William S. Hart in THREE WORD BRAND (1921) – new release

Happy new year!

Today I’m releasing William S. Hart in THREE WORD BRAND (1921) for streaming only. It’s available for just $2.99 on my YouTube channel.

Why am I releasing this in this manner?

  • my YouTube channel was recently approved for offering videos for a fee, as well as for starting a separate subscription-only channel
  • if I release it as a DVD, the less-than-stellar Amazon reviews for the Alpha Video version may get attributed to it and vice versa
  • if I release it as a DVD, I’d feel obligated to find other content to “fill out the disc”, and this way I can release the feature as a stand-alone
  • this was a project not worthy of doing a Kickstarter, and any scoring/editing work I’ve done on it is “on spec” and is work I’m not willing to just give away for free; anything I’ve already posted on my YT is work I’d already been compensated for
  • this was a way of offering an edition of this film that is somewhere between “I just want to see it and don’t care about the score or image quality” and a full-blown Criterion-Blu restoration from 35mm elements

This is an experiment. As is the “tip jar” I’ve enabled on my channel, a feature for creators that YouTube rolled out a couple months ago.

What I’m trying to find out is whether YouTubers will pony up a few bucks to watch a silent feature knowing the score will be good and — given the rest of my channel’s content — that the film looks good and is at a decent speed.

Here are some particulars about this edition.

  • it’s from a good 16mm print
  • I’ve adjusted the speed to approximate 21 fps
  • I have tinted the exterior night scenes blue, as the visual information I saw indicated this. (I could be wrong, but I’m learning to recognize what this looks like when seen in a B&W print.)
  • this film was originally 7 reels, released at 6,638 ft; this edition is slightly abridged, and if it were in 35mm it’d be around 5,700 ft
  • new stereo piano score by yours truly

This is streaming ‘purchase’ and not a ‘rental’, so if you pay the $2.99 you will have access to it as long as you like.

If anyone here goes for it, I’d appreciate any info about how this whole thing works from the consumer end of it. Also, posting any comments on the YouTube listing itself will help other fans find it or have it suggested to them.

Enough exposition. If you’d like to check out this new release of THREE WORD BRAND starring William S. Hart and directed by Lambert Hillyer…




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Yippee-kay-yay!!!! I did not know you scored some Westerns, too, Ben! I am a cowboy at heart, albeit a vegan one! I love this YouTube idea and will happily pay $2.99 to see a well-curated silent movie with your score, and will spread the word about this!


Just finished watching it, Ben (had to do it in installments, thanks to my chaotic schedule). Here's my feedback: This system is great! It's a convenient and affordable way to see silent movies that I wouldn't otherwise get to see in such good shape and with an original score by you; it was easy to pay, easy to stream, and thoroughly enjoyable. I have a limited amount of space for shelving DVDs/Blu-Rays, so I am happy to have online access to silent movies of superior quality. I throughly enjoyed your score, which complemented the images perfectly — in fact, you… Read more »


Just found this. It says the video is not available.