Oddball Reunites Director Peter Clifton With Lost Easybeats Film!

Oddball Film+Video uncovers long lost, 'never seen before', Easybeats film in its archive.
 
 
Easybeats Lead Guitarist Harry Vanda
Easybeats Lead Guitarist Harry Vanda
 
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Oddball
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San Francisco - California - US

March 26, 2010 - PRLog -- Peter Clifton, an Australian film director and producer, is best known for directing the Led Zeppelin concert film The Song Remains the Same (1976), The Punk Rock Movie (1978) and having filmed Jimi Hendrix live in concert. Clifton’s first film was Somewhere Between Heaven And Woolworths (B+W, 30 min) now re-titled  Easy Come, Easy Go, a documentary short about the Australian band The Easybeats' tour of England in 1967. Inspired by the Beatles and the British Music Invasion, the Easybeats are widely regarded as the greatest Australian pop band of the 1960s and were the first Australian rock and roll act to score an international rock hit with their classic 1966 single "Friday on my Mind”. The 16mm film, produced for the Australian Broadcasting Commission was somehow damaged before it was released. It was shelved and misplaced never to be seen by the public (and its director) until Oddball Film + Video uncovered the lost film in its archives.
Clifton was reunited with his film under very interesting circumstances.  Writer John Tait, while researching his book Vanda & Young – from the Easybeats to AC/DC (to be released in August 2010) contacted Peter Clifton to hear the details behind his lost film. Tait was eager to investigate further so he contacted the National Archives and National Film and Sound Archive in Australia, to no avail.  It was only when Tait's research partner, Mike Griffiths, stumbled upon Oddball Films’ (the programming component of Oddball Film+Video) screenings during a Google search that he turned up the film.  In September 2009, Oddball Films’ Pete Gowdy curated a music film program entitled "Friday on My Mind: Beat Group and British Invasion on Film". Peter Clifton’s film happened to be the center piece of the screening and shortly after hearing about the existence of a copy of his first film, Clifton contacted Stephen Parr, Director of  Oddball Film + Video in San Francisco.
“I grew up listening to the music of the Easybeats and was familiar with Peter’s career” says Parr, “so it was an uplifting experience to speak with him and make arrangements for him to put this film back together.” The provenance of the film is still unclear though Parr says “While we’re not clear of the provenance as of yet it appears as if we acquired the film in a lot of miscellaneous musical materials from a as of yet unknown collector. It wasn’t until Pete Gowdy, a musicologist and researcher, discovered this was a “lost” film that we realized it might be “THE only copy” in existence.” This hasn’t been the first time, Oddball director, Stephen Parr has discovered rare and unusual films in his collection. Previously he unearthed an Andy Warhol appearance at the Rhode Island School of Design in 1968 (slated to be screened at The Orphans Film Symposium in NYC this April) as well as one-of-a-kind Cinemascopic home movies of San Francisco in the 1960s which he donated to the San Francisco Media Archive. “We treat every film as precious” says Parr. “If archivists don’t who will?”

Oddball has since returned the film to Clifton in order to carry out its restoration. Peter Clifton had been searching for the film for most of his life: “The last time I saw it was in April/May 1967. I was on my way back to London. When I returned to Sydney 8 months later the 16mm color film and the master negatives had been  lost by the ABC. At the time I was storing my films at Supreme Sound  Studios. We searched high and low but never found it. The neg was damaged when the editors at Supreme Sound removed tape from the reels  leaving a residue on the film that was printed into the answer print.  So the film was shortened without my permission from 50 minutes to 35  minutes removing the most damaged sections.”  
Fortunately, Clifton recently uncovered numerous missing bits of the film that he will be able to insert back into “Easy Come, Easy Go”. These parts were recovered from his feature  “rockumentary” POPCORN (1969) starring Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding and Mick Jagger  which opened the San Francisco Film Festival in 1970 and won many awards.
Clifton is still in the process of raising funds for the restoration from several sources and sponsors including the National Archives of Australia as well as members of the  Australian mega rock act AC/DC (some of who are related to members of The Easybeats)
The restoration process will be slow and meticulous but forty years later this “never-really-seen” rock doc and it’s director were finally reunited.

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About Oddball Film + Video:
Oddball Film+Video in San Francisco, is the world’s most unique archive of eclectic and unusual stock footage. For over 25 years we’ve been the definitive source for offbeat and unusual footage-from strange science to contemporary oddities. Our holdings consist of over 50,000 archival and contemporary 35mm, 16mm and HD media elements, many digitized for immediate online distribution. We also represent many important collections around the world from death-defying stunt footage to exotic HD footage of Asia.
Our international client list includes ABC News, The American Experience, BBC TV, Canal+, Discovery Channel, MTV, Nokia, Universal, Walt Disney Pictures and Yahoo. We’ve worked with famed directors like Ridley Scott, Spike Lee and Gus Van Sant.
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