Author: jkrisvoy from Los Angeles
In 1974, I was a member of the MIDNIGHT SPECIAL production staff, and one of the shows that was taped (originally as a 2 parter) was the WILLIE NELSON 4th OF JULY PICNIC at College Station, Texas. The camera crew was supplied by Leon Russell’s organization, but everything else, as I recall, was up to the show with the exception of the 3D production, which got 2nd rights access to preferred camera locations.
The TV show ran, however, the film was unheard of until about 1982, when I was with a company called Astralvision, ie Astralvision 3D -which operated the Beverly Hills Screening Room on the Sunset strip, which was equipped to run 35mm 3D, including Spacevision, which was the system employed for the film.
On/about 1982 the film’s producer, Joseph Kaufman, brought a rough cut of the 3D version to screen and our group subsequently tried to get involved, to the extent to try to unravel a number of legal issues to help get the film into release. Joe claimed exclusive ownership to the rights. However, there was also another group who was cutting the film in a flat version (which ultimately got among the worst trade reviews of any concert film – one critic noting that it looked like it was “edited by a monkey”
After months of trying to help, the legal costs went up too high and we had to bail. I did see the entire 3D rough cut and the footage actually looked pretty good. In fact, it was kinda mind-blowing to see the staff I worked with staring back at me in one shot from the film in very lifelike 3D. With the 3D trend now on the upswing, it may be prudent for whoever owns it, to try to bring it out for 3D Blue Ray release next year (2010) or even on any of the cable systems planning to go with some 3D programming sometime that same year.
Least I forget, that streaker made it into the unviewable portion of the show that was broadcast, but viewers really couldn’t see her.