Daniel Marvin Titanic footage "recovered and acquired


Mar 18, 2008
2,643
1,133
248
Germany
>>"She tells how the films were dropped in the life boat by Daniel as Mary was thrown in the boat - breaking her spine."<<

Interesting how the story get changed.
She broke her spine?
It was her arm she broke on Titanic.

That story is getting more and more strange!
 
Jun 27, 2002
42
2
158
I've thus far not managed to get anything more concrete from them. It does seem odd that they're being so airtight on details, since presumably they have the rights sown up so there is no worries on that end.

I have made them aware of websites such as this, and I've extended my services. I suggest others contact American Biograph and do the same. Keep after it...if they are legit surely they'll make public some more details (if, for nothing else, to shut us up!), and if they are not legit, well then they will realize they're in over their heads with guys like us and come clean
happy.gif
.

Hopefully they'll realize that being silent just breeds more doubt, rumor and skepticism. It's not like they have to make any footage public. All they need to do is release a few choice frames or stills, and that could relieve all doubt.

BR
 

Karel Bata

Member
Jul 27, 2010
11
0
71
"since presumably they have the rights sown up"

How do you figure that? What makes it their property and not Mary Marvin's heirs?

Yes, broken arm/spine is a HUGE difference. I doubt she would have survived a broken spine. Methinks the story about rowing out into the river is maybe a little too colorful..? Interestingly John Pulos, whose account that is, "hosts, on the 14th of April each year, a Titanic Dinner at my restaurant. It has become a huge social event. In planning for the dinner, I research a new passenger each year"
 
Jun 27, 2002
42
2
158
Well, when they said recovered and acquired, I took that to mean they had bought the film and or secured the rights to it...perhaps even from the heirs of the Marvin family?

We need a genealogist who could put us in touch with Mary Marvin's descendant. Maybe they can tell us something...
 
Jul 9, 2000
58,638
800
563
Easley South Carolina
>>It does seem odd that they're being so airtight on details, since presumably they have the rights sown up so there is no worries on that end. <<

Actually, there's nothing especially unusual about this. Other filmmakers and producers do much the same. While they may have the rights sewn up (or not...I'm not in a position to know) there still remains the problem of intellectual material being pirated on the internet. I see it all the time, so I don't blame them for being cautious.
 
Jun 27, 2002
42
2
158
I think it's one thing to with hold the actual material, to avoid, as you say, piracy of it. But I think they could be a bit more forthcoming. The answers they've given thus far are a little vague and a little coy, and it's hard to tell if they're stringing people along, until they reveal a far more mundane documentary. I wonder what the harm would be in giving some more concrete information.

If I had recovered lost footage of Titanic, I'd at least say, "Yes, we absolutely have authentic footage, which we recovered from ...

Right now, they say they have footage of Titanic, but haven't explained how or who they got it from. Id' also be interested to see which experts they've consulted. Because if they indeed have Titanic footage, surely there would be no limit to the Titanic experts who would make their knowledge available.

BR
 
Jul 9, 2000
58,638
800
563
Easley South Carolina
>>Right now, they say they have footage of Titanic, but haven't explained how or who they got it from. Id' also be interested to see which experts they've consulted.<<

I'd be just as interested. You have some valid concerns here but the catch in this instance is that the secrecy and the coy responses which both offend and frustrate are a lot more common then you think.

You might recall the Titanic documentaries carried out by the History Channel a few years ago. Some of the members of this forum were involved in it and worked very hard to make it a decent and reputable piece of work.

They were also bound by an ironclad non-disclosure agreement which meant that they were bound not to discuss any of the details until the show had aired.

It's galling at times, but that's just the way it is.
 
Nov 21, 2007
416
2
123
It's also strange as the release of the documentary keeps getting delayed. I remember at a time it said it would come in in 2010, then 2011, now 2012. Of course I could be mistaken and thinking of something else, but I am almost certain that it was this.
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,113
34
398
One potential reason for the secrecy lies in the word "archival."

They did not say "Biograph archive."

Now if, perchance, some new Titanic footage was discovered mislabeled in some archive, it would NOT be in the best interest of he or she who discovered it to broadcast any details until the project was wrapped up. Because, if you can find and duplicate it, then so too can someone else.

BEFORE the internet, every time a new rarity popped up (I collect vintage music television) it would be available, on the collector's black market, thirty seconds after the bewspaper article hit the stands. Either someone at the archive or someone at the company hired to restore the kinescope would dupe it and leak it. SO, it would appear a year in a documentary with much publicity but, by that point, all the hardcore fans would have seen it already.

In the internet world, what once took days to accomplish can now be done in less than a second.

I have no idea what they found, where they found it, etc, but totally understand the need to be cagey about it. If the other researchers dont find it using your clues, someone made aware of its value could very well dupe and distribute it...
 
Jun 27, 2002
42
2
158
Jim, you have made a very good point, one I did not consider previously. Based on the scant details made public thus far, I had been operating from the frame of mind that the supposed film either existed previously undiscovered in Biograph's own holdings/archives, or was something connected to the Marvin/Farquarson estate.

I still think, however, that they could be a little more forthcoming. I cite, as an example, the miraculous discovery of a print of the long lost premiere cut of "Metropolis" in Buenos Aires in July 2008. This was arguably the most important cinematic find of the last two or three decades, perhaps the most important ever, with a LOT of money at stake in terms of raising funds for restoration, and subsequent DVD, Blu-Ray and theatrical revenues.

And yet, the way they handled that momentous discovery was remarkably well handled. There was a press release, outlining the circumstances surrounding its rediscovery (because, naturally, there were skeptics who doubted the film had been recovered, after so many exhaustive searches in previous years). The foundation that restored the film then released a handful of still frames from the new footage, and later held a press conference in which they screened a few seconds of material.

All doubts were silenced, yet the anticipation remained. No copies were leaked. It can be done.

As for non-disclosure agreements, you make a good point; Robert Harris, noted film restorer of masterworks like "Lawrence of Arabia," and "vertigo," often comments about films on various message boards, yet the films he is currently works on bind him from commenting on them.

yet he is at least able to admit he is involved...when a persona asks him about a particular film, if Harris is involved, he'll typically answer, "I'm not able to comment on it." He has preserved his confidentiality, while at least admitting he's involved, which says a lot (he's the best in the world at restoration).

What I'd like to have Biograph do, is just name some people involved. That would be huge. If they could say Ken Marschall or Don Lynch, or any number of forum members here were involved, that would be a huge vote of confidence. They need not say anything more.

That's not asking much, is it?

BR
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,113
34
398
The other factor to consider is that the Titanic is very much a niche market.

In the case of Metropolis, there was a large audience waiting AND a sizeable payoff at the end of the proverbial rainbow. Releasing clips and stills to people who, in some cases, had hoped for 50 years that such a thing would happen, served to whet the appetite of a fairly large audience.

Now, in the case of the Titanic, the known-to-exist in 1912 footage was described as dull when the disaster was only a month or two in the past. That's not to say that footage of the keel and launch wouldnt be interesting to see in 2010, but it wouldnt be an earth shattering experience either.

If this is the common 1912 footage, sitting on it is wise. Premature publicity will not whet a public appetite for footage of the keel. Being mysterious about it will. After all, we ARE discussing it, are we not?
happy.gif


I suspect that if this was footage of, say, the near miss with the New York, or the Titanic in Queenstown, stills and brief clips would be issued. Seeing a second of that would make a buff want to see more. A split second clip of film showing the keel would probably suffice, and satisfy the interest of anyone wanting to see film of the keel.

The audience for a Titanic film is no longer massive, and the known lost footage interesting only in an academic sense. Unless Marvin footage miraculously survived, a brilliant framework in which to present the footage, and publicity being issued only simultaneous to the release are both necessary.
 
Jun 27, 2002
42
2
158
Well, one of the details they have revealed is that the footage is believed to have been taken by Marvin. When the footage was taken, or how it survived the sinking remains unclear.

Oh well, only a year and a half until this doc is due to be released...
sad.gif
 
I'll side with Karla here. The Titanic is anything but a niche market. Niche markets don't spawn the merchandise and books and movies and attendance that anything involving the Titanic does. As I stood waiting in line for an hour to get into a Titanic exhibit last Christmas, the word "niche market" is the last phrase that would have entered my mind. (More like, "stopping pushing me"..."control your kids"..."I should have just watched the movie at home"..."I wish an iceberg would hit *this* place").

I think that the audience for Titanic material is as large or larger than Metropolis, at least in this country. I know that the premiere of the restored Metropolis was a huge event in Berlin. But translate that to the States where there are Titanic docs run on television weekly, the attendance at exhibits is through the roof, and you can buy things like Titanic waterslides and ice cube trays to top off experiencing the pain and terror of the event.
 
Jul 9, 2000
58,638
800
563
Easley South Carolina
>>I'll side with Karla here. The Titanic is anything but a niche market. Niche markets don't spawn the merchandise and books and movies and attendance that anything involving the Titanic does.<<

Just how many new movies and book projects have you seen come out lately? By that, I mean genuinely new and original, and not just the same old books, movies, and documentaries...real and so-called....in new covers or formats?

How much activity do you see on the very best forums as opposed to even a few years ago? I can tell you by looking at both that interest in Titanic is not even close to being what it was. Publishers and producers are painfully aware of this, and their under-reaction speaks volumns.
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,113
34
398
Niche market. The number of people who would get excited enough to buy the DVD if this proves to be the missing footage of the keel, as shown in 1912, is slender. FAR smaller than the number of people who became excited by the discovery of the missing Metropolis footage.

If this proves to be reels of film showing the completed ship, and contains aspects of the ship that interest the general public, it will be an easy sale. However, the days of ANYTHING TITANIC selling based on name alone are over. The exhibition is genuinely interesting, and does draw a crowd... but then, so too, do exhibitions of Prairie School architectural drawings and Maori costumes, both of which are popular niche markets. People will gladly line up for hours to see a Wright exhibit, but attend a lecture on THE INFLUENCE OF JAPAN ON WRIGHT and you'll see the same 40 faces you saw at the last lecture. The subject lacks the mass appeal of the beautiful renderings.

Footage of, say, sailing day....even better with captionable faces in it.... would be the equivalent of the architectural drawings. It has mass market appeal, and stills and snippets of film released this early would serve as great publicity. Footage described as uninteresting in 1912 would be the equivalent of an architectural lecture, limited in appeal, and pre-release glimpses would only dilute that already small market.
 
Jun 27, 2002
42
2
158
Well the one certainty is they've got footage of SOMETHING. Here's hoping it'll be something really fantastic...though even launch footage would be pretty great too!
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,113
34
398
>Well, one of the details they have revealed is that the footage is believed to have been taken by Marvin. When the footage was taken, or how it survived the sinking remains unclear.

Okay...this is REALLY going out on a limb. Not a shred of evidence to support it.

If it is Marvin footage, and if it does show the Titanic, the best bet is that it does not show the Titanic's departure. Marvin had been in Europe prior to the maiden voyage, and could conceivably have filmed

~The Belfast departure
~The Southampton arrival
~General scenes in Southampton, pre-April 10.

The latter two seem more probable.

Had these been handed over to Biograph London (This was not world shattering material, and need not have been personally hand-escorted back to NY by Marvin) then, yes, it would legitimately be Titanic footage shot by Daniel Marvin... just nothing pertaining to sailing day or the disaster.

That said, there's not a bit of evidence to support my guess.
 

Similar threads

Similar threads