Fade in: A young woman walks down a street at night, her footsteps echoing in the darkness. She looks back. Is she being followed? Nervously, she runs headlong into the blackness.
Cut to: A montage of men and and women from different eras, in color footage and black-and-white, running through different cities, towns and landscapes, at all hours of the day and night, in steamy summers and icy winters, gazing over their shoulders as some unseen terror laps at their heels.
What is this strange, inhuman force that threatens to dissolve their celluloid reality and keep viewers in the dark about their fates?
That's the setup for this engaging film from Mill+ director Carl Addy. Check it out here (with spoilers below):
Addy deftly deployed clips from dozens of movies for "Film Is Fragile," aimed at illustrating why the British Film Institute's restoration efforts are worthy of public donations.
"The concept for this film isn't simply about the preservation of the physical celluloid," Addy tells AdFreak. "More importantly, it is about the protection and sanctity of the soul of film, which is storytelling."
Cinematic classics, cult creations and modern masterpieces are represented in the work, all seamlessly woven into a single story designed to keep viewers on the edge of their seats.
"Our biggest challenge," Addy says, "was getting clearance on such a wide range of footage. It was a mammoth research task, as we needed to trawl through so much footage. We are very grateful for the filmmakers, whose generosity helped us create this film, allowing us to pay testament to the worthy cause that the BFI is promoting."
It's certainly an inventive way to remind us that, in some cases, there are no retakes. For movies that have been damaged or have begun to disintegrate, it's critical to act before the action they contain fades to black forever.
28 Days Later / Fox Entertainment Group Inc
A Matter of Life and Death / iTV Studios Global Entertainment
Attack the Block / StudioCanal
Blood / BBC Films
The Blue Lamp / StudioCanal
Brick / NBC Universal/StudioCanal
Casino royale / EON Productions/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios
A Clockwork Orange / Warner Bros. Entertainment
The Double / StudioCanal
For Those in Peril / Soda Pictures
A Hard Days Night / Oaktree Capital Management
Harry Brown / Lions Gate Entertainment Inc. UK
In Which We Serve / ITV Global Entertainment
The Italian Job / Paramount Pictures Corporation
Man in the White Suit / StudioCanal
The Man Who Haunted Himself / StudioCanal
My Brother the Devil / Rooks Nest Entertainment
Nineteen eighty-four / EON Productions/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios
Queen of Spades / StudioCanal
Rage / See-Saw Films/Screen Media Films
Secret Agent / ITV Studios Global Entertainment
Shame / Entertainment One/ See-Saw Studios
Shell / Verve Pictures
The Shining / Warner Bros. Entertainment
Skyfall / EON Productions/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer
The Spy Who Loved Me / EON Productions/Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Studios
Trainspotting / Channel 4 Films/Miramax LLC
Welcome to the Punch / 42mp/Entertainment One Ltd
The Wicker Man / StudioCanal
The Woman in Black / Entertainment One/Hammer Films
The Worlds End / NBC Universal Inc.