The place for no story

About This Item

Philip Greene (1927-2017) film produced by Richard O. Moore and Zev Putterman for KQED in 1973, which features aerial views of California's coastline from Mt. Shasta to Los Angeles. Greene's title is taken from a poem by Robinson Jeffers, which celebrates the majesty of California's Pacific coastline. Moore quotes Jeffers directly in voice over as a preface to the film: "This place is the noblest thing I have ever seen. No imaginable / Human presence here could do anything / but dilute the lonely self-watchful passion." Includes extended views of: Mt. Shasta; coastal and marine wildlife; the logging industry; Mendocino; Sacramento; San Francisco; Monterey; Big Sur; Salinas Valley; surfing; skateboarding; Malibu and Los Angeles. The film's sound was edited by four time Oscar winner Mark Berger, with additional sound by composer Richard Feliciano. Film assistants were Christina Crowley and Tom Valens. The principal pilot for filming was Bill Knott, Bell 47J-2, Golden Gate Helicopters.  Additional film flying courtesy of: Robert Campbell, Helio Courier; Bud Shipley, Bell Jet Ranger; Bill Berry, Cessna 170; Vicky Colvin, Cessna 209; Ron Crowe, Bell 47G; Wally McDonnell and Gene Akres, North American B-26. Special thanks to: Jonathan Rice at KQED, who suggested the film; Lee Stanley Bardwell, Age 7, Old Mill School; Sam and Ed Lopez, Tolowa Indian Tribe; Tom Parsons, Director, Center for Community Development, Humboldt State College; Miller-Rellim Lumber Company, Crescent City; Georgia-Pacifica Corporation, Eureka, California; Pacific Gas and Electric; Wheeler Ranch, Bodega, California; Christian Brothers Winery, Napa, California; California State Park System; California Institute of Technology; Mt. Palomar Observatory; U.S. Army, Fort Ord, California; U.S. Navy, Pt. San Vincente Light; San Francisco Lincoln-Mercury research truck. Opening graphic designed by Carrie Hawks.

Note that Movette Film Transfer of San Francisco remastered a 16mm internegative copy of this film in January 2018 in 2K resolution (2048x1556 pixels), using a Lasergraphics film scanner.

In August 2018 BAFTA Award winning sound editor John Nutt completed a digital restoration of The place for no story's soundtrack to improve sound quality, with assistance from Mark Berger. Nutt kindly provided the following account of his work on this project:

"THE PLACE FOR NO STORY is a very interesting, unusual film. The sound for the film is a very non-traditional, many layered form of audio poetry. Ignoring the conventions of on-camera dialogue, and yet using many instances of on-camera sync sound, the film creates a dream-like experience of viewing all of California seemingly simultaneously. Originally shot and printed on 16mm film in 1973, THE PLACE FOR NO STORY had degenerated over time. The sound was no longer poetry; it was painful to listen to in this unfortunate state.

At the request of Alex Cherian, I started working on restoring the sound. The original sound on the 16mm print was in such poor shape that it couldn’t really be used. Fortunately Alex had access to a copy of the “optical master” that was used to make the original print.  It sounded much better, but was not in sync. Consequently, the first step was to re-sync the “optical master”. There were about twenty different sync adjustments made. Following that, a software program, Izotope RX, was used to remove unwanted low end hum and very high end noise.  Then using the “Denoise” function of Izotope RX, the remaining “noise” was reduced or removed minute by minute throughout the program.  At the same time a “Declick” function was used to further clean up the sound. During the “de-noising” and “de-clicking” an effort was made to ensure that any voices, music, and sync sound effects were not adversely affected. What remains is one of the most unusual and evocative sound tracks to accompany a daringly original film."

Originally aired on
Date aired
Recording medium
16mm color optical sound film
Rights for this video belong to
Philip Greene
Type of material
documentary film

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