Film Society of Lincoln Center to Screen THE 78 PROJECT MOVIE This August
The 78 Project is honored and thrilled to announce that their feature length documentary film, The 78 Project Movie, will have its New York City premiere on August 5th at the Film Society of Lincoln Center's Walter Reade Theater as part of its Sound + Vision series.
This is an exciting homecoming for The 78 Project Movie, on the heels of the film's critically-acclaimed world premiere at SXSW Film Festival in March and successful screenings at Nashville Film Festival and Independent Film Festival Boston.
The 78 Project Movie contains never-before-seen musical performances and interviews shot in a year-long road trip across America, during which director Alex Steyermark and recordist Lavinia Jones Wright traveled to visit musicians and historians in their hometowns. Says Steyermark, "After we'd done The 78 Project web series for about a year, we felt the need to make a feature-length film which would explore some of the context for our fascination with the early field recordings and also show the musical connections of folks from all kinds of musical genres and from seemingly disparate cultural backgrounds."
As an independently self-produced documentary, The 78 Project Movie was an ambitious undertaking. For a majority of the shoot, Steyermark and Jones Wright were just a two-person crew, operating cameras, sound and the Presto recorder themselves. This also afforded them the flexibility to do unplanned recordings with musicians they met along the way. The result is a documentary with strong vision and spontaneity; it is broad in scope, and, at its core, intimate and emotional.
For Steyermark and Jones Wright, the ability to make the film organically and independently was key. Says Jones Wright, "We were constantly amazed by the openness with which we were received by the artists, and by the support we received from friends and strangers along the way. A lot of generous folks made us meals and let us crash on their floors. We're also extremely grateful to everyone who backed our Kickstarter campaign, which made the film possible in the first place."
The 78 Project Movie is a culmination of all of the pieces of Steyermark's accomplished and varied career, including the three narrative features he has directed (Prey for Rock & Roll, One Last Thing..., Losers Take All), the countless films on which he acted as music supervisor and music producer (Malcolm X, Crooklyn, The Ice Storm), and his early work as a documentary editor.
To celebrate this momentous hometown screening at the Film Society of Lincoln Center, Steyermark and Jones Wright will be on hand with their Presto and cameras and a special guest musician at Lincoln Center to demonstrate the exciting process of cutting a 78rpm record live. Directly after the recording, The 78 Project creators will play back the record for all to hear, and then give a Q&A about their process and experiences On the Road when they traveled across America to shoot The 78 Project Movie.
This will be the second edition of The Film Society of Lincoln Center Sound + Vision series, the annual documentary series that explores a diverse range of music, artists, genres and styles from all over the world. Tickets and a discount package for Sound + Vision will go on sale Thursday, July 10.
The 78 Project Movie Film Society of Lincoln Center
Tuesday, August 5th 6:30pm
Walter Reade Theater
Director, Editor, Camera
Lavinia Jones Wright & Alex Steyermark
Lavinia Jones Wright
The 78 Project is on a journey across America to make one-of-a-kind 78rpm records with musicians in their hometowns using a 1930s Presto direct-to-disc recorder. With one microphone. With one blank disc. In one 3-minute take.
About The 78 Project Movie
The 78 Project Movie is a film about connections, framed by a road trip across America to record musicians on a vintage Presto 1930s direct-to-disc acetate recorder. The 78 Project creators Alex Steyermark and Lavinia Jones Wright shot The 78 Project Movie from August 2012 to September 2013, driving across America in a tiny Kia Soul loaded to the roof with cameras, their Presto, spare tubes, blank discs and a toolbox, which for better or worse they ended up using nearly every day. Over the course of their journey, the pair visited established and emerging musicians in their homes to cut once-in-a-lifetime 78rpm records. From Tennessee to Mississippi and from California to Louisiana, the folk singers, punk rockers, Gospel and Cajun singers in The 78 Project Movie tell in their own words what it is to be American today, sharing their lives and histories through intimate musical performances of classic American songs.
The Presto machine The 78 Project uses is the same model of device on which American folklorist and ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax recorded his legendary field recordings between 1933 and 1942. Artists who participated in The 78 Project Movie performed their song in one take, recording directly onto 78rpm acetate disc, in exactly the manner that America's authentic musical forms were originally captured.
The 78 Project Movie includes experts from every facet of field recording: Grammy-winning producers, legendary 78 collectors, The Family of the Presto inventor, the factory workers who makethe blank acetate discs, and curators from the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian. The kaleidoscopic viewpoints of these technologists, historians and craftsmen provide the context that allows for new connections to emerge between people from different generations and seemingly different cultures.
Musical performers in The 78 Project Movie include The Reverend John Wilkins, Victoria Williams, John Doe, Holly Williams and Chris Coleman, John Reilly and Tom Brosseau, Jaron Lanier, Ella Mae Bowen, Dylan LeBlanc, The Bo-Keys with Percy Wiggins, John Paul Keith, Ben Vaughn, The Easy Leaves, Little Wings, Gaby Moreno and Adam Levy, Coati Mundi, Sea of Bees, Joe Bussard, Louis Michot, Corey Ledet and Ashlee Michot and Dawn Landes.
About The 78 Project Creators
Alex Steyermark's (Director, Producer, Camera, Editor) feature films, "Prey for Rock & Roll" (2003), "One Last Thing..." (2006) and "Losers Take All" (2013), have been acclaimed at film festivals from Sundance to Toronto to Tribeca, and are distributed throughout the world. Prior to directing, he distinguished himself as a film music supervisor and music producer working with a wide array of artists on films by Spike Lee, Ang Lee, Jonathan Demme and Robert Rodriguez, among many others. The 78 Project Movie is his first feature-length documentary as a director.
Lavinia Jones Wright (Producer, Writer, Presto Recordist) wrote and edited for ASCAP's Playback magazine, Inside Music newsletter, website, award shows, and Field Recording web series, contributed to Billboard, SPIN, WSJ, AOL, Harp and Crawdaddy! and is a concert organizer, performer and recording artist.
About Film Society of Lincoln Center
Founded in 1969 to celebrate American and international cinema, the Film Society of Lincoln Center works to recognize established and emerging filmmakers, support important new work, and to enhance the awareness, accessibility, and understanding of the moving image. The Film Society's state-of-the-art Walter Reade Theater and the Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center, located at Lincoln Center, provide a home for year-round programs and the New York City film community.
Visit www.filmlinc.com for complete Sound + Vision film festival information.