The Garden of Paradise....the silence of paradise.
Research time is happening. It's just that time of year again, with school, work and personal projects abound. Pulling early mornings and long days, much of this time doing what I love, turning my brain ON and seeing new ways of artistic expression explored in every imaginable location. The spot that just popped into your mind was one of them. I'm sure of it.
I am drawn to portraits, I love people, I enjoy their details. I want to pull those details in.
Since I am shooting more video than ever before I am drawn to accomplishing similar "visual portrait storytelling" in HD as I do with my 4x5 Crown Graphic or 620 Kodak Tourist, and it's a lot to ask, and to accomplish, but very doable.
Understanding, that I am one of those, one who is fiercely drawn to silent films for so many reasons, but for two main attractions. One, the fact that we have to draw the titles individually is curious artistic challenge I am willing to endure, and two, the focus on the visual details of the actors or actresses, using the characters intimate details, utilizing the video to create moving portraits.
There is a third reason. I can add the most amazing of sound design from all over the GLOBE.
Currently I am writing a pitch about recreating a Han Christian Anderson short story, The Garden of Paradise, into a sexy/erotic/fashion film. The original short story that was written by the mastermind fairy tale writer in 1839, is one of the more incredible fairy tales ever written. This short story was then inspired into a silent film in 1917. Alas, I am not the first to have this idea, just under 100 years later.
This led me along to a few internet searches here and there with bits of information about this silent film Paradise Garden, written by George Gibbs, filmed in 1917. Unfortunately little was found, except in the way of personal motivation to push forth on my personal cuts, researching and discovering new artists of this era (like the magazine cover below, and old movie posters) and of course accumulating production ideas off of various movie stills.
Browsing the net, I came across a blog, Welcome to Silent Movies, discussing the Essanay Studios Restoration Project in Chicago, Illinois in a recent post mid-October. Reading this and also reading recently in the New York Times that the silent films are literally disappearing, that few remain, including the disappearing historical production studios. Essanay Studio being one of the pioneers in the world of the silent film production, it reassuring to see such a push and direct initiative toward the communities for funding towards continuing their education and restoration of their facilities. There needs to be a push to integrate this amazing type of vintage film back into the independent film industry.
I wish I could fly out there to Chicago, put together a new <exquisite> <tam style> crowd-funding video to really rally the synergy of portraiture through silent visual story telling that will and continue to keep you thinking, dreaming, and conceptualizing of WHAT IS.
We just need to
CROSS over BORDERS.
Below the images of cast members are some links to modern short silent films that will or WILL NOT BORE you. If you know of any- post it into a comment.
Director Fred J. Balshofer
Modern Short Silent Films on Vimeo and YouTube: