Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bob Marley & Friends - By Saul Swimmer (R.I.P.)

Some of you may remember us posting up about a documentary made by Saul Swimmer back in 2006 on our old blog. I was just looking through some of the old films we'd talked about to see if there where any i needed to check up on and i came across this one by Saul Swimmer. Below is the original post we made:
Bob Marley & Friends - Documentary 4 yrs in the making due out soon..........
It took Saul Swimmer four years to piece together footage from fans to create "Bob Marley & Friends," a documentary to be shown at the Colony Theater in Miami Beach on March 9 as part of the Miami International Film Festival. He rolled proceeds from an earlier musical documentary, "Queen - We Will Rock You," into this project and added some personal funds. The documentary required cooperation from fans across the world and the assent of the Marley estate, controlled by 11 survivors. The filmmaker said he paid tens of thousands of dollars in royalties. "Finding and collecting footage was the first phase," said Mr. Swimmer. "Then the Marley heirs all wanted a say. They wanted their input. There are the children, their mother, his widow. We had to satisfy a lot of people without compromising the picture." Twenty-five songs accompany the footage, including four performed by Marley, three by contemporary Pete Tosh and another by Marley's children. Unraveling the intellectual property rights in the songs proved a challenge, said Mr. Swimmer. "I made a deal with the estate, and I went through the office," he said. "The songs are in a different bracket of royalty if they have already been re-recorded. The Marleys still wanted to OK every use of a song, but they seemed very happy with the end product."
Apparently Saul Swimmer had discovered some 1977 footage of Marley at the Rainbow in London that had been thought destroyed in a bomb blast, this inspired him to make the documentary. Swimmer introduced the film, Bob Marley and Friends, at a film festival in Miami last year(2006).

We since found out that Saul Swimmer sadly passed away in Miami 3rd March 2007. So i guess this explains why we never got to see this film. You can read his obituary in an article publish in March 2007 in the Independant newspaper here:

What a sad ending to this story.
Apparently Saul invented one of the largest mobile movie screens in the world in conjunction with IMAX and he toured the US showing his previous documentary on Queen on a huge screen, then later to show Bob Marley on the big screen. The film has been shown in several film festivals and hopefully we'll get to see the film shortly. More news on this as i get it....

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