Time is of the essence. Many of Charleston’s local news archives were destroyed with Hurricane Hugo (if they were preserved at all). Based on the interviews we have done with the 1970 cast, they did interviews with the NBC Today Show and CBS’ 60 Minutes in 1970 and again in 1995. Wazee Digital, the company who handles all CBS Archives, has confirmed they have footage of the 1970 interview but they can’t even release the low-resolution screeners/previews because there is a restriction on the archives.
It is our appeal to you that you help us access these archives. This is more than just footage to show a documentary. Many of the 1970 cast members have not seen this footage of themselves since the live airing of the 60 Minutes segment, nor have their children or communities. The songs of George Gershwin are more than just pop culture standards, they are the songs that have come to define a part of the Gullah-Geechee culture of South Carolina's Lowcountry that has been passed down to multiple generations since 1935.
In addition: There are clips from six essential songs from “Porgy and Bess” that are desired to be used in the documentary: “The Prelude”, “Summertime”, “I Got Plenty O’ Nutin”, “It Ain’t Necessarily So,” “I’m On My Way Lord” and “There’s a Boat that’s Leavin Soon for New York.” Licensing these is a necessary step to completing the film's overall vision.
It's our hope that WHEN PORGY CAME HOME could rekindle a sense of pride in a People who actively leaned into their ancestry, culture and community, coming together in order bring unity to their hometown and home state.
D I S T R I B U T I O N
The primary distribution channel for this documentary will be Public Broadcasting System due to the diverse cultures and social strata that tune into their programming. The PBS audience represents the thinking individual who champions education and newly discovered history. The public broadcasting network has a minimum amount of creative restrictions that would allow the documentary to tell the story as it should be told, uncomfortable race issues and all. Also, not to be discounted, archival acquisitions are cheaper for public media and this documentary involves one of the most expensive operas in the world.