The Douglas MacLean Double-Feature DVD Project
This Kickstarter will fund a project that brings 2 rare Douglas MacLean silent comedy features to DVD: One a Minute (1921) and Bell Boy 13 (1923). The films that will be on the DVD will be seen in new 2K digital scans of archival materials preserved by the Library of Congress, and will be scanned by the Library of Congress' lab. I will create a brand new custom musical score for each film.
One a Minute (1921) survives in an excellent 35mm print and Bell Boy 13 survives in a very good 16mm; these are the only prints of these films on the planet.
The DVD box art will be created by professional graphic designer and silent era aficionado Marlene Weisman. The DVDs will be professionally authored and they will be made available for sale online as MOD (manufacture-on-demand) discs The finished DVD will be available via outlets like Amazon.com, TCM Shop, DeepDiscount and more, as well as international online retailers. The release will be publicized and reviewed. The DVD will be NTSC format, and will be region “0” (region-free). This is the same workflow as I have been doing successfully for all 21 of my DVD releases.
This Kickstarter covers all costs for the DVD's production and release, as well as of the making of and shipping of backer DVDs. Kickstarter backers will get their copies of the DVD before it becomes available to the general public.
Release date (expected):
Based on my current performance schedule for summer 2019, the time it takes for scoring and authoring, and the wild-card factor that unexpected things will just come up, I expect to be able to have the DVD finished for you by the end of December 2019, and for a February 2020 release.
We've all heard of great silent films having been preserved at a film archive and thought, "wouldn't it be great if somebody put that out on DVD?". Here's a chance for you to be part of that "somebody"! Make your pledge to "The Douglas MacLean Double-Feature DVD Project"…and participate in a unique silent film enterprise.
A bit about Douglas MacLean
Douglas MacLean starred in 23 feature-length light comedies from 1919 to 1927, and his screen persona was that of a middle-class young man making his way in the world and going on wacky adventures. It was a type of film Douglas Fairbanks pioneered and made from 1915-1920 until he switch to swashbucklers when he made The Mark of Zorro. MacLean essentially picked up the genre where Douglas Fairbanks left off. He made two or three features a year and was one of the comedians you went to see while you were waiting for Buster or Harold to come out with a new picture. Nearly all of MacLean's features are either lost, overseas, or missing reels or are fragments, but these two are 100% complete and have been preserved by the Library of Congress.
A bit about me
I've been accompanying silent movies on piano and organ for 38 years; I play for silents at MoMA, at the Library of Congress, at the Silent Clowns Film Series (which I also produce) in NYC, and at festivals, historic theatres and at schools and universities throughout the US and internationally. I've scored dozens of silent films for DVD release for companies like KinoLorber, Milestone, ReelclassicDVD and Thanhouser and for air on TCM.
Over the last 6 years, I've produced and distributed 21 DVDs of rare silent films – great silent films you've never heard of…but should – fan-funded via Kickstarter. The films have been sourced either from collectors or from the Library of Congress, whom I have a co-branding arrangement with.
My other Kickstarter campaigns:
Read about my previous 7 successful Kickstarter-crowdfunded DVDs at:
Risks and challenges
"The Douglas MacLean Double-Feature DVD Project" is my EIGHTH Kickstarter-crowdfunded project, and all previous projects were successfully completed, and were done so on time or rather close to the expected date, and each went about $1,000 over the funding goal. Those DVD projects – "Accidentally Preserved: volume 1 & 2", "The Mishaps of Musty Suffer", "The Marcel Perez Collection", "Accidentally Preserved: volume 3", "When Knighthood Was In Flower" and "The Marcel Perez Collection: Volume 2" and "The Alice Howell Collection" – have been well-reviewed in publications such as the NY Times, Sight & Sound, Cinema Crazed, DVDTalk and classic film blogs, and by dozens of Amazon customers.
There is always the chance that a scheduling or tech issue, or a hiccup in the life/schedule of yours truly or someone on the production team 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. The one exception was on "When Knighthood" when, just as things were wrapping up on production, a reel of nitrate 35mm containing 6 mins of lost footage turned up; it was worth spending the extra few months getting that print to the Library of Congress for preservation and scanning in order to complete the film.
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 vol 1" and "When Knighthood Was in Flower" and "The Alice Howell Collection" 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 21 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.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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