Little Mickey Grogan (1927) - GoFundMe 2.0

NitrateVille-related crowdfunding projects for film and DVD releases, etc.
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boblipton

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Re: Little Mickey Grogan (1927) - GoFundMe 2.0

PostSun Aug 28, 2016 5:45 pm

WaverBoy wrote:
drednm wrote:MY own experience with Stedman that got me banned from his FB site says a lot. He had posted about rumors that Rudolph Valentino appeared as an extra in Patria (1917) and that Elaine Hammerstein appeared in the serial Beatrice Fairfax (1916). I spotted both actors and told him exactly where they appeared. I even confirmed with Donna Hill that the extra I thought was Valentino really was Valentino. When I posted this info on his SS page, the posting quickly disappeared and was replaced with his claiming to have pinpointed their appearances. When I questioned this, I was immediately banned.

Certainly no big deal and I'm sure many others had identified Hammerstein and Valentino, but his action speaks volumes.


Wow.

Unfortunately there seem to be dishonest egomaniacal jerks with insecurity issues in every community, even silent film collecting/restoration/appreciation.



It sounds to me like it's related to the dictum that the fighting is so vicious in academia because the stakes are so small.

Bob
His plagiarism was limited only by his faulty technique.

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Richard Warner

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Re: Little Mickey Grogan (1927) - GoFundMe 2.0

PostWed Aug 31, 2016 3:05 am

Some thoughts:

Funding has really slowed down on this. Does GoFundMe have a time limit like Kickstarter?
Any ideas about further spreading of the word? Leonard Maltin, perhaps?
Would it be worth re-starting as a Kickstarter with eventual Lobster DVDs as the incentive?

Apologies if I'm butting in where I shouldn't!

Richard
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Jeff Crouse

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Re: Little Mickey Grogan (1927) - GoFundMe 2.0

PostFri Sep 02, 2016 4:41 pm

Good questions, Richard. You're not butting in!

First of all, I want to thank the folks here on NitrateVille in helping to get the word out on this restoration on different forums and discussion groups. Because this is my first such project, I'm not fully aware of some of these sites, so your taking the lead in posting about this restoration very much helps.

Here's an update on where we are:

1) I've posted links about this project on over 100 sites on Twitter. I'm not totally sure how effective such postings are, but it certainly doesn't hurt.

2) I've done a series of extensive updates on the Little Mickey Grogan GoFundMe page regarding core aspects of what's involved in this restoration and, in particular, the following: a) introducing who Serge Bromberg is and a summary of his achievements in the restoration world; b) who Philip Carli is and going over his resume as a silent film composer with some 60 scores to his credit; c) who Eric Grayson is and what makes him so vastly qualified so as to be the head of this restoration in its material aspects; d) who I am and my background as a silent film scholar as a Visual Media professor; e) what Lobster Films is and why it is an ideal distributor for the Little Mickey Grogan DVD once it is completed; and f) what the Pordenone Silent Film Festival is and why it's our goal that it play there once the film out is made (hopefully 2017). This has been an ideal way to promote all the great aspects of this project in a positive manner to contributors and would-be contributors. At the same time, it's a rebuff to Eric Stedman (and other possible Eric Stedman types) without mentioning him directly.

3) On Sunday, September 11, what looks to be a major article on the restoration will be published in Nevada's largest circulation newspaper, the Las Vegas Review-Journal. With some 200,000 Sunday readers, it's hoped this will promote the project in ways besides what's been done before now. Its writer is Carol Cling, a nationally recognized film critic. We gave her a lot of material to work with. She interviewed me, my film editor Audrey Balzart, Lassie Lou Ahern, and Eric Grayson. In addition we screened for her our rather wonderful 50 minute filmed interview/documentary of Ahern's silent film career, a feature that will appear on the finished Little Mickey Grogan DVD as a bonus track. We'll see what attention the articles draws. I would like to use it as a platform to do a more national story, say, through the LA Times, Variety, NPR, or the NYT.

Richard, to answer some of your questions:

1) There is no time limit on GoFundMe campaigns. The campaign will end whenever the money is raised, whether it's tomorrow or next month.

2) If anyone personally knows Leonard Maltin, that would be fantastic. If contact information about Maltin could be forwarded to me, I'll make sure to get a hold of him. The same is true of other film luminaries one can suggest.

Come hell or high water, this project will happen. It's not a hope, it's a fact. This is far too valuable a restoration not to succeed. Once the R-J article appears, I'll certainly link it here on this thread so that all can see it.

Again, thanks to EVERYONE who taken an interest in this effort, whether you've contributed monetarily to it or not. The support from you all gladdens me heart and makes me smile. That might sound sentimental, but it's true.

LET'S KEEP THIS GOING.

All best,
Jeff
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Richard Warner

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Re: Little Mickey Grogan (1927) - GoFundMe 2.0

PostSat Sep 03, 2016 1:02 am

Thanks for the update Jeff and good luck with the newspaper coverage.
Richard
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Re: Little Mickey Grogan (1927) - GoFundMe 2.0

PostSat Sep 10, 2016 1:57 am

A concerned update:

Star Lassie Lou Ahern has suffered from a series of age-related medical problems recently, which at age 96 is not unusual! Her family, wanting to ensure that she is safe and has around-the-clock care, has made the difficult decision to place her in a nearby adult retirement/care facility. Being independent all of her life, she was naturally gloomy about the move, and on top of that the Eric Stedman debacle hit her hard.

I think it would boost her spirits tremendously if people who would be interested to do so sent her a card or letter. She always loves to receive fan mail -- it really makes her happy. What do you think?

Her new address is:

Lassie Brent / Lou Ahern
c/o Cary Brent
27007 W. Mohawk Ln.
Buckeye, AZ 85396

I thank you in advance for taking the time and care in saying hi and wishing her well.
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Jeff Crouse

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Re: Little Mickey Grogan (1927) - GoFundMe 2.0

PostSun Sep 11, 2016 11:53 am

A big thanks to nationally recognized film critic Carol Cling of the Las Vegas Review-Journal for her (and her very enthusiastic editor's) interest in the Little Mickey Grogan restoration project. For her article she interviewed Lassie Lou Ahern, myself, Eric Grayson (who will be leading the material work on the restoration), and film editor Aubrey Balzart (who worked extensively on my documentary of Ahern's time in silent movies). The layout in the digital version of the article (meaning, this one) is not as grand and impressive as the hard copy newspaper one, but at least it features a film clip of Webs of Steel (1925) which itself is found in the above mentioned documentary I made of Ahern titled, Lassie Lou Ahern -- A Voice for the Silent Age

Article:

LASSIE LOU AHERN HOPES TO FINALLY SEE SILENT MOVIE SHE ACTED IN AS A CHILD

Someday, Lassie Lou Ahern hopes she’ll be able to watch “Little Mickey Grogan.”

As one of the stars of the movie, she remembers filming it. She has photographs of herself in action. And she still has the script.

But Lassie Lou Ahern has never seen the finished 1927 film, about two street kids and their benefactor, who try to help a blind, penniless architect. At age 96, she’s been waiting quite a while.

Yet her chance may be coming soon, thanks to a restoration effort — and crowdfunding drive — spearheaded by a Nevada State College film historian who’s determined to preserve the legacy of one of silent film’s few surviving performers.

“I tell you, that certainly goes back a long ways,” Ahern says during a telephone interview from her home in Prescott Valley, Arizona. “I can’t believe it myself.”

The only known print of “Little Mickey Grogan” is in Paris, in the acclaimed Lobster Films archive.

The fact that “Little Mickey Grogan” still exists anywhere is notable; 70 percent of all silent features made in Hollywood between 1919 and 1929 no longer exist, according to NSC’s Jeffrey Crouse.

Based at the college’s Henderson campus, Crouse has written extensively on Ahern and Diana Serra Cary, a fellow film historian who was known as Baby Peggy when she was one of the top box-office draws of the 1920s.

Ahern’s star may not have glowed quite as brightly as Baby Peggy’s, but Lassie Lou did have her own claims to fame in the day, including a children’s clothing line.

DISCOVERY

No less a luminary than comedian Will Rogers discovered Ahern when she was 18 months old, when he encountered Lassie Lou and her older sister Peggy while visiting their father’s Southern California real estate office.

Charmed by Lassie Lou’s answer-the-telephone make-believe, Rogers suggested her father take the girls to the movie studio, “ ‘because they’re using a lot of kids,’ ” Ahern recalls in an interview with Crouse filmed last year. (The interview is featured in the documentary “Lassie Lou Ahern: A Voice for the Silent Age,” to be included in “Little Mickey Grogan’s” DVD release.)

Ahern wound up appearing alongside Rogers in four comedies and joined producer Hal Roach’s “Our Gang” (better known in the talkie era as “The Little Rascals”), which prompted her fond memories of playing with Allen “Farina” Hoskins. (Another “Our Gang” member, Ernest “Sunshine Sammy” Morrison, dances alongside Lassie Lou and co-star Frankie Darro in “Mickey Grogan.”)

Ahern also appeared multiple times with comedy star Charley Chase, whom she remembers as “so wonderful to work with,” and daredevil Helen Holmes. (The latter happens to be the star of the very first movie filmed in Las Vegas, the 1914 serial “The Hazards of Helen.”)

A hair-raising scene in Holmes’ 1925 “Webs of Steel” finds little Lassie Lou, searching for her runaway puppy, wandering down a railroad track, oblivious to the approaching train — until a nick-of-time rescue by the intrepid Holmes, who manages to save the puppy, too.

“I’m amazed that my folks let me do that,” Ahern says now. “They couldn’t do that today.”

Lassie Lou’s ability to cry on cue won her many jobs — including a role in her favorite of all the movies she made: the 1927 epic “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” billed as “The Thrill of a Lifetime!” and “The $2,000,000 Motion Picture.”

In “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” Lassie Lou plays Little Harry, the young son of Eliza, who makes a desperate dash for freedom across a half-frozen river rather than let her son be sold to a slave trader. (In the movie, there’s some attempt to darken the skin tone of Margarita Fischer, the white actress playing Eliza, Ahern’s Little Harry receives no such treatment.)

When auditioning for the role, “I really was shaking in my boots,” because Lassie Lou — dressed in a boy’s suit — “felt kind of funny” masquerading as a young male.

But her ability to turn on the tears sealed the deal. Her secret? Remembering that “my dad will kill me if I don’t get this job,” she recalls with a chuckle. Lassie Lou spent almost two years working on the movie. (Her contract stipulated that her sister Peggy had to accompany her while on location.)

During those two years, Ahern also remembers being loaned out to another production on the Universal Pictures lot: “Surrender,” set in a European Jewish ghetto invaded by Cossacks from czarist Russia.

“‘You’re not Jewish, are you?’ ” the assistant director for “Surrender” asked Lassie Lou, prompting a moment of crisis for a young actress who knew the answer to every on-set question — whether it dealt with riding a horse or flying to the moon — was always a resounding affirmative.

“‘No, I’m not,’ ” Ahern recalls replying, ” ‘but I can make all the motions.’ ” To which the assistant director said, ” ‘Take her up to wardrobe — she’s it.’ ”

Ahern discovered from her mother, decades after her silent career, that she’d almost had the chance to work with the legendary Walt Disney, who had “a very sweet smile — and talk about nice.”

Reporting for an audition with Disney, he informed them that he had changed his mind about the character Lassie Lou was supposed to play — and had decided to make it a mouse.

Disney added, ” ‘You’re awful cute — I might change my mind,’ ” Ahern notes. “I almost became Mickey Mouse!”

Lassie Lou’s only audition failure occurred when, during a kitchen scene, she was supposed to smear her face with blackberry jam. Instead, she refused and started crying, at which point her mother advised the casting people to find someone else, because her daughter was usually game for anything.

“ ‘I can’t put my hands in that,’ ” Ahern remembers saying, re-creating her crying jag. “Laurence Olivier wouldn’t do that scene.”

Otherwise, “I enjoyed it every minute, I really did,” Ahern says of her career in silents. “I knew I was lucky. I realized it was something, that everyone wasn’t doing it.”

CHANGING TIMES

In between movies, Ahern and her sister took dance and acrobatic lessons, so “when we worked on a movie, we didn’t have to practice so much,” she says. “The other kids in dance class were our friends. We weren’t being deprived of anything. It came in handy for us, studying all these things.”

Ahern’s dance talents get a workout in “Little Mickey Grogan,” a clip featured in “A Voice for the Silent Age” shows her dancing the Charleston and walking on her hands.

“We had a lot of fun on this one,” Ahern recalls. “The prop guys made us stilts” so she and Darro could walk around. “I loved doing the picture.”

But “Little Mickey Grogan” proved to be Lassie Lou’s last on-screen hurrah for some time.

Movie buffs know 1927 as the year of “The Jazz Singer,” the first movie to feature synchronized sound. So-called “talkies” became a cinematic sensation — and so did the gangster movies that featured the sound of flying bullets.

Ahern’s “very religious” parents “didn’t like us working in that atmosphere,” she tells Crouse in the documentary interview.

As a result, Lassie Lou and Peggy Ahern concentrated on their dancing — not only performing but running a dance studio.

Eventually, Peggy got married, had kids and retired from showbiz. (She died a few years ago, at 95, her sister notes.)

Lassie Lou also grew up and had a family of her own, but “I figured, ‘Once an actress, always an actress,’ ” she says of her decision to return to performing in ’40s musicals with Donald O’Connor and Peggy Ryan. (Ryan spent her later years in Las Vegas, teaching tap and dancing until her death in 2004.)

Ahern choreographed, taught dance and also spent 30 years as a travel agent.

She moved from the big to the small screen in the 1970s, scoring supporting roles on such TV shows as “Love, American Style,” “The Odd Couple” and “Petrocelli,” where she “played the mail lady” and star Barry Newman “would tease me.”

That series filmed in Arizona, which became Ahern’s home about a decade ago, when she decided to move to Prescott Valley to be with one of her sons.

“It was the first time I had to think about my age,” she says of the “big, big decision” to leave her native Southern California. “I never thought about my age, because that’s when you get old.”

It was about two years ago that Ahern “noticed I was getting a little old,” she admits. But “I still dance pretty good.”

And “before I go to tap heaven,” Ahern says, “I would like to see ‘Little Mickey Grogan.’ ”

Naturally, Ahern “couldn’t afford to do all this restoring” herself — which is where Crouse, the documentary and the crowdfunding campaign come in.

Those involved in the quest to restore “Little Mickey Grogan” hope for a 2018 debut screening at “the big silent film festival” in Pordenone, Italy, according to Crouse. And because Lobster Films has its own distribution company for titles they restore, he’s also hoping they’ll distribute it.

Even without a restored version of her only starring movie, however, Ahern knows fans haven’t forgotten her.

“Last week I got three letters from Russia,” she notes. And despite one correspondent’s “kind of broken English,” Ahern got the message: “ ‘I love you so,’ ‘you are so cute, so beautiful,’ ” she says in a mock Russian accent.

“Finally, he says, ‘Did you know you were very famous here?’ ” No, she didn’t. “I was astounded,” she admits. “It really gave me a lift that day.”

Another lift: a note from a former dance student, who praised Ahern’s message to “carry through and be the best person, whatever job you’re doing,” reassuring Ahern that “ ‘I will never forget you.’ ”

Looking back, “it’s amazing, it really is,” Ahern says of her adventures in life. “I think I’ve just about done everything.”

Fortunately for her many admirers around the world, she remembers just about everything, too.

“I think I’m an interesting person,” Ahern concludes.

Clearly, she’s not the only one.

Read more stories from Carol Cling at reviewjournal.com. Contact her at [email protected]" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank and follow @CarolSCling on Twitter.

http://www.reviewjournal.com/neon/arts- ... cted-child" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank
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Re: Little Mickey Grogan (1927) - GoFundMe 2.0

PostSun Sep 11, 2016 4:47 pm

Great article, but there's one very important bit missing: a link to the crowdfunding campaign at the end. Can that be added perchance?
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Jeff Crouse

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Re: Little Mickey Grogan (1927) - GoFundMe 2.0

PostSun Sep 11, 2016 5:27 pm

Good point. The link DOES appear in the newspaper version, but not the digital one. I'll write to the author, asking if the newspaper could somehow add it to the online version.

Valuable feedback.

Thanks,
Jeff
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Re: Little Mickey Grogan (1927) - GoFundMe 2.0

PostWed Sep 14, 2016 1:31 pm

The R-J story on Sunday was actually two articles: the main story (which focused on Lassie Lou Ahern) and a "side bar" piece. The latter concentrated on the restoration process itself. Here Eric Grayson's remarks appear, plus a link to the GoFundMe site. The newspaper presented these twin stories next to one another, separate but (almost) interlocked. For the online version, the stories were uncoupled and appeared on different days.

Terrific to present them to the silent film community, and to the world at large. Here's the text, together with the link.

RESTORING 1927 silent movie presents challenges, rewards

By CAROL CLING
LAS VEGAS REVIEW-JOURNAL

Film historian Jeffrey Crouse likens it to being “an Egyptologist and you open the tomb.”

Except that, in this case, the artifact is a silent movie that “eyes haven’t seen for a long time.”

The silent movie’s title: “Little Mickey Grogan,” the subject of a crowdfunding campaign (http://www.gofundme.com/2fpwc9w" target="_blank) and a documentary featuring its now-96-year-old star, Lassie Lou Ahern.

Crouse, who teaches at Nevada State College in Henderson, and a student crew interviewed Ahern last year at her home in Prescott Valley, Arizona, for a 48-minute documentary that will accompany the restored “Little Mickey Grogan’s” DVD release.

That DVD release can’t happen, however, until the project raises $14,800 for the restoration, Crouse says.

Once the money is raised, restoration “gets pretty complicated,” according to Indianapolis-based preservationist Eric Grayson, who’s overseeing the “Little Mickey Grogan” project.

The process begins with scanning the almost 90-year-old nitrate film print, one frame at a time, onto a computer hard drive. For the 65-minute “Little Mickey Grogan,” that means scanning more than 100,000 frames, Grayson points out.

Because the only existing print of the movie was discovered in France, the restoration will require replacing the French intertitles (title cards containing dialogue or narration) with ones in English. (Fortunately, Ahern still has the original script, but the restoration team will have to duplicate the typeface used for the original intertitles — and replace the movie’s missing title sequence.)

Stabilizing jittery images, removing splices and lines and frame-by-frame “dedusting” to eliminate scratch marks and dust are other stages in the restoration process, Grayson explains. The final step: creating an archival film print of “Little Mickey Grogan,” because digital is not considered archival.

The fact that a print of “Little Mickey Grogan” exists at all is cause for celebration, he notes; only six of about 300 features released by its distributor, FBO, survive.

“Right now, it’s living history,” Crouse says of “Little Mickey Grogan” and Lassie Lou Ahern’s memories of the silent era. “Once these last remaining people have passed, it’s just history.”

Read more stories from Carol Cling at reviewjournal.com. Contact her at [email protected]" target="_blank and follow @CarolSCling on Twitter.

http://www.reviewjournal.com/neon/arts- ... es-rewards" target="_blank
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Re: Little Mickey Grogan (1927) - GoFundMe 2.0

PostFri Oct 07, 2016 12:41 pm

I literally grew up reading the film criticism of Leonard Maltin, and it shaped me profoundly. As perhaps the most well-known critic in America, I am happy to announce not only his support of this restoration, but his enthusiastic promotion of it as well. Check out his marvelous entry on this project in his popular website. So thrilled this worthy campaign is getting the national attention it deserves. When I talk to Lassie Lou today I know that she will greet this news with a big smile and hearty laugh -- this will make her day!

Here's the link:

http://leonardmaltin.com/silent-film-ac ... ing-video/" target="_blank

Here's the text of the article:

"That headline is not inaccurate, nor is it an example of hyperbole. 96-year-old Lassie Lou Ahern is supporting a crowdfunding campaign to restore a 1927 film called Little Mickey Grogan in which she starred with Frankie Darro. As film teacher Jeffrey Crouse recently wrote to me, 'She is keen to see her final silent film, Little Mickey Grogan, restored, preserved, and available on DVD to the public. The only remaining print of it exists in Paris at Serge Bromberg’s Lobster Films archive, and I am working with him, preservationist Eric Grayson, and silent film composer Philip Carli to realize Lassie’s dream.'

Crouse summarizes Ahern’s impressive career in one paragraph: 'Lassie Lou Ahern was discovered in 1922 by Will Rogers and had an impressive career in the 1920s. She appeared in Our Gang and Charley Chase comedies, Helen Holmes serials, a number of lost films (The Dark Angel with Ronald Colman, Thank You directed by John Ford) and enjoyed a major part in the lavish $2 million adaptation of Uncle Tom’s Cabin. She had her own dressing room at Universal and a clothing line with her name on it.'

I could tell more of the story, but you can learn all you need to know at the gofundme page, where Lassie Lou speaks eloquently (and extemporaneously) about her long search for this film and its immediate future.

Lassie Lou has long been a favorite with Sons of the Desert members, who celebrate her work at the Hal Roach studios in the 1920s. You can read more about her on the crowdfunding page, and in this article that recently appeared in the Las Vegas Review-Journal

I am grateful to Jeffrey Crouse for bringing this campaign to my attention, and hope we all get to enjoy its happy ending."
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Re: Little Mickey Grogan (1927) - GoFundMe 2.0

PostTue Oct 11, 2016 2:50 pm

The restoration campaign is continuing apace. It's a lot of work trying to raise the monies; hours every day. In the past week we've gotten some terrific celebrity endorsements. One was from Leonard Maltin who was outstanding enough to post the campaign on his website (http://leonardmaltin.com/" target="_blank" target="_blank), and I'm very grateful for it. In addition, Thomas Gladysz at the Louise Brooks Society has done the same (http://louisebrookssociety.blogspot.com/" target="_blank" target="_blank). Again, I'm thrilled. Finally singer Michael Feinstein has also promoted the project on his Facebook page. So things are progressing, even if so far there hasn't been much uptick in donations.

At this point, I'm still working to spread the word about this campaign, hoping to draw continued "small" donor support (I don't like saying "small" because ALL contributions, no matter what the amount, are marvelous) but wanting to attract corporate or wealthy patron support as well. If anyone on Nitrateville has any suggestions or leads as to the latter, please feel free to offer them.

Thank you everybody for your on-going interest in the Little Mickey Grogan restoration and preservation campaign. Can't wait for the monies to be raised so that we can move ahead with the goals of this project.

All best,
Jeff
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drednm

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Re: Little Mickey Grogan (1927) - GoFundMe 2.0

PostWed Oct 12, 2016 7:55 am

How many other Ahern films exist?
Ed Lorusso
Writer/Historian
-------------
http://www.amazon.com/Edward-Lorusso/e/ ... 203&sr=8-1
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Jeff Crouse

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Re: Little Mickey Grogan (1927) - GoFundMe 2.0

PostSun Oct 16, 2016 3:12 pm

Hi Ed,

To answer your question, the listing on IMDb of her films is as complete as possible, though there are still some titles that are currently missing as I'm trying to hunt them down. Since knowing her, I've added some 11 titles (they include her work in sound film, too), but, like I said, there exist others.

Here's the IMDb link: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0013912/" target="_blank

These are her films, excluding her roles on TV in the 1960s and '70s.

Call of the Wild (1923) – Baby girl
Derby Day (1923) – Girl applauding band
Robes of Sin (1924) – Baby
Cradle Robbers (1924) – Little girl in attic
Jubilo, Jr.(1924) – Tiny man circus performer
Sweet Daddy (1924)
The Sun Down Limited (1924) – Passenger on train
Going to Congress (1924) - Little Girl kissed by Will Rogers at campaign stop
Fast Company (1924) – Little girl
That Oriental Game (1924) - child
Robes of Sin (1924) - Their baby
Excuse Me (1925) - bit part
Hell's Highroad (1925) - minor role
The Family Entrance (1925)- Daughter
The Dark Angel (1925) – Flower girl
Webs of Steel (1925) – McGregor's motherless child
His Wooden Wedding (1925) – Fantasy daughter (uncredited)
Thank You (1925) - minor role
Thundering Fleas (1926) – Flower girl at the adult wedding
The Lost Express (1926) – Baby Alice Standish
Surrender (1927) – Little Jewish girl
The Forbidden Woman (1927) – Little Arabic girl
Uncle Tom's Cabin (1927) – Little Harry
Little Mickey Grogan (1927) – Susan
City of Missing Girls (1941) - night club performer
Top Man (1943) - Dancer
Gaslight (1944) - stand-in
Patrick the Great (1945) - Dancer

There is a (1930s?) Jean Parker musical that she was in that featured her in a number with an all-girl orchestra that I'm still trying to place. (She has a photo from this still as-yet-unknown movie.) In addition, she claims to have been in more Will Rogers comedies at Hal Roach than listed above, and she's mentioned to me, too, that worked with Virginia Davis in films apart from The Dark Angel. So I expect to locate more films in which Lassie Lou appeared.

Jeff
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Re: Little Mickey Grogan (1927) - GoFundMe 2.0

PostSun Nov 13, 2016 2:59 pm

While I have no financial updates to report, I want to mention that another title within Lassie's filmography has been found. Evidence has surfaced that she appeared in a 10-part 1924 serial called The Fortieth Door. It starred Anna May Wong and Allene Ray. Alas, the serial is considered lost. In talking with Lassie about it today, she doesn't remember making it (she was three or three and a half when it was made), though if she knew more of the plot she might still recall it. She definitely recalls watching Wong in the movies.

It was also discovered that she was not in three Will Rogers shorts at Hal Roach, but five of them. More film detective work to follow.

Jeff
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Re: Little Mickey Grogan (1927) - GoFundMe 2.0

PostMon Nov 14, 2016 5:58 pm

First forgive me for posting as this new member , but I couldn't remember my old password and the site recognized my user name, but I guess I used an old email like my UCLA archive one or something so I could not use the "forgot password" link, nor could I find a link to contact a site administrator.

I felt like I needed to at least comment on this, since I know all of the principal characters involved here, with the exception of Mr. Crouse. You have quality people working on this project and I do hope that you preserve this material. I do NOT in any way condone Eric's comments or anyone who loses a bit of control with how they approach commenting on a project, but I have to say that as someone who regularly works on restoration projects, your go fund me page comes off as a bit disconcerting when the largest line item is a trip to Pordenone. For those that do not know, a very expensive trip to a silent film festival is not necessary to preserve a film nor to get that film in the Pordenone festival. I have to confess that even some folks involved in Pordenone were somewhat surprised to see that their festival was part of the fundraising aspect of the project.

Sure it would be great if everyone that preserves a film could travel the world with that film, but it shouldn't potentially interfere with raising the funds for the work....I think Eric gets overwhelmed with the frustration it takes in trying to get films and serials out there on a regular basis, and how costly it can be and his words expressed that in the worst possible way...I work with him and know that he is a passionate man about the work, and is not really one of the evil-minded trolls that plague the web, so I would ask for maybe a bit of forgiveness for his facebook posts..

Ultimately what I think what Eric was trying to get across, was perhaps beware putting the cart before the horse, so to speak...Most of us in this field desperately try to get the work accomplished and then try and find any funding for the best musical score or travel, or promotion of the films.....If you can;t get the film preserved then there will be no need for a travel budget so it would be a shame that the project fell short because of people feeling awkwardly about the request for money for someone to take a trip. .......

Best of luck with the project as you have some good people involved, and maybe expand the explanations on the funding page as to why the most expensive item listed in preserving this film is the trip to Pordenone? Is it for Miss Ahern to attend? That is something I bet people could really get behind, but if it is just for yourself to attend, then that might be a hard one for people to justify donating for since most of the preserved films that play there do not have the preservationists in attendance unless thosepeople paid for the trip themselves.

I hope you do not think I am trying to discourage your project in anyway, quite the contrary, I am trying to help you get the message across perhaps a little less blurry.
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Jeff Crouse

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Re: Little Mickey Grogan (1927) - GoFundMe 2.0

PostSat Dec 03, 2016 2:50 pm

The limbo this project has recently been in is about to change. This is because Eric Grayson and I have agreed to go forward with the restoration despite not having raised as yet all of the necessary funding. We will soon start on switching the French intertitles back into their original English (aided greatly by having a copy of the 1927 script at hand, courtesy of Lassie Lou), and removing dirt from the image. This will get the ball rolling and then we'll move to other tasks, step by step. We will keep everyone updated as things evolve.

In response, however, to the idea (which has surfaced a couple of times on this thread) that doing a "film out" is too expensive for a one hour film made by FBO to receive, our rejoinder would be along the lines of the old adage "do something right or don't do it at all." Our intention was not a restoration without preservation, however luxurious that may seem. We could have simply tidied up the film image, swoop the French intertitles out for the English ones, and then without a score, simply put it on Youtube (or whatever). But our aim has always been to do the best professional job that's possible.

Equally, since Day 1 it's been my conscious decision that the film should be represented by either Lassie Lou or myself when it plays in festivals. Actually, the goal is much more modest: rather than attempting to represent the film in a physical sense by attending a great number of festivals, it was decided that, owing to its prestige and impact, Pordenone was singled out and limited to that one only. It must be appreciated, too, that a documentary nearly equal to Little Mickey Grogan's running time would also debut at Pordenone as well. As the producer of both projects, and because, at 96-going on-97, Lassie Lou is no longer in a position to travel, it was concluded that I would be the person accompanying both Little Mickey Grogan and Lassie Lou Ahern -- A Voice for the Silent Age. A short filmed introduction by the actress would also be part of this package.

On a personal note, and meant sincerely, I wish to thank everyone at Nitrateville for your interest and support of this silent film project. It means a lot.

Jeff
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Jeff Crouse

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Re: Little Mickey Grogan (1927) - GoFundMe 2.0

PostWed Dec 21, 2016 3:33 pm

Great new announcement: the restoration has begun! Under the auspices of Eric Grayson, Audrey Balzart and Cinnamin Stephens, both skilled film students at Nevada State College, are painstakingly working to stabilize the image. Such is their great dedication that they are laboring through the holidays so that the next step, that of the de-dirting the image, can start to take place next month.

We lost a year's worth of time in sorting out the tortuously elaborate copyright mess (times ten) that surrounds Little Mickey Grogan, a costly year (in all senses of the term as lawyers were involved) spent frustratingly in restoration limbo. Happily, it's all good now. Now we're rockin'.

Updates as soon as they happen.

Jeff
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WaverBoy

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Re: Little Mickey Grogan (1927) - GoFundMe 2.0

PostFri Dec 23, 2016 10:30 pm

Great news, glad to hear the ball is rolling!
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Jeff Crouse

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Re: Little Mickey Grogan (1927) - GoFundMe 2.0

PostSun Jan 29, 2017 1:21 pm

It's time for an update, and a good one it is! I'm writing to let people know that the restoration has advanced considerably since my last posting. Back in December Step 1 was initiated, namely, that of stabilizing the image (courtesy of two Nevada State College students, guided by Eric Grayson). These students painstakingly worked through their Christmas and New Year holiday with real dedication. By early January they successfully completed their work.

Step 2 was devoted to de-dirting the image, and acclaimed restorationist Thad Komorowski was hired for this important aspect of the project. As many of you know, Thad boasts an impressive resume, including his work on 13 Criterion Collection restorations (among them, The New World, which is one of my favorite films). Within a fortnight, he was finished!

Now we are at Step 3. This involves removing the French intertitles and replacing them with their closest approximation in English. Here we worked very closely with the original 1927 script. For the few intertitles that had no equivalent in the script, a French-Canadian animator as well as a Parisian restorationist was consulted for their French language skills. Eric Grayson is the one swapping out the titles.

After Step 3 is completed, the project will move over to Philip Carli for the score.

That's the status report.

All best,
Jeff
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Jeff Crouse

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Re: Little Mickey Grogan (1927) - GoFundMe 2.0

PostThu Feb 02, 2017 3:51 pm

As all of you know, David Shepard passed away on the evening of January 31st. Alongside Kevin Brownlow, Shepard was not only a silent film historian, but the greatest film preservationist alive. His Blackhawk archive had a long-standing partnership with Serge Bromberg of Lobster Films. Bromberg, as you recall, owns the only known copy of Little Mickey Grogan and so you begin to understand Shepard's link to this restoration project. Moreover, Shepard reached out to me, unsolicited, to support our efforts here, by providing an introduction for me to approach film critic Leonard Maltin. This directly led to Maltin himself very enthusiastically endorsing our Little Mickey Grogan project on his well-read blog. So I'm writing to thank Shepard, wherever he might be in the life to come, for his generosity and assistance. His death has been a huge blow to the silent film crowd. RIP, fellow silent film lover and scholar.
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dede

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Re: Little Mickey Grogan (1927) - GoFundMe 2.0

PostFri Feb 03, 2017 12:07 am

Just donated. Glad to hear the project is proceeding.
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