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Who are you? (Formal introductions)

Posted: Tue Dec 18, 2007 9:50 pm
by Jack Theakston
I was surprised to see that there was currently no thread of this kind here on the board, and it's always a good starting point for any public forum for its members to introduce themselves as they enter. So here goes...

I'm Jack Theakston. I'm a writer and showman, and have been a cinephile for too many years to count. I'm currently living just outside of New York City, and I'm involved with a number of theaters and film festivals in this area.

I'm a film collector, and collect primarily 35mm. My film interests include silents (obviously), horror/sci-fi, 3-D film, and most pre-1970 film making in general.

I also collect vintage records.

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 9:10 am
by silentfilm
I'm Bruce Calvert. I'm a computer programmer. I live in Brady, a small town in central Texas. I've been a silent film fan since I started collecting Super 8mm and 16mm Blackhawk films as a teenager. I still collect 16mm films of silent and early sound films. I also have a large collection of silent movie stills and some theater programs and advertising flyers at .

I'm currently the acting head of the McCulloch County Historic Theater Society. We're trying to restore a small 1920s theater building that is currently in poor condition. Films have not been shown there since the 1950s. We put on several 16mm film shows a year of silent films or early sound films to raise money for the effort. There is currently not a working movie theater in the county.

I've attended the Kansas Silent Film Festival and Cinecon several times and I've had a blast each time. If only I had the time or money to attend them every year...

My special area of interest is silent comedian (and later 20th-Century Fox producer) Raymond Griffith. I have a large collection of movie stills and advertising featuring him. I wrote an article on him in the January 2005 Classic Images, which can be found at .

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 10:20 am
by Mike Gebert
Great idea, Jack.

I'm Mike Gebert, the part of my avatar that is NOT Charley Chase is me, and I'm a freelance advertising copywriter in Chicago, which is why I waste so much time on the Internet.

Growing up in Wichita, Kansas-- where my dad, like everyone else in the oil business, knew Ted Brooks, the oil & gas columnist for the local paper, who had a sister who went off to be an actress and dancer in New York and was a bit of a family scandal-- I became a film buff at an early age and, this being the pre-videotape era, caught whatever I could wherever I could. I saw Modern Times at Wichita's socialist coffeehouse one Friday night when I was about 14; many a silent comedy (or a Flash Gordon serial) I saw at a local pizza parlor, shown on one of those Fairchild projectors which didn't require a projectionist; I rented Blackhawk prints from the local library and watched them in 8mm on my wall; I saw Nosferatu for the first time in a university basement screening room with German titles and a wildly inappropriate modern jazz score. You haven't lived until you've seen Max Schreck boom-chicka-boom-chicka.

At the University of Kansas I ran the film society for three years; and after college, back in Wichita, launched what I called the last new 16mm film society on earth, where among other things, we premiered Diary of a Lost Girl in Louise Brooks' (sort of) hometown with Ted Brooks' daughter (who looked a lot like her) present. At that point my interests were highly eclectic, basically I was just seeing everything I could and showing a wide range to cover all the bases, and that probably remained true until well after I moved to Chicago in 1988; I saw all the latest foreign films, I saw the new Hollywood movies, I saw everything.

Over time though I've really come to identify with, oh, 1915 to 1950 or so, I suppose. I think one of the reasons is that, much as I like German cinema in the 70s, they're not going to find 10 new Herzog or Fassbinder movies I haven't seen. (Yes, I've even seen this one, all of it.) But as Bertrand Tavernier said in Film Comment years ago, there's always more to discover in Warner Bros. from the 1930s-- it's a bottomless treasure chest. And if you attend Cinesation or other fests, the same is true of the silent era-- I don't even really pay that much attention to what the particular choices will be before I go, because I never heard of any of them and I know the one that will surprise me and knock my socks off will be completely unknown and completely indistinguishable from the others based on synopsis and credits alone.

It's also true that when I was growing up, the world of the 1920s and 1930s was still visible around me, not all torn down yet. Today I really have to hunt Chicago for living remnants of it (come to town and I'll take you to Orange Garden for mediocre art deco Chinese food) but it still existed in my childhood, and so watching the movies that bring it back to life is clearly Proustian on some level. But I also just admire the craftsmanship, the hightoned wit, the speed and brio of movies and performances back then, compared to so many lumbering dinosaurs today. Yes, the world of 20s and 30s cinema could be blinkered-- there's a point at every Cinevent or Cinesation where I'm just sick of the subject of protecting female virtue-- but our cinema has its own obsessions (as Albert Brooks said, "If aliens are watching our popular culture, they must think we're all cops") and I guess I've cast my vote for theirs over ours, on the whole. Now I have two sons, 9 and 6, and I'm doing my best to raise them the same way. They love Popeye cartoons and Errol Flynn movies and think nobody's funnier than Stan and Ollie. There's hope for the future.

My older son finding a celebrity he recognizes at Grauman's Chinese.

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 7:56 pm
by rudyfan
I'm Donna Hill, silent film buff and webmistress of Falcon Lair the Rudolph Valentino Homepage and also host of Stolen Moments, the first (and only, I think) podcast devoted to Rudolph Valentino, silent film and everything movies.

I live in San Francisco and am currently working on a book on Valentino, examining his life and films through vintage photographs.

I love just about all eras of film, but have a special love for silents and silent stars from that era. I do not pretend to be an expert, but I do admit to being a afficionado.

Posted: Wed Dec 19, 2007 10:37 pm
by Harold Aherne
Guess I might as well take the plunge...I am a lifelong resident of North Dakota, which of course isn't the *most* convenient spot in the world for finding silent screenings, though they do happen. I'm 24 years old, and in addition to movies I'm interested in most aspects of theatre and recordings from the late 19th century to 1937 or so. (Comes in handy when there's a closeup of a 78 in a movie, like in "Don't Change Your Husband" or "The Crowd".) There really are too many performers that I like to name here, so I'll just let my posts speak for themselves. TCM was indispensible in my education in vintage film; that's where I discovered the pleasures of Bessie Love, Wheeler and Woolsey, Marilyn Miller, and many others. My fascination with early talkies led me pretty directly to 78s and silents.

Otherwise, I love George Eliot, Henry James, Edith Wharton, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Guy de Maupassant, and other writers. I also have a philosophical bent, and I'd like to get an advanced degree in the field. So, far, G. E. M. Anscombe, Martha Nussbaum, Bernard Williams, and Philippa Foot have been major inspirations, and I'll give credit to David Hume for annoying me so much. Ethics and epistemology are my main interests, as well as aesthetics. Just don't get me started on postmodernism.


Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:54 am
by Danninx
I'm Daniela Cox. I'm living in the Rhineland in Germany and I'm 38 .Currently I'm trying to set up a web site dedicated to Ronald Colman's silent feature films,, contributions and comments are welcome.

From an early age I've been exposed to silent movies but mostly comedy like Laurel and Hardy, Harold Lloyd and Buster Keaton because they were shown on German tv in the afternoon, there was also a sunday matinee on tv that showed features like Battleship Potemkin, so I assume some of the first feature movies I've ever watched were actually silent.

So this being my first post and I find it always hard to get started somehow I hope I will be able to contribute a little bit more. :roll:


Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 3:34 pm
by Frederica
Danninx wrote:I'm Daniela Cox. I'm living in the Rhineland in Germany and I'm 38 .Currently I'm trying to set up a web site dedicated to Ronald Colman's silent feature films,, contributions and comments are welcome.

That's a very nice website, Colman certainly deserves his own page.

OK, I'll bite and do an intro. As most of you know by now, my real name is Joan Myers, but my nom d'web is Frederica Merrivale. Many of you know me by that name which I do not mind in the least, I answer to both.

I've been a movie fan since I was a wee girl, which disconcerted the heck out of my parents; neither would willingly sit through a movie if you paid them, so I heard lots of "she takes after your family." (Even more disconcerting to them was my childish passion for Maria Montez. I thought she was the Queen of the World. I still do.)

I've always liked classic films, but I became interested in silents about 12 years ago. I have my likes and dislikes and occasionally find a new object upon which to bestow my affections: currently I'm in love with Mr. & Mrs. Sidney Drew, whose oeuvre I wish to see much more of, and Milton Sills, ditto. Of the tiresomely yclept "Big Three" comedians, I adore Keaton, like Lloyd, not-so-much Chaplin...but I've laughed harder at Marion Davies than the Big Three combined. I love Rinty and Luke and wish that someone would put out a "Silent Animal Star" dvd, but I guess the rights issues would be frightening. A girl can dream.

I am currently being eaten a new history of the Roscoe "Fatty" Arbuckle trials of 1921/1922. I keep setting deadlines for myself, but life keeps interfering so I can't give you a street date for it. Inevitably just when I think I have all the information I'm going to get, something new comes along and diverts me back into research mode--which isn't all that difficult to do. Like many people working in this small field I far prefer the research to writing, so give me a chance to track an insignificant fact to hell and back and I'll take it. Let's just say it's in progress.

As for personal; I have an orange cat who is horribly spoiled not because he deserves it, but because I want to spoil him. I live in an older section of Los Angeles in what I like to refer to as the William Desmond Taylor triangle--sort of in between the residences of Taylor, Mabel Normand and M.M. Minter. Actually it's really more the Wm. Desmond Taylor Obtuse Triangle. I've met quite a few of you and with any luck I'll someday meet many more of you. I try to attend Cinecon every year and I've just discovered the San Francisco Silent Film Festival, which is now also on my list of "must-do's."

So that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Questions? Comments?


Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 6:12 pm
by James Bazen
This looks like a great forum. It's nice to see so many familiar names.

Well, my name is James Bazen. I'm 27 years old and have loved classic films since I was very young. I can remember watching films like The Wizard of Oz and Gone With The Wind in the 1980's when those films celebrated their golden anniversaries. My love for silent films came along a bit later. I was about 11 when I saw my first silent film. It was The Wind of all things. I know I didn't get all the touches at that time, but I was fascinated enough to try other films, and soon I was hooked.

I love films from all periods of the "Golden Age" but I particularly enjoy movies from the 1910's up until about the mid-30's. I love too many stars to list them.

For the last year+, I have had film historian aspirations. I have been researching the life/career of silent film star Eugene O'Brien. Why Eugene O'Brien you ask? Well, my interest in him was born out of my interest in Norma Talmadge. I wanted to learn more about him and became interested in his story. Not a great deal is written about him. Most is either in passing(Norma Talmadge's most popular leading man) or he appears in the numerous who's who pseudo-film histories of alleged gay/lesbian early film stars. But Gene(As I've begun to affectionately call him) was much more than both of those. He had a very notable career on Broadway and was a major star in his own right in films. Today, he's largely forgotten.

I can't give a timeline when I'll be finished. I'm gone five days a week for 11-12 hours. So because of my crazy schedule, my project is taking a little longer than I'd like. But, since this is my first time, I'm okay with the longer time line, as I'm learning many different aspects of reasearch. This past April I made my second trip to The Library of Congress to view Norma Talmadge films, most were films she made opposite O'Brien.

I don't consider myself an expert, but an afficionado. I've learned quite a bit and am learning a lot more. And I'm glad I got started watching these films so young. I've managed to see a really numerous and eclectic cross-section of movies. So far, I've only attended one of the major early film conventions. I've attended The Fall Cinesation the past five years now. I'm contemplating attending Cinefest in Syracuse this March, and I eventually hope to attend the Valhalla of conventions--- Cinecon.

I love reading, and enjoy books on film history, and fiction. A few weeks ago I finished my dear friend Allan Ellenberger's The Valentino Mystique. Right now, I'm reading Rita Dove's novel Through The Ivory Gate. I'm also a hardcore opera afficionado and I love vintage 1920's, 30's era pop music and jazz.

So, that's a bit about me.


Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 6:53 pm
by Frederica
James Bazen wrote:I've attended The Fall Cinesation the past five years now. I'm contemplating attending Cinefest in Syracuse this March, and I eventually hope to attend the Valhalla of conventions--- Cinecon.

James, if you attend Valhalla/Cinecon, I promise I'll wear my helmet with the horns. It will add a whole new dimension to "Ladies, Please Remove Your Hats."


Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 7:08 pm
by Danny Burk
My turn. I've been interested in silents since first seeing GOLD RUSH on PBS when I was 7. This led to collecting 8mm films (mostly 2-reel comedies) when I was 11, which in turn led to 16mm plus some dabbling in 35mm. Nowadays I no longer have the film prints, but rabidly collect on DVD and, when the latter isn't available, videotape. My film interests center around late teens to about 1940, although there are many others (both earlier and later) that I also enjoy. Lately I've discovered non-English dialogue films, which I'd largely ignored in past years; of these, my favorites have been Japanese by directors such as Kurosawa, Ozu, and Mizoguchi, but I'm also widening my scope in other directions as well, giving me an enlightening voyage of discovery.

Most of my interests are in earlier art forms; musically, "my period" is late 1800s through about 1935. I'm also fascinated by ancient civilizations and Oriental art, although I don't have time to do more than dip into these subjects. Non "art world" interests include nature and natural science of all types. Oh, I'm a professional photographer, specializing in landscape, which takes me to interesting and beautiful places around North America, as well as teaching field workshops and Photoshop classes. I'm sure I'll think of more later, as I have a ton of interests...

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:19 pm
by Mike Gebert
By the way, click on Danny's website link to see some of his large format nature photography, which is stunning.

Posted: Thu Dec 20, 2007 8:49 pm
by silentfilm
Wow, those are some impressive nature photographs!

I guess that I should add that I'm 47, married, and I also have two elementary-age sons. My kids always ask me why I like movies with no talking in them. They think it is strange, yet they usually sit and watch them when I'm projecting them.

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:42 am
by SilentsGirl
Okay, I'll jump in.

I'm Graceann Macleod - co-moderator of the silentfilms group over at yahoo and fan of silents and classics since I was a fetus (which was a loooong time ago). I always loved old movies; my mum and I would watch them together in the afternoons and she would tell me about Betty Hutton and Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert. When I was ten, she gave me a copy of Colleen Moore's autobiography, "Silent Star," with the promise that she'd take me to see the Fairy Castle when I completed it. Later that year the Brownlow/Gill Hollywood Series ran on our local PBS station, and my life in the silent world truly began.

Silents led me to Buster Keaton, and I'm now the Membership Director for the Damfinos, and their official Convention Reporter. The Damfinos led me to the love of my life, and today we celebrate SIX WHOLE WEEKS of matrimony. (I'm currently doing much better than Britney Spears, but I'm aiming much higher.) I am a writer (my travel columns appear in the online journal "Maryland 20878") and I do freelance research and proofreading for manicure money. My husband and I also have an eBay store called "When Love Comes In," where we sell movie memorabilia, books, craft supplies and other tzotchzkes.

Up until May of this year, I lived in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, but since May I've been living in London and have happily settled in, along with my cat of dubious intelligence, Spike. I miss Stephen Colbert and crab rangoon, but wouldn't trade a moment of my new life for any portion of my old one.

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 11:51 am
by Danny Burk
Thanks for the kind words, guys.

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 1:03 pm
by Mike Gebert
Wow, congrats on your nuptials as well as welcome, Graceann. Welcome also to James, and anybody else I haven't welcomed (I'm trying not to fill up the board with such posts, but I am very glad to see so many folks so quickly).

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 2:46 pm
by Pathe Lehrman
Okay, in for dime, in for a dollar. Tom Reeder here, writing from sunny New Jersey. By powers of deduction and a close reading of the other posts, I get the sinking feeling that I'm the geezer of the group. Anyway, I first fell in love with silent film when I was 9 and could convince my easily-convincable parents to let me stay up 'til 10:30 to watch "Silents, Please." In '63 I had the good fortune to relocate to a town mid-way between NYC and Philadelphia, which meant that I was then able to receive 11 channels, a staggering number in those pre-cable days, plus an additional 3 UHF channels out of Phila that carried pretty much nothing but Poverty Row fare - which I grew to love as well. Attended SVA in NYC with the lofty ambitions of becoming a film editor, but reality got in the way and I was forced to put bread on the table through the then-mystical occupation of data processing. Not that I'm complaining about that, as it's worked out well for me. So, on to NYU at nights to get a Masters in Cinema Studies, just to keep my mind fully-occupied with film, and to avoid changing my two infants' diapers whenever possible. I became a champion of the medium's lesser-knowns, delving into cinema's underbelly and doing research on such luminaries as director William Beaudine, producers Ben Pivar and Sam Katzman (stop snickering!), and silent film comedy legend director/producer/actor/writer Henry Lehrman. Yeah, I know he's controversial, but the fellow's gotten somewhat of a bum rap over the intervening years, and there's a story to be told there.

Then, alas, came several decades of building up a small business, with the rather unfortunate result that film had to take somewhat of a back seat, reduced to furtive pre-dawn and wee-hours viewings, and the consumption of the occasional new book that took film history a bit more seriously than the bulk of 'em. But now, with a tiny bit more time on my hands, several web sites such as SilentComedians have renewed my interest and encouraged my involvement, and this new site is a most welcome addition.

So there you go. No web sites or chat rooms from this poster, but I have two mid-20's sons who absolutely cherish silent film comedies due to my heavy-handed influence during their impressionable years, and I have a small, like-minded group over ever other month to watch the Reeder picks du jour. And there isn't a day that goes by that I don't thank the DVD Gods for the plethora of films now available on same.

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 7:46 pm
by rollot24
Hi all. My name is Tim Hart and I've been a silents fan for about 40 years, I started young. I had seen "Tarzan of the Apes" on TV and was fascinated; shortly after that I almost accidently picked up a copy of "Classics of the Silent Screen" and the rest is history.

Growning up near L.A. I spent a lot of time at the Silent Movie Theatre when the Hamptons still ran it. I also spent a lot of time at Cal Tech's silents series which had Chauncey Haines at the organ.

My main silent hero is Keaton (love the NitrateVille logo) and, like Graceann, I'm active in the Damfinos.

I live near Seattle, WA, with my cats Buster and Lillian. By day I'm a professional magician and by night a secret bagpipe player. Glad to see this group started.

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 9:16 pm
by Paul Penna
Pathe Lehrman wrote:Tom Reeder here, writing from sunny New Jersey. By powers of deduction and a close reading of the other posts, I get the sinking feeling that I'm the geezer of the group. Anyway, I first fell in love with silent film when I was 9 and could convince my easily-convincable parents to let me stay up 'til 10:30 to watch "Silents, Please."
Well, I remember watching "Silents Please" back when it first aired, which the imdb tells me was 1960 (could have sworn it was earlier), and I was 14 at the time, so there goes your claim for champeenship geezerdom.

While I never became what you'd term a hard-core silent film connoisseur, there have always been silents in my collection, going back to the Super-8 days, on through videotape, then laserdiscs and now DVD. Most lately I've picked up "Weiss-O-Rama." Theatrically, I have fond memories of a number of nights spent at the Avenue Theater in San Francisco with Bob Vaughn at the Wurlitzer. I'll never forget one night he had the packed audience whipped into such a frenzy at the conclusion of a film (I forget the title, but it was a swashbuckler with a chase finale) that we all immediately leapt to our feet screaming at the top of our lungs. It was like a rock concert.

My film tastes definitely tend toward the earlier rather than later, however, and I'm a long-time lurker on alt.movies.silent. I'm glad to see so many of the participants I've enjoyed reading there, here, including our host, of course.

Posted: Fri Dec 21, 2007 10:56 pm
by Jim Reid
My name is Jim Reid, and my introduction to silent films was when I was about 7 in the early 60s when the films of Robert Youngson first hit TV. I developed then and still to this day have a strong man-crush on Stan & Ollie. In the mid-60s, I found Famous Monsters of Filmland magazine and Forry Ackerman introduced me to The Phantom, Nosferatu, Dr. Caligari and the elusive London After Midnight. But TV and FM magazine was all I had being that I was growing up in the state that comes in 46th in all categories, Oklahoma. (Thank you, Mississippi!) In the early 70s, a kid in one of my HS classes brought an 8mm film for us to watch in class. It was a Blackhawk print of Two Tars. I haven't been able to hold onto disposable income since that day. I've run a few film societies and taken any opportunity to run films for an audience. For the past 23 years, I've lived in Dallas, (a classic film wasteland) and belong to a group of film collectors/fans who gather regularly for screenings. Bruce is one of our members, but we don't see him much since he's moved to the mean streets of Brady. I've been to Cinevent 3 times (always take a big suitcase) and this past September attended my first Cinecon. (Hi, Fred) My plans are that it will definately not be my last Cinecon. I also run projectors and supply prints every few months for the North Texas Chapter of the Theater Organ Society. It's fun because we run the films in a restored 19th century county courthouse. So far it's been The General, Wings, The Sheik among others, with Son of the Sheik and King of Kings coming up. (My prints) I've gotten a little chatty here, so I'd better stop before it gets ugly.

Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 10:09 am
by Frederica
rollot24 wrote: I live near Seattle, WA, with my cats Buster and Lillian. By day I'm a professional magician and by night a secret bagpipe player. Glad to see this group started.
How in the heck do you play the bagpipes secretly? Do you have a silencer? or is bagpipe playing just a secret shame?


Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 10:49 am
by StevenR
Hmm, introduction? Ok, sure why not...

Steven R, a mental health counselor in SC - Ive been watching silent films for most of my life (50+ years) - my father admitted he was a big fan of Tom Mix growing up, and having met Harold Lloyd in the early 50s (nobody else he was with at a convention had ever heard of him). I particularly enjoy comedies and very early material (I wonder if having a short attention span is part of liking less than five minute films....)
I like my music old - mainly listening to old time country music (pre-WW2) and similar material -pre-blues for instance. My reading is mostly non-fiction and 1940s humor comic books (I was a senior editor of Jerry Bails' the Who's Who of American Comic Books). I'm not writing any film history books (but maybe writing a history of the Universalist Church in the south).

Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 12:17 pm
by rollot24
How in the heck do you play the bagpipes secretly? Do you have a silencer? or is bagpipe playing just a secret shame?

Well, I wear earplugs, so at least I can't hear them. :)


Posted: Sat Dec 22, 2007 8:43 pm
by staticflashes
I am Buckey Grimm and I live in Mt. Airy Maryland. Currently I am a Production Manager for an Electronics Company. My exposure to silents came from a PBS showing of the General in 1974. My main areas of interest are History of Film Preservation in the U.S, Cameramen active prior to 1930, Orphan films as wells as Industrial,Educational and Actuality Films.

For several years I have been working on a full length bio of pioneering cameraman, director, writer and inventor Carl Louis Gregory.


Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 2:45 pm
by dr.giraud
Howdy, Shawn Stone here. I post as Dr. Giraud on ams (and, now, here), after the character played by Monte Blue in SO THIS IS PARIS. Though a doctor of some sort, Giraud is not particularly smart, clever, honest or of much use to either his wife or mistress. What he is, however, is lucky. Around the time I turned 40, it seemed like being lucky was something to emulate, if only in a nom-de-usenet.

I'm the arts editor at the "alt weekly" in Albany, N.Y. I watch all kinds of movies. Lubitsch is my fave director, but my favorite silent film is Sternberg's DOCKS OF NEW YORK.

Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 3:04 pm
by James Bazen
Sure Fred,

As long as you promise to carry the spear and wear the metal brassiere.


James, if you attend Valhalla/Cinecon, I promise I'll wear my helmet with the horns. It will add a whole new dimension to "Ladies, Please Remove Your Hats."

Posted: Sun Dec 23, 2007 3:25 pm
by King's Thursday
Hi, I’m Susan from Chicago but go by King’s Thursday on this and other sites (big Evelyn Waugh fan). I’m a trusts and estates lawyer by day. Glad to see that there are others (or at least one person) here who also likes popular music and jazz of the 1920s and 30s, which take up the most space on my ipod. Also met my better half, Mike Gebert (Mr. NitrateVille) when we were both members of the Wichita Film Society in the mid 1980s. Big Buster Keaton fan--Mike and I have gone to genuflect at his birthplace, Piqua, Kansas many years ago. I’ll be mostly lurking—I love reading about silent movies more than writing about them.

Howdy from Dayton, Ohio...

Posted: Thu Dec 27, 2007 5:36 pm
by Kinohead
Hi, I am Frank Wylie from Dayton, Ohio. I have been a fan of silent film since the early 70's when the PBS station in OKC started playing re-runs of "Silents Please". I vividly remember tuning into the middle of the Odessa Steps sequence while searching in vain for a reasonable late-night movie; it had me under my chair in about 10 seconds and the image of the woman shot in the face made me jump out of my skin -- I was hooked!

In the early 1990's, I put online a website called, "Kinoville; the silents were never silent", but had to mothball it when I changed jobs from the Ohio State University, Department of Photography and Cinema to the Library of Congress Motion Picture Preservation Lab in Dayton, Ohio. For 13 years, I worked first as an expert contractor on Paper Print Collection, then as motion picture timer and finally as Lab Supervisor, leaving when the Culpeper, Virginia facility began to come online and lab staff began to relocate.

I am currently launching Dayton Digital Filmworks, a "boutique" 2K and 4K digital film restoration service that hopes to eventually launch a limited presence in the photochemical World (35 and 16mm preservation masters), but will remain largely digital until business grows (website NOT launched yet and sorry for the plug!).

While I cannot hope to be really active here, I do plan on lurking and trying to keep my finger on the pulse of the collecting and festival circuit when I get the chance.

Good to see another nice site devoted to Silent Film.

Posted: Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:16 pm
by Bob Birchard
Bob Birchard here, known in print as Robert S. Birchard, author of "Cecil B. DeMille's Hollywood," "King Cowboy--Tom Mix and the Movies," and "Silent Era Filmmaking in Santa Barbara." I'm also a film and video editor, have written dozens of articles for publications like "American Cinematographer," "Statement," "Film History," "Griffithiana," and others. I've done DVD commentaries for "The Iron Horse" (solo) and "The Rains Came" and "THe Narrow Margin" (in conjuntion with Tony Slide). I also run the Cinecon Classic Film Festival.

Re: Who are you? (Formal introductions)

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 12:17 am
by Michael Mortilla
Well, no surprise this is a popular thread. It's nice to know who some of you folks are!

Like Mr. Birchard, I also use my real name - so I won't repeat it here.

In the silent film world, I'm probably know best by the back of my head - currently as an accompanist for UCLA TV & Film Archive, The Getty Center, The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences, Hollywood Heritage, and The Silent Society. I also scored The Chaplin Mutuals (David Shepard & Image Entertainment) and The Master Mystery starring Harry Houdini (produced in 1998 by Wm. McIlhany).

My day job is as a composer, having recently completed the feature "Johnny Got His Gun" both as Composer and Sound Designer:

Since 1968 or so, I've scored over 700 produced works for theater, film, magic, TV, radio and the concert stage, including an orchestral score for Chaplin's "Easy Street" that was performed at the 1996 Olympic Games Arts Festival, in which I was piano soloist. That was revised and presented by The Chicago Symphony in 2006 (again, I was piano soloist) and the CSO also commissioned two new scores from me that were performed in that concert series for Keaton's "One Week" and "The Haunted House."

You can always find me (and more information) at:

or easier to remember:

(Or click the "www" below this message.)

BTW, the first silent film I ever accompanied was the "Ghost of Rosey Taylor" presented at the Santa Barbara Int. Film Festival back in 1986 or '87. That was presented by Bob Birchard (see above). :)

Posted: Fri Jan 04, 2008 11:39 am
by Harlett O'Dowd
Frederica wrote:
James Bazen wrote:I've attended The Fall Cinesation the past five years now. I'm contemplating attending Cinefest in Syracuse this March, and I eventually hope to attend the Valhalla of conventions--- Cinecon.

James, if you attend Valhalla/Cinecon, I promise I'll wear my helmet with the horns. It will add a whole new dimension to "Ladies, Please Remove Your Hats."

but only if I get to bring Siegfried with me:

and Mooda when we finally get that midnight screening of GOLDEN DAWN