AJ got the chance to speak with Bill Morrison about how he puts old short films with music and what got him interested in doing it. Also how his relationship with the TCM Film Festival has evolved over the years.
AJ: Thank you for joining me today Bill, lets talk about how you decided to take this journey in restoring classic decayed reels with contemporary music?
Bill: Yeah, a lot of people do not even want these reserved because they do not even want the film to look as icky as they do but I was lucky enough to find this one German short film in the library of congress archive for the Turner Classic Movie film festival.
AJ: Let’s talk about your relationship with the programmers at TCM Film Festival and how it has evolved over the years.
Bill: Will, they programmed a feature documentary I did in 2016 and it grew from there. I went down and presented that film in Hollywood later in 2017 and they started asking me to introduce in short made of nitrate like with this one this year.
AJ: it is always so nice to see films like this on the big screen and with a lot of theaters permanently closing it makes festivals like TCM Film festival that much more important to go see to see these on the big screen and everything seems to be digital now, so how do you feel about the evolution of the filming process?
Bill: Well, the evolution is ongoing there are things we gained and things we have lost there’s things that survived, and we can put it on our phones and our tv but the things we shot on film get icky and sticky, but it survives. That combined with digital technology we can see a bunch of old stuff to our benefit. This means we have access to things we never have had before, and it will be interesting to see how it still evolves over time.
AJ: Another thing I wanted to ask you was why German films? Because this was a German short film you had and it was before we cut ties with them in WW2 and that brings me to Freaks which was the last big German film released in the states around that time before we cut ties with them, so what got you interested in German films?
Bill: Well, I would not say I have a fascination with German films. I just happened to find in the library of congress for short films. It does happen that Pawns of Passion is a German, but it found its way in a US archive. There is an actress in PoP that married Michael Chekov in Russia and got divorced she became known as a favorite of the Third Reich and the Russian government became interested in becoming a spy in a possible assassination attempt on Hitler.