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To buy, edit, and score this 1920 film starring Marion Davies and get it back into circulation.
To buy, edit, and score this 1920 film starring Marion Davies and get it back into circulation.
121 backers pledged $3,330 to help bring this project to life.

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$3,330

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This project is to fund the purchase of a 35MM print of APRIL FOLLY (1920) starring MARION DAVIES from the Library of Congress, create a synopsis of the missing reel 1, edit the film, and add a professional music score. The film is in the public domain and is one of hundreds of silent films preserved in archives or in private collections, unseen by the vast majority of film buffs and historians.

Since the cost of producing a professional DVD of a rare film is prohibitive for the individual, I've started this campaign to organize a collective effort to give this film back to the public in a nice print. While the video quality may not match that of ENCHANTMENT (1921), it should be good. There may be some signs of deterioration as is usual with a 97-year-old film.

Once I have obtained the film, I’ll commission a professional music score. This is the same process I pursued for putting GETTING MARY MARRIED (1919), ENCHANTMENT (1921), THE RESTLESS SEX (1920), FOR BETTER, FOR WORSE (1919), DUCKS AND DRAKES (1921), THE BRIDE'S PLAY (1922), and BEAUTY'S WORTH (1922) into limited DVD circulation. Indeed, ENCHANTMENT was aired on Turner Classic Movies in November 2014: DUCKS AND DRAKES and THE BRIDE'S PLAY aired on Turner March 2017.

Composers I have worked with on past projects include Donald Sosin, David Drazin, and Ben Model.

After I create a synopsis of the missing reel 1, edit the film, and attach the music, professional copies will be mailed to those who donated $25 or more. As with ENCHANTMENT, THE RESTLESS SEX, FOR BETTER, FOR WORSE, DUCKS AND DRAKES, THE BRIDE'S PLAY, and BEAUTY'S WORTH, I am offering a new DVD disk in a paper sleeve. Depending on the success of this campaign, I may be able to offer a disk in a DVD case with art (as I have done in all previous campaigns) to domestic donors. Mailing costs will prohibit a DVD case to international donors. The entire process could take up to 3 months.

Because the first reel of APRIL FOLLY is missing, this film has probably not been seen since its March 21, 1920 release in theaters. This film was originally 5-reels with a running time of under an hour. With my synopsis of reel 1, this film will run about 50 minutes. Here is a link to a synopsis of reel 1 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MjA5dDJRN4Y&feature=youtu.be which has a generic music track and my EL logo, neither of which will be in the finished DVD. NOTE: The masquerade ball scene is from the film BURIED TREASURE (1921).

PLOT: Marion Davies stars as an author who creates an adventure romance about April Poole (also played by Davies) who masquerades as Lady Diana in order to deliver a famous diamond to Cape Town, South Africa. Along the way, she encounters a dashing hero (Conway Tearle) and a famous jewel thief (J. Herbert Frank).

BOTTOM LINE: Although missing reel 1, APRIL FOLLY is an interesting film in the career of Marion Davies. This was made before Joseph Urban was hired to create the vast and lush sets that would be hallmarks of her later silent films. This is a slight film by comparison but captures the fun and romance of an adventure story.

Risks and challenges

Risks and challenges There really are no risks or challenges to this project. I have already contacted LOC and have the basic information with which to move forward. The great majority of donors (if not all) are knowledgeable about silent films and the various kinds of deterioration that can afflict them. No one will be expecting a pristine print. Composing a score can be an enormous and time-consuming task, and the overall turnaround time could be up to 90 days. Once I have the master DVD, I should be able to make copies and mail them to qualifying donors within a few weeks. If the project does not fund, no donor pledges are completed.

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    April Folly (1920)

    Copy of finished film with professional music score.

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Funding period

- (30 days)