Started in an abandoned editing room in a dingy corner of Melnitz Hall, the main building of the Department of Film and Television at UCLA, the Center for Hidden Camera Research began life as a simple repository for a small private collection of film and video in danger of imminent extinction. A collector had donated some papers to the the UCLA Research Library's Department of Special Collections, and along with that came several boxes of visual materials which the library was going to "de-accession", a fancy way of saying they were going to toss it. Rather than allow this material to be discarded, Prof. Stephen Mamber took it upon himself to take responsibility for it, hoping that someday it might provide a foundation for more ambitious efforts to preserve and study the heritage of hidden camera video.
From those early beginnings, the Center is now proud to go public with this Web site, so that some part of the fruits of its labors can be shared with the world. Prof. Mamber would also like to extend his thanks and appreciation to Romi Stepovich and Miranda Banks, two doctoral students of the Department of Film and Television, for their considerable efforts on behalf of the Center and this web site. They have both shown prodigious talents as researchers and analysts. Also, the brilliantly gifted Dawn Frattini designed all the visuals used at this site. Special thanks go to Steve Ricci, Director of the Archive Research and Study Center, for great friendship, support, and a willingness to host this site.
The Center for Hidden Camera Research has been supported by a few royalties earned from the licensing of its expertise and materials. This is work proudly not beholden to any funding source. We are also happy to be a Flash-free site, as the proliferation of glitzy plug-ins is spoiling much serious work, such as that which we show here, in an extravaganza of splashy visual effects.
We hope soon to include a few photos of our facilities, but for now we continue to work well out of the spotlight of publicity, content to present our findings to whoever might find them of interest.