EXCLUSIVE: He is a very well-respected name in television known for Two and a Half Men, The Big Bang Theory and Murphy Brown, and now Lee Aronsohn can add documentary filmmaker to his repertoire. For Aronsohn’s documentary feature debut, he went back to his college days. He wrote, produced and directed 40 Years in the Making: The Magic Music Movie, which is about his quest to find out what happened to a well-known band that would play on the campus of his alma mater — the University of Colorado in Boulder — and then reunite them to play once again. Watch the exclusive first look at the film above.
The film, he told Deadline, took him 2 1/2 years to make. “The first person I found of the group was Chris Daniels because he was still very active in music in the area. He has a band, Chris Daniels and the Kings.” After that, Aronsohn would find the rest of the band, one by one. “Part of the film is about bringing one of the estranged band members back into the fold,” he said. The title, 40 Years in the Making was “because I met the band in 1972. They were a bunch of hippies, they were musicians, and they would pass the hat. Then they kinda disappeared. I had all these songs in my head, and so when I stepped out of television and was thinking what I wanted to do next, it occurred to me to find out what happened to Magic Music.”
The band played all over the Midwest, doing small shows and building a loyal following. It seemed that Magic Music was just ready to take off when the band broke up.
As the film came together, Aronsohn said he realized that the film turned out to not only be about their journey but all of them from that 1970s generation. “It was an adventure,” he said. The music in the documentary came from the band itself from its 1970-75 heyday. “It actually turned out that they did demos and had an aborted album, so the film is scored exclusively with their vintage music,” which features the tablas they used instead of drums.
The film (more info here) will have its world premiere screening at the upcoming Woodstock Film Festival on October 15 followed by a West Coast premiere at the Napa Valley Film Festival on November 11, which will also include a rare live performance of the original 1970s jam band.
Aronsohn is also credited for his work on shows such as The Love Boat and Cybill.