Jimmy Buffett Enhanced CD Video Project
Jimmy Buffett’s live album Tuesday, Thursdays and Saturdays (released November 9, 1999) was an Enhanced CD containing regular audio tracks and multimedia computer files – a video showing scenes of what takes place backstage and in the parking lot before the concert begins.
Credits – Edited by Oliver Peters at Century III in Universal Studios, Orlando, FL
Songs on the album include classics Cheeseburger in Paradise and Son of a Son of a Sailor and newer songs like Fruitcakes (recorded live in Orlando) and covers of Stephen Stills’ Southern Cross and Van Morrison’s Brown-Eyed Girl. Best of all, Jimmy’s hit Margaritaville has the verse deleted by Buffett’s record company back in 1977.
Century III Teleproductions – Universal Studios
Century III Teleproductions on the backlot at Universal Studios Orlando was chosen to edit the backstage video for the Enhanced CD. CIII senior editor Oliver Peters describes meeting Mac McAnally and Michael Utley and listening in as Mike Ramos spoke with Jimmy on a fishing trip off Nantucket and a phone conversation with Walter Cronkite.
Press Release from CIII
Century III at Universal Studios Florida in Orlando recently completed the video editing for the new Jimmy Buffett enhanced CD Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Century III’s senior editor Oliver Peters edited the shot-on-DV and Betacam segment, Backstage with Buffett, on an Avid Media Composer with Producer/Director Mike Ramos.
Savannah Jane Buffett from the opening of Backstage With Buffett
The footage used for “Backstage with Buffett” was shot by Mike Ramos and Kevin McGrath and hosted by Jimmy’s eldest daughter Savannah Jane Buffett who takes fans behind the scenes for a glimpse of life on the tour.
Editor Oliver Peters on Backstage with Buffett
“In 1999, Mike Ramos contacted me to edit a short, behind-the-scenes video – Backstage with Buffett – to be included with the upcoming CD release. This is an enhanced CD, which is a format that enables you to access additional content, such as video, when played on a computer.”
“The piece I was to edit was shot in a “home video” style by Mike Ramos and hosted by Buffett’s eldest daughter, Savannah. It shows Buffett and the band getting ready for the concert, leading up to the band on stage behind the curtain, just before the start of the show. The video was released as part of Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays – the live album recorded during 1998 and 1999.”
Oliver Peters in the Video Edit Suite at CIII on the backlot at Universal Studios Orlando.
“As it turned out, there was one wrinkle with the part just before the curtain drop. The backstage recording was made during the Beach House on the Moon tour. In the live concert, during the lead-up to the curtain drop, there’s a preshow for the audience played on the video screens. It features Walter Cronkite doing mock launch coverage. He’s in a tiki hut set, wearing a Hawaiian shirt, and there’s a rocket on the pad. We see the rocket boosters and tank, but Buffett’s Hemisphere Dancer Grumman seaplane is on the side in place of the Space Shuttle. During the launch, Cronkite leads the crowd through the countdown until the Dancer blasts off, the curtain drops, and the band starts playing.”
Scene from the video backstage before the curtain drop.
“In our video taken from the stage, we never see the preshow nor Cronkite, but clearly hear his iconic voice mixed in with the natural crowd noise. Ramos was in the edit session with me, so I asked, “Are we cleared to use Walter’s voice?” Mike didn’t know, so he called Buffett who was fishing in Nantucket at the time. Likewise, Jimmy wasn’t sure, so he gave Mike a number to call. Ramos assumed he was calling an agent, but was surprised to realize this was Cronkite’s personal number when Cronkite’s wife answered. “Walter, there’s someone on the phone for you.”
“Cronkite wasn’t up on the latest media technology and so didn’t really understand what he was being asked to give his consent to. Therefore, he politely declined, which left me with a dilemma. Ultimately, the solution was to fix this with crowd sounds and applause – and more importantly a countdown – from stock sound effects libraries. I used recordings of various New Year’s Eve counts. Those were the only ones that matched the natural energy of the crowd heard from the stage.”
Unfortunately, the video on the Enhanced CD will only play in Windows 95 and won’t play on new computers or CD players. A “parrothead” posted part of the Backstage with Buffett video.
Margaritaville Café Video
Oliver also worked on videos to be shown in Margaritaville Café at Universal’s CityWalk in late 1998.
“In the late 90s Universal Studios in Orlando was building the CityWalk entertainment complex. Key CityWalk attractions then and now are the numerous themed restaurants, including Bob Marley – A Tribute to Freedom and Jimmy Buffett’s Margaritaville. As the resident post production facility, Century III was hired to create two long-form videos to run in each main dining room. I was the video editor for each.”
Parrot morphs into Jimmy Buffett for form breaks between video segments
Throughout his life and various tours, Jimmy Buffett had managed to amass a ton of concert footage, behind-the-scenes material, photos, music videos, and more. Once his concerts became huge events, Buffett employed a video team to project live stage angles up on big screens for the audience (known as IMAG). These video feeds, along with the “front of the house” audio mix were recorded and saved for posterity, for analyzing the band’s performances, and for other future uses. Each was like a self-contained TV show of that night’s live concert.
Buffett fans, known as Parrotheads, often held tailgate parties in the parking lot before a concert. This same video crew would record some of these parties. They’d then quickly edit a couple of vignettes together that played at the concert later that night in the breaks. And so, fans got to see themselves up on the large screens.
Universal’s producer was allowed to go down to Buffett’s offices in Palm Beach and under the supervision of Mike Ramos, Jimmy’s personal assistant, copied portions of these concerts, tailgating vignettes, music videos, and other content to be used in our two-hour compilation for the restaurant.
Video playing on screens at Margaritaville Café at CityWalk.
Since the audio mix for the concert recordings came from the live sound board, there were no mics on the audience itself. These mixes, which were quite good, lacked the loud cheering, applause, singalongs, and general ambience of a live crowd. Our post production sound mixer, Bob Bass, came up with the perfect solution. On a weekend, he brought in volunteers from the local Parrothead Club. Fueled by pizza and beer, they happily reacted to the video playback of the concert segments. Bob recorded these and mixed them into the final track to augment the live band. The result was a more authentic live mix.
We wrapped these two videos up in late 1998, when Jimmy Buffett also coincidentally was playing Orlando on his tour. Jimmy with several band members swung by Century III to do some quick overdubs. Much of his later material was recorded in pieces and parts at various studios and then later assembled and mixed. So, the band always travelled with some mobile recording capability. Unfortunately, I found out about their presence a bit late and missed meeting Jimmy myself. However, I did chat for a few moments with Michael Utley (producer/arranger/keyboardist) and Mac McAnally (co-writer/guitarist/vocals).
Meeting Mike Ramos
When I realized Mike Ramos (“Ramos, where’s the hidden track!”) was the person working with Oliver on the video project, I begged him to ask Mike to sign my Banana Wind CD. Mike not only autographed it but took it back to West Palm Beach and got Jimmy to do the same. Mike included the line from the end of the Banana Wind CD right before Jimmy performs the hidden track Treetop Flyer above his autograph.
When he found out I was going to see Jimmy perform at the “O”rena in December 1998, he gave us backstage passes to a preview party but the friend I was going with was in an auto accident on the way to the concert and we were not able to attend the party.
The above photo is of Kim Peters and Mike Ramos in the video editing studio at Century III Teleproductions at Universal Studios in Orlando, Florida.
Comments from the original Orlando Memory site
Video Editor Oliver Peters
Listen to an interview with CIIIs award winning editor, Oliver Peters from May 2011.
Oliver Peters worked for Century III Teleproductions from 1985 until he left in 2002 to form his own company. Over the course of seventeen years, Oliver held the positions of videotape editor, project manager and operations manager. CIII was first located in the old Bee Jay Recording Studios on Eggleston Avenue in Winter Park, Florida, but relocated in 1989 to Universal Studios after being selected from many production houses to be the postproduction facility on the back lot at Universal Studios. During this time period, Orlando garnered the name “Hollywood East” due to the filming/taping and postproduction of films and television series in the Central Florida area.
Oliver is currently involved in production and postproduction of commercial and corporate projects; he is a writer for Videography and other industry magazines in print and online; he is a presenter at conventions around the country; a guest instructor at Valencia State College and Full Sail, and he shares his knowledge of editing systems and techniques as a consultant to television stations and production houses around the country. His web site is www.OliverPeters.com
The interview was conducted in May 2011 by his wife and Orlando Public Library staff member, Kim Peters.
All stills from the video archive of Oliver Peters.
Oliver Peters worked for Century III (CIII - Century 3) Teleproductions from 1985 until he left in 2002 to form his own company. Over the course of seventeen years, Oliver held the positions of videotape editor, project manager and operations manager. CIII was first located in the old Bee Jay Recording Studios on Eggleston Avenue in Winter Park, Florida, but relocated in 1989 to Universal Studios after being selected from many production houses to be the post production facility on the back lot at Universal Studios. During this time period, Orlando garnered the name "Hollywood East" due to the filming/taping and post production of films and television series in the Central Florida area.
Oliver is currently involved in production and post production of commercial and corporate projects; he is a writer for Videography and other industry magazines in print and online; he is a presenter at conventions around the country; a guest instructor at Valencia State College and Full Sail, and he shares his knowledge of editing systems and techniques as a consultant to television stations and production houses around the country. His web site is www.OliverPeters.com
The interviewer is his wife and Orlando Public Library staff member, Kim Peters.