DEBBIE REYNOLDS (1932-2016) is one of the stars of Rick McKay's upcoming film, "Broadway: BEYOND the Golden Age" and these are just a few moments of Debbie in the film that will be released later next year. Although I am out of the country now, I do have some of the raw footage with me, and although it is only a few minutes, I thought it was only right to share it so that people could enjoy seeing Debbie in recent footage, looking like a million – and see what she was like when not playing a role and not entertaining. I was pleasantly surprised to find she was not only very funny, but extremely smart and quick, with a great head for Hollywood history – and not only for costumes or trivia or "show" – but also for the "business" end of the equation.
Also seen in these few minutes are Carol Burnett, Lesley Ann Warren, Charlotte Rae and Jack Klugman talking about Ethel Merman, as Debbie imitates her; Jane Powell, who usually played Debbie's big sister in many MGM movies when they were under contract at the studio in the 1950's, and Carleton Carpenter, who with Debbie made famous the very silly and very, VERY catchy tune, ABBA DABBA HONEYMOON, which you will hear a bit of here, as well as legendary acting actress and teacher UTA HAGEN in her final interview, and Nannette Fabray, Alice Ghostley and Debbie explaining what finally ended the studio system in Hollywood and sent movie stars like Katherine Hepburn, Clark Gable and Fred Astaire scurrying for jobs. I think this is a Debbie Reynolds that you don't see often.
I spent a good deal of time lighting Debbie for this shoot, but she was a pro, and was delighted that I was taking the time and was studying me as I was studying her and knew she was dealing with a pro. I asked her if she was like to look through my portable monitor and see how she was going to look. "No," she said. "I have been watching you. I know you know what you are doing. I have been redoing my makeup according to the way you are setting up your lights. I know I am in good hands. If you are as good at interviewing as you are lighting we are going to get along just fine."
And we did.
We lost one of the great ones yesterday. Maybe the last great one. I don't think we are going to see an age that come this way again. There will, I am sure, be other golden ages of a sort, but not like that. And not like that.
I am sorry I am floating in the middle of the Caribbean right now and for another week, and can't show you more, but I guess you will have to wait till the movie opens, but I can't bare not to share at least this little bit. I used green gels to create that artificial MGM green background to bring out her eyes and, if I do say myself, she looks pretty fabulous. I think she would b pretty happy. At least I hope so.
As the year draws to an end PLEASE consider making a 100% tax-deductible donation to our BROADWAY: THE GOLDEN AGE FILM TRILOGY! This year is especially important as we are finishing "Broadway: BEYOND the Golden Age" and begin securing incredibly rare and hugely expensive archival performance footage rights, music licensing and archival photo rights. While we save a fortune with me acting as director, producer, writer, cameraman, lighting director, sound man and editor, these licensing rates can't be avoided and will come to around $400,000. While PBS's "Broadway: The American Musical" never played theatres and never had to pay those rights, while receiving a huge break on licensing, their budget was still $7,500,000 – yes, millions – and I am bringing in each of our films for 10% of that amount by doing all of the jobs myself to cut out every possible bit of unnecessary overhead.
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Popular films are preserved by their very nature, but without you and I, these theater legends memories would disappear – and we simply cannot let that happen.
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From Producer/Director Rick McKay and "Broadway: BEYOND the Golden Age" mega-producers Anne Bernstein, William Nix, Jamie DeRoy, Richard Eric Weigle, Jane Klain, Corey Brunish, Rachel Roark Stange, Fran Bator, Michael Anastasio, Jack Coco and Celia Castevens.
See the trailer for our the upcoming second installment, "Broadway: BEYOND the Golden Age", of our trilogy at: