The video above is the first sound sequence in Chapter 5 of King of the Kongo. The entire chapter is 20 minutes long.
King of the Kongo (1929) was the first sound serial. The surviving prints of the film are without sound, since in those days the sound was played from discs that have long been lost.
Ron Hutchinson of The Vitaphone Project has located 3 discs of King of the Kongo and preservationist collector Eric Grayson has a complete silent film print. The material is sufficient to restore the complete Chapter 5 with music, effects, and dialogue. Each reel has one dialogue sequence and the remainder of the reel is music and effects. Each chapter is two reels long.
The surviving film is rather dark and has substantial wear. To properly restore the film, a high resolution digital scan must be performed with considerable cleanup. No archive is interested in this at the moment, because the complete serial does not exist with sound and it may never be fully recovered.
The film will be scanned at 2K resolution and then will be processed to enhance the picture and eliminate as much sign of wear as possible. In order to be archivally preserved, a new 16mm negative will be made from the digital material. Any archive requesting a print for their collection may have one at cost. Funds will be used for scanning and film output costs.
The completed film print will be premiered at the Syracuse Cinefest in March 2013. At that time, we will mail out DVDs and thank-you gifts to anyone who donated at the appropriate levels.
Anyone wishing to read more about King of the Kongo may do so here:
- (30 days)