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  1. #1
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    Please select which film(s) you would like to see released on DVD. This may influence them being released on DVD.



    "Frail Women" (1932) dir. Maurice Elvey

    "In a Monastery Garden" (1932) dir. Maurice Elvey

    "I Lived with You" (1933) dir. Maurice Elvey

    "The Ghost Camera" (1933) dir. Bernard Vorhaus

    "Dangerous Ground" (1934) dir. Norman Walker

    "Lily of Killarney" (1934) dir. Maurice Elvey

    "Broken Melody" (1934) dir. Bernard Vorhaus

    "Lazybones" (1935) dir. Michael Powell

    "The Man in the Mirror" (1936) dir. Maurice Elvey

    "Dusty Ermine" (1936) dir. Bernard Vorhaus

    "The Last Journey" (1936) dir. Bernard Vorhaus

    "Cotton Queen" (1937) dir. Bernard Vorhaus

    "The Avenging Hand" (1937) dir. Victor Hanbury

    "Return of a Stranger" (1937) dir. Victor Hanbury

    "Danny Boy" (1941) dir. Oswald Mitchell

    "The Curse of the Wraydons" (1946) dir. Victor M. Gover

    "The Hills of Donegal" (1947) dir. John Argyle

    "While I Live" (1947) dir. John Harlow

    "Once a Sinner" (1950) dir. Lewis Gilbert

    "The Fall of the House of Usher" (1950)

    "The Scarlett Thread" (1950) dir. Lewis Gilbert

    "There is Another Sun (aka Wall of Death)" (1951) dir. Lewis Gilbert

    "Night Was Our Friend" (1952) dir. Michael Anderson

    "Hindle Wakes" (1952) dir. Arthur Crabtree

    "Marilyn (aka Roadhouse Girl)" (1953) dir. Wolf Rilla

    "Operation Diplomat" (1953) dir. John Guillerman

    "House of Blackmail" (1953) dir. Maurice Elvey

    "The Blue Parrot" (1953) dir. John Harlow

    "Dangerous Cargo" (1954) dir. John Harlow

    "The Final Appointment" (1954) dir. Terence Fisher

    "Black Rider" (1954) dir. Wolf Rilla

    "Stock Car" (1954) dir. Wolf Rilla

    "It's A Great Day" (1956) dir. John Warrington (The Grove family film)



    pick no more than five



    cheers

  2. #2
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    Originally posted by JamesM@Jul 5 2005, 09:21 AM

    Please select which film(s) you would like to see released on DVD. This may influence them being released on DVD.



    "Frail Women" (1932) dir. Maurice Elvey

    "In a Monastery Garden" (1932) dir. Maurice Elvey

    "I Lived with You" (1933) dir. Maurice Elvey

    "The Ghost Camera" (1933) dir. Bernard Vorhaus

    "Dangerous Ground" (1934) dir. Norman Walker

    "Lily of Killarney" (1934) dir. Maurice Elvey

    "Broken Melody" (1934) dir. Bernard Vorhaus

    "Lazybones" (1935) dir. Michael Powell

    "The Man in the Mirror" (1936) dir. Maurice Elvey

    "Dusty Ermine" (1936) dir. Bernard Vorhaus

    "The Last Journey" (1936) dir. Bernard Vorhaus

    "Cotton Queen" (1937) dir. Bernard Vorhaus

    "The Avenging Hand" (1937) dir. Victor Hanbury

    "Return of a Stranger" (1937) dir. Victor Hanbury

    "Danny Boy" (1941) dir. Oswald Mitchell

    "The Curse of the Wraydons" (1946) dir. Victor M. Gover

    "The Hills of Donegal" (1947) dir. John Argyle

    "While I Live" (1947) dir. John Harlow

    "Once a Sinner" (1950) dir. Lewis Gilbert

    "The Fall of the House of Usher" (1950)

    "The Scarlett Thread" (1950) dir. Lewis Gilbert

    "There is Another Sun (aka Wall of Death)" (1951) dir. Lewis Gilbert

    "Night Was Our Friend" (1952) dir. Michael Anderson

    "Hindle Wakes" (1952) dir. Arthur Crabtree

    "Marilyn (aka Roadhouse Girl)" (1953) dir. Wolf Rilla

    "Operation Diplomat" (1953) dir. John Guillerman

    "House of Blackmail" (1953) dir. Maurice Elvey

    "The Blue Parrot" (1953) dir. John Harlow

    "Dangerous Cargo" (1954) dir. John Harlow

    "The Final Appointment" (1954) dir. Terence Fisher

    "Black Rider" (1954) dir. Wolf Rilla

    "Stock Car" (1954) dir. Wolf Rilla

    "It's A Great Day" (1956) dir. John Warrington (The Grove family film)



    pick no more than five



    cheers

    Blimey! I can't remember seeing any of them; perhaps I have seen some and don't recognise them. But here goes for a guess:-





    Hindle Wakes

    Dangerous Cargo

    The Fall of the house of Usher

    While I Live (do seem to recognise this one)

    night was our friend

  3. #3
    Senior Member Country: England sanndevil's Avatar
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    Originally posted by JamesM@Jul 5 2005, 09:21 AM

    This may influence them being released on DVD.



    cheers

    Ah! Does this mean you have a way in to a DVD company? Or even better, thinking of starting your own?

  4. #4
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    I haven't seen all of the films listed here, but I do particularly love 'The Fall of the House of Usher'.



    Jennie

  5. #5
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    Originally posted by Jennie_Kermode@Jul 5 2005, 02:23 PM

    I haven't seen all of the films listed here, but I do particularly love 'The Fall of the House of Usher'.



    Jennie

    I'd prefer the Maurice Elvey's brilliant version of Hindle Wakes, though I think the bfi have the rights..Why not an Elvey set, as his profile is rising, with his silent film work being reassessed these last couple of years, no-one knew how good his work in the 20's was...someone has to compile all the Powell Quickies, not just Lazybones...and I know someone who would love the Wolf Rilla titles....

  6. #6
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    Well I am keen to start a DVD company but it is a little difficult. For example I approached Granada with a view of releasing a DVD of a film that hasn't seen distribution in this country since the 1940s, but I was told that I would not be considered for a license for this film unless I had a record of "distribution strength"! On reading their a reply, I imsgined the Granada representative ditting at his desk with his forehead opening and a cuckoo popping out of his head. I did point out that I could sell one copy and this would exceed their home viewing sales of this title for the last sixty years but I have not had a response from this comment yet (I was a little more tactful in the way I said it). I may have some joy from Studio Canal but I have to wait and see.



    I am doing a little research for a US company. These may be titles that they might have the chance to obtain a license for.



    Cheers Jim. I have selected 10 I thought may be worth considering and three of your titles are in my list. I would like some more opinions. I know which title will be on the top of Steve Crook's list.

  7. #7
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    Cheers penfold. Elvey's "Hindle Wakes" has already been released on DVD in the US by Milestone



    http://www.milestonefilms.com/movie.php/hindle/

  8. #8
    Senior Member Country: UK DB7's Avatar
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    The two Vorhaus films are great. (I've the BFI video).

  9. #9
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    Which two? There are five in the list.

  10. #10
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    Originally posted by JamesM@Jul 5 2005, 04:35 PM

    Which two? There are five in the list.

    Sorry. Ghost Camera with a young John Mills (edited by Lean) and portmanteu The Last Journey (forerunner to Ealings Train of Events)

  11. #11
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    I'd focus on the Vorhaus titles - for the simple reason that of all the directors cited (bar Michael Powell, obviously), he's arguably the most talented and the most underrated - and therefore the most marketable.



    Not least because there's a great David Lean quote about how Vorhaus was the single biggest influence on his work, which would look good on the packaging!



    The problem with pretty much all these titles is that they're unbelievably obscure, even to specialists, so you need some kind of marketing hook. And if they take off, you can start on Wolf Rilla, another director whose work sounds more interesting than it's often given credit for.

  12. #12
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    Originally posted by Wetherby Pond@Jul 5 2005, 04:39 PM

    I'd focus on the Vorhaus titles - for the simple reason that of all the directors cited (bar Michael Powell, obviously), he's arguably the most talented and the most underrated - and therefore the most marketable.



    Not least because there's a great David Lean quote about how Vorhaus was the single biggest influence on his work, which would look good on the packaging!



    The problem with pretty much all these titles is that they're unbelievably obscure, even to specialists, so you need some kind of marketing hook. And if they take off, you can start on Wolf Rilla, another director whose work sounds more interesting than it's often given credit for.

    Just to reiterate...Maurice Elvey's reputation is also in the ascendant, as a result of the rediscoveries and new showings of his silent work, like Hindle's Wake, High Treason, Lloyd George, Palais De Danse, all of which are PRIME examples of imaginitive, well-crafted filmmmaking, belying the old reputations not just of Elvey, but the whole area of British silent film. His thirties work is even less accessable - apart from the truly wonderful The Clairvoyant, one of the finest British thrillers of the thirties, I haven't seen much. Now, if you could access that, and tie a boxset or collection to it....the cast would sell it alone. Claude Rains ! Fay Wray !!

    I knew about the US Hindle Wakes release, but it's not available on dvd in the uk as yet.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Country: England sanndevil's Avatar
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    Originally posted by JamesM@Jul 5 2005, 02:36 PM

    Well I am keen to start a DVD company but it is a little difficult. For example I approached Granada with a view of releasing a DVD of a film that hasn't seen distribution in this country since the 1940s, but I was told that I would not be considered for a license for this film unless I had a record of "distribution strength"! On reading their a reply, I imsgined the Granada representative ditting at his desk with his forehead opening and a cuckoo popping out of his head. I did point out that I could sell one copy and this would exceed their home viewing sales of this title for the last sixty years but I have not had a response from this comment yet (I was a little more tactful in the way I said it). I may have some joy from Studio Canal but I have to wait and see.



    I am doing a little research for a US company. These may be titles that they might have the chance to obtain a license for.

    Great and good luck! I have thought of doing something similar - perhaps we should start a new thread for a DVD Distribution conversation?



    I thought up a somewhat different Business Model to what would be considered the norm for DVD distribution which I am more than happy for anyone else to "borrow"!



    Basically my idea was to start up a not-for-profit organisation. I would go to people like Canal Plus, Calton et al and request they give me the DVD rights to the little seen British movies such as those you are listing, and I pay them nothing for priviledge. So, why would they play ball? Well, it is in their best interests to convert their film archives to digital, and have the films restored at the same time. So, I would go to the trouble of telecine and digital restoration, and any profit I get from the sales would go towards subsidising other films that would never break even. All packaging would obviously have the logos of the archive holders as my own.



    The not-for-profit part of the deal would act as a sweetener for a colaboration with the BFI - they could be a partner and use their name to open a few doors to people such as Granada would would not normally deal with small organisations. Furthermore, once the DVD rights for a particular title expire, the digital restoration can be passed back to Carlton, Canal Plus etc so they get something out of the deal.



    I believe that sort of business model could probably result in a start-up needing less than say £30k initial investment - assuming that the proprietor already has IT and management skills. Not-for-profit doesn't mean staff don't get paid but obviously salaries would be at the lower end of the scale and not comparable to commercial rates.



    Good luck for anyone attempting this suggestion. Once I get my £30k stake I'll be doing it myself!



    Cheers!

  14. #14
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    What a fascinating thread - more power to your collective elbows! Be sure to let us know how you get on - I certainly would be a customer for reasonably priced DVD's of British films of the 30's and 40's that have not been released elsewhere.



    rgds

    Rob

  15. #15
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    House of Usher (1960) was the first of Roger Corman's Poe cycle and the most ppular along with the dated Hindle Wakes (1952).



    The three best imho are:

    I Lived with You (1933)

    The Ghost Camera (1933)

    The Last Journey (1936)



    Followed by:

    Frail Women (1932)

    Man in the Mirror (1936)

    Dusty Ermine (1936)



    Then you have 3 above avarage Butcher's style thriller co-features:

    The Scarlet Thread (1951)

    Once a Sinner (1950)

    Operation Diplomat (1953) (screen version of BBC show)





    Jeffrey Richards The Unknown 1930s should be a good source.

  16. #16
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    The 'House of Usher' title is a little known British film.



    That is interesting to know about "Operation Diplomat".



    Where is Mr. Crook?

  17. #17
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    On the subject of sannedevil's plan, you would still be trying to make a profit which would still be taxable. I think you will find that 'commercial rates' would have to apply. Most businesses are interested in keeping their wages to a minimum too. A collective, however is allowed to form as a non-profit organization.



    Also, I would like to point out that most DVD companies do pay for restoration and license costs. I was offering to potentially to pay for both but I was turned down. I also informed them of my wish to release some Gaumont British titles (from Granada), as special editions, in partnership with James Ostrer (grandson of Bertram no less) but this had no sway either.



    Trying to persuade the BFI to go into business with you would be a just another uphill battle. I now think the route is to approach a smaller rights holding company who would be in turn willing to deal with a smaller business. That was what I was going to do in the end but I have invested my money in recording equipment for my audio commentaries. It is something i will have to come back to once I have some more funds. I was working on starting up with a single release with a start-up of £6,000. Maybe some people may be interested in forming a collective to do this.

  18. #18
    Senior Member Country: England sanndevil's Avatar
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    Well, James, as I said, good luck!



    I’m sure you don’t need me to tell you that nothing in business comes easily. I know – I ran my own consultancy company for 15 years with varying degrees of success! But, the BFI have a wealth of experience and their name does open doors. I have had a few dealings with them; they are typical of many such organisations inasmuch their staff can be protective, not always customer focused and non-reactive. Despite this, I have always sensed a deep passion for film and their actions are well-intentioned. I feel it would do any DVD company good to nurture some sort of relationship with them – after all they may be the only source of some prints you wish to transfer! Don’t expect them to roll out the red carpet; any collaboration with them would be hard fought but ultimately worth it.



    I don’t agree with your suggestion that companies are always looking to pay as little as possible. In my experience, the lower the salaries, the higher the churn rate necessitating expensive recruitment and training and low productivity. Some companies appreciate this, others don’t! Not-for-profits have an entirely different culture – they tend to be staffed by people who are less concerned with material wealth (or have already made a comfortable living elsewhere) and are more interested in achieving something worthwhile. Again, I have firsthand knowledge of this – my ex is herself one, and being a Human Resources Director gets to interview prospective candidates who want precisely that sort of career.



    I have been in the fortunate position to have met a couple of individuals who run DVD houses. Their mantra was “Titles, Titles, Titles!” – the arch enemy of any small company being cash flow, and so there is a necessity to concurrently launch as many titles as possible whilst be preparing the next batch in background. It must be remembered that you may have to wait three months for payment from distributors and so during that period your only source of income will be sales from your own website – only you can decide whether that income will be sufficient with one title on the go.



    However, I have enormous respect for anyone willing to have a go and I certainly wish you well. It wouldn't surprise me if you get a few helpers from this website!

  19. #19
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    It is a shame that the BFI do not already work on releasing more British titles, as with labels like Eureka. Whilst Carlton were running the show all titles were closed to third parties as far as DVD releases in the UK were concerned. The Studio Canal / Warners deal presented the same limitations. But looking at the NFT Michael Powell season it seems as though the BFI are developing a closer relationship with Granada. Studio Canal are now dealing with multiple companies in the US.



    My personal business plan is based on the way small record labels set up. That is as an an additional activity to the proprietor's main source of income. The internet has allowed growth of such businesses to increase in a shorter time period than before.



    Granada and Studio Canal could of course look at the successes of Warners and now even Paramount (sales of the 2 disc set of "The High and the Mighty" (1954), starring John Wayne, with its original cast and crw membes audio commentary and documentaries, are phenominal) and think about releasing the classic films they own packed with extras, then I would not have to play my small part in taking up the task myself.

  20. #20
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    Originally posted by JamesM@Jul 6 2005, 11:21 AM

    It is a shame that the BFI do not already work on releasing more British titles, as with labels like Eureka. Whilst Carlton were running the show all titles were closed to third parties as far as DVD releases in the UK were concerned. The Studio Canal / Warners deal presented the same limitations. But looking at the NFT Michael Powell season it seems as though the BFI are developing a closer relationship with Granada. Studio Canal are now dealing with multiple companies in the US.


    Believe it or not, the BFI has exactly the same problems as independent operators - despite the wealth of physical materials that they preserve, they have very very limited rights in terms of what they can do with them. In most cases, all they're allowed to do is make films available to legitimate researchers - they certainly can't do a commercial release of any kind without permission from someone who will almost certainly insist on a hefty cut of the proceeds.



    There are in fact plenty of British titles in the BFI DVD catalogue (I make it about 36 discs to date, over a third of their total output - and that's not counting numerous discs of foreign films by British-born talent like Chaplin, Peter Brook, Norman McLaren etc.), but it often seems like less because relatively few of those are fiction features - they've tended to concentrate on less-travelled byways such as early silent shorts, industrial films, archive TV and the avant-garde.



    But I'd argue that titles like these should be given higher priority than commercial features, as they're much less likely to be distributed by anyone else or given even small-hours TV screenings. Who else, for instance, would have dug up and promoted the work of someone like Geoffrey Jones, who I'd never even heard of before I saw this recent interview?

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