To coincide with the first anniversary of the YouTuber Spotlight series, we will be talking about those YouTubers whose subject matter is all about archiving media, be it lost or not, on the internet and making it viewable to a large number of people.
Whether their goal is to induce nostalgia in their audience or to make sure that media that was thought to be lost will never be lost ever again, we have these YouTubers to thank for converting those VHS tapes or 35mm film reels into digital files and upload it to the world wide web.
Without further ado, let’s start getting to know some of them.
I. Kino Kineko
The ones responsible for bringing us ’80 ANIMATION THE BEST TEN with kei17 and that Super Mario film, the folks at Kineko Video are a group of fans that handles restoration of the film whether be it on VHS, LaserDisc, or as I’ve mentioned before, 35 mm film reels.
You might know them by another name but rest assured that despite the name change, they’re still the same group that delivers quality lost media that were thought to be forgotten. Their main focus is usually Japanese anime and that sector of the much wider entertainment sphere has a lot of lost media on its hands.
The group came into prominence by getting their hands, not on some lost episode of Evangelion or anything.
What they found is a negative for live-action sequences that will be used for the 1984 edition of Glico Pick Picks ads. Not only were they able to restore something out of those negatives, but they were also able to restore the reel in full color and in 4K! If that doesn’t scream professional quality to you, I don’t know what is.
Their name then became known to a large contingent of the anime community when they got hold of a film print of the famous Gainax short films DAICON III and IV only to be stopped by GAINAX themselves because the animation studio wanted to do the remastering themselves. A full breakdown of the situation can be seen here.
All is not lost with them though because they were able to restore old films that were thought to be lost forever, and one of those is something that I already covered aka the infamous THE BEST TEN parody.
Their most significant contribution yet is this educational film from 1982 titled “The Little Fish Gets Sick” which tackles nuclear war with sea creatures as characters.
Currently, they’re helping to restore the old Mutt and Jeff cartoons, one of the oldest cartoons around. If you want to know more about this project, head out to either their Twitter account or the project’s Twitter account.
II. The Man In The Box
The YouTuber that got me into archiving stuff in the first place and probably the first YouTube that I actually followed, Ben Minotte aka The Oddity Archive tackles the ins and outs of the great audiovisual landfill, as he says.
Ben initially didn’t start his internet activity with the far-out and weird things the world has to offer when it comes to audiovisual stuff but by making his own music.
According to WikiTubia, his music career started in May of 2004 with the EP West of Elderbush Gulch in which Benny Boy applied his songwriting skills to the test and coupled it with some folk instrumentals. He followed it up with other EPs soon after.
Well, I am not here to talk about Ben’s music career but it will play into his YouTuber career. The original plan for The Oddity Archive is to be a blog a la Atop The Fourth Wall or The Ralph Retort but he noticed that his jokes won’t make sense in written form so he decided to make a YouTube channel, and thus OA was born on the 5th of July, 2012 with the first episode being a feature on the infamous “Max Headroom Incident” of 1987.
What made me subscribe to the Oddity Archive were the episodes about commercials, PSAs, and the like as I was already into old commercials even back then, and Ben explained the history of how some commercials take place and how they came into existence together with his humor counts as something that totally piques my interest.
He also makes the most interesting “history lessons” in this circle of the internet and even though Ben considers these segments as something his audience doesn’t like, I for one appreciate and actually liked the history lessons here because it’s mostly something that you won’t read on Wikipedia or something that can easily be searched on YouTube.
His delivery of said history lessons is also short and straight to the point, without many riffs or jokes that derail the video.
With that out of the way, I was supposed to write this one on the show’s tenth anniversary (July 5th, 2022) but with my busy schedule at the time, I decided to publish this instead on the first year anniversary of the first YouTuber Spotlight article. In that case, congratulations for the first ten years Benny Boy, here’s to ten more years of Archiveland.
III. Pinoy TV Rarities with Jacob
Backup channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU8H-6xxd2X5aNwCl1Td_pQ
The world of Philippine television has its own smorgasbord of moments that were supposedly caught on tape but only a few people seem to care to even try to preserve those moments and as such, most of them will be lost to time never to be seen again.
That is until people like Jacob Shelter came in.
To be fair, Jacob wasn’t the first one to archive Philippine television, in fact, a lot of YouTube channels were already doing it but most of the time, they only archive advertisements and segments from various noontime variety show back in the day.
The most well-known in this community of TV archivists is Jojo Bailon aka Mr. View on The 3rd himself with his uploads of Philippine TV snippets ranging in from as old as the mid-1970s but most of his uploads are, still, clips of old TV shows and commercials.
When I saw Jacob’s YouTube channel after getting to see his Facebook posts, I was surprised that he was able to get full episodes of shows that were already out of circulation ages ago.
I will not delve more into his sources but he is doing a great service for those who wanted to preserve Philippine television, as well as for those who wanted to reminisce their childhood memories.
His uploads were mostly based on the shows produced by and aired on GMA Network but he doesn’t limit himself to Kapuso stuff. He also uploads some stuff from other channels as well.
With that aside, I hope that there will be people like Jacob who would uncover lost episodes of Philippine TV because as much as we deride the machine behind it for giving us, in the words of Red Letter Media, endless trash, it is still worth saving as we can learn from the mistakes of the past and make a better future for Philippine entertainment.