Actor John Francis Daley and the rest of the ’77 cast.
Imagine if you were an amateur teenage filmmaker who stumbled upon Star Wars while visiting the ILM film studios before the film ever hit theaters in 1977. That’s the kind of magic that Patrick Read Johnson’s autobio picture 5-25-77 — recently renamed ’77 — captures.
If you were lucky enough to see a special screening of the film at Star Wars Celebration IV in 2007, you already know how endearing this film is.
It’s been awhile since we heard anything new about the film since it’s preview. So we were delighted to get an update from Starlog magazine when they sat down to have a chat with director-screenwriter Patrick Read Johnson.
STARLOG: What’s the current status of ’77?
PRJ: Though we had two fantastic screenings at the Hamptons Film Festival and won an award (The Heineken Red Star) and got a lot of nice press, Cassian and Phil and I all felt we needed to do some more work in the cutting room, which in turn required us to heavily revise our VFX shot list, choose some different songs from the era for certain sequences AND rework portions of the score by David Russo and Alan Parsons. Meanwhile, various members of the team were being picked off by other jobs, and the big financial meltdown was occurring, and investment dollars were suddenly very hard to come by… So we basically shut down at the end of the year to wait out the turmoil. By the time things started to calm down, my VFX team was off doing other work, my composers were on to other jobs, and I’d taken an offer to direct another film. But, thankfully, I’ll be done with that project right about the time we plan on restarting post on ’77, in order to have it ready for the American Film Market in November.
STARLOG: What’s the release plan, if any?
PRJ: There won’t be any release plan until we make our final domestic deal in November. I know it frustrates a lot of outside observers that we can’t give them a hard release date, but the truth is, it’s really a very freeing thing to be able to make your film, the way you really want it made, without having to live in fear of an impending date you absolutely have to hit. If we’d made this film through a studio and completed it in, you know 9 months or something… there are a number of wonderful things that might never have made it into the film. Though no one wants to see ’77 in theaters more than me, my fellow filmmakers and I are also keenly aware that making a GOOD independent film as ambitious as our for as little money as we’ve had to spend almost always results in a long gestation process. And frankly, on a film this important to me, I’m really very lucky to have had the luxury of all this time.
Read the full interview here:
Catching up with Patrick Read Johnson about ’77
Be sure to also check out this collection of behind-the-scenes photos from the set:
Patrick Read Johnson’s 5/25/77