Notes From An “Alamo” Survivor

“To the People of Texas & All Americans in the World…

I am besieged, by a thousand or more of the Mexicans under Santa Anna…The enemy has demanded a surrender at discretion, otherwise, the garrison are to be put to the sword, if the fort is taken…I shall never surrender or retreat…” –William B. Travis, Commandancy of the Alamo

My name is Brian Huberman and I am a survivor of Eagle Pennell’s, Last Night at the Alamo. Like the defenders of the Alamo in 1836 I am putting out a call to the people of Texas and all Americans in the world to remember the original filmmakers who struggled to make this film during the summer of 1982. This band of brothers and sisters include names now mostly forgotten like Phil Davis, Tina Brawner, Lou Perryman, Kim Henkel, Ed Hugetz and myself. The glory they won for this project at the New York Film Festival and the Park City now Sundance Festival is being usurped by pretenders who claim the film for themselves. Louis Black of Louis Black Productions and Mark Rance of Watchmaker Films claim to have restored Last Night at the Alamo with the help of Texas filmmaker, Rick Linklater.

Speaking at SXSW 2016 screening of Eagle Pennell's Last Night At The Alamo

Speaking at SXSW 2016 screening of Eagle Pennell’s Last Night At The Alamo (second from left). Thanks to Alfred Cervantes for sharing the photo.

On March 14 of this year I was invited by Louis Black Productions to attend a screening of the restored version of Last Night at the Alamo at the Ritz cinema as part of SXSW 2016. As cinematographer of the film I was unaware that a restoration was necessary as I had only recently deposited two original prints of the film in the Wittliff Collection at the Texas State University in San Marcus. The Independent Film Channel currently own the rights to the film and possess the 35 mm negative. Last Night at the Alamo didn’t require restoration it only needed a new print struck from the negative.

The SXSW screening was well attended and a digital copy of the film managed to entertain despite a couple of soft focus shots revealing glitches in the transfer process. Following the screening Leonard Maltin, long time friend of Louis Black invited the “restorers” on stage to bask in their glory as if they had been the actual filmmakers. Finally I climbed onto the stage unannounced in an attempt to remind the audience who the actual filmmakers were.

Had I seen the poster that had been made for the restored film (shown below) I would have already known what a blatant act of theft had transpired. None of the original film crew who did the hard work are included.

12993442_10208655426126130_9173034958740812727_nThese film pirates have invented a restoration where none was needed in order to justify their appropriation of this important work of early Texas independent filmmaking.

Like Travis at the Alamo, I am calling for help to make this right…” I shall have to fight the enemy on his own terms…and if my countrymen do not rally to my relief…my bones shall reproach my country for her neglect.” Travis.

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