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Peter Clifton

Peter Clifton

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Peter Clifton is an Australian film director
Film director
A film director is a person who directs the actors and film crew in filmmaking. They control a film's artistic and dramatic nathan roach, while guiding the technical crew and actors.-Responsibilities:...

 and producer
Film producer
A film producer oversees and delivers a film project to all relevant parties while preserving the integrity, voice and vision of the film. They will also often take on some financial risk by using their own money, especially during the pre-production period, before a film is fully financed.The...

, perhaps best known for directing the Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin
Led Zeppelin were an English rock band, active in the late 1960s and throughout the 1970s. Formed in 1968, they consisted of guitarist Jimmy Page, singer Robert Plant, bassist/keyboardist John Paul Jones, and drummer John Bonham...

 concert film
Concert film
A concert movie, or concert film, is a type of documentary film, the subject of which is an extended live performance or concert by a musician ....

 The Song Remains the Same
The Song Remains the Same (film)
The Song Remains the Same is a concert film by the English rock band Led Zeppelin. The recording of the film took place during three nights of concerts at Madison Square Garden in New York City, during the band's 1973 concert tour of the United States. The film premiered on 20 October 1976, at...

(1976).

Clifton was born in Sydney and had experience in music film production prior to his involvement with Led Zeppelin, having made a 30 minute cinema short about Australian band The Easybeats
The Easybeats
The Easybeats were an Australian rock and roll band. They formed in Sydney in late 1964 and broke up at the end of 1969. They are regarded as the greatest Australian pop band of the 1960s, and were the first Australian rock and roll act to score an international pop hit with their 1966 single...

' tour of England in 1967, called Somewhere Between Heaven And Woolworths, and also having filmed Jimi Hendrix
Jimi Hendrix
James Marshall "Jimi" Hendrix was an American guitarist and singer-songwriter...

 live in concert. In 1973 he also directed The London Rock and Roll Show
The London Rock and Roll Show (film)
The London Rock and Roll Show was a 1973 British-produced concert film directed by Peter Clifton chronicling a Rock and Roll Revival concert held at Wembley Stadium in London, England in August 1972....

, which documented a major rock and roll
Rock and roll
Rock and roll is a genre of popular music that originated and evolved in the United States during the late 1940s and early 1950s, primarily from a combination of African American blues, country, jazz, and gospel music...

 festival
Music festival
A music festival is a festival oriented towards music that is sometimes presented with a theme such as musical genre, nationality or locality of musicians, or holiday. They are commonly held outdoors, and are often inclusive of other attractions such as food and merchandise vending machines,...

 held at Wembley Stadium, London, in August 1972. In 1974 he was planning to shoot a reggae
Reggae
Reggae is a music genre first developed in Jamaica in the late 1960s. While sometimes used in a broader sense to refer to most types of Jamaican music, the term reggae more properly denotes a particular music style that originated following on the development of ska and rocksteady.Reggae is based...

 film in Jamaica
Jamaica
Jamaica is an island nation of the Greater Antilles, in length, up to in width and 10,990 square kilometres in area. It is situated in the Caribbean Sea, about south of Cuba, and west of Hispaniola, the island harbouring the nation-states Haiti and the Dominican Republic...

 when he was approached by Led Zeppelin's manager, Peter Grant, to complete their concert film. The film had originally been begun by director Joe Massot
Joe Massot
Joe Massot was a writer and director who was most notable for the film Wonderwall which featured George Harrison's first soundtrack, and the Led Zeppelin concert film The Song Remains The Same...

, but Massot was fired by the band prior to its completion.

After completing post-production on the film Clifton had a falling out with Led Zeppelin. Suspecting that Clifton had 'stolen' negatives of the film, Grant ordered that his house be searched while Peter and his family were away on holidays. They did find some footage, but this turned out to be a collection of the best 'home movie' footage which Clifton had intended to give to the band members as a gift. Clifton was also annoyed at the decision to remove from the film's credits the names of all the people who had worked on editing, make up and effects.

In 1979 Clifton directed the concert film Live In Central Park, featuring the final concert of America's
America (band)
America is an English-American folk rock band that originally included members Gerry Beckley, Dewey Bunnell and Dan Peek. The three members were barely out of their teens when they became a musical sensation during 1972, scoring #1 hits and winning a Grammy for best new musical artist...

 world tour - the only time that the band has been officially captured on film. Clifton also made the famous film clip of the Rolling Stones' performance of "Jumpin' Jack Flash
Jumpin' Jack Flash
"Jumpin' Jack Flash" is a song by English rock band The Rolling Stones, released as a single in 1968. Called "supernatural Delta blues by way of Swinging London" by Rolling Stone, the song was perceived by some as the band's return to their blues roots after the psychedelia of their preceding...

". He has produced many other Rolling Stones clips and videos, along with videos for The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys
The Beach Boys are an American rock band, formed in 1961 in Hawthorne, California. The group was initially composed of brothers Brian, Dennis and Carl Wilson, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. Managed by the Wilsons' father Murry, The Beach Boys signed to Capitol Records in 1962...

, Jim Morrison
Jim Morrison
James Douglas "Jim" Morrison was an American musician, singer, and poet, best known as the lead singer and lyricist of the rock band The Doors...

 and Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton
Eric Patrick Clapton, CBE, is an English guitarist and singer-songwriter. Clapton is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: once as a solo artist, and separately as a member of The Yardbirds and Cream. Clapton has been referred to as one of the most important and...

.

Clifton returned to Australia in the mid-1980s after many years living overseas to start the Hard Rock Cafe
Hard Rock Cafe
Hard Rock Cafe is a chain of theme restaurants founded in 1971 by Americans Peter Morton & Isaac Tigrett. In 1979, the cafe began covering its walls with rock and roll memorabilia, a tradition which expanded to others in the chain. In 2006, Hard Rock was sold to the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and...

 there. It opened in Sydney on 1 April 1989. In 1984 produced and directed the rockumentary AUSTRALIA NOW ! starring INXS
INXS
INXS are an Australian rock band, formed as The Farriss Brothers in 1977 in Sydney, New South Wales. Mainstays are Garry Gary Beers on bass guitar, Andrew Farriss on guitar/keyboards, Jon Farriss on drums, Tim Farriss on lead guitar and Kirk Pengilly on guitar/sax...

, Men At Work
Men at Work
Men at Work are an Australian rock band who achieved international success in the 1980s. They are the only Australian artists to have a simultaneous #1 album and #1 single in the United States . They achieved the same distinction of a simultaneous #1 album and #1 single in the United Kingdom...

, Midnight Oil
Midnight Oil
Midnight Oil , were an Australian rock band from Sydney originally performing as Farm from 1972 with drummer Rob Hirst, bass guitarist Andrew James and keyboard player/lead guitarist Jim Moginie...

 and Split Enz
Split Enz
Split Enz were a New Zealand band of the 1970s and early 1980s featuring Phil Judd and brothers Tim Finn and Neil Finn. They achieved chart success in New Zealand, Australia, and Canada during the early 1980s ‒ most notably with the single "I Got You", and built a cult following elsewhere...

.

In 2003 Clifton wrote and produced his first feature film, The Night We Called It a Day
The Night We Called It a Day (film)
The Night We Called It a Day is an Australian film directed by Peter Clifton starring Dennis Hopper as Frank Sinatra and Melanie Griffith as Barbara Marx, and featuring Portia de Rossi, Joel Edgerton, Rose Byrne, and David Hemmings. The movie is based on the true events surrounding one of several...

, the story of Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra
Francis Albert "Frank" Sinatra was an American singer and actor.Beginning his musical career in the swing era with Harry James and Tommy Dorsey, Sinatra became an unprecedentedly successful solo artist in the early to mid-1940s, after being signed to Columbia Records in 1943. Being the idol of the...

's tour of Australia in 1974.

In 2006 it was reported that a 16 mm reel
Reel
A reel is an object around which lengths of another material are wound for storage. Generally a reel has a cylindrical core and walls on the sides to retain the material wound around the core...

 of the Apollo 11
Apollo 11
In early 1969, Bill Anders accepted a job with the National Space Council effective in August 1969 and announced his retirement as an astronaut. At that point Ken Mattingly was moved from the support crew into parallel training with Anders as backup Command Module Pilot in case Apollo 11 was...

 moon landing
Moon landing
A moon landing is the arrival of a spacecraft on the surface of the Moon. This includes both manned and unmanned missions. The first human-made object to reach the surface of the Moon was the Soviet Union's Luna 2 mission on 13 September 1959. The United States's Apollo 11 was the first manned...

 belonging to Clifton, which had been held for 20 years in a Sydney vault as part of his personal film catalogue, was rediscovered. Clifton had ordered the reel in 1979 for a rock film he was making about Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd
Pink Floyd were an English rock band that achieved worldwide success with their progressive and psychedelic rock music. Their work is marked by the use of philosophical lyrics, sonic experimentation, innovative album art, and elaborate live shows. Pink Floyd are one of the most commercially...

's The Dark Side of the Moon
The Dark Side of the Moon
The Dark Side of the Moon is the eighth studio album by English progressive rock band Pink Floyd, released in March 1973. It built on ideas explored in the band's earlier recordings and live shows, but lacks the extended instrumental excursions that characterised their work following the departure...

, ordering the film for $US180 from the Smithsonian Institution
Smithsonian Institution
The Smithsonian Institution is an educational and research institute and associated museum complex, administered and funded by the government of the United States and by funds from its endowment, contributions, and profits from its retail operations, concessions, licensing activities, and magazines...

 in Washington, DC but forgot he had it until seeing a news report on television.

The footage of Neil Armstrong
Neil Armstrong
Neil Alden Armstrong is an American former astronaut, test pilot, aerospace engineer, university professor, United States Naval Aviator, and the first person to set foot upon the Moon....

's "one small step" is considered among the most important artefacts of the 20th century but the original NASA
NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is the agency of the United States government that is responsible for the nation's civilian space program and for aeronautics and aerospace research...

 tapes have been mislaid somewhere in the US. It is hoped documentation associated with Clifton's reel will help direct researchers to the warehouse or museum where the missing tapes are stored - if they still exist.

Clifton is currently co-producing The Bloody Ashes, a film which will focus on the 1932-33 Ashes
The Ashes
The Ashes is a Test cricket series played between England and Australia. It is one of the most celebrated rivalries in international cricket and dates back to 1882. It is currently played biennially, alternately in the United Kingdom and Australia. Cricket being a summer sport, and the venues...

 Bodyline
Bodyline
Bodyline, also known as fast leg theory bowling, was a cricketing tactic devised by the English cricket team for their 1932–33 Ashes tour of Australia, specifically to combat the extraordinary batting skill of Australia's Don Bradman...

 series. Shooting of The Bloody Ashes is expected to commence in 2008. He is also developing the best-selling Peter FitzSimons
Peter FitzSimons
Peter John FitzSimons AM is an Australian journalist and author, based in Sydney. He is a former radio presenter and national representative rugby union player.-Early life:...

book Tobruk into a feature film.

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