Special Presentation David Vassar – 2016
Friday, November 11, 2016 from 6 to 8 pm
“Generation on the Wind”
© 1979 David Vassar
Academy Award Nominee, Best Documentary Feature. Winner, Best Documentary, Blue Ribbon, American Film Festival. Winner, Best Documentary, San Francisco International Film Festival. Broadcast nationally on PBS in 1980.
By Producer, Writer, Director & Editor: David Vassar
Restoration: Josef Lindner, Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – 2016.
In 1978, the price of oil soared and domestic reserves plummeted resulting in long lines at gas stations. President Carter declared an ‘energy crisis.’ When David Vas- sar learned about a group of backyard mechanics, artists and environmentalists who were building a windmill to generate electricity on a remote island off the coast of Massachusetts, he sensed a story.
After raising independent financing from his lawyer and landlord, Vassar spent a solid year documenting the construction of the giant wind turbine. It was an engi- neering story as well as a story of the American Spirit, but most of all it was a story about generating power from a renewable resource.
In 1979, the Cutty Hunk windmill was the largest wind turbine ever constructed for the generation of electricity. It wasn’t built by General Electric or funded by the Department of Energy, it was built by hand with private money from small inves- tors. Although retired from use, the Cutty Hunk windmill provided years of service and more importantly, ‘proof of concept’ for what is now a ubiquitous source of renewable energy.
In 1981, the 58-minute film was cut down to 22-minutes for educational distribution and classroom use. During that process, the original A/B negative was cut and the trims from the 58-minute version were lost. All that remained on the original version was a 16mm color reversal internegative, or CRI; a few 16mm release prints; and the one-inch video tape that was broadcast on PBS.
In 2016, Josef Lindner and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Archive completed a painstaking reconstruction and restoration of the 58-minute program, using the original A/B negative and the CRI as a C-roll. The original 35mm magnetic audio tracks were also found and included in the reconstruction.
After all of the elements were assembled, a new wet-gate 16mm color interpositive was created, integrating grading from the new answer print. The new single-strand master was scanned to create an HD (1920×1080) digital master. From this HD digital master, both MP4 & DCP files were created for digital projection.
David Vassar — Writer, Director, Producer and Editor
Samantha Shad — Executive Producer
Joel Silverman — Executive Producer
Andrew Finley — Co-Producer, Production Manager
John Hiller — Director of Photography
Leonard Brown — Narrator
Richard Reiter — Original Music
Production required about 12 weeks of location shooting on Cutty Hunk Island over the course of one year. The island is located 12 miles off the New England coast from New Bedford, Massachusetts.
The film was shot with an Aaton 16mm Camera on 16mm color negative. The dai- lies, CRI and release prints were created by DuArt Film Labs, New York City.
The audio was recorded on a stereo Nagra by Zack Krieger and mixed by Magno Sound, New York City, and released in stereo.
Oscar®-nominated and Emmy®-winning David Vassar has more than 30 years of industry experience. His most recent film, CALIFORNIA FOREVER, which he wrote and directed, is a two-part television special for PBS.
The film served as the centerpiece for the Environmental Defense campaign to restore the Hetch Hetchy Valley in Yosemite National Park.
GRAND TETON VIDEO RIVERS (2006) is the destination film for the visitor center in Grand Teton National Park.