Experience Silent Movies with Live Piano|
Bruce Lawton, Film Preservationist & Historian
Ben Model, Filmmaker & Silent Film Accompanist
Bruce Lawton is an all around motion picture and video specialist, who hails from three generations of noted cinematographers, long involved in film restoration and preservation. His tireless study of film began in childhood and prepared him for a five-year tenure at Killiam Shows in New York City where he served as archival director of the company's vast collection of restored silent film classics and archival materials. Mr. Lawton has produced and edited documentaries and presentations for public and international television and presided over numerous home video and laser-disc releases for Republic Pictures Home Video and The Voyager Company. He served as consultant on the American Film Institute's Visions of Lights: The Art of Cinematography, Jazzmedia's The Chaplin Puzzle, and was East Coast coordinator on Chuck Workman's The First 100 Years of Film for HBO. He discovered and provided material which made it possible for Turner Entertainment to fully restore Buster Keaton's The Cameraman and has helped track down material for Michael Agee's restorations of the Laurel & Hardy silents. Bruce had the pleasure of working with Kevin Brownlow and David Gill on the three-part television series D.W. Griffith: The Father of Film and assisted them with their restoration of The Gold Rush for the Chaplin Estate. Most recently Viacom International asked him to inspect Paramount's film and video vaults on both coasts in order to review their preservation program. He writes for Video Magazine and The Perfect Vision and produces "live" film presentations.
Ben Model is one of the youngest silent film accompanists working in the U.S. today, composing and performing scores for organ, piano, and orchestra. He has scored nearly a thousand silent films since he began nineteen years ago while attending film school at NYU. Upon graduating, he began playing for silents at the Museum of Modern Art and a variety of other noteworthy places. In 2001 he was the accompanist for the Museum of Modern Art's seven-month silent film retrospective From Automatic Vaudeville to Seventh Art: Cinema's Silent Years, 1989-1928, performing his original scores for over 150 features and 60 short films. While in college Mr. Model studied with Lee Erwin, the renowned theatre organist who has been accompanying silent film since the 1920's. He has also studied extensively with Walter Kerr, the Pulitzer Prize-winning theatre critic and author of the landmark book on silent comedy, The Silent Clowns. A comedy director/writer/performer, Ben produced and directed the independent feature film comedy The Puerto Rican Mambo (Not A Musical) which was released theatrically and got "two thumbs up" from Siskel & Ebert. It is now on video.