Lost Canister of Film Prompts YouTube Search For Its Owners

Lost canister of film prompts YouTube search for its owners.

Jan. 19, 2011— -- What would you do if you found a canister of film in the middle of a snowy park? (After wondering to yourself, "Who the hell still uses film?" that is). Well, if you're Todd Bieber, you make a YouTube video in order to find the owners of that film.

Bieber, who works as director of production and content at Upright Citizens Brigade Theatre, was cross-country skiing in Brooklyn's Prospect Park when he came across a lone canister of film.

"When I first I got the canister, I set it back down on a fence post," Bieber says. "And then I went back and grabbed it, because, well, that's not fun."

After getting the film developed, Bieber found a series of pictures depicting New York in the wake of the blizzard — from the ducks swimming in Central Park (an obvious Catcher in the Rye reference, he thought), to Coney Island to photos of the park where he found the canister. The photos — some of which showed the mysterious travelers who snapped them — intrigued Bieber.

"First of all, they're film and then they're black and white," he says. "It looks like a history book a little bit. Especially with the snow. It has a weird timeless feel to it."

Bieber also became interested in the people in the pictures. "They hit a lot of touristy spots in New York, the cool ones, not the lame ones," he says. "They were people from out of town and made the most of being here in a blizzard." They seemed like the kind of people he would want to have adventures with.

Most people would have left it at that — pocketed the pics and perhaps brought them out at a party to facilitate the anecdote. Not Bieber, who promptly made the above video with the aim of getting the film back in the proper hands.

"They're not mine," Bieber says simply. "If I lose one picture, I'm upset. I would think they were the same way."