SV Classic Film Series

StandardVision’s Classic Film Series is a bi-weekly creative initiative celebrating cinema from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. Every two weeks, the series explores early films ranging from classics such as Nosferatu, The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari, and The Wonderful Wizard of OZ to lesser known shorts like Edison’s The Unappreciated Joke, or Stuart Blackton’s The Enchanted Drawing. The series is created and managed by StandardVision’s very own Video Production Specialist, Ethan Coco. As an industry worker, and film buff, this series was created as an entertaining form of research into the roots of the motion picture art form. Even the design of the visual framework which encompasses these truncated classics is based off of the actual mechanics of an analog film projector and traditional Moviola editing station.

The Phantom of the Opera, 1925; Lon Chaney used marketing in such a clever way by holding off on publicizing his makeup for Erik (the Phantom) which aloud for a bigger scare when the phantom was first revealed. Hidden from the makeup herself, Mary Philbin’s (Christine Daaé) reaction is natural and used in the final cut.

The Classic Film Series serves as an ode to classic Hollywood and foreign cinema as well as an opportunity for the public to become more familiar with the golden era of early cinema. There is much to celebrate in these films, such as the birth/progression of visual effects that are still commonly used today, one example of which would be stop motion. In Rupert Julian and Carl Laemmle’s Phantom of The Opera (1925), when the chandelier drops from the ceiling over the crowd, the cast is kept safe by lowering the chandelier frame by frame and then stitching the frames back together to manufacture the illusion of it falling much faster. In an even earlier example, Blackton’s The Enchanted Drawing, the filmmaker utilizes this same technique to give the illusion that an inanimate painting magically comes to life. Examples like Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas show how little some of these techniques have changed in over a decade.

Wonderful Wizard of Oz, 1934; Dorothy meets the Scarecrow on her farm. In the famous movie, she meets the scarecrow after being tossed by the tornado into the Land of Oz, but in this rendition the Scarecrow comes to life before the tornado (or cyclone as put in this version) hits the farm.

You can expect films ranging from drama, horror, comedy, and experimental all year long. Here is a list of films we’ve already played and those to come!

  • Frankenstein – 1910
  • Scrooge – 1934
  •  The Great Train Robbery – 1903
  •  Wizard of Oz – 1910
  • Bosko’s Store – 1932
  • Dream of a Rarebit Fiend – 1908
  •  The Rink – Charlie Chaplin – 1916
  •  Laughing Gas – Charlie Chaplin – 1914
  • Little Shop of Horrors – 1960
  •  20,000 Leagues Under the Sea – 1916
  •  The Last Man on Earth – 1964
  •  To Duck or Not to Duck – Looney Tunes – 1943
  •  Scrap Happy Daffy – Looney Tunes – 1943

  + more!

The Classic Film Series plays once an hour on the SVLA1 screen at 901 W. Olympic Blvd, Los Angeles, CA.

The Great Train Robbery, 1903; The last shot of an outlaw pointing his gun at the audience startled audiences because most people thought they would be shot. This is very similar to the outcome of The Lumière brother’s L’arrivé d’un train en gare de La Ciotat [Arrival of a Train at La Ciotat Station].