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I thought I knew Amos Poe’s first film, but after reading his account of the early days of his career as well as Lower East Side film in general, it turns out that I didn’t. From his piece at Truly Free Film:

My first Super 8 film, was a series of shorts made to the Beatles “White” album. I loved that record and came up with short stories or ideas for each song. My friends helped and “acted” in these films. With ”Rocky Racoon” I did single-frame animation, for “Dear Prudence”, I managed to convince the most beautiful girl in Buffalo – who wouldn’t otherwise have given me the time of day, let alone come out to play – to jump naked out of an abandoned hay-loft on a deserted farm and run through an oat field in slow-motion. I then spliced all these bits together onto a 400 foot reel – there were two, because it’s a double-album – and had a premiere at a bar across the street from my house on Main and Ferry. For sound, my Nizo Super 8 was silent, I had to time the drop of the needle on the record at exactly the right moment as I hit the switch on the projector – otherwise I’d lose “synch”! Ha ! We passed the hat around, and as I recall, I came away with $47.50, not bad. Paid for a third of the film’s cost in one night.

Check out the rest — it’s a good read, encapsulating not only a tale of early film entrepreneurship in Flatbush but also notes on Poe’s latest, La Commedia, for which he recently launched a successful Kickstarter campaign, and a call to arms for us to reinvent our cinema with the new tools we now have.

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