1929 - Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US

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telical
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1929 - Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US

Unread post by telical » Sat Feb 03, 2018 11:31 pm

This was just posted last month so I'm thinking it might be new to people on here.

Last edited by silentfilm on Mon Feb 05, 2018 12:30 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Embedd YouTube link
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SilentsPlease
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Re: 1929 - Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US

Unread post by SilentsPlease » Sun Feb 04, 2018 11:57 am

The source of these videos is "Moving Image Research Collection" at University of South Carolina. I went to their website found tons of their archive film footage. Sometimes it is better to go to the source instead of relying on Youtube bootleg videos. Note that the Youtuber says in his video description, "Condensed the footage and worked on sound a bit." What the hell does that even mean? Did he temper with the video with any technical know-how at all? Better to watch the ORIGINAL videos from people who knew what they were doing instead of from unauthorized Youtubers whose skill and knowledge you know nothing about.

Ken Viewer
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Re: 1929 - Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US

Unread post by Ken Viewer » Tue Feb 06, 2018 2:18 pm

The particular footage embedded above is from film that was generally not known to exist as recently as last week (am sort of not kidding here). Overwhelmingly, the Fox silent-newsreels and Fox Movietone News hoard now at the University of South Carolina (UofSC) is film that has never been commercially exhibited in movie theaters because it's *outtakes* shot by Fox news camera crews.

Up until at least 1980, which is long after the newsreels division was closed, Fox and its successor-company 20th Century-Fox apparently never tossed anything that was captured on film -- by their crews or freelancers --
and instead stored it in anticipation it might someday have value. I, for one, am enormously grateful to them for saving these massive chunks of our history, as filmed around the world.

When the Marvin Davis regime at 20th Century-Fox needed a tax-deduction, they came up with a scam to offer the some-65-million feet of that newsreels footage they held to various institutions around the country as long as they could get a fake tax deduction (I've posted about this elsewhere here, so no need to repeat)...

Anyway, the last university I would have thought of to go for this deal (which the IRS, in a letter-ruling, later disallowed) was the University of South Carolina. But they did. Yet Fox only shipped four million feet of non-nitrate film to them, along with seven million feet of deteriorating silver-nitrate film before declaring the deal void. That, as far as I've followed this, is where things still stand, awaiting an angel to pay for either the conversion of the nitrate stock to safety film or to digital. (Brother, can you spare 20 million dollars?)

It's only been a few years since the UofSC started uploading the digitized segment of its Fox hoard to the Internet, and it clearly asserts copyright on what it holds, including material filmed prior to 1923. The last thing I want is a copyright dispute with them, because, regardless of who owns what, it's the UofSC that has put what they have digitized on the Internet for free, via their own proprietary site.

Meanwhile, you can't just phone them up and ask them to upload footage you don't know that they have -- and likely that they don't know what they have. To my knowledge there is partial catalog of converted film but no public catalog of the silver-nitrate portion of the hoard, and the UofSC, bless them for their efforts to the degree possible, frequently doesn't know who the people on these newsreels films are, or when the footage was shot, or where. Further, they don't have the teams of experts on staff to identify that which can be identified by experts in every particular aspect of history that Fox filmed.

So rather than going to the online portion of their holdings, at their site, trying to figure out how to use their search-engine to find what I often don't know exists (a task I've been working on in the years since they made the search-engine available) I'd rather look at what others have posted upon Youtube after having dug this history out of the over 7,000 clips the UofSC has digitized. Except that there has been, to my knowledge, virtually nothing from the UofSC hoard on Youtube. One of my colleagues in the newsreels' "historians" world, based in Europe, who knows dramatically more about the history of newsreels than I do, radically reordered a melange of out-of-order outtakes of one event, and thus, based upon the U.S. legal doctrine of Cariou vs Prince https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cariou_v._Prince" target="_blank" target="_blank ), had a copyright claim on the reordered footage himself (that's in my opinion).

Anyway, because he wanted to upload the new art he'd created from sliced-and-diced outtakes, and because he was/is grateful to the UofSC, in his upload, he avoided any copyright claim of his own by immediately handing the rights to the newly-recreated reel he had made back to the UofSC. And that reel is as close to the original footage as I believe is humanly possible to see (it's almost 20 minutes long). He's never heard any complaint from the UofSC that I know of, nor has Youtube.

(About a decade ago, after a small group of us started purchasing copies of some of the digitized segments of the hoard, one of us -- who has never posted anything on Youtube to my knowledge -- likely a noted retired newsman and biographer I recruited to co-fund purchases of copies of footage, began sending the UofSC details of who the people on the films are, which Fox had not provided to the UofSC -- and may never have known -- and what these people's connections to history are.) And the UofSC mostly added this information to their databases.

Point of all this is that a monster archive exists, and it involves tons of work to identify it. If others are willing to do the work, bravo to them.

If a Youtube poster puts up identified footage, as long as he/she/it doesn't screw with it in any way, and the UofSC is okay with the practice, I find that great. As for claims of fixing up or editing these outtakes, sometimes it needs to be done, if in fact it was done, and, if it was done, not merely altered for no good reason.

To repeat; most of the UofSC footage falls into the "never-known-to-exist film" category. This material is golden.

If you want to spend the money to go down to Columbia, South Carolina for a month-or-more to try and do research into what's in that hoard, I doubt the UofSC is going to let you run wild among their cannisters of silver-nitrate film, and video-tapes/DVDs of other footage.

Reportedly, the UofSC is going to become the repository for the entire U.S. Marine Corps film-archives, and I worry the university won't have enough assets to devote to the Fox hoard and the rest of their holdings that are now expanding.

I urge everyone to encourage honest diggers, who make no profit on it, to go through the digitized portion of the Fox newsreels hoard and find the gems that interest them, and, as noted, if the UofSC doesn't object, to post that footage on Youtube or some other free-access public site. I won't do it myself, but why should that limit others?

Ken
Last edited by Ken Viewer on Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Donald Binks
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Re: 1929 - Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US

Unread post by Donald Binks » Tue Feb 06, 2018 3:20 pm

It adds a whole new dimension to see people talking to us who were born - in one instance - in 1826! Fascinating living history! Thanks for posting.
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earlytalkiebuffRob
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Re: 1929 - Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Wed Feb 07, 2018 1:46 pm

Would be interesting to know how much longer some of them would live on for. And yes, remarkable stuff...

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Re: 1929 - Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US

Unread post by Daniel D. Teoli Jr. » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:53 am

Thanks...interesting archival material!

Ken Viewer
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Re: 1929 - Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US

Unread post by Ken Viewer » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:05 pm

earlytalkiebuffRob wrote:Would be interesting to know how much longer some of them would live on for. And yes, remarkable stuff...
One point of view is that they live on for as long as the footage survives and remains accessible.

Ken

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Re: 1929 - Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US

Unread post by SilentsPlease » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:33 pm

Ken Viewer wrote:Point of all this is that a monster archive exists, and it involves tons of work to identify it. If others are willing to do the work, bravo to them.

If a Youtube poster puts up identified footage, as long as he/she/it doesn't screw with it in any way, and the UofSC is okay with the practice, I find that great. As for claims of fixing up or editing these outtakes, sometimes it needs to be done, if in fact it was done, and, if it was done, not merely altered for no good reason.

To repeat; most of the UofSC footage falls into the "never-known-to-exist film" category. This material is golden.

If you want to spend the money to go down to Columbia, South Carolina for a month-or-more to try and do research into what's in that hoard, I doubt the UofSC is going to let you run wild among their cannisters of silver-nitrate film, and video-tapes/DVDs of other footage.

Reportedly, the UofSC is going to become the repository for the entire U.S. Marine Corps film-archives, and I worry the university won't have enough assets to devote to the Fox hoard and the rest of their holdings that are now expanding.

I urge everyone to encourage honest diggers, who make no profit on it, to go through the digitized portion of the Fox newsreels hoard and find the gems that interest them, and, as noted, if the UofSC doesn't object, to post that footage on Youtube or some other free-access public site. I won't do it myself, but why should that limit others?
When you see something on Youtube made by a random person who doesn't disclose anything -- his qualifications, his methods, not even the source of the video -- then you need to set your expectation way low. Many of these people altered the videos just to avoid removal by Youtube: some flipped the image, cropped the image, altered the soundtrack, etc. Most of these questionable Youtubers get off from seeing the adulating comments about their uploads ("Thanks for finding this valuable footage!!!!...Mad props for your stunning discovery!!!!....) instead of actually contributing something beneficial to the public. *I* already contributed more than that Youtuber by mentioning the source of the videos, U of SC, which he should have done right off the bat. If you found even a little bit of your work not only obtained without your knowledge but also uploaded to the web without any mention of your effort, then maybe you would feel differently. Youtube is sadly filled with this type of appropriation. The viewers are generally too lazy to find out where the videos came from and who did the work. When they thank the uploader, that is generally the last person in the world they should thank -- and I bet none of them, not even the brightest of you here, think of it this way. And that's sad.

earlytalkiebuffRob
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Re: 1929 - Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US

Unread post by earlytalkiebuffRob » Thu Feb 08, 2018 12:53 pm

SilentsPlease wrote:
Ken Viewer wrote:Point of all this is that a monster archive exists, and it involves tons of work to identify it. If others are willing to do the work, bravo to them.

If a Youtube poster puts up identified footage, as long as he/she/it doesn't screw with it in any way, and the UofSC is okay with the practice, I find that great. As for claims of fixing up or editing these outtakes, sometimes it needs to be done, if in fact it was done, and, if it was done, not merely altered for no good reason.

To repeat; most of the UofSC footage falls into the "never-known-to-exist film" category. This material is golden.

If you want to spend the money to go down to Columbia, South Carolina for a month-or-more to try and do research into what's in that hoard, I doubt the UofSC is going to let you run wild among their cannisters of silver-nitrate film, and video-tapes/DVDs of other footage.

Reportedly, the UofSC is going to become the repository for the entire U.S. Marine Corps film-archives, and I worry the university won't have enough assets to devote to the Fox hoard and the rest of their holdings that are now expanding.

I urge everyone to encourage honest diggers, who make no profit on it, to go through the digitized portion of the Fox newsreels hoard and find the gems that interest them, and, as noted, if the UofSC doesn't object, to post that footage on Youtube or some other free-access public site. I won't do it myself, but why should that limit others?
When you see something on Youtube made by a random person who doesn't disclose anything -- his qualifications, his methods, not even the source of the video -- then you need to set your expectation way low. Many of these people altered the videos just to avoid removal by Youtube: some flipped the image, cropped the image, altered the soundtrack, etc. Most of these questionable Youtubers get off from seeing the adulating comments about their uploads ("Thanks for finding this valuable footage!!!!...Mad props for your stunning discovery!!!!....) instead of actually contributing something beneficial to the public. *I* already contributed more than that Youtuber by mentioning the source of the videos, U of SC, which he should have done right off the bat. If you found even a little bit of your work not only obtained without your knowledge but also uploaded to the web without any mention of your effort, then maybe you would feel differently. Youtube is sadly filled with this type of appropriation. The viewers are generally too lazy to find out where the videos came from and who did the work. When they thank the uploader, that is generally the last person in the world they should thank -- and I bet none of them, not even the brightest of you here, think of it this way. And that's sad.
Must admit the uploader* who baffles me completely is the bozo who puts on a small section of the image, blown up to full screen size which is of no earthly use at all. He/she recently put FINIS TERRAE (1929) on, which I'd love to see, but the upload looked as if it would do great disservice to M Epstein...

*May be more than one daft beggar who does this...

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Re: 1929 - Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US

Unread post by David Alp » Thu Feb 08, 2018 5:29 pm

Here is a fascinating link to Janet Gaynor and Charles Farrell supposedly on the set of "Seventh Heaven"? However I suspect it to be a later film (?) because of the fact that I do not recognize the set -- and also both of them appear to be in different costumes to what they wore in "Seventh Heaven". In fact Farrell appears to be in his "City Girl" costume; as in that movie he plays a farm boy, in dungarees.

In fact (as we know, Gaynor was not in "City Girl") so with my eyes the whole thing does not make sense, I suspect they got the pair of them to act out a scene from "Seventh Heaven" on the "City Girl" set, (obviously 2 years later in 1929), and pretend they were making a scene from the film "Seventh Heaven".

https://mirc.sc.edu/islandora/object/usc%3A46836" target="_blank" target="_blank

Image
Image
Image

Ken Viewer
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Re: 1929 - Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US

Unread post by Ken Viewer » Thu Feb 08, 2018 7:46 pm

SilentsPlease post:

When you see something on Youtube made by a random person who doesn't disclose anything -- his qualifications, his methods, not even the source of the video -- then you need to set your expectation way low. Many of these people altered the videos just to avoid removal by Youtube: some flipped the image, cropped the image, altered the soundtrack, etc. Most of these questionable Youtubers get off from seeing the adulating comments about their uploads ("Thanks for finding this valuable footage!!!!...Mad props for your stunning discovery!!!!....) instead of actually contributing something beneficial to the public. *I* already contributed more than that Youtuber by mentioning the source of the videos, U of SC, which he should have done right off the bat. If you found even a little bit of your work not only obtained without your knowledge but also uploaded to the web without any mention of your effort, then maybe you would feel differently. Youtube is sadly filled with this type of appropriation. The viewers are generally too lazy to find out where the videos came from and who did the work. When they thank the uploader, that is generally the last person in the world they should thank -- and I bet none of them, not even the brightest of you here, think of it this way. And that's sad.

With all due respect, how else would we get leads on otherwise-unknown outtakes footage? No one is cutting up your favorite film or even tampering with its outtakes. This thread is about newsreels film that in most cases, was not previously generally known to exist.

I operate with the handicap I'm not a scholar of films history. And, being retired, a very limited budget to spend on collectables. So, since, at this time, perhaps the largest -- but unindexed -- Internet-accessible hoard of outtakes of newsreels is at the UofSC. And almost everything they've put online carries their watermark (some of their marks are different than others). If I see a Youtube post with a UofSC watermark, then I know there is some existing footage of the subject and I can go directly to the UofSC site and seek it out, if it interests me.

The key here is someone else has done the work I don't want to do, and offered me, anyway, and you, if you choose to follow it, a trail of breadcrumbs to the source. In the days a decade back, when there was a small purchasing group I put together where we all shared in the costs of DVDs, we could buy copies IF we knew the film both existed and had been digitized. And half the time -- no exaggeration -- we received footage with otherwise unidentified famous people (in their fields) in it. Usually, the surprise footage would turn out to be the only known still-existing film of these people or of these people speaking.

Now, that group of ours is either retired, broke or too disabled-to-post or participate in any purchasing consortium (except for the guy from Japan whose interest is in specific films, not newsreels). So *free* counts for a lot.

I don't care if someone wants Youtube credit for posting a possibly-butchered version of key footage; I'm promptly going to the source of that footage, having been grateful to the "digger." Let him/her/it get kudos; I've never uploaded any footage to a public site and don't plan to. (Were I going to, it would have been the Frohman/Mara/Muldoon outtakes -- given who Daniel Frohman was -- and I didn't have to think twice about not doing that which I don't do, even though I may have been the first one to find that footage and post a link to it at another site.)

I understand your concern that diggers can butcher uploads for any reason, and hope you understand my belief that this doesn't matter here. What counts is the reality that without a comprehensive index, the lack of diggers creates the reality of not knowing the footage exists.

(Youtube itself is becoming a problem as its owner converts it into a pay-to-view service, and I'm prepared to go elsewhere when Youtube is no longer a feasible outlet for those on a budget.)

Yet thanks to Youtube, I get to see and learn and enjoy new information every day. When I started posting here circa 2010, I thought the de Forest sound-on-film process had not been workable for realatively-large theaters when used in New York City in 1923, and thus not commercially practical. Turns out, that's wrong, since once I learned a number of those short films were exhibited at Manhattan's Rivoli Theatre, which is an auditorium I frequented for many years, and, reference material states had some 2,300-plus seats before it was reseated with larger resting spots and altered for Todd-AO 70 MM 30-frames-per-second projection, I changed my opinion. (The house was wide and not particularly deep. It couldn't have been a single-screen-cut-down from a larger structure since it was a block-through building that was sidewalk-to-sidewalk in depth and in a low-rise building.)

Anyway, I hope I have made some reasonable points regarding the value of diggers, be they glory-seeking kids or whomever. The guy who did the restoration of outtakes and posted the closest thing to the original -- on Youtube -- takes much more care of his uploads than anyone I've been lucky enough to get to know. He's not a digger; he's a films/newsreels scholar, and given circumstances, we didn't ever ask him to chip in for the costs of the DVDs and none of us, including me, had a clue he was recutting the out-of-sequence outtakes or planned to post them.

Yet I'm happy that he did.

In the world of newsreels, we're not dealing, for instance, with the grand, unique fiction-works of John Ford (who did shoot some newsreels film, and clips of it that he filmed during World War II survive) getting butchered. By the way, I've not seen anything special that would distinguish his newsreel film from any other cameraman's except that he had access to color film and his competitors usually didn't. Creating fictional feature films and filming real-world events/people, often in a static manner, are two different art forms, IMO.

Ken

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Re: 1929 - Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US

Unread post by silentfilm » Fri Feb 09, 2018 12:44 pm

I remember when Blackhawk Films started selling Fox Movietone newsreels on Super 8mm and 16mm film. I have several in my collection. To sell the films, they had to re-assemble them, because the individual stories had been cut up and saved by subject matter, rather than by the weekly issue.

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Re: 1929 - Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US

Unread post by SilentsPlease » Fri Feb 09, 2018 7:16 pm

Ken Viewer, for someone to be an "honest digger," he or she needs to do the job responsibly and inform the public accordingly. Not mentioning the source and even removing all screens identifying the Fox company are not what honest diggers would do. And what exactly did that Youtuber "dig up"? There is next to no additional info from him. You and I already contributed more than he did by mentioning the source, providing a link to the archive's website, and adding great information with your earlier detailed posts.

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Re: 1929 - Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US

Unread post by George O'Brien » Sun Feb 11, 2018 10:35 pm

I will not add to the unbelievably petty bickering; I am just glad these films are out there.

For the record, Mr. Draper is my new "Life Coach".
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Ken Viewer
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Re: 1929 - Interviews With Elderly People Throughout The US

Unread post by Ken Viewer » Mon Feb 12, 2018 1:33 pm

SilentsPlease wrote:Ken Viewer, for someone to be an "honest digger," he or she needs to do the job responsibly and inform the public accordingly. Not mentioning the source and even removing all screens identifying the Fox company are not what honest diggers would do. And what exactly did that Youtuber "dig up"? There is next to no additional info from him. You and I already contributed more than he did by mentioning the source, providing a link to the archive's website, and adding great information with your earlier detailed posts.
SilentsPlease, I suspect you have created a new category of digger and will, unless someone can establish the term "Honest Digger" had been used prior to your post, credit you for it. It may end up being an important term.

I've avoided writing about the specific digger/appropriation-"artist" using the screenname Guy Jones on Youtube, who uploaded the footage using the methods and failings that annoyed you so much, so I could cogitate on whether I wanted to take a public position on what some might call the ripping-off of other-people's-films by appropriation "artists."

Within limits, I personally enjoy Guy Jones's uploads and watch them as they appear. That doesn't negate your points.

But as a reporter, a few years back, I co-reported and wrote about litigation involving various appropriation artists such as the late Andy Warhol (who stopped stealing the copyrighted-or-trademarked images of others for his personal gain --after spending millions of dollars to defend various versions of his thefts; by the time he was doing silk-screens of MIckey Mouse, he had secured some wisdom and was seeking licenses of other-people's works before creating his approriations images). His Elizabeth Taylor and IIRC, Campbell Soup silk-screen works used the images he had no role in creating but he had licensed. On one case, his foundation spent a reported $7 million in legal fees until the other side could no longer afford to continue to sue.

The litigation against Richard Prince, who is, in my opinion, a wealthy thief who steals from truely-talented artists who create works that Prince sees, then slightly alters, and then sells them for vast sums, ended up in the highly-respected United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, where, after first losing before a three-judge panel of that court, Prince appealed to the full court, secured an en banc hearing, won on most appropriated works but the court sent five works it considered perhaps copyright infringed back to a lower court for further consideration.

The U.S. Supreme Court refused to hear an appeal by Cariou, and it seems Cariou saw the costs of further litigation were not worth any win and dropped his lawsuit (this was one single photographer of no great wealth (Cariou, not a millionaire that I know of) fighting the Prince empire, and there, to a great degree, is where things sit.

With the ease of modern editing equipment, and the accessibility of Youtube, Guy Jones is, in my opinion, creating some fascinating collations of Fox Movietone News footage and not charging even a thin dime to view them. Is it "honest digging" in the manner you define? No. But it isn't dishonest digging...to me. The UofSC can choose to deal with it or ignore it...

But in not referring to Guy Jones in the least, what does happen when someone combines frames from "The Searchers" with frames from a Three Stooges film? Under interpretations of current law (and, now retired, I have to rely on Wikipedia to learn the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit may be interpreting thievery of art works differently), in the world of U.S. Courts of Appeals, the ruling(s) handed down in the Second Circuit (which includes Manhattan -- New York County) apply only within the confines of the Second Circuit and the law handed down in the Seventh Circuit likewise applies only in the Seventh Circuit.

So we wait for Congress (which may soom move to Moscow) or the U.S. Supreme Court to tell us what the law of appropriation "art" really is...

Back to your term "Honest Digger..." I know of a few such people, but we are in a new world and I am waiting for the first digger to combine a chunk of the feature-film "Blackboard Jungle" with the this outtake excerpt from the UofSC's Fox newsreels hoard:

https://mirc.sc.edu/islandora/object/usc%3A42201" target="_blank" target="_blank" target="_blank

Might that be called "racist?" Well, it could be called appropriation "art" and I believe one-or-more thieves of Wall Street would pay millions of dollars for such work.

Are we on the cusp of the rape of art? You tell me.

Ken

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