In honor of Santa Monica Camera Obscura’s 120th anniversary, Santa Monica Cultural Affairs has partnered with the Echo Park Film Center collective to develop a short film titled, I’ll Be Your Mirror. The short film is a poetic documentary that utilizes analog film tools and animation techniques along with archival imagery and first-person accounts. The collective will lead weekly public work sessions alongside workshops and events, in a series that brings the magic of moving pictures while celebrating the history of Santa Monica’s iconic attraction.

Built in 1898 by Mayor Robert F. Jones to attract tourists and visitors, the Camera Obscura in Santa Monica was moved to its current mid-century modern home in Palisades Park in 1955, a building designed by noted architect Weldon J. Fulton and donated to the City of Santa Monica by Marcellus Joslyn. Today, visitors can experience the optical device Monday through Friday 9 a.m. – 3 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission is free.

Event Schedule:

I’ll Be Your Mirror Public Work Sessions, Fridays and Saturdays, November 24 – December 22, 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.

All are welcome to stop by an Echo Park Film Center work session at the Camera Obscura Art Lab to see how the film is progressing and help out with filming, animation, voice overs, soundtracks and more. No experience necessary.

Cinematic Stocking Stuffers with Repair Café, Saturday, Dec. 1, 12 – 4 p.m.

Learn how to make flip books, Thaumatropes, View-Master reels and kaleidoscopes with workshop facilitators Emett Casey, Paolo Davanzo, Lisa Marr, Shauna McGarry, Beaux Mingus and Gina Napolitan.

Cyanotype Workshop with Echo Park Film Center, Saturday, Dec. 8, 11 a.m. – 1 p.m. | $5

Cyanotype is a monochromatic contact process that uses sun and shadow to produce beautiful blue and white images. Workshop facilitators are Dicky Bahto, Chloe Reyes and Penelope Uribe-Abee.

Make Your Own Camera Obscura with Echo Park Film Center, Saturday, Dec. 8, 1-4 p.m. | $5 |

Learn to make a camera obscura in this hands-on workshop utilizing a few simple components and an ancient discovery. Workshop facilitators are Brenda Contreras, Beaux Mingus, Gina Napolitian and Nicole Ucedo.

Super 8 Eco-Processing with Echo Park Film Center, Saturday, Dec. 15, 12 – 4 p.m. | $5 |

Participants will explore the history, application and tender sophistication of small format filmmaking. Films will be processed using a developer made organic ingredients such as instant coffee, local flowers and seaweed. A screening of one of EPFC’s poetic documentary City Symphonies will follow. Workshop facilitators are Andrew Kim, Nicole Ucedo and Penelope Uribe-Abee.

Saturday, December 22, 12-4pm, Home Movie Day | Free |

Participants are asked to bring home movies on 16mm, 8mm and Super 8 films, VHS, mini-DV tapes, and DVDs for a group screening. Facilitators Brenda Contreras, Shauna McGarry and Cosmo Segurson will share tips on how to store and preserve precious family history as well as answer questions about analog or digital cameras and projectors. Documentary screenings of Free Time & Sunshine: Home Movies In Southern California created by the Echo Park Film Center Youth Class will follow.

Registration or RSVP is required for most events. Visit visit and for more information.

Submitted by Miranda Iglesias, Public Information Coordinator


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