The Marcel Perez Collection: Volume 2
This Kickstarter will fund a project that brings 8 rare Marcel Perez silent comedy shorts to DVD, made from 1907-1922, selected by me (Ben Model) and by silent comedy film historian Steve Massa. The films that will be on the DVD will be seen in new digital scans of archival 35mm materials preserved by the Library of Congress and by the Museum of Modern Art Department of Film, and will be scanned by the Library of Congress' lab. I will create a brand new custom musical score for each film.
Some of the films will require that I spend time making exposure adjustments and new intertitles or main titles. Two of the films** come from two different prints, and Steve Massa and I will be reconstructing them utilzing a shot-by-shot description of the films submitted to the Library of Congress for copyright for their original release.
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 on Amazon.com via Amazon's CreateSpace publishing-on-demand service, which I have been using successfully for nearly all 12 of my DVD releases, and will be publicized.
This Kickstarter covers all production costs for the DVD's production and release, as well as of the making of and shipping of backer DVDs.
Films scheduled to be on the DVD:
- The Short-Sighted Cyclist (1907)
- Lend Me Your Wife (1916)
- Some Hero (1916)
- A Scrambled Honeymoon (1916)
- Oh! What a Day (1918)**
- Chickens in Turkey (1919)**
- Pinched (1921)
- Wild (1921)
- Friday the 13th (1923) - fragment only
Release date (expected):
Based on my current performance schedule for summer 2017 and the time it takes for scoring and authoring, I expect to be able to have the DVD finished for you by the end of December 2017, and for a February 2018 release. I already have the logistics for the film transfers lined up and ready to go with MoMA and the Library of Congress.
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 Marcel Perez Collection: Voume 2"…and participate in a unique silent film enterprise.
A bit about me
I've been accompanying silent movies on piano and organ for 35 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 Kino and Milestone and for air on TCM.
Over the last 4 years, I've produced and distributed about a dozen 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.
A bit about Marcel Perez
Marcel Perez was a successful silent film comedian who worked in films from 1900 to 1928. He made hundreds of films, and most of them are lost, but every few years some more of them turn up. There's a little more background about him in the Kickstarter video for the first DVD project, and there's also the book by silent comedy film historian Steve Massa, Marcel Perez: the International Mirth-Maker.
My other Kickstarter campaigns:
Read about my previous 5 successful Kickstarter-crowdfunded DVDs at:
Risks and challenges
"The Marcel Perez Collection: volume 2" is my SIXTH 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 Project" and "Accidentally Preserved: volume 3" – have been well-reviewed in publications such as the NY Times, Film Threat, the Examiner, DVDTalk 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. 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 vol1" and "When Knighthood Was in Flower" 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 20 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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