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Here's your chance to help make some rare/lost silent comedy shorts, unseen for 85-100 years, available for fans to enjoy!
Here's your chance to help make some rare/lost silent comedy shorts, unseen for 85-100 years, available for fans to enjoy!
127 backers pledged $4,896 to help bring this project to life.

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Accidentally Preserved: VOLUME 3 - silent film DVD project video thumbnail
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Accidentally Preserved: volume 3

I've produced and released two Accidentally Preserved DVDs of short silent movies that are either lost films or just really really rare – both funded by classic film fans through Kickstarter – and this will be my 3rd release in the series.

The difference here is that the first two discs were films from my own collection, and for volume three a handful of film collector friends of mine have offered rare prints from their archives for the project. These are vintage 16mm film editions made in the 1920s, '30s and '40s, and are still projectable and usable. They will be newly transferred in HD and I'll create new musical scores for each film on piano or theatre organ.

I hope you'll make a pledge, and help me get these films that have been unseen by the public for 85-100 years out of cans and onto peoples' screens so they can been enjoyed and studied. With your help, these films that have been unavailable to enjoy and own for decades will been seen again.

Thanks!

A bit about me

I've been accompanying silent movies on piano and organ for 30+ years; I play for silents at MoMA, at the Silent Clowns Film Series (which I also produce) in NYC, at the Library of Congress, and at festivals, historic theatres and at schools and universities throughout the US and abroad. I've scored dozens of silent films for DVD release for companies like Kino and Milestone and for air on TCM. My website is silentfilmmusic.com.

Why call it "accidentally preserved"?

In the 1920s, 30s and 40s, silent movies were printed on 16mm safety film stock for home movie rentals – it was like Netflix, but on film. Decades have passed, and many of the original 35mm prints of these silent films no longer exist, but these vintage 16mm copies survive.  It's as if those silent films were…accidentally preserved.

The "Accidentally Preserved" vol 3 DVD

Production and design:

Just like volumes 1 and 2, the vol 3 DVD will have 8 or 9 rare or lost silent films on them, all in new professional digital HD video transfers by Dino Everett of USC's Hugh M. Hefner Moving Image Archive. Each film will have a brand new custom musical score on piano or organ that I will create.

The DVDs will be professionally authored and they will be produced and made available for sale on Amazon.com via Amazon's CreateSpace publishing-on-demand service. The box art will be created, as they have been in all my previous DVD releases, by professional graphic designer and silent era aficionado Marlene Weisman.

The films of Accidentally Preserved vol 3:

  • "No Vacancies" (1923) - Arrow comedy shot in 1921 but released 2 years later, with an ensemble cast including Jay Belasco, Blanche Payson, Billy Armstrong and Jack Duffy – razor sharp original from the '30s is the only extant print at its complete length, courtesy of Ralph Celentano
  • "Service á la Bunk" (1920/21) - Tusun comedy starring Bobby Ray – very little is known about the film, this 1940s NuArt home movie release is a very rare print, courtesy of Rob Farr.
  • "Wanted: a Nurse" (1915) - Vitagraph comedy starring Mr. & Mrs. Sidney Drew – is a very rare print of this rare Drews short, courtesy of Rob Farr
  • "Love's Young Scream" (1928) - Christie comedy with Jimmie Harrison, Anne Cornwall, Jack Duffy, Glen Cavendar et al – gorgeous, very-sharp complete version of the dupey cutdown I posted on YouTube a few years ago, courtesy of Dennis Atkinson, Sr.
  • "Whose Baby?" (1929) starring Arthur "Dagwood" Lake – this 16mm is the only extant print, courtesy of Shane Fleming (he's only 11!).
  • "The Whirlwind" (1922) starring & directed by Joe Rock – razor sharp Kodascope printed in 1926, only other print is a 35mm nitrate with French titles at LoC, from my collection.
  • "Hot Luck" (1928) with Malcolm "Big Boy" Sebastian – rare 1930s print, from my collection.
  • "A Citrate Special" (19??) cast largely unidentified includes "Tonnage" Martin Wolfkeil, screened at Mostly Lost last year and still unidentified – from my collection.
  • …and if there's room on the DVD, reel 2 of "Half a Hero" (1929) with Billy Barty, in a rare print struck in 1930.

Release date (expected):

Based on my current performance schedule for May-August, and the time it takes for scoring and authoring, I expect to be able to have the DVD finished and available by the end of October 2015. I already have the logistics for the film transfers lined up and ready to go.

Make a pledge

Please join me in being the "somebody" in "why doesn't somebody put that out on DVD?" and make a pledge to Accidentally Preserved: volume 3.

Links to my previous successful Kickstarter DVD projects:

Risks and challenges

"Accidentally Preserved: volume 3" is my FOURTH Kickstarter-crowdfunded project, and all previous projects were successfully completed, and were done so on time or rather close to the expected date. Those DVD projects – "Accidentally Preserved: volume 1", "The Mishaps of Musty Suffer" and "The Marcel Perez Project" – have been well-reviewed in publications such as the NY Times, Film Threat, the Examiner and classic film blogs, and by dozens of Amazon customers.

There is always the chance that a scheduling or tech issue may arise during the production of any DVD project, and when that's happened previously it has only delayed the release by a month or two.

I'll keep you updated weekly with my progress, and if there are any unforeseen delays you'll find out as soon as I know. For background, you can read all the updates from "Accidentally Preserved", "Musty Suffer" and "Marcel Perez" on their respective Kickstarter pages. You'll find I've kept backers up-to-date on each DVD's progress on a regular basis, and am still sending news and updates to backers several months after the project was completed.

I have been the producer of The Silent Clowns Film Series since its inception in 1997 and have seen it through 19 successful years of year-round shows of classic silent films in NYC as well as a number of partnerships with different venues, and its becoming a not-for-profit.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge US$ 2 or more About $2.00

    A fridge-worthy "Accidentally Preserved" thank-you postcard

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    above, plus onscreen "special thanks" listing in DVD credits

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    Pledge US$ 25 or more About $25

    above, plus a copy of the "Accidentally Preserved: volume 3" DVD

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    same as above, and DVD will be autographed to you

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    Pledge US$ 75 or more About $75

    above, plus a private-issue collector's DVD of a feature-length silent film with a score by Ben Model. (Can't mention title here, but it's a good one!)

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    Pledge US$ 150 or more About $150

    above, plus Ben Model will turn your phone number into a melody that he will record and send you as an mp3

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Funding period

- (19 days)