Definition of Lost?

Open, general discussion of silent films, personalities and history.
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Hamilton's Grandson

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Definition of Lost?

PostTue Mar 28, 2017 5:30 pm

I just saw a nice bidding battle on ebay today for 4 reels of Tansy (1921) with reel 5 missing.

Not sure if the seller realizes that all 5 reels of Tansy are restored and are at BFI and they did show this film at Arundel in UK per previous posts.

Note to self: What one person's definition of "LOST" may not be the same as another person's definition.
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earlytalkiebuffRob

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Re: Definition of Lost?

PostWed Mar 29, 2017 1:30 pm

Hamilton's Grandson wrote:I just saw a nice bidding battle on ebay today for 4 reels of Tansy (1921) with reel 5 missing.

Not sure if the seller realizes that all 5 reels of Tansy are restored and are at BFI and they did show this film at Arundel in UK per previous posts.

Note to self: What one person's definition of "LOST" may not be the same as another person's definition.


Would be interested in seeing TANSY. I live in Portsmouth, and a trip to Arundel would not be too great an obstacle once I have arranged for Old Greedy-Guts - I mean my dear little cat - to be fed...
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Re: Definition of Lost?

PostWed Mar 29, 2017 1:52 pm

I think the definition is the same. It's the understanding of what the reality is that differs.

Bob
Film is not the art of scholars, but of illiterates.

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Re: Definition of Lost?

PostWed Mar 29, 2017 2:15 pm

I would have said it was a little more complicated. There are some pretty atrocious copies of some films around, some which have seemed too bad to watch unless there is really no chance of a better one cropping up. As we have learned with SHERLOCK HOLMES (1916) and TOO MUCH JOHNSON (1938) there is always the odd wonderful surprise in store. I've watched a crummy copy of a film only for a better one to turn up, but of course there is no way we can tell what might come to light. If these are the best there are, do they count as 'lost' or some kind of halfway measure? The same with films missing sections, or some / all colour / sound / 3-D / widescreen.

If one adds on all the films which have been cut by censor boards, plus those cut by studios for reissue, there are quite a lot of partially lost films. Richard Barrios, is very helpful in this respect, though not all his information is accurate.
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drednm

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Re: Definition of Lost?

PostWed Mar 29, 2017 2:52 pm

Obviously, if a film survives, whether in the real world or in an archive, it's not lost. Everything else is presumed lost until proven otherwise.

But I agree that "lost" can be relative term. Films that are incomplete or are corroded/unwatchable can be described as semi-lost since at least something survives and technology of the future may help retrieve them.
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Hamilton's Grandson

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Re: Definition of Lost?

PostWed Mar 29, 2017 7:21 pm

On the other hand, if the film is "Lost" and no one has seen a trace of the film for nearly a century and now it is "found" and restored, does the studio still have all the rights to the film? The copyright issue is confusing to me.
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drednm

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Re: Definition of Lost?

PostWed Mar 29, 2017 7:45 pm

Hamilton's Grandson wrote:On the other hand, if the film is "Lost" and no one has seen a trace of the film for nearly a century and now it is "found" and restored, does the studio still have all the rights to the film? The copyright issue is confusing to me.


If it predates 1923 it's most likely in the public domain, but I suppose there are exceptions. That's for US films.
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MaryGH

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Re: Definition of Lost?

PostThu Mar 30, 2017 5:35 pm

Hamilton's Grandson wrote:On the other hand, if the film is "Lost" and no one has seen a trace of the film for nearly a century and now it is "found" and restored, does the studio still have all the rights to the film? The copyright issue is confusing to me.



If you were to come across a print of "The Sonora Kid" (1927) while going through your family's collection on your grandfather's work - and it is 90 years old, considered to be on the Lost Silent Film list, legally it is sill under copyright by RKO (after they renewed copyrights on their predecessor FBO, back in the 1950s).

It took a lot of research not to mention letter writing (a snail mail to RKO at their NYC office) in order to elicit some responses. It was worth it though and even though RKO pointed me in the right direction as to who is responsible for distributing Tom Tyler's existing FBO silent films (Turner Home Entertainment/Warner Brothers).
Petition: Turner Enter./Warner Bros: Please digitalize Tom Tyler's FBO silent film westerns

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/650/139/ ... ent-films/
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Hamilton's Grandson

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Re: Definition of Lost?

PostThu Mar 30, 2017 5:49 pm

The reason I was asking is that I was in discussion with my local theatre about the possibility of showing a silent film or having a silent film festival. The owner of theatre said that they want absolute proof from legal counsel or from the "owner of the copyright" of any film that the show to the public. I approached them with a few DVD's that my relative appeared in that are available anywhere via home dvd distribution (Warner, Kino, Grapevine, etc.) and are already restored and scored to perfection. One produced by MGM in 1928 and one produced by Universal in 1926. The theatre said I could show any of the short reels that I have restored that family has the rights to, but films on DVD in the "public domain" still have copyright issues that need to be researched and proof needs to be provided.

Thanks,
Dana
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Re: Definition of Lost?

PostFri Mar 31, 2017 11:34 am

A 1928 MGM film is almost certainly still copyrighted. A 1926 Universal film may or may not be copyrighted -- they were not as good at renewing their copyrights.

Even if you show a public domain film from Kino, the music score will still be copyrighted. However, Kino, Milestone, Flicker Alley and other BluRay producers will allow you to license their films for showing in a movie theater, but for a fee.

While Grapevine specializes in public domain films, they have a lot of copyrighted films for sale that the copyright owner doesn't know about or doesn't care, so these could be problematic when showing them in a theater.
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Hamilton's Grandson

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Re: Definition of Lost?

PostFri Mar 31, 2017 12:29 pm

Hi Silent Film. How about specifically, The Trail of 98 1928 and Chip of the Flying U 1926? Looks like the films may be still copyrighted?
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Re: Definition of Lost?

PostWed Apr 05, 2017 11:31 am

Image
The Trail of '98 (1928) is definitely still copyrighted by Warner Brothers. It is available on DVD from the Warner Archive. Warners will license it to be shown in a theater, but you will have to pay a license fee. That's Karl Dane and George Cooper in the photo above.

I don't know about Chip of the Flying U.
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Re: Definition of Lost?

PostWed Apr 05, 2017 3:30 pm

Thanks silent film!

I did not know about a license fee, but glad to hear that it is possible. I have @ 35 stills from the movie and definitely not this one. I have the original program from MGM for the film and will check with the studio on showing it.

My grandfather played the Nevada Prospector that is introduced and seen in a few scenes with the parson, but since the restored version is missing @1,000 feet of film and the stills that I have from the film of him don't match the dvd version entirely, some of his parts were lost or are yet to be found.

Regards,
Dana

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