Posted by: Loren Coleman on November 16th, 2008
The Los Angeles Times is reporting today that Baird Bryant (above), 80, a documentary filmmaker and cinematographer who was the sound effects editor for The Legend of Boggy Creek died Thursday, November 13, 2008. He passed away from complications after surgery at Hemet Valley Medical Center in Hemet, his family announced.
The movie was shot about the Fouke Monster in 1972 and entitled The Legend of Boggy Creek.
Bryant would be remembered, in later years, for the other edgy films he worked on, such as Easy Rider and the Rolling Stones’ Gimme Shelter (1970).
During the Stones’ performance of “Under My Thumb,” Baird turned his camera toward a scuffle at the foot of the stage at Altamont Speedway in Livermore, Calif. Only later did the filmmakers realize that he had captured a stabbing on film, and the inclusion of the violent scene in the 1970 documentary was controversial.
The filming of 1969′s Easy Rider was chaotic, and many crew members had quit by the time the scene showing the Dennis Hopper and Peter Fonda characters on an acid trip was filmed in a New Orleans graveyard, Bryant later recalled.
“I showed up with my camera, and nobody else was there,” Bryant told the New York Post in 1998.
“The whole crew had just had it,” he said.
Bryant made more than 20 other movies, including The Cool World, a 1964 movie that grittily portrayed juvenile delinquency in Harlem, and Broken Rainbow, a 1985 Oscar-winning documentary about the Navajo.
He directed Celebration at Big Sur (1971).
He also worked on Heart of Tibet, a 1991 documentary on the Dalai Lama.
He was born Wenzell Baird Bryant on Dec. 12, 1927, in Columbus, Indiana, and was a graduate of Deep Springs College in Inyo County, and Harvard University.
Since 1991, he had lived in Idyllwild.