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Noted Film Archivist is the January Guest Star at the Silver Screen Oasis


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We are pleased to announce that film preservationist David Shepard will be joining us at Silver Screen Oasis from January 14th-18th, 2008.


Mr. Shepard's Film Preservation Associates has been responsible for the preservation of many classic silent films, including Birth of a Nation, Tol'able David, Orphans of the Storm, Nosferatu and many others.


After acquiring the Blackhawk Film Library in the 1980s, David Shepard began restoring silent films and making them available in top notch video editions, first on VHS and now on DVD.


Please join us while we talk to Mr. Shepard about his work in keeping these films alive for a new generation. Whether a film scholar or a neophyte enthusiast of early film history, we'd love to have you drop by to participate in our Q and A session and enjoy our site.


Here's a link to an interview with Mr. Shepard from the Silents are Golden website. A partial list of the illustrious restored films whose preservation is owed in part to David Shepard are below:

* The Affairs of Anatol (1921)

* America (1924)

* Atlantis (1913)

* Destiny (1921)

* The Birth of a Nation (1915)

* The Black Pirate (1926)

* The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920)

* Carmen (1915)

* City Lights (1931)

* Cobra (1925)

* Convict 13 (1920)

* The Coward (1915)

* Don Q Son of Zorro (1925)

* Dr. Mabuse: The Gambler (1922)

* Faust (1926)

* Flirting With Fate (1916)

* Go West (1925)

* His New Job (1915)

* The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1923)

* The Indian Tomb (1921)

* A King in New York (1957)

* The Last Laugh (1924)

* The Lost World (1925) restored version released April 6, 2001

* The Man With the Movie Camera (1929)

* Mark of Zorro (1920)

* The Matrimaniac (1916)

* Modern Times (1936)

* The Mollycoddle (1920)

* Moods of the Sea (1941)

* Nanook of the North (1922)

* Nosferatu (1922) restored version released January 2, 2001

* Orphans of the Storm (1921)

* Our Daily Bread (1934)

* Phantom of the Opera (1925)

* The Pilgrim (1923)

* Prison Train (1938)

* Robin Hood (1922)

* Shadows (1922)

* Siegfried (1924)

* The Sin of Nora Moran (1933)

* Steamboat Bill (1928)

* Strike (1925)

* Sunrise (1927)

* The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933)

* The Thief of Bagdad (1924)

* Tillie's Punctured Romance (1914)

* Tol'able David (1921)

* Twenty Minutes of Love (1914)


For a brief history of the Blackhawk Film Library, please follow this link:

Blackhawk Films

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The Blackhawk Films link (adjacent posting) leads to lots of pages. I was suprised in my (not-yet-completed) investigation to find a page with many titles (features) I haven't heard mentioned anywhere. Yes, I know almost all these are truly silent (no scores) in the form offered, but.... Here's a link to a specific page, and one can then click others from the bottom of that page:




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Interesting link ... yes lots of titles around there yet to see the light of day ...


I'd like to see the surviving Pearl White chapters assembled in some format ... I've seen random parts of "The Exploits Of Elaine" actually pieced into "The Perils Of Pauline" ...

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A reminder that if you'd like to read the details of our Q & A with our special guest, David Shepard, please feel free to visit us here. We are very appreciative for the generous amount of time and detailed answers that Mr. Shepard provided for our visitors. Our respect and appreciation for his heroic efforts to pass on the precious films of early movie makers is beyond words.


Thanks to all those who've participated in this illuminating discussion about the world of film preservation.

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Great time over there at the neighbour's- SilverScreenOasis! The value of the everlasting legacy Mr. Shepard and his colleagues has left is incalculable.


A focus on establishing a market for these newly restored films and the dormant ones silently waiting to be brought to life, must be directed at all levels of schools, fine arts programs, design and technological colleges and public libraries. That's the ticket.The domestic sales that Mr. Shepard describes is appalling, but nevertheless he remains a fellow with a marvellous sense of humour, vision and hope.


It would be wonderful if Alan Shore, Shirley Schmidt and Denny Crane could take up the gauntlet (pro bono) to end the alleged piracy shenanigans of Grapevine and Passport Video whose product will never cross my threshold again. Who knew?


And imagine Denny Crane in the same room as Pola Negri...oh brother, watch out!

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Yes that was all very interesting with David Shepard.... I came in very late in the proceedings but still got a response.


Eastman House has a program on film preservation that sounds fascinating. One of my retirement plans is to move to Rochester (yikes! cold!) and take the course... unless I'm too brain dead by then (3 years to go).... and maybe actually get to work in this field.

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Sorry I missed David's visit ... I had a string of ebay auctions; stuff I couldn't live without ...


I'll have to read that thread over there for sure ...


I was going to ask him about how someone finds work in the film restoration industry coming from the simple standpoint of just loving old films. How does one apply for such work ? As expensive as the process is, it probably turns a nice paycheck but must be rife with business risks. I'm sure they've lost money with some projects, but I'd love to do it to least experience the process. It would certainly be tedious work, but I'm used to that ...

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The thread is still open, and people are still leaving posts. So you should be able to ask him something yet? I would give it a try.


I am extremely disappointed that Mr. Shepard did not know who I was talking about when I mentioned Jorge friend in Argentina who has the massive Silent film archive! He brought up a name, but not the name of Jorge's friend! So I am not convinced that He is aware of this huge largely unexplored archive at all! It just seems so incredible! There could very well be many, many movies in there as we speak that are presently classified as lost films!

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Hi guys.... I was appalled by Shepard's numbers in response to my question about marketing restored films.... fewer than 1,000 sales for most titles!!??!! wow

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Yes, but company's like Image, Milestone, and Kino's distribution in general is extremely limited! That certainly can't help any!




In defense of outfits like Grapevine, and Sunrise Silents without them there would be no copies of films like Victor Fleming's MANTRAP (1926), starring Clara Bow, or Mauritz Stiller's HOTEL IMPERIAL (1927), with Pola Negri, and James Hall, around anywhere! They would still be unseen by anyone, stashed in some stuffy old Paramount vault someplace!


It is terrible however, that Passport Video blatantly pirated many of the films that David Shepard, and his Film Preservation Associates worked on and even released on Laser-disc or DVD than tried to pass them off as their own product! In most cases, I am sure that the quality is no-where near up to the originals either, that Shepard and his crew produced!


Given the bargain edition prices I have never purchased anything from Pass-port video, so I have not seen these for myself.

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