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To translate, edit, and score this 1920 film and get it back into circulation.
To translate, edit, and score this 1920 film and get it back into circulation.
130 backers pledged $3,540 to help bring this project to life.

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$3,540

130

For my tenth Kickstarter campaign project, I am translating/editing a film entitled Dinty (1920) starring Wesley Barry as a kid who faces a tough life on the streets of San Francisco. The film co-stars Noah Beery, Anna May Wong, and Colleen Moore in an important early role. The film is in the public domain and has probably been little seen in nearly 100 years. This is a 7-reel film, complete, and running about 72 minutes. IT HAS NOT BEEN RESTORED, ALTHOUGH I MAY BE ABLE TO HAVE A DIGITAL CLEAN-UP PERFORMED.

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 my first project, ENCHANTMENT (1921), it should be very good. There may be some signs of deterioration as is usual with a 100-year-old film.

I’ve already completed a preliminary translation and have created all new intertitles and credits for the film. I’ll also commission a new music score. I do not plan to score this film myself. Composers I have worked with on past projects include Donald Sosin, David Drazin, and Ben Model.

This is the same process I pursued for putting ENCHANTMENT (1921), THE RESTLESS SEX (1920), FOR BETTER, FOR WORSE (1919), DUCKS AND DRAKES (1921), THE BRIDE'S PLAY (1922), BEAUTY'S WORTH (1922), APRIL FOLLY (1920), BURIED TREASURE (1921), and ON DANGEROUS GROUND (1917) into limited DVD circulation.

Indeed, ENCHANTMENT, DUCKS AND DRAKES, and THE BRIDE'S PLAY have all aired on Turner Classic Movies. Both BEAUTY'S WORTH and THE BRIDE'S PLAY are now available on DVD thru Ben Model's Undercrank Productions. DUCKS AND DRAKES is available on BLU or DVD from Grapevine Video.

After I have edited as necessary and attached the new music, professional copies will be made and 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, BEAUTY'S WORTH, APRIL FOLLY, BURIED TREASURE, and ON DANGEROUS GROUND 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 PROHIBIT A DVD CASE TO INTERNATIONAL DONORS, but cover art will be available to those who want it. The entire process could take up to 3 months.

PLOT: Dinty has a little bit of everything. Within its melodramatic framework of a boy’s struggles in the big city, the story also includes an exciting sub-plot that involves Dinty with a notorious Chinese drug smuggler. And the story has nice comic touches, as directed by Marshall Neilan. As one reviewer raved, “A little boy makes a great big picture.” The location shooting in San Francisco is another plus, offering a peek into an urban world long gone.

BOTTOM LINE: Dinty was a solid hit in 1920. It established Wesley Barry as a major boy star of the early 1920s. This was one of Anna May Wong’s first films, and she’s exquisite as the tragic wife of Noah Berry, one of the silent screen’s best villains. Then there’s Colleen Moore as the Irish lass who comes to America with her baby. This is not the Moore most film fans remember as the flapper par excellence of the 20s. Although Dinty has been available in a Dutch print (no American print is known to exist) with an English translation attached as a hard-to-read crawl, this is the first thorough translation of the film.

Risks and challenges

There really are no risks or challenges to this project. 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 30 days. Once I have the master DVD, I should be able to make copies and mail them to qualifying donors within a month. If the project does not fund, no donor pledges are completed.

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    DVD in paper sleeve at the least. More likely a DVD in DVD case duplicated by professional company.

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