Friday, April 29, 2005

Santa Cruz Film Festival Presents

Friday, May 13th, 8 pm
Rio Theatre
1205 Soquel Avenue
Santa Cruz, Ca 95062

Sunshine Daydream

sponsored by

A portion of Closing Night's proceeds to benefit The Rex Foundation

Sam writes, "The Grateful Dead had recently returned from a triumphal tour of Europe ('72) where the filmmakers purchased the then state of the art miniaturized equipment, a Swiss made Stellavox field recorder and an Éclair ACL 16mm camera.The plot was to develop a signature visual style of representing the band: a camera for each of the 16 channels (at least!) emphasizing the visual kinetics of the music making itself as well as the enormous open communication within the band.

Chuck Kesey was camped out at the crossroads of the Grateful Dead office, obstructing all traffic until he got an answer: Would the band play a benefit for the Springfield Creamery? Fred, the Kesey paterfamilias, had passed away leaving an indebtedness to the Federal Milk Fund or some such, and Chuck and Sue were just tooling up the Nancy's yogurt enterprise and they were in danger of losing the family farm and the Dead said yes.

Sam Cutler called the filmmakers and suggested they join forces with Far West Action Picture Services, the then incarnation of the Pranksters film-making adventures. This was a much greater first project than originally contemplated, however, the filmmakers acceded with alacrity.

Ron Wickersham of Alembic agreed to record in 16-track and to devise a method whereby all the different cameras could each find sync with the recording.

From the get-go the benefit was a charmed event, emblematic of everything our tribe aspired to. In the meadow that was to become the home of the Oregon Country Fair, hippies pulled together, built a stage and threw themselves a party to celebrate and help out a neighbor, The Springfield Creamery. Perhaps the only bewildered guy on the scene was the straight piano tuner who brought Keith's piano.

It's taken over thirty years for the half-life of that notion to become true. In the intervening years the film spent most of its life in the pump house of the producer, Sam Field.

The film is as it was the day it was set aside including the animation sequences in Dark Star which, due to lack of band footage, were patched in pretty much willy-nilly from old work print provided by Dennis Pohl, a New York filmmaker. We had intended he would create original, syncopated work for the final film.

There are still a few more miles to go, fine tuning the edit, remixing the sound, before we get to the final technical hurdle, conforming 1972 technology to current DVD standards, but with patience and perseverance this may someday, be available to all".