WoodstockDays before the first notes were to be played at the legendary music festival, the concert promoters ran out of money. The highways were already jammed with carloads of people heading to Woodstock, but there was no money to truck in food or water. They needed helicopters to fly the talent to the stage. There were camera and cameramen but they didn't have money to buy film stock. All pledged and promised funding had disappeared.
"Artie Kornfeld called me because he heard I'd just been made a vice president of Warner Brothers. He came down to New York City and told me what they needed and we hammered out a contract in 30 hours. Ted Ashley, the CEO of Warner Bros., gave his okay and WB gave Woodstock $350,000. I couldn't even go to the concert because I had to be in Los Angeles for a board of directors meeting. The next morning, I was the laughing stock of the board room. Of course, then the movie came out. It was such a hit. It saved the studio."
It also won the 1971 Oscar for Best Documentary from the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Aciences.
"There were only 400,000 people at the concert, but if you ask any baby boomer about it, they all say they were there," Fred says. "It's because of the movie that they all feel like they were there. In the end, Woodstock became such an important cultural movement because of the movie. It sent the peace and love culture all around the world."
Roger Ebert wrote "It was the film that gave a generation a voice. And made Woodstock a part of American myth."