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To buy, edit, and score this 1917 film starring Carlyle Blackwell and Gail Kane and get it back into circulation.
To buy, edit, and score this 1917 film starring Carlyle Blackwell and Gail Kane and get it back into circulation.
130 backers pledged $3,485 to help bring this project to life.

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$3,485

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And now for something different....

For my ninth Kickstarter campaign, I am proposing buying/editing/scoring a film entitled On Dangerous Ground (1917) starring Carlyle Blackwell from Library of Congress. The film is in the public domain and has probably not been seen in 100 years. This is a 5-reel film, complete, and running about 60 minutes.

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.

Once I have obtained the film, I’ll edit as needed add a new music score. 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), and BURIED TREASURE (1921) 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.

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

After I have edited as necessary and attached the 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, and BURIED TREASURE, 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, but cover art will be available to those who want it. The entire process could take up to 3 months.

PLOT: At the brink of WW I, a woman (Gail Kane) desires to escape Germany - along with a secret vial she is to bring into France. A good-looking but innocent young American doctor (Carlyle Blackwell), at school in Berlin, is leaving Germany and has the passport to get himself out of the country. She plans to escape by pretending to be his wife, though they have never even met! She tricks the hotel bellman into thinking they are a real couple, and forges his passport by adding the words “accompanied by wife.” He goes along with it because she seems so helpless! Hmm.

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BOTTOM LINE: Carlyle Blackwell was a major “matinee idol” of the teens though the great majority of his films are now presumed lost. His final American film was THE RESTLESS SEX (1920) with Marion Davies after which he went to England and worked there and in Europe for the remainder of the silent era. Among his surviving feature films are THE OCEAN WAIF (1916) THE BELOVED BLACKMAILER (1918) and the British film, THE WRECKER (1929). On an exciting note, Blackwell’s final silent film DER HUND VON BASKERVILLE (1929), which he made in Germany and which was thought lost for 75 years, was discovered in Poland in 2004. It seems this film is now being restored. Blackwell plays Sherlock Holmes.

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 30 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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    On Dangerous Ground

    Copy of finished film with music score.

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- (30 days)