Exclusive: Ken Burns to film “Phish: The Documentary”

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After strong-arming PBS into putting the Trey Anastasio Band on Front and Center, Phish Inc. and Red Light Management has reached a deal with the network to fund and broadcast Phish: The Documentary. The documentary will focus on the band’s first 30 years and will share never-before seen footage from the Phish Archives. “I was well-acquainted with the band being their neighbor across the river in New Hampshire but I never really thought of them as a documentary subject. Once Coran drove one of his Big Red production trucks to my front door full of cash, I thought to myself, ok, this could work. Luckily they had more than enough footage to tell the story. Probably more footage than I had to work with on the history of Baseball and Jazz combined.” The show will be 29 2-hour episodes, one for each year of the band, and one 24-hour episode about the year 1999, containing the entire Big Cypress midnight-to-sunrise set in high-definition. It will be the largest documentary ever produced for television. “We had to make sure we put everything into this so that we beat bootleggers to the punch,” says Coran Capshaw, “we want our footage out there so that we can sell tons of Blu-ray copies later.” Kevin Shapiro will help edit the footage. “This is the reason there haven’t been many Live Phish releases as of late,” says Shapiro, “We’ve been hard at work gathering and sifting through video footage for this project. Mainly, we’ve been rotoscoping unseemly aspects out of Coventry [footage] for the past 10 years.” Once completed, the Blu-Ray boxset will retail for $350. Said Burns, “I just can’t wait for all the fans to see me zoom in and out on Mike’s junk for 10 minutes each episode. It really is going to be my masterpiece.” Phish: The Documentary will premiere on April 1, 2016.

Here’s a preview of TAB on Front and Center:

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