Oscilloscope Buys David Byrne’s ‘Contemporary Color’ Documentary

Contemporary Color
Courtesy of Oscilloscope Laboratories

Oscilloscope Laboratories has acquired North American rights to Bill and Turner Ross’ “Contemporary Color,” the documentary produced by David Byrne.

“Contemporary Color” won awards at the Tribeca Film Festival in April for best documentary cinematography by Jarred Alterman and for best documentary editing by Bill Ross. Oscilloscope will release the film in theaters in 2017 followed by a release across ancillary platforms.

The movie was shot in 2015 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center to celebrate the creativity of Color Guard, which includes synchronized dance routines involving flags, rifles and sabers. Byrne recruited performers including St. Vincent, Nelly Furtado, Dev Hynes, Zola Jesus, Ad-Rock, tUnE-yArDs and Ira Glass to collaborate on original pieces with 10 color guard teams.

The film’s camera operators included documentary directors and cinematographers, such as Jarred Alterman, Sean Price Williams, Robert Greene, Amanda Rose Wilder, Jessica Oreck, Wyatt Garfield and Michael Palmieri.

“The teams and the musicians created this glorious, inspiring thing that runs counter to much of what is happening in the world right now — and the Ross brothers were the ones to feel that and capture it,” Byrne said. “We need an antidote, and here it is.”

CAA, which arranged financing for the film, brokered the distribution deal.

The film was produced by the Department of Motion Pictures’ Josh Penn and Michael Gottwald, as well as by Byrne. Executive producers included Dan Janvey from the Department of Motion Pictures; Spencer Silna, Nicole Barton and Douglas Saylor Jr. from Public Domain; LeeAnn Rossi from Todo Mundo; and Aaron Rosenblum.

Oscilloscope’s Dan Berger said, “‘Contemporary Color’  is an otherworldly blend of athleticism, grace, spirit and art captured in an unbelievably electric and creative way. Watching ‘CC’ isn’t just watching a film, it is experiencing a once-in-a-lifetime performance that is so much more than the sum of its set list.”

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