Author Topic: Norman Studios: Before & After  (Read 6166 times)

civil42806

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Re: Norman Studios: Before & After
« Reply #15 on: September 03, 2008, 10:35:28 PM »
The idea of screening the norman works and other jax silent films is a great idea, that could easily be merged with a relatively low cost  improvement to the studios.  The if that takes off and proves popular, then you could certainly start to expand on your ideas.

Ocklawaha

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Re: Norman Studios: Before & After
« Reply #16 on: September 03, 2008, 10:59:33 PM »
The whole concept of not going for calamitous potations in everything we do, holds Jacksonville at the purlieus of magnificence...

You can quote me on that Stephendare!


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Jason

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Re: Norman Studios: Before & After
« Reply #17 on: September 04, 2008, 11:44:51 AM »
You could have fit a few more big words in there Ock.  ;)


Showing the original works sounds like a great idea.  Also imagine a sign on the highway directing visitors and passers-by to the Jacksonville Silent Film Museum.

civil42806

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Re: Norman Studios: Before & After
« Reply #18 on: September 04, 2008, 09:10:34 PM »
Just out of interest are there any significant number of Norman pictures or other silents filmed in jacksonville still in existence?  I'm a big history buff as well, though my interest varies over time, right now I'm digging into the middle ages.  Unfortunately Och not many share our interests.

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Re: Norman Studios: Before & After
« Reply #19 on: September 05, 2008, 01:00:35 AM »
Yes! YES! and YES! Copies of every single one are in the Smithsonian Collection and could be digitized with a restoration grant. Tallahassee and (MAYBE?) Gainesville have a few. JHS did have a couple of shorts. Oliver Hardys BOUNCING BABY is available online, See: http://www.floridamemory.com/photographicCollection/videofilm2/video.cfm?VID=7
Just click your favorite player and watch. Though it is very short, it shows early Riverside and Forsyth Streets and a dozen streetcars! The work of the other companies are saved too.

There are Hollywood and San Francisco Bay area groups that work with restoration of old films. "The Heritage Film Project."

Locally there are thousands of movie buffs, and certainly a few thousand classic movie buffs. Otherwise our arts scene wouldn't be strong like it is. Frankly, we have more stage and foriegn film or small studio showings in many of our smaller theaters then Orlando. We also have a local chapter of THE SONS OF THE DESERT, the LEAVE-EM-LAUGHING TENT. This is the international society based on a mythical lodge in the famous Laurel and Hardy film Sons of the Desert. Their sole purpose is the meet, screen, discuss and work to preserve the memory and share the fun of these old flicks.

We just have to remember "If You Have to make a noise, make it quietly!" and "Your finally using MY brain..." Now would someone "strike a match so I can see if my lights are lit?" "Frankly (Sir) I (do) give a damn!"
"Who's on First, what's on second and I don't know Who's on third." "Wanna buy a Duck?" "Peanuts, get your hot peanuts" "hello room service send up a room, if you can't spare a room, send up a hall." "and if they disagree, we'll stand them up aginst the wall, and POP goes the weasel". "Why this is neither pig, nor pork, this is sausage!" "How long do you stay fresh in that can". "My name is Captain Spalding... "

ROCK ON JACKSONVILLE!


OCKLAWAHA
« Last Edit: September 05, 2008, 01:02:45 AM by Ocklawaha »

thelakelander

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Re: Norman Studios: Before & After
« Reply #20 on: September 07, 2008, 01:56:58 AM »
Quote
Before There Was Hollywood - There Was Fla.'s Own Jacksonville

City had more than 30 movie studios before industry was snuffed in the state.

By RON WORD
The Associated Press

JACKSONVILLE | Before there was Hollywood, there was Jacksonville.

Oliver Hardy made his debut film there in 1913's "Outwitting Daddy." The first feature-length color film produced in the U.S. - the 1917 release "The Gulf Between" - was filmed in Jacksonville.

It even was the birthplace of Metro Pictures, which later merged with other production houses to become Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, or MGM.

Dubbed the "World's Winter Film Capital" a century ago when Kalem Pictures moved its offseason production here to escape New York winters, Jacksonville once had more than 30 studios.

"Jacksonville was once the Big Daddy of it all," said Shawn Bean, a Melbourne, Fla., writer whose new book, "The First Hollywood," details the city's rise and fall as the nation's destination for movie production.

The city's cinema production thrived for about a decade and survived for a decade more before competition from its California rival, disease, war and clashes with the locals drove the industry from town.

Jacksonville's downfall started as its California rival took off in the 1920s, complete with the now-famous "Hollywood" sign built into the hills above Los Angeles.

"For Jacksonville, the sign was a gravestone," Bean writes. "The deceased was a turn-of-the-century East Coast film town that once drew industry elites and wide-eyed hucksters."

Today, Jacksonville is spending $681,000 to restore four of five of the last remaining buildings from the city's movie heyday, hoping the Norman Studios buildings can become a silent-film museum and community center. The city is trying to raise another $2.5 million to finish the structures' interiors and purchase an adjoining building that was part of the original studio.

"It is a great legacy for my father," said Richard Norman, the 82-year-old son of the filmmaker of the same name, whose silent films featured black actors and were aimed at black audiences. "He was an exceptional man."

In the early days, Jacksonville prospered because it offered a variety of backgrounds from sandy beaches and tropical jungles to urban scenes. And the railroad stopped here, making it an easy destination for northern filmmakers.

Among the notable Jacksonville films were the 35 one-reelers in the "Plump and Runt" series made by Hardy and his sidekick Billy Ruge. Many of the films contained Southern, Florida and Civil War stories, including "The Old Soldier's Story" and "The Escape from Andersonville."

When World War I broke out, many actors and technicians joined the armed forces or took jobs at Jacksonville's growing shipyards. The 1918 worldwide flu pandemic struck the city particularly hard.

Filmmakers didn't help their cause, pulling alarms so they could shoot real-life fire trucks rushing to fight blazes that didn't exist. Car chase scenes in town were criticized as reckless. Churchgoers didn't like studios staging bank robberies on Sundays, when the streets were empty.

"Some people felt the filmmakers were taking over the town," Bean said.

An anti-film mayor was elected in 1917 and by 1930 the city had lost all major producers.

Jacksonville wasn't the only location where early filmmakers were producing moving pictures, a new and popular medium. Cuba, Arizona and the Bahamas were also the location of some of the films, Bean said. In 1920, a studio to produce silent films was opened in Astoria, N.Y., by Paramount Pictures, according to the American Museum of the Moving Image.

Recently, however, Jacksonville has reclaimed some of its prior glory - about 60 movies and TV shows shot here, including HBO's "Recount," about the disputed 2000 presidential election, the movie "Basic" that started John Travolta and "The Devil's Advocate."

The city never regained the national stature it enjoyed for the first part of the 20th century.

"Jacksonville was a shooting star," Bean said.

"It burned really hot and really fast."

http://www.theledger.com/article/20080905/NEWS/809050349/0/VIDEO
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copperfiend

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Re: Norman Studios: Before & After
« Reply #21 on: September 07, 2008, 10:15:26 AM »
Quote
Before There Was Hollywood - There Was Fla.'s Own Jacksonville

"Some people felt the filmmakers were taking over the town," Bean said.

An anti-film mayor was elected in 1917 and by 1930 the city had lost all major producers.


http://www.theledger.com/article/20080905/NEWS/809050349/0/VIDEO

John Peyton's great great grandfather??

kam311

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Re: Norman Studios: Before & After
« Reply #22 on: October 19, 2009, 12:47:51 PM »
I had the opportunity to explore this building during a particular stage in the restoration several years back.  Definitely an interesting interior design.  It's been 6 or 7 years since I was there, but I just remember what seemed like a labyrinth of rooms and hallways.  It'd be neat to see what it looks like now without the absolute mess that was the inside before...