Written by Rob King, author of Hokum!: The Early Sound Slapstick Short and Depression-Era Mass Culture, this entry first appeared on the new companion site for the book and is cross-posted here with his kind permission.
A filmography is a wonderful object for historicist investment. But for my book Hokum! I also felt that a conventional filmography would be quite redundant as a source of new information. There is already much excellent and reliable filmographic work on early sound shorts, courtesy of historians like Edwin M. Bradley, Rob Farr, Roy Liebman, Joe Moore, Ted Okuda, Richard M. Roberts, Brent Walker, Edward Watz, and many others.
So I wanted to create something that would provide data visualization rather than credit lists and dates. This website is the result: “Hokum Filmography,” finally live.
At the moment, it’s primarily limited to quantitative data on short-subject output, but there are ways I’m thinking of expanding it (if and when I have time). I won’t say that you should check back often for updates; just that, like most digital things, the site is unfinished and might change.
The process of putting together a website was a steep learning curve for me, so I have to thank the research assistants who’ve helped me on this project over the last few years. They’re acknowledged on the “How to Use” page – which is where you should click next anyway – but more than deserve another mention here. Sincere thanks, then, to Carolyn Condon, Wentao Ma, and Shao-Hung Teng, all of whom put in hours of really painstaking work.
Visit the site to browse interactive data by Studio and Short-Subject Categories. Hokum!: The Early Sound Slapstick Short and Depression-Era Mass Culture is available for purchase in paperback format, or a free ebook version of this title can be downloaded via Luminos, University of California Press’s Open Access publishing program.