Here’s a strange fact about cinema. More than half the films every made no longer exist.
Studios churned out product in the early days, with little thought of preservation. Most films had no future before television. Every few years a previous hit would go on general re-release, but these were always monster hits like Gone With The Wind. Other films just took up room.
The highly combustible celluloid was a fire hazard too, so the prudent producer would strip the film for re-usable minerals and destroy the waste. The fact that some of that waste contained the life work of a Buster Keaton or a Rex Ingram didn’t really register. How many people archive their newspapers, or their Facebook page?
Every so often, happily, something is plucked from the maw of time. The latest rediscovery is five new minutes of Keaton’s 1922 comedy The Blacksmith. You can read about the rediscovery, and catch a glimpse of the footage, in this excellent article from the (other) Guardian: Here
Posted by Kevin McGee
Laurel & Hardy
The Laurel-Hardy Murder Case (1930): Ollie (To Stan): “Where were you born?”Stan (To Ollie): “I don’t know“
Ollie (To Stan): “Fancy not knowing where you were born“
Stan (To Ollie): “Well I was too young to remember“
Daniel Day Lewis
Daniel Day Lewis:
“You don’t merely give over your creativity to making a film, you give over your life in theatre, by contrast, you live these two rather strange lives simultaneously you have no option but to confront the mould on last night’s washing-up.”
“Women like silent men. They think they’re listening.”
“Tis better to be silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt.”
“A silent mouth is sweet to hear.”
“A wide screen just makes a bad film twice as bad.”
“The length of a film should be directly related to the endurance of the human bladder.”
“When people ask me if I went to film school I tell them, ‘No, I went to films.”
Posted by “Michael ‘Charlie’ McGee
Some facts I found online about silent film that were published on www.oldmagazinearticles.com/silent_movie_history_article in 1947 by journalist Richard G. Hubler.
Film production companies were fierce busy back in the silent era, how about averaging three movies per week.
With that sort of work, what type of salary were some of the early film production crews on, well how about a good pay for a Hollywood film executive which would be around $50.00 per week.
And then there were the film extras who were on about $1.50 per day. (Did they get their meals provided for as well I wonder)
Film directors did a bit better though, they were on about $150.00 per week. (No wonder they all lived in luxury)
And sure Cameramen were also well thought of with a salary of $80.00 per week.
Scriptwriters had to be very prolific, since they were averaging about $25 per script – must have been very heavy work on an old type-writer though.
And finally, Money must have really stretched far back then: About $500.00 for a big-budget production back in the silent-era – no wonder they could afford to squeeze out three movies per week. More next week. Log in and find out what new facts I have to reveal.
Posted by Michael ‘Charlie’ McGee
“All I need to make a comedy is a park, a policeman and a pretty girl.” ~ Charlie Chaplin
A Charlie Snippet
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