Undercrank Productions DVD releases have brought silent film comedians Marcel Perez and Harry Watson (as “Musty Suffer”) back to screens for the first time since their films were in release 100 years ago. Both these releases were produced in a collaboration with the Library of Congress, with whom we have a co-branding agreement. The Marcel Perez Collection was the recipient of the “Special Mention” award at the Il Cinema Ritrovato festival’s 2015 DVD Awards.
Other releases, such as our Accidentally Preserved series, have brought 27 different rare/lost comedy shorts from collectors’ unique 16mm prints made in the 1920s-40s to home video, as well as a feature starring Monty Banks that had been unseen for over 80 years which was sourced from a unique 35mm nitrate print.
Undercrank Productions is quite literally a “collector’s brand” as most of our releases are funded by silent film fans. Each DVD is produced for video and scored by renowned silent film accompanist/historian Ben Model, is in most cases crowd-funded by fans through Kickstarter, and is then distributed online at Amazon.com, Amazon.ca, ShopTCM, DeepDiscount, Critics’ Choice Video,Movies Unlimited and more. The films on the DVDs are presented in new digital scans in either HD or 2K, feature new musical scores on piano or theatre organ by Ben Model, and each has professional case artwork designed by Marlene Weisman.
Some titles include:
The Kinetophone: A Fact! A Reality!
In 1913, the Thomas Edison Company made talking pictures using a sound-on-cylinder system called The Kinetophone. These pioneering sound movies were shown in theatres for about a year, and featured vaudeville acts, comedy sketches, dramatic scenes and musical performances. Only 8 of the 200 Kinetophone films made survive in both film and cylinder elements, and these have now been digitally restored and synchronized by the Library of Congress, and are presented here for the first time in 105 years.
Lon Chaney: Before the Thousand Faces
Lon Chaney’s film work from th 1920s is well-known and — with the exception of the notoriously lost London After Midnight (1927) — is mostly available on home video. In contrast, only 19 of the 118 films Chaney made at Universal in the ‘teens survive, and only 11 are complete. For this DVD, Chaney historian Jon Mirsalis has selcted three rare titles that have been preserved by the Library of Congress, has reconstructed missing footage with titles based on contemporary reviews and copyright records, and has created new musical scores for each.
This is the first time that A Mother’s Atonement, If My Country Should Call and The Place Beyond the Windshave been mad available in several decads, and each has been newly scanned from thee only surviving 35mm prints, preserved by the Library of Congress.
Accidentally Preserved: Volume 4
8 Rare/Lost Silent Films in Vintage 9.5mm Prints
This fourth volume of rare/lost silent comedy shorts in the Accidentally Preserved series reaches even further into the realm of obscure or hard-to-find titles, sourcing American silent films released to the European home movie market on 9.5mm safety film.
The 9.5mm home movie format was introduced in Europe in 1922 by Pathéscope, just one year before Kodak debuted its 16mm home-use format. 9.5mm film was more compact, and its perforations were down the center of the film, in-between each frame. Pathéscope released silent films on 9.5mm film for both sales and rental from 1922, just a couple years before the Kodascope Library launched, all the way through 1959. Many titles in the catalog were not available from the U.S. 16mm home-use companies, and suriving prints, such as most of the titles offered on this disc, are the only known copies of these films.
DVD Case & Video Game Protector – Clear Polyester Use for DVD Cases, Wii, PS@, XBOX, GameCube.