Director Sydney Pollack was totally inexperienced in shooting music documentary and shot without clapper boards snapping shut at the beginning of each take to help synchronize sound and picture in post-production. As a result of this mistake, even after months of work by experts, the 20 hours of footage couldn't be synchronized with the audio tracks. The choir director from the Watts recordings was brought in to try to lip-read the reels, but after months of work, only about 150 minutes of footage had been matched with sound, none of it adding up to a complete, useable song. Deadlines passed as the "Amazing Grace" album came out in June 1972, selling millions with no synergy. In August, Warner Bros. officially wrote off and shelved the movie. Pollack never gave up on the project, but constantly had other commitments. In 2007, dying of cancer, Pollack finally handed the documentary project over to producer and music enthusiast Alan Elliott. See more »
We'd like to thank you for coming tonight to the first religious recording session of the Lady Soul, Miss Aretha Franklin. And we want you tonight to be a part of this session. We want you to, you know, let the folks know you're here. There are many of you who have never had the opportunity to hear Aretha sing gospel. You're in tonight for a great thrill. She can sing anything.
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Recorded sound continues over the end credits and ends with technicians shouting at people to be quiet. See more »
The miracle of Aretha Franklin in her prime filmed by Sidney Pollack
I saw this film at its world premiere in NY at the NYDoc Fest. The Rev Al Sharpton gave the invocation. And the Great Rev. James Barber further illuminated all of us about the meaning of Arentha's worrying a note. In between was one of the most remarkable, moving, inspiring evenings I have ever spent in any kind of theater ever. Of course, I'm a fan, I do work in the industry, but I'm first a fan of young
Aretha's. There was nothing but grace on the screen and the loving community of church. One is blessed to see this film. Period. I just want to add - I would love to know who the absolute genius was that thought of sending Sidney to film this live recording. He or she should receive an Oscar all his or her own.
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