John Korty Retrospective at the Smith Rafael Center, San Rafael, CA

John Korty turned 75 this year and the Smith Rafael Center is hosting a retrospective of his prolific career in filmmaking. It begins Thursday night November 10 at 7PM with a screening of two films I color finished, “Miracle in a Box: A Piano Reborn” and Korty’s latest work “John Allair Digs In!”

John is the original Bay Area maverick filmmaker who lured Coppola and Lucas up from Southern California to see his West Marin operation where he made his first feature film “Crazy Quilt”. The posse formed and shared offices at the early incarnation of American Zoetrope on Folsom Street in San Francisco. Korty returned to Marin and John Korty Films in Mill Valley was the incubator for the careers of the following filmmakers: David Fincher, Henry Sellick, Rick Goldsmith, Trip Gruver, Gary Guitterez, Drew Takahashi, Doug Haynes, and the animation director of the Hershey’s Kisses commercials who introduced himself to Korty with a business card that read “Carl Willat- Teenager”.

Korty at 75 is still embracing the new edge in the technology and always has. He took to color grading with a Hazeltine video analyzer while some of us film timers were still eyeballing negatives and guessing how to print them and he cut down the number of prints he needed for the final answer print to one.

Korty was in the front row of the demonstration in 1978 of One Pass Video’s Rank Cintel telecine, newly arrived and ready to transform color finishing in the Bay Area for the next generation.

And now Korty, fullly engaged in the era of digital filmmaking, gets it when I show him what you can do with the color tools in Final Cut Pro.

I hope to see you at the premiere of John Allair Digs In! Its a red hot boogie woogie piano show.

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