To answer your question about the Ambersons project, a prototype of the project is finished, using storyboards, stills, voiceover narration, and music to give a sense of the missing scenes. I sent the first copy to majoramberson who created the wonderful Ambersons website at
and who also worked on the prototype. He liked it and said he'll be doing some more work for it. I'm sending another copy to Jaime M. this week, and he may want to modify it himself. The prototype (or "rough sketch" might be a better description) is done, but badly flawed throughout, and will need to be redone, or at least reassembled. Much it was done with 2 VCRs and an LD player, without benefit of computer, so picture quality is only fair. I'll probably take another stab at it this winter.
We're still playing around with ideas for the Ambersons project, but it has essentially been put on hold for now, because a writer friend of Jaime's advised him that a restoration of THE STRANGER would be sellable in the marketplace, since THE STRANGER is public domain, and AMBERSONS is not. As a result, Jaime is going full-steam ahead with a reconstruction of Welles' original cut of THE STRANGER, which was trimmed by about 20 minutes for it's original theatrical release. I'm also involved in this project, but in a more peripheral way then Ambersons. However, I've seen some of Jaime's work so far, and it's very impressive.
Maybe if THE STRANGER project goes well, it can be used to obtain permission or even funding for a finalization of the Ambersons project. Of course, if Rick Schmidlin gets ahold of that 16mm Ambersons print in Rio, there'll be no need to finish it.