Fairawayland showcases the fairawayland novellas which are on amazon ebooks prime please check out the fantastic ebooks about Daffy Gilbert Blackheart! Moveland — then check out the promo Please watch by cutting and pasting the link. http://www.youtube.com/user/gildagad#p/a/u/0/-F7I4SmobUY Visit fairawayland.com and amazon ebooks to read all 7 novellas in amazon ebooks. check them out! Hollywood as you never knew it before. Fairawayland a movieland.
the crisis of sound for silent movies stars was more complex than just having a scratchy voice or a lower class accent.
Some actors and actresses did indeed perish because they had bad voices. But the vast majority of silent performers persished and if you listen to a recording of a voice today you would not feel it was either good or bad. Most modern actors do not speak in deap base voices or melodious voices. So it was not just having a good voice or a bad voice.
The recording equipment was very bad at the begining and that did not help the performers. the Mikes were hidden in pots and later were hung from the ceiling inmobile so the performers dare not move!
Many performers became so frighten they froze. Many just did not bother to try. Banks were caving in but some had survived the financial meltdown and could aafford to retire gracefully. But a lot of performers desperately needed to work aand tried to work and were humiliated.
Another problem was the now familiar ‘downsizing’ of expensive top union contact workers in favor of hiring new, cheap, untrained workers at the new lower wages. It was the perfect time for studios to crush expensive uppity actors and actresses! And they did!
Some performers found the style of acting changed too. But the best were never ‘hammy’ to begin with so they should have adopted very well. Why did they fail then?
Jack Gilbert was a good example. His acting was masterfully quiet. He was only 30 and still looked beautiful. He had performed diverse roles from romantic leads to character parts including heels and cads and geeks. Why did he fail?
His voice was not deep but it was not, as myth says, a tenor. It was an interesting voice. Today there would be no problem at all. So why did he fail?
The failure of Jack Gilbert goes to the root of the problem. He was being downsized by Meyer who hated him. His vehicles were dreadfully — deliberately dreadful, and he was crushed to the point he even lost his original beautiful quiet acting and simply floundered lost in bad films he could not rewrite or direct or salvage so he was simply destroyed bit by bit. But there is more to it.
Jack Gilbert lost his magic. All of the silent performers lost thieir magic —because they were first seen silent. So almost no voice would have been accepted by anyone. Everyone had thier own imagined voice in their heads. The silent magic of the silent film was pristine. No voical reality interrupted the magic. Speaking turned them from demigods to real people and the magic was lost.
If Jack Gilbert had entered films in 1930 instead of fought to adopt to new talkies in 1930 audiences would have judged him impartially and objectively. New guy. interesting voice. let’s give him a chance. instead he was not forgiven for speaking. The act of speaking shattered the magic and that was unforgiveable.
Colman and Cooper survived but most perished and Fairbanks had done theater in the 1910s too! Yet he failed. He had been silent too long. Even he could not be accepted now.
Cooper survived but he was very young and his first films boasted little speaking. Cooper was the exception that proved the rule. Colman happened to have an amazing voice. Gish failed. Gish went on to Broadway and did theater. So why did Gish fail is she did theater for the rest of her life? Speaking violated the magic and that could not be forgiven.
Gloria Swanson was great in Sunset Blvd byt what happened between 1930 and 1950? No audience could accept any silent star speaking. Good voice or bad boice did not matter. It was not that they could not talk so much as they were not allowed to talk.
Daffy Gilbert-Blackheart died after only one talkie but that talkie was successful. Why? Because Daffy always had a voice. Daffy did records and performed live. Daffy sang on radio. The audience always kknew about the disconnected voice and when talkies came they simply connected the face to the voice. Fortunately the face and voice fitted. But more importantly, the voice was familiar and therefore the voice was accepted.
Daffy also did his one and only film on sound on disk which was a bridge technology which was more merciful on the voice. Daffy policed his recordings and controlled his sound tech men. His records and his disks for his talkie were top engineering because he had the power to control it.
Jack Gilbert had a producer who hated him enough to order the worst director (morphine addict) to direct his talkie and ordered the sound tech to record only in the highest triple tones. No one could have survived ‘His Glorious Night’. Daffy had the power and the allies to not be knifed in the back like that.
Today Jack Gilbert haunts because of his failure which is mysterious and complex. Daffy haunts because he died so young. What if? What if?
J E F Rose
Why am I a fan of Daffy?
Daffy had a nervy quality. He was a bit of a geek. He was not chic or elegant even if he wore clothing well and had a striking face. He did not exactly ‘fit in’ and often played the outsider, the antihero, the cad, or the nerd. He made the ‘outsider’ sexy but he never was ‘one of us’ to use one line from one of his films.
Today this ‘outsider’ quality gives his roles a tragic quality. The whole ‘Dark Star Persona’ is built on his outsider quality, his misfit unable to fit in, his desperate kid with his big nose pressed against the window starring into the warm and well lite room where normal people party happily.
Daffy’s nervy quality also appears in his jittery and volatile emotions. Normally Daffy took great care to underact but he rationed his performance to include one brief moment of volatile emotions or violence. When Daffy went violent he could be surprisingly vicious or dangerous or unpredictable. Some of his screen laughs were famously nasty or baiting. Daffy would react in a vulgar way on screen too sometimes, picking his nose, spitting, slapping someone backhanded, even in some films behaving very abusively to women. When Daffy ‘went dark’ he was very dark.
Yet the ‘Dark Star’ mystic very much included this dark side of Daffy. In an era that expected actors to be ‘nice’ and polite and manly to find an actor willing to go the other way was shocking and today noteworthy. Daffy make antiheros sexy.
Daffy was the first non villain actor to wear scruffy beards, appear unshaven, wear wrinkled costumes, appear to be perspiring or sweating on screen, have tangled hair, sometimes trip on camera on a sidewalk, or miss grabbing something, or appear to stumble or fumble or stutter. This is called ‘The Illusion of First Time’ as defined by Laurence Pendragon and Daffy very much believed in it. In real life people are not ‘smooth’ all of the time so before the camera Daffy tried not to appear too smooth or polished. Nowever he had a natural feline panther grace. He was very much a ‘cat’ person on screen even if off screen he was a dog lover.
Off screen Daffy was known to be borderline manic depressive, today called bi-polar. His off screen antics and infantile public scenes became notorious and earned him his nickname of ‘Daffy’. Daffy always regretted his antics and apologized over and over. A lot of directors and actors and actresses would not work with Daffy because off screen he was so emotional, one day on the Shining Plains of High Heaven, the next day desperately dispairing. People assumed he was on drugs or drunk. In fact Daffy was quite aware of his shortcomings and tried very hard to ‘rein in’ his personality —to no avail.
However on screen Daffy was diciplined, hard working, one of the first on the set every day and one of the last to leave each day. He rehearsed every scene over and over, preparing the stunts or actons scenes very carefully. He fussed with makeup and costumes relentlessly (and apologised over and over afterwards).
He wanted and needed his directors to ‘talk to me because contrary to rumors I really can’t read minds’ so he would know what they wanted and how they planned to shoot for what effect so he would be on the same wavelength. Some directors found this bothersome and called Daffy ‘The Director’s Shadow’. But other directors did indeed claim Daffy could read their minds because of his ability to deliver the scene they wanted apparently on instinct.
Daffy never took Supper (Lunch) but rather jogged, did ballroom dance to build up his endurance, and then did yoga. Daffy was a big yoga inthusiast. On screen you did not see Daffy being infantile (unless the character was infantile) or wildly emotional (unless the character was wildly emotional) or violent (unless the character was suppose to be violent).
If Daffy played a weakling he did not try to sneak in redemption scenes and if he played an abusive cad he was abusive. In one famous film he terrorized the fragile Wisteria Rosemont to tears on screne in a notorious scene of violence: tearing her dress to pieces, slapping her face, yanking her hair, screaming right into her face, throwing her onto the floor until she bled. Of course this was acting and off screen Wisteria Rosemont, a very real fragile teenager, actually adored Daffy as her protector and ‘older brother’ she never had. But on screen Daffy played the role as written. To be mean to Wisteria Rosemont on screen was something only the villain actor dared to do. The audience was shocked on seeing this film because they did not know if they were suppose to boo or what. But that was the role so Daffy did it. But being Daffy he also rehearsed very carefully before hand with the fragile Rosemont so she only appeared to be bleeding and terrorized.
Off screen Daffy tried to be a very professional actor and rehearsed with all of the performers, ‘sharing the sun of the camera’ to try to make everyone’s performance wonderful. He did not plot to hog the scene or upstage or undermine other performers but rather tried to make the film the best possible. His goal was always to make the best film possible.
Why am I a fan of Daffy?
Well’s let talk about it –The Nose!
Ok! Let’s confess in unison! Daffy really did have a big nose! OK! breath in deeply!
Daffy’s nose was so big he joked he could play Cyrano de Bergerac without makeup!
Daffy did not want to become an actor because of his nose! So how could a skinny kid with such a big nose become a movie star?
He was so good he succeeded despite of it! And he also used it! Without a mustache he had a very plain, striking, but plain face which he used in anti hero dramas very well. With the mustache he appeared romantic. With a beard he appeared he-man virile or violently savage. So Daffy exploited the fact his face changed if he wore a mustache or beard.
People say how could that nose work? And they watch a film and soon they forget about the nose even if Daffy never did! He ridiculed his nose to the end of his life!
His eyes won fans despite his nose. His eyes are beautiful in such a way you forget about the nose. And his incadescent personality is so electric on the screen you just cannot forget him.
So Daffy fans embrace The Nose! Embrace The Nose!
J E F Rose
Why am I a fan of Daffy?
Well it helped that Daffy wrote most of his own scripts and also composed the music and songs too. A script can make or break an actor. And silents were never silent. Music is crucial in silents like the perfume a beautiful woman selects to wear. Daffy had rare control on his product when many actors had absolutely no control at all.
Daffy also did most of his stunts and insisted that action appear in all of his films no matter what. Daffy felt even the most small of films needed a thrilling moment if only to keep the guys from falling to sleep beside their girlfriends or wives! So Daffy films were not boring or mushy!
Daffy had a contract that gave him a great deal of leeway and every producer except Louie B Sneed loved Daffy. Daffy made their films look good. Felix Tubs of Titan Studios adored Daffy so much he built a museum after Daffy’s death. Every studio except Gigantic declared their particular Daffy films to be their corporate crown jewels. Only Gigantic tried to recycle Daffy films into cheap silver — and failed as critics and fans alike rebelled at the idea of Daffy films being automatically declared passe simply because they did not ‘talk’.
Daffy had started to ‘convert’ his fillms to fully dubbed music and sound effects during the last year of his life. Silent camera speeds differ from talkie camera speeds which causes silents to move too fast if shown on the wrong equipment. Daffy was very fast off the mark on converting his films to Disc To Camera so later they could be converted to modern DVDs very well. Pendragon films had to be converted at a slower rate to DVDs just because they were never dubbed to begin with.
Daffy hide many of his films just in case of distruction and many of his lovers also hide caches of Daffy films so today there is a very large collection to convert to top grade DVDs. Other films were carelessly lost to time and decay. 90% of all silents were lost to corporate short-sightedness.
Does the fact so mnay top quality films still exist justify my rating of Daffy? Sure. If no film exists then how can you adore someone? Many fine actors have vanished because their films have vanished. If you can’t find a DVD then how can you discover an actor? Daffy films are on DVD, all of them, so physically his fans can enjoy and new fans can discover.
Daffy kept illegal copies of the films of Adrian Reid. After Reid died Sneed ordered Gigantic to destroy every single Reid film. Reid is remembered today only because Daffy illegally saved his friend’s films. Sneed’s double murder of Reid failed only beause Daffy saved the films. Otherwise who today would still remember Adrian Reid?
Why do we remember Daffy? Well! The films are still there!
Why am I a fan of Daffy? Besides his looks that is?
He tried to act in many different films and play every type of part. He was ambitious to act well in great films. His range was amazing. He like playing antiheros and was not afraid of playing villains or weaklings. He rather loathed playing romantic types but in The Shining Prince he played a romantic lead very beautifully. However his forte is complex characters.
He took risks. he played abusive lovers and social climbing cads and murderers. He played costume parts and modern parts equally well too. He played action scenes and small and tiny films well.
Daffy was daring in his acting. he could underact very well, emotions flickering fleetingly across that face of his. He liked to ‘upstage’ ie play with his back to the camera and was quite amazing. He could nail a scene with a single gesture.
Today actors only need to speak and their bodies do not have to act at all. Watch a modern film and turn down the sound and watch it as a silent. You will be surprised. Silents force you to watch the body and face because you do not hear the voice. Silent acting is not ‘hammy’ but rather a different acting that must carrry the film without the voice. How many modern actors could act without a voice? Daffy did not need a voice to act.
Daffy was born for film. Could he have acted on the stage? Probably not. His face was expressive for film and his looks, that black and white face of his , was born for black and white film. He had an instinct for what worked on film and film is a magical thing that either loves or hates you. A broad gesture can fail. a tiny gesture can steal a scene. Daffy could appear to do absolutely nothing at all but dominate the scene nevertheless.
Was Daffy the greatest actor of Fairawayland? No. Critics debate endlessly about the great Laurence Pendragon too and well they should! Daffy appeared opposite many fine actors (male and female). The Daffy Cult is based on many more things beside acting. But was Daffy one of the greatest actors of Fairawayland? Absolutely!