Eked out some time today to work on Project Z (we’ll have an official You Are Here event name soon…).
Out of the five hours of material I received, I’ve chosen to work with 1922 silent film Sunshine Sally. Set in Sydney, it’s got engaging characters and a lot of fun, breezy scenes.
Before I can score it, I first have to edit it down. The surviving copy (the one I’m working from) is 60 minutes long, and is missing the entire ending. To work around that AND edit it to 20 minutes has meant a major restructure of the narrative – I’ve done away with the subplots, five main characters (including a love interest), and some cool lifeguard rescue scenes that just weren’t going to fit. As is, with some new intertitles, it should flow nicely.
I’ve also been able to shave a few seconds here and there by topping and tailing scenes. Compared to today, movies of the 20s came into scenes early and left late. Cinematic language was being invented as they went along – we now need far less information to process what’s going on.
It blows my mind that I’ve been given a chance to edit footage from 90 years ago (to the month).