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The 78 Project Movie at FCS

January 24, 2015 : 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

at the Floyd Country Store

The ineffable romance of old recordings makes for magic…ripe with wonder.” 
– The Austin Chronicle

Director, Editor, Camera, Alex Steyermark
Producers, Lavinia Jones Wright & Alex Steyermark
Presto Recordist, Lavinia Jones Wright

The 78 Project is on a journey across America to make one-of-a-kind 78rpm records with musicians in their hometowns using a 1930s Presto direct-to-disc recorder. With one microphone.  With one blank disc. In one 3-minute take.

About The 78 Project Movie

The 78 Project Movie is a film about connections, framed by a road trip across America to record musicians on a vintage Presto 1930s direct-to-disc acetate recorder.  The 78 Project creators Alex Steyermark and Lavinia Jones Wright shot The 78 Project Movie from August 2012 to September 2013, driving across America in a tiny Kia Soul loaded to the roof with cameras, their Presto, spare tubes, blank discs and a toolbox, which for better or worse they ended up using nearly every day. Over the course of their journey, the pair visited established and emerging musicians in their homes to cut once-in-a-lifetime 78rpm records. From Tennessee to Mississippi and from California to Louisiana, the folk singers, punk rockers, Gospel and Cajun singers in The 78 Project Movie tell in their own words what it is to be American today, sharing their lives and histories through intimate musical performances of classic American songs.

The Presto machine The 78 Project uses is the same model of device on which American folklorist and ethnomusicologist Alan Lomax recorded his legendary field recordings between 1933 and 1942. Artists who participated in The 78 Project Movie performed their song in one take, recording directly onto 78rpm acetate disc, in exactly the manner that America’s authentic musical forms were originally captured.

The 78 Project Movie includes experts from every facet of field recording: Grammy-winning producers, legendary 78 collectors, the family of the Presto inventor, the factory workers who makethe blank acetate discs, and curators from the Library of Congress and the Smithsonian.  The kaleidoscopic viewpoints of these technologists, historians and craftsmen provide the context that allows for new connections to emerge between people from different generations and seemingly different cultures.

Musical performers in The 78 Project Movie include The Reverend John Wilkins, Victoria Williams, John Doe, Holly Williams and Chris Coleman, John Reilly and Tom Brosseau, Jaron Lanier, Ella Mae Bowen, Dylan LeBlanc, The Bo-Keys with Percy Wiggins, John Paul Keith, Ben Vaughn, The Easy Leaves, Little Wings, Gaby Moreno and Adam Levy, Coati Mundi, Sea of Bees, Joe Bussard, Louis Michot, Corey Ledet and Ashlee Michot and Dawn Landes.

The 78 Project Movie had its world premiere at the 2014 SXSW Film Festival, and has since been an official selection at Independent Film Festival Boston, Nashville Film Festival, and had its New York City premiere in August 2014 as part of the Film Society of Lincoln Center’s Sound + Vision series. The 78 Project Movie will have its international premiere in October 2014 at the BFI London Film Festival.


January 24, 2015
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm