The producer of this coloured sequence was Larry Wyner, owner of Wyner Optical. Wyner’s services were frequently utilised by Fred Schepisi’s commercial production company The Film House (where Löfvén worked as an editor) in the production of several advertisements.
‘Larry had created some stunning cinema commercials for Coca-Cola using similar effects on footage shot in black-and-white,’ recalls Löfvén.
With the clip now completed, Löfvén, eager to show his latest after-hours production to anyone interested, excitedly screened the clip to Wyner. Offering to put a section of the clip through his optical printer, Wyner grabbed one of Löfvén’s 16mm black-and-white prints to work his magic. Alternating assorted colour filters over the existing black-and-white footage and then outputting onto colour film stock, Wyner knocked up a print to show Löfvén what could be produced. Created purely as an experiment, the results were never intended for external screening, as evidenced by only a portion of the clip being colourised. How a completed print found its way to a television station remains a mystery to both the director and the song’s composer. ‘I can only recall that a single work print with the coloured segment minus the soundtrack was spliced into an existing black-and-white 16mm print. I’m really surprised that a release print with picture and sound intact in the altered section was made and got out there somehow. I have not seen this version for decades and assumed it was lost forever’, said Löfvén.
Painstakingly transferred by NFSA audio technicians from the best available 7” copy of the ‘Eagle Rock’ 45rpm held in the NFSA’s collection, a digital file of the original stereo mix was used to synchronise sound with vision. Löfvén recalls that ‘we never played the record on set in the background as I don’t think copies had been pressed up. The synching therefore was always quite loose!’ Though recorded by engineer Roger Savage at Armstrong Studios in March 1971, 7” copies weren’t released until the last week of April, as producer Robie Porter took the multi-track recording to Los Angeles to supervise mixing. Ross Wilson recalls that ‘the sharp audio clarity and cleanness of the guitar sound without any reverb was thanks to this guy John – I can’t recall his surname – who did this super mixing job in the States – he really is an unsung hero in the success of this recording. ‘Eagle Rock’ still sounds contemporary today in no small part thanks to his work.’ Knocking The Hollies’ epic ballad ‘Too Young to Be Married’ from the top of the Australian charts on 10 July 1971, the song would retain its #1 position for an astonishing ten weeks. With sales of more than 85,000 copies by year’s end, ‘Eagle Rock’ was easily the biggest selling Australian single of 1971.