illiterate fears with her 1999 educational film, Football: A Woman’s Guide.

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Booze and Yous (1977)

Watch on IU Media Collections Online

Institution: Indiana University
Collection: IUL Moving Image Archive

Running time: 14m 06s
Source film:  16mm; color; sound
Year: 1977
Film by: Ruth C. Engs, George W. Hales, Rowell Gorman, David J. Derkacy
Production: School of Health, Physical Education, and Recreation, Indiana University
Educational Consultants: Ruth C. Engs, Ralph V. Larsson, David A. DeCoster, Phiip McPheron
Special Acknowledgements: Slaigers Pretense Theatre, Inc.
Film supported in part by a grant from: Beer Distributors of Indiana, Inc.


If there’s a maximum age at which we cease to learn concepts communicated by animated characters with funny voices, I haven’t seen it published anywhere. The 1977 educational film Booze and Yous, produced by Indiana University as part of an alcohol education program, sought to impart research-based facts about alcohol and its consumption upon its student body through a mixture of animation and live-action scenarios. The first step in doing this successfully may have been to use a caricature that resonated with the common 1970s college student — Ozzy Osbourne, anyone? — but the filmmakers decided on a rough facsimile of W.C. Fields, complete with red nose and an impression of his exaggerated drawl. Somehow, it works.

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Dr. Fox Animal Series: Cat Care (1987)

Distribution: Maier Group Communication
Collection: Private

Other titles: CAT; Dr. Fox Series: Cat Care; Cat care: a video guide to successful cat care;
Running time: 43m 00s
Source: VHS; color; sound
Year: 1987
Production: United Media Production; Selluloid Video
In Cooperation with: Actors and Others For Animals

Cast: Dr. Michael Fox


Before there were YouTube tutorials and Pets WebMD (yes, it’s a real thing) people had video guides (often produced on VHS) and could learn just about any skill in the comfort of their own living room in front of their trusty VCR. From swing dancing to gardening, odds are your local library was (and still is!) a treasure trove of analog-based know-how.

Continue reading Dr. Fox Animal Series: Cat Care (1987)