The release of Wattstax - The Special Edition is a collaboration between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Fantasy, Inc. Fantasy is the largest independent record company in the United States and the parent company of over a dozen unique record labels including Milestone, Prestige, Takoma, Kicking Mule, Specialty and of course, Stax Records.
Wattstax - The Special Edition will be released nationally June 6th by Sony Pictures Repertory. Contact Michael Schlesinger at Sony Picutres Repertory for booking information. Look for a fall 2003 home video release.
Stax/Fantasy, Inc. released a CD of Isaac Hayess hour-long Wattstax performance Isaac Hayes At Wattstax to coincide with the late-April opening of the Stax Museum of American Soul Music in Memphis. All but one of the tracks on the Hayes disc is previously unissued.
Two hours of highlights from the soundtrack of Wattstax are already available on a double-CD set from Stax Wattstax, The Living Word.
Wattstax - The Special Edition will be released on DVD this fall by Warner Home Video.
Picture restoration on Wattstax - The Special Edition included a careful hand cleaning and repair of the original 35mm internegative and replacement of damaged frames with footage derived from original 16mm ECO footage. Much of the original 35mm internegative for the restored musical scenes was lost or damaged so both sequences were reconstructed from original 16mm ECO footage.
Apple Final Cut Pro editing software was used for the final assembly of the two restored musical numbers. Apple CinemaTools conforming software facilitated the final matchback to film.
Wattstax - The Special Edition restoration picture editor Tom Christopher previously worked for film producer Saul Zaentz as the editor on Amadeus, The Director's Cut. He also worked for Zaentz on the 2002 picture restoration of One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest. Christopher's other restoration editing credits include a stint with filmmaker George Lucas on the Star Wars - Special Edition re-release.
The new 2003 theatrical release has a superb audio track completely remastered from the original concert two-inch 16 track masters and is being released in 5.1 Dolby Digital sound. Sound editing and mixing for Wattstax - The Special Edition was completed at The Saul Zaentz Film Center in Berkeley, California.
Wattstax - The Special Edition re-recording sound mixer James Austin recently completed a classical CD project with Conductor Kent Nagano of the Berkeley Symphony. His film mixing credits include Cotton Club and Rumblefish for director Francis Coppola.