Not So Silent Films: “San Diego Locals and Locales”

This Valentine’s Day, fall in love with silent film! Saturday, February 14, 2009 / 7:00 PM
at The Loft
Join ArtPower! Film and Scott Paulson with his Teeny-Tiny Pit Orchestra for Silent Films as we toast vintage local filmmakers and celebrate St. Valentines Day with a glass of sparkling libation and chocolatey brownies. Each silent film event is an interactive experience as volunteers from the audience will be called upon to co-create sound effects!

Vivacious Vignettes-Three brief vignettes of San Diego (1898)
[Captured by Thomas Edison’s earliest motion picture camera]

Dogs playing in the surf
[San Diego’s original Dog Beach!?]

Off for the Rabbit Chase
[A ceremonial hunt on horseback at the Hotel Del Coronado grounds]

Street Scene, San Diego
[A bustling downtown San Diego gridlocked with bicycles, a horse-drawn carriage and a double-decker bus]

Beautiful Balboa Park-A Glimpse of the San Diego Exposition (1915)
[A silent newsreel showing the birth of Balboa Park]

Fatty and Mabel at the San Diego Exposition (1915)
[Starring & directed by Fatty Arbuckle and featuring his beautiful wife Mabel Normand]

Wonderful Westerns-The Wanderer (1912)
[A romantic western filmed in La Mesa, CA]

The Featurette Finale
[A fantastic featurette from La Jolla Cinema League (1926, La Jolla, CA)]

Scott Paulson showcases a barrage of toy pianos, rare instruments and sound effects in his Teeny-Tiny Pit Orchestra. Each silent film event is an interactive experience as volunteers from the audience will be called upon to help. “My goal,” says Paulson, “is to get the audience actively involved with the performance.” From exotic wooden birdcalls to addictive bubble wrap, these not-so-silent film screenings feature all the bells and whistles you can stand. There are also times when Paulson mutes the slapstick: “at these screenings, we’re very respectful of silent film, so, when the need arises to underscore subtle beauty, I’ll make sure the audience is on their best behavior—and, yes, at the other extreme we’ll turn our volume up and provide the right fanfare when the film’s Hero or Heroine needs our support! Harp glissandos and OOOOO-Eeee-OOOO Theremin musings are also part of the live score at these screenings. I have a colorful collection of instruments that are very inviting to play. If you show an interest, I will immediately provide brief instruction: I will save a solo for you–and you will surprise yourself.”

The experts have this to say about Scott and his wild and wonderful orchestra:

“An out-of-the-ordinary cinematic experience” –LA Times

“Weird and wonderful” –San Diego CityBeat

“Unique and popular…Scott Paulson’s merry band of eccentric nightingales is an inspired notion.” –SD Union Tribune

“This madcap ensemble is reinventing an art form.” –LA Times

“Classically trained and charmingly twisted” –SD CityBeat

“Madcap and somewhat in the Spike Jones/Dadaist tradition.” –SD Union Tribune

“Paulson’s brand of G-rated fun, a sort of modern day morphing of Captain Kangaroo and Spike Jones, is always lively and at times wonderfully chaotic” –LA Times

Leave a comment