TO BE THIRTY was the official film for the Thirtieth Anniversary of the United Nations in 1976. I was co-writer and director with my good friend Steve Whitehouse, and David Sherman was Editor. Ivan Stoynov was Director of Photography, Gilbert Lauzun and Edward Magruder Jones the Producers, and Marcel Martin was Executive Producer. The assignment was to explain the evolution of the UN to a North American youth audience, and I was lucky enough to get musical rights to Pink Floyd's DARK SIDE OF THE MOON, which is one of the best selling records of all time. It was the first UN film to use anything ressembling rock music , not to mention Pink Floyd. Politiically, the film was a nghtmare, thanks to the Cold War. As the great Czech director Ivan Passer told me after a screening, " You must have gone through a political minefield to make that one!"
I couldn't have put it better myself. Thanks to the music and the radically different style of the film from typical UN Voice-of-God fare at the time, the film became very popular, and I am told it was the most popular UN film of all time, translated into many language versions. What makes the film really work is that Marcel Martin allowed us to be pretty honest about UN failures and shortcomings, so I was able to create an emotional arc for the narrator to follow. And , of course, the fact that the narrator was a real person, with feelings and opinions, made a huge difference. The narration was a dramatic monologue, rather than a speech, or a radio broadcast, and I spent a lot of time torturing Steve to get him in a suitably gloomy mood for the beginning!:) He was 30 at the time - I had just turned 26!:)
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