Silent Film Quarterly is barely six months old. I know the exact date that the idea came to me from a text message to my girlfriend. “Remind me to tell you about my new idea I’m working on,” it read. I couldn’t have conveyed it in my message, but something about the concept I had come up with—a print magazine dedicated exclusively to silent film—really struck a chord with me.
The text that started it all.
From there, things progressed rapidly. I designed the cover of the first issue during those first couple of days, in addition to mapping out the format of the magazine. I also reached out to some of my close friends and associates in the community to make sure I’d have support and—most importantly—content. The response was immediately overwhelming.
Silent Film Quarterly Issue 1.
There are several people I have to thank personally for being amongst the first to contribute to the embryonic magazine. The first completed piece I received came from Cory Gross, whose history and analysis of 1925’s The Lost World still ranks amongst my favorite articles to have appeared in the magazine. I also asked Annette D’Agostino Lloyd, a dear friend of mine, for permission to republish one of her Harold Lloyd articles; she informed me that rather than having her old work republished, she’d rather contribute an original piece. As someone who holds the Harold Lloyd Encyclopedia in the highest regard, this was nothing short of an honor.
Annette Lloyd’s invaluable contribution to Issue 1.
Even before the first issue was released, Silent Film Quarterly seemed to spread like wildfire. Social media helped to spread the word of the magazine, and subscriptions began pouring in from around the world. I am proud to say that there are currently subscribers in more than 40 states and 25 countries—numbers that I believe are strong evidence for the continued appreciation of silent films around the globe. I have a backlog of material into the middle of next year, all of which I am genuinely excited to share with everyone.
Shipping the first issue.
These first few months of Silent Film Quarterly have been nothing short of spectacular. From visiting the Niles-Essanay Silent Film Museum (where they sell the magazine in their gift shop) to speaking with famed silent film composer Carl Davis, the first half-year of Silent Film Quarterly has been truly unforgettable.
My visit to Niles.
Next year will, I hope, elevate the magazine to even greater heights. Already a Kickstarter campaign to reproduce 1916 silent film playing cards is sitting at 250% funded, without two-and-a-half weeks still to go. Additionally, in the next few weeks I will be making an announcement about Silent Film Quarterly Press, a new arm of the brand that will be focused on reproducing important, out-of-print texts from the silent era.
As 2015 comes to a close, I want to thank everyone who has supported Silent Film Quarterly in any way. Whether you’ve subscribed, written an article, or simply visited the website or Facebook page, you’ve contributed to this magazine’s sudden success. I never anticipated such a fervent response in the first few months; it is my hope that 2016 will see the magazine grow and evolve even more than it already has.
Here’s to the next four issues…
Editor in chief