Iconic filmmaker Don Coscarelli (of Phantasm franchise fame) needs your help. 1980s cinema gem, The Beastmaster, has had it copyrights revert back to Coscarelli after 38 years. There's only one problem. The original camera negative for the film has been lost, the director explained on social media.
"Today is the 38th anniversary of The Beastmaster with good news and bad news. The good first: My Beastmaster co-writer Paul Pepperman and I have reclaimed the copyright to our screenplay. The Beastmaster remake anyone?"
This news unfortunately came with some bad news as well. The Beastmaster filmmakers are reaching out to fans for help as the original camera negative (OCN) of the film has been lost. Hundreds of actors, artists, craftspeople and technicians put years of effort into the production of The Beastmaster and the resulting film has spawned a generation of fans worldwide. It boggles the mind that the negative to a movie photographed by legendary cinematographer John Alcott (Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining) could be lost.
"If it could happen to The Beastmaster, it could happen to any film! The loss of this negative would be a tragedy. Please help us find it! Actors, artists, craftspeople and technicians put years of effort into production of our film and it appears to be gone! Especially depressing is that this was one of the late cinematographer John Alcott's final films. John Alcott was Kubrick's legendary cameraman of A Clockwork Orange, Barry Lyndon, The Shining and more. In honor of his memory we cannot let this stand!"
They received the devastating news that the film's rightsholder allowed his attorney to remove The Beastmaster OCN from its climate-controlled vault in Hollywood and store it in his garage in the San Fernando Valley, California. This senseless act was highly damaging on its own as high temperatures in hot garages are destructive to motion picture film causing them to fade and degrade. Adding insult to injury, the rightsholder has informed the filmmakers that this attorney sold the home, moved out and abandoned the OCN in that garage. The producer and director are sending out a desperate shout-out to all of The Beastmaster fans to help find it.
So what can you do to help find the negative? Don Coscarelli is asking fans, fellow filmmakers and collectors to visit WhereIsTheBeastmaster.com to see all of the clues they compiled in regards to the missing negative of The Beastmaster.
- What to look for:
- Most probably the 35mm OCN was stored in cans like the photo below.
- The negative was most probably stored in 35mm 2000 foot metal cans like the ones in this photo.
- There are six reels inside six cans.
- They may have labels or barcodes on it from film labs and vaults where it was previously stored, including: Consolidate Film Industries (CFI), MGM, Warner Bros., Producers Film Center.
- The outside of the cans would also have labels which identify the title, the date (probably 1982), and a description of the contents. It would probably read "motion picture negative, do not project." It would also be described as "Original Camera Negative" or its acronym "OCN".
You can follow the trail of the missing Beastmaster film negative as the filmmakers are tracking the film's last know whereabouts as they receive new information. Help get on the case!