Bret Wood's Efforts and Exploits

An updated guide to film and DVD work.

Thursday, January 10, 2008

"Orlacs Hande"

Recently I finished producing a DVD of Robert Wiene's Orlac's Hande, or The Hands of Orlac starring Conrad Veidt (the same director/actor team that made The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari). We commissioned a score from Paul Mercer that complements the film beautifully.



As the basis of the DVD, we used a 35mm restoration by the Deutsches Filminstitut. Then we discovered that a 16mm print held by the Rohauer Collection (Douris UK Ltd.) had footage not included in the DF restoration. So we were able to add a couple of minutes to the total running time.

Silent films post 1923 were usually shot with two cameras, so that the studio could create two finished negatives -- one for domestic distribution and one for international. The Rohauer print and the DF print were struck from different negatives, so you can see the identical action from a slightly different angle. In some cases, they used different takes, so the action is different, allowing for interesting variations in the tone of performance. There are also some differences in framing and cutting, so you get some really cool insights into the filmmaking process (and the performance style of the always-brilliant Conrad Veidt). There's a section of the DVD where we offer a lengthy side-by-side comparison of the two versions.

Alright, I know this is starting to sound kind of geeky but I'm into this kind of thing okay?

To help sell Orlac to the masses, I cut a trailer for online promotion.

Youtube:
The Hands of Orlac

Google Video
The Hands of Orlac

3 Comments:

At 7:35 AM, Blogger Elmyr said...

I can´t wait to see this! I´ve seen the film on the german/french tv-channel "arte", I believe this must have been the DF-Version. I taped it and watched it many times although they put some experimental music on it that is really distracting. At one point on the soundtrack you can here read accounts of people loosing a hand in accidents, which in itself is not a bad idea, but as I said, it is an unwanted distraction from the movie.

 
At 10:13 AM, Blogger 11cents said...

Looking forward to this -- but then we will want more Conrad Veidt DVDs, MORE. Mercy for those of us cursed with impeccable taste!

 
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