Coquille Film Company

image description
William M. Hannon and Klas Van Heel acting in a scene of "The Studio Dandy", a Coquille film and the first photoplay made entirely in New Orleans.

Photo Credit: The Times-Picayune (New Orleans). "Coquille Film Company to Release First Local Production Tuesday." Editorial. May 17, 1915.

Contributors

The Coquille Film Company was completed on February 1st, 1915 under the direction of former French film producer Rene Plaissetty. At this time, film was just beginning to develop from a novelty into a thriving industry. Business was easily attainable, so it was an ideal time for new producers to enter into the American market. Plaissetty took advantage of this open market in the hopes of creating a prosperous new film company. [1] It was reported to be the first producing organization to establish a studio in New Orleans.

Location

The city was thought to be an ideal location due to the vast availability of various shooting environments, housing nearly every setting except mountains. [2] The original home base of the company was an old Spanish mansion with a ruined formal garden that Plaissetty intended to repair. He brought in actors such as Klas Van heel, and New Orleans natives Leatrice Zeidler and Lucy Leveque. [3]

Mystery of Coquille vs. Nola Films

There was some confusion surrounding the Coquille Film Company and its association with what was known as Nola Films. It was originally stated in the local paper in 1914 that Plaissetty was coming to America for his connection with the Coquille Film Company, but was already working on plans for a larger studio in New Orleans for the same company before even arriving. It was also stated that the company would be releasing under the name of “Nola”, known as “Nola” films made by the Coquille Film Company of New Orleans. [4] Licensing agreements were difficult to come by in this era of film with the established monopolies in popular film centers such as Los Angeles and New York, which is part of what made alternative locales such as New Orleans such desirable places to start studios. However, this also generated some competition and overlap that could have contributed to the unclear interactions and arrangements between budding companies in a smaller scale city. [5] The release arrangements for Coquille Films were said to be altered and not established definitely in early summer 1915. The company reported that they would release certain pictures on state rights or independently until they could finalize these arrangements. They reported to be developing extensive plans to give the organization a higher standing among production companies at this same time as well. [6] . The differences and connections between Coquille and Nola are somewhat blurred and never fully explained, but this same enterprise would eventually become known as the Diamond Film Company.

Film Releases

It was a huge achievement for Coquille Films when they finally began to release films made entirely in New Orleans. They were able to release several films in their start-up year before the confusion ensued between Coquille and Nola Films.

  • “The Studio Dandy” was released on May 18, 1915. It was a one-reel comedy shown at Pearce’s Trianon Theatre, and the first photoplay made entirely in the city. The film was written and directed by William Morgan Hannon, a well-known local attorney, and featured Leatrice Zeidler, Klas Van Heel, Andrew Rogers, Lawrence Carey, and Mr. Hannon himself. [7]

  • “The Link” was the first general release of the Coquille Film Company, a three-reel drama released for the US and Canada through Alliance Film Corp in NYC. [8]
  • “Carnival in Black and White” was a one-reel comedy written by Miss Caroline Wogan to be released for Mardi Gras 1915. [9]
  • “The Man Who Lost” was a three-reel drama written by Miss Amanda Buckman, also to be released for Mardi Gras 1915. [10]
  • “The Pearl of India” was a three-reel drama featuring Leatrice Zeidler, known as the first big photo-play made by a New Orleans Corporation with local players. [11]

Works Cited

  • Balio, Tino. “Struggles for Control.” The American Film Industry. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 1976. 103. Print.
  • Moving Picture World 22 (October-December 1914): 1857.
  • Moving Picture World 23 (March 1915): 860.
  • “Motion Picture Paradise.” The Times-Picayune (New Orleans). January 27, 1915.
  • Balio, Tino. “Struggles for Control.” The American Film Industry. Madison: University of Wisconsin, 1976. 105-107. Print.
  • Moving Picture World 24 (April-June 1915): 1652
  • “Amusements- Pearce Theaters.” The Times-Picayune (New Orleans). Editorial. May 22, 1915.
  • “Coquille Film Company to Release First Local Production Tuesday. “The Times-Picayune (New Orleans). Editorial. May 17, 1915.
  • Moving Picture World 23 (March 1915): 400.
  • Moving Picture World 23 (March 1915): 400.
  • “Amusements- Pearce Theaters.” The Times-Picayune (New Orleans). Editorial. May 22, 1915.

This page was last modified on 18 February 2013, at 03:03

VIEW PLACE PROFILE

Coquille Film Company

1347 Moss Street, New Orleans, LA