Amazing Grace Movie Poster

Trivia for Amazing Grace

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  • Filmed in 2 days at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Watts, Los Angeles on Jan. 13 and 14, 1972, with a crew of film and sound engineers and five 16mm cameras, all directed by Sydney Pollack.
  • Mick Jagger and Charlie Watts can be seen rocking out in the back of the church. Perhaps not coincidentally, they were about to record "Exile on Main Street", the Rolling Stones' most overtly gospel-influenced album.
  • Director Sydney Pollack was totally inexperienced in shooting music documentary and shot without clapper boards snapping shut at the beginning of each take to help synchronize sound and picture in post-production. As a result of this mistake, even after months of work by experts, the 20 hours of footage couldn't be synchronized with the audio tracks. The choir director from the Watts recordings was brought in to try to lip-read the reels, but after months of work, only about 150 minutes of footage had been matched with sound, none of it adding up to a complete, useable song. Deadlines passed as the "Amazing Grace" album came out in June 1972, selling millions with no synergy. In August, Warner Bros. officially wrote off and shelved the movie. Pollack never gave up on the project, but constantly had other commitments. In 2007, dying of cancer, Pollack finally handed the documentary project over to producer and music enthusiast Alan Elliott.
  • 20 hours of footage were shot by five 16mm-cameras on two days.
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