Google, Amazon, and NHF

Dec
7
Submitted by David

In Bradenton, Florida, the other day a man named Danny Patt took a notion and searched that name on the Internet. His father's name was also Danny Patt and he was surprised when one of the results was a DVD for sale on Amazon.com, Aroostook County 1920s. I had the pleasure of Mr. Patt's call on Monday and was able to give him the production date, 1994, and how Northeast Historic Film came to preserve the film and ask his father to compile a musical score as accompaniment.

The 35mm film was donated to the archives by Michael Bernard from a cinema in Presque Isle, Maine. Thanks to a grant from the American Film Institute for film-to-film preservation and funding from the Maine Humanities Council and local organizations for outreach, we created video access copies, presenting 50 copies to schools and libraries. The original film, of course, had no sound track, so we asked Danny Patt, the father, to create a piano accompaniment; he had started playing for silent films in the 1920s. We also invited Danny to come up to Aroostook County to play live to a new 35mm print in the mall cinema for the public and students.

In 1995, the temperature on the February morning of the Presque Isle show was 30 BELOW zero; my car tires froze to the ground. Even with this unpromising start Danny was an absolute trouper, playing for six presentations that day, delighting over 1,300 people.

Back in Bradenton, Mr. Patt bought both of the copies Amazon had in stock to give his two children for Christmas as a remembrance of their grandfather. Those of you needing your own copy don't panic, Amazon may be out but we have plenty in our store.

Members of NHF can also borrow Aroostook County 1920s for free through our Video Loan Catalog.