While looking through some paperwork recently I came across the following sales pitch letter and product proposal I did for a project in a course some years back. This is not terribly original, I’m afraid, but it points to how classics-centric I’ve always been and I thought it would be fun to share on this blog. Regardless of the topic or theme at hand, I always managed to squeeze in classic film in assignments.
Cecil B. DeMille
8888 Sunset Boulevard
Hollywood, CA 33333
Dear Mr. DeMille,
Your recent inquiry regarding the release of classic films from the National Film Registry has not fallen on deaf ears. Your wish is granted!
Working in conjunction with the Library of Congress and their Film Preservation Board, Film as Art is proud to offer you a once in a lifetime opportunity, a chance to own films never before made available to the public.
At Film as Art, we believe that film is America’s most enduring and influential art form, a national treasure. The National Film Preservation Foundation has helped to preserve more than 1,100 films, all of historical and cultural significance. These are now available to you for many, many years of enjoyment. Films such as Sherlock Jr. (1924), The Great Dictator (1940), Cat People (1942), Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948), 12 Angry Men (1957), and even the historical Zapruder Film (1963) have been fully restored to their original luster.
You’ll be glad to know that 90% of all profits from the films and film sets we are making available to you will go to the restoration of more classic films so that you, your family and future generations can enjoy them forever.
Each set will be sold for $49.95 and includes ten classic films, an explanation of the preservation process and before and after clips. A new set will arrive at your door every 90 days and because we value your support, the shipping and handling charges are on us.
Just imagine, Mr. DeMille, the hours of enjoyment you and your family will experience for such a small price. I assure you this opportunity is unique, just as each film in the preservation project is unique.
Don’t wait another moment. As soon as you complete and return the enclosed order form you’ll receive the first set in this unprecedented series, No Talking Allowed.
All of us at Film as Art look forward to our continued collaboration as fans of classic films.
Louis B. Mayer
The opportunity rarely presents itself whereby the average American can play a pivotal role in restoring a national treasure. Film as Art is providing just that opportunity to families in every household.
In conjunction with the Library of Congress and the Film Preservation Board, Film as Art is packaging sets of the films deemed by experts to have historical and cultural significance and making them available to the public for the first time ever. The preservation of these films, a very expensive and time-consuming process, has given them and the art form the respect they deserve. State of the art technology has been used to being these films to their original luster. Film as Art is offering a product that is part of American culture, a product which represents the most enduring and influential form of expression and art that this country has had on the world.
The films available through the preservation project currently number over 1,100, encompass all genres and represent every decade of the twentieth century. Films range from silent one-reelers by Thomas Edison to historical documentaries like the Zapruder Film to popular comedies to avant-garde animation. Through the viewing of these films, American families will be able to view American society as it evolved for their parents and grandparents and see how American values affected our popular culture.
Noting the historical and cultural significance of film is not enough, nor is it necessary to cite the millions of dollars American films have made since we first looked up at them at local theaters. Everyone can attest to the value of one film over another for various reasons – films affect our lives and touch individuals and mass audiences with equal force whether by evoking memories, moving us to tears, making us laugh or showing us worlds we’ve never even considered.
Film as Art is packaging the films currently in the National Film Registry as sets for public enjoyment. Each set has a running theme that parallels the times in which each film was made. Sets include No Talking Allowed, Song and Dance, American Royalty, Crime Doesn’t Pay and Down on Your Luck. Each set features at least ten films, before and after restoration clips, making-of and historical documentaries and each is packaged beautifully to enhance any film library.
Prices for sets never vary regardless of the number of films and extras included. Each will be sold for $49.95, ninety percent of which will go toward the restoration of other films deemed worthy by the Library of Congress and its panel of experts. This project is a labor of love for Film as Art as well as for the millions of Americans who are lovers of classic films and who deserve to have them available to enjoy forever.
Although technology has made movies available to us at home for generations now, the simple viewing of theatrically released films is not what Film as Art is offering. We are offering a collection unlike anything that has yet to be made available to the public. Every ninety days, every person who subscribes to receive our sets will be more than simply entertained, they will be accepting American history into their homes to peruse and enjoy at their leisure.
Disclaimer – the above is made up. Any resemblance to any person or action prevously taken by anyone is purely coincidental. I chose DeMille and Mayer names purely for fun. No disrespect intended.