As we approach the season where we take a step back and evaluate things we are thankful for, I wanted to take a few minutes and share about something new and relatively niche that I am grateful for. Over the last two years, I have learned about and care about a community's efforts in identifying and searching for lost media.
So what is Lost Media?
Lost media is a fairly broad term, but it refers to a piece of content that:
- No longer exists/missing
- Not available to the public
Let's explain each of those ideas with an example.
No longer exists/missing – The long-running BBC TV series Doctor Who has many early episodes that are believed to no longer exist. The BBC, at this period of time, would routinely wipe their old tapes for reuse because of expense and lack of storage space. Some copies of the missing episodes have been located in Nigeria and in private collections. So there is always hope that more will be uncovered over time.
Not available to the public – This is now an example of found lost media because of a leak. But Sesame Workshop, the company behind Sesame Street, has long withheld an episode of the series because the content was deemed too scary for children. The episode in question featured the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz, flying over Sesame Street and losing her broom.
Why are you passionate about it?
Long before I became a professional marketer, I was really into media. I was especially interested in recording content on VHS tapes and revisiting old commercials, bumpers, and TV broadcasts on them. As newer technologies developed, like DVDs, and now streaming content. My fascination with the past dwindled. Then a few years ago, I started getting into several YouTubers who covered these nostalgic topics. It wasn't long before I discovered and began appreciating all the work the lost media community is doing.
As a marketer, I appreciate the effort others have put into creating this content. And I am grateful that a community is out there trying to locate and archive this exciting content. I haven't been involved in any searches, mainly due to a busy schedule, but I hope to someday help contribute to some of these searches.
What are some of my favorite examples of lost media?
Beyond the two examples of lost media I have already mentioned. There are a few other searches I will mention below that I find particularly interesting.
Slamfest '99, aka "Super Smash Bros. LIVE."
This was a live stream in 1999 of costumed Nintendo characters fighting to promote the Nintendo 64 game Super Smash Bros. Pictures from the fight exist, but the footage of the live stream events has yet to be rediscovered.
TV 8 Kids' Fun Festival, aka "Pink Morning Cartoon"
This local animated children's series aired in Columbus, Ohio in the late 90s / early 00s. What intrigues me about this is not the content as much as the story of the search. When the daughter of the series creator was found, she was happy to see some of the content again. She thought it had all been destroyed.
Lost media is arguably a weird thing to be thankful for, but I am happy to see the legacy of the hard work of many talented people getting to resurface. Not to mention the unity that comes with the thrill of the hunt.
If you are interested in learning more about this community, feel free to contact me.
Have a great holiday season. I hope you find ways to celebrate the spirit of Thanksgiving all year round.