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The Film That May Never Be Seen
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They Died Before 40, a documentary jazz film, has been completed in “rough cut,” but may never be seen publicly because of licensing situations that have not been resolved.
The film is one hour and 33 minutes of interviews, music, photos, other graphic material and some film clips telling about and musically demonstrating the unique talents and all too short careers of each of eight musicians. They all died before the age of 40...and four of them actually died before the age of 30!
The film was financed solely by the producer with limited resources. It was originally intended to be 58 minutes with nine pieces of music and a few dozen photos. In order to make the film that developed it is necessary to obtain licenses for more than 50 pieces of music and some of the 600 photographs and graphic images. A few pieces of music come under “public domain” and can be used without licenses. There are hundreds of photographs that may be in the public domain. It would be very costly to research all of them and it may not be possible to determine if there are any legal owners. The ones whose owners have been identified must be licensed.
The film will be an important historical record that shows the significant and even revolutionary music advances made by these musicians while also telling a revealing story of their lifestyles and deaths that have not heretofore been explored. In addition, the stories of these musicians’ lives demonstrate how and why some unique talents are not being appreciated today. The film also shows how racism affected their lives and how so many other factors, so little known, understood and underappreciated, contributed to their early demise.
40 “Hot Points” about the film can be seen on the website - http://jazzdeaths.weebly.com/
Unless funds are obtained to resolve the licensing situations mentioned above the film may never be shown publicly!
Howard Fischer - Producer, Director, Writer
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