Button Revealed

The new Orson Welles Complex Button

The new Orson Welles Complex Button

Here is the the new Orson Welles Complex Button.

Taking a cue from The Film School’s original logo, a new button is revealed.

The button is 2 inches by 2 inches, and is worn in a diamond design. Perfect for any occasion.

To get yours, simply make a donation of $25 to the making of our documentary. Wear it with pride.

Thank you.

We Need Money: Sad, but True. It’s a Mercenary World.

keaton-sherlock_optWhat made the Welles great was the community it created. When we started this project, it was that community we remembered. The thought was if everyone who loved the Welles supported our crowd funding campaign with $50, the film would be funded in no time. Well, we was overly optimistic and perhaps, a little naive.

We have filmed a number of great segments, including Tommy Lee Jones. Now we are facing the real possibility of not being able to finish what we started. We need your help. Please go to the web site and support our crowd funding effort with what you can. And/or, do you know anyone who would like to invest and perhaps become an Executive Producer? We have shiny proposal for them to look at. Please contact us at OrsonWellesComplex@gmail.com–subject line: Investor.

And thanks!

Garen Daly
Producer/Director, The Orson Welles Complex

Othello At the Brattle Theatre

Othello-orson-welles-movie-posterA new digitally remastered version of Orson Welles’ Othello will be screening at The Brattle Theatre starting this Friday, June 27. Click on “The Brattle” link for showtimes.

Faced with his customary budgetary constraints, Welles took what he had and created something that is uniquely his.

By all means if you’re in the Harvard Square neighborhood, check out this classic.




The Poster Restoration Project

Surprises seem to pop up whenever The Orson Welles Complex comes into a conversation. Sometimes it is memories. Sometimes it is when we find someone we never thought had a connection, was indeed a Wellesian, our name for those connected to our late and beloved place.

One surprise that is no longer a surprise concerns the posters. It is no longer a surprise when someone says to me, “Oh yeah, I saved a bunch.” They then start rattling off all the posters and paper they have saved for more than 40 years, sometimes schlepping them across country. Somehow they knew these were special.

Knowing this, George Saregent and I have started a project. We will be cataloging ever single poster we can get our hands on. George saved nearly every single poster created when he was manager of the Orson Welles Cinema from 1970-72. He has about 70. I have managed to get my hands on about 60. We know other folks who have posters, too. Of course there will be some duplicates, but we expect to end up with nearly 250 of the original posters.

Some of them are in bad shape and need to be restored. That’s where George and his wife Patricia are invaluable. They are paper restorers. We’ll be bringing them back to life. That’s why we are calling this The Poster Restoration Project, catchy title, no?

Once we have them cataloged and repaired, we’ll take some of the most iconic ones and put them in a book, which of course, we hope you’ll buy. If all goes well it should be ready as a Christmas present (hint, hint).

And if you have posters or other memorabilia, please let us know. Thanks.

Searching for Jay Leno

Making a movie, or maybe it is just any project, there are going to be some side trips and diversions; you pursue something thinking it will yield a great angle for the film.

Here’s an example:

I had been told that Jay Leno got his start as a comic at the Orson Welles Restaurant. There is even a poster with his name on it. It’s a nice looking poster too–it’s in our archive. Anyway, the story goes that Jay talks about his time at the Orson Welles in his autobiography. Being the sometimes smart fellow that I think I am, I went to the local library to see if they had the book. Besides being a fledgling film maker, I am also frugal. Why buy a book when you can borrow out of the library? Heck, Jimmy Stewart complained about that very thing in The Philadelphia Story. Here he was an author who only sold a few of his books because libraries had them for free.

Living in s small town in New Hampshire, the library isn’t that big. They did not have a copy of the book. Then it occurred to me that maybe they would have an audio book, and if Jay himself read the audiobook, I could use the quote on the web site or a trailer. Yep, that would be a good use for some found material.

Well, the library had neither, but they could place an order from the inter-library service. So, a form was filled out . They asserted they would call me when the search was done. A few days later the cheerful and quite young voice of Jennifer was on my phone. There was no audio book to be found in New Hampshire, but they could secure the book. The book was ordered and I wandered over to my computer. A quick search revealed that there were no CDs of the book, but there was a cassette tape.

OK, a cassette would do. I have decent playback machine and the necessary software to convert it into a digital signal. The cost plus shipping would be $6.25. A few clicks with Paypal and the deal was done.

The cassette arrived a few days later. I immediately placed it in my player, plugged everything into my computer and downloaded the cassette’s contents into my computer. I listened to that section where Jay talks about the Welles.

It was disappointingly brief.

All he said was that he played in some places around Cambridge including the Nameless Coffeehouse and the Orson Welles Café. That was it. At this point I figured the audiobook was hopefully abridged and when I got a copy of the book, that section would be more expansive.

A few days later the lovely voice of Jennifer informed that the book was in and I could pick it up anytime. So I did.

Alas, that which was on the audio tape was in the book. Just a brief mention of the Welles, nothing more.

Is there a moral to the story? I suppose so. In this pursuit of tracking down information and bits of history about a place, there will be dead ends galore. This was just one of them. But I did learn that Jay’s Scottish born mother spent part of her childhood in a Glasgow brothel–another useless piece of trivia for an already over-crowded mind.

In the meantime, I do want to speak to Jay and invite him to our upcoming reunion. If anyone knows him or knows how to reach him , please share. Thanks. ~ Garen