|This week, Greg orbits around Ed Wood.|
It all started with Operation Redlight, another seemingly lost film and something of a Holy Grail for Ed Wood obsessives. Wood wrote and stars in the 1969 film. Just weeks into writing these articles, I found a profile for Redlight's co-producer and cinematographer, Jacques "Jack" Descent, on Facebook. I messaged him, inquiring about the film, and was ecstatically surprised to hear back from Jack with previously unknown details about Redlight.
|Jacques Descent and Greg Dziawer in September 2017.|
In late 2016, I received an email from Jack informing me that an archivist had contacted him, having found the original 29 reels of raw 16mm superneg footage and corresponding 1/4" Nagra reels for a film the archivist could not identify. In the first reel, the archivist noticed a poster hanging in the background for the 1967 softcore film Watch the Birdie...Die! Painfully, Birdie is another lost film. Like Redlight, it was directed by Don Doyle. On the poster, the archivist astutely noticed the producer credit for Jacques Descent.
Just a handful of images from that first reel were enough for Jack to recollect that the film was A Girl For All Seasons. Produced and shot by Jack in Hollywood over three days in June 1974 under the working title 4 Dames 4 Dreams, the film wrapped production and then disappeared. Unable to raise the funds for post-production, Jack moved on without looking back, another lost film in his wake.
Until now, that is! I requested the raw film materials from that archive, and they agreed to send them. We then had the audio digitized and the film reels scanned in 4K. Jack and I debated at length how the film should be edited. We had no script, just five and a half hours of raw film footage. Although the clapperboards suggested a linear narrative, we finally agreed upon it being non-linear, a blend of fantasy and reality. While the result is not quite Pirandello, it proved to be an ambitious and arty film for its genre, budget, and era.
Jack engaged a few editors before finally landing on the right post-production crew, Rev13 Films in Montreal. When Jack passed in June of last year, the footage had been assembled into a rough cut that approximated the complete restored version.
While all of this was transpiring, I continued writing articles here on a (mostly) weekly basis. Through my research for those articles, I learned about Ed Wood's myriad connections within the sex film industry of the early '70s. Ed crossed orbital paths with the people, places, and things in that milieu far beyond what had previously been known. I realized that Dames & Dreams—Jack's final title for 4 Dames 4 Dreams—was rife with Woodian intersections. The following are just a few of them.