The 1954 Milan basketball team represents a triumph unequalled in the history of Indiana sports. Milan, with just a small high school, became the state champion, beating all of the larger teams from the big cities.
The last-second basket from star Bobby Plump got the Milan Indians a two-point victory over Muncie.
The Milan game was the inspiration for the film Hoosiers in 1986, a now-classic film.
Unfortunately, the original game films, shot in 16mm, are deteriorating at a rapid pace, and will not survive much longer. The championship game is represented by two separate prints, and the game before, vs. Terre Haute, has one print. These are the best (and perhaps only) prints in the world of this game.
The standard material seen on these films are inferior video transfers done in the 1980s and saved on VHS. I am seeking to restore these on archivally sound 16mm film that should last for 200-400 years. The Indiana University Moving Images archive will store the restored negative and prints when completed.
It is important to save these films on archival film. Anything less, including DVD, is not stable in the long term and will deteriorate at some point.
The main goal is to preserve the championship film. Stretch goal would be to preserve the Terre Haute game as well.
Risks and challenges
This all presupposes that we can get a grant from National Film Preservation Foundation. If we don't, then we can't start this project and the money will be returned.
Risks include the film being too brittle to scan, which is unknown at this point. The films are too fragile to be projected, so there is some chance they cannot be saved, but they appear to be in good condition.
The final scans may also reveal more damage than can be fixed within our budget, but there is no way to gauge this until we see the material.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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