Dear Mr. Disney
Through the aid of a friend I was given the personal FAX number of Mr. Roy Disney to forward to him my request for aid in ending the studio issue of holding back the work done for the Anchor Bay release. What follows is the FAX I sent...
Dear Mr. Disney:
Excuse me if I skip the formalities but 20 years worth of effort is hard to encapsulate within the confines of a fax. I approach you on my own accord, separate from the company later mentioned, yet as one of many who have placed their hopes in a project that
may soon be stilled.
My name is Scott Michael Bosco currently I am working in conjunction with ANCHOR BAY ENTERTAINMENT as a special projects consultant for their DVD releases. This
company is under licensed agreement to produce and distribute certain Disney product on home video in the VHS & DVD formats.
When the 1980 film "Watcher in the Woods" was included in this agreement I spearheaded a restoration of sorts to release the Original Theatrical version which played for 2 weeks in both L.A. and N.Y. (where I saw it). A special DVD was planned for Oct. of
99' containing this Original Version and the Standard Studio Version and supplemental materials I.E.: Trailers and alternately edited scenes. All materials were given legal clearance while edits were approved by the director John Hough. For reasons not clearly
given, though easily surmised, the project has been held by the same people responsible for making the decisions that has brought the home video division into the predicament it now
stands in. Allow me to make it clear I am not an over zealots fan without an understanding of the home video business or the Corporation. For 18 years I've written, reviewed and
reported on the industry. Acting as a consultant on various releases for 20th Century-Fox, MGM, I.T.C., Paramount, Universal, Elite Ent., Key Video, Image Ent. and now Anchor Bay Ent. My association with the Disney Corporation dates back to 1979 with people on
both coasts at the executive, and production levels where I became friends with Mr. Tom Leetch co-producer and initiator of "Watcher in the Woods". Through him I became privy to the film's "colorful" history and controversy. Much of which was caused by Mr.
Ron Miller who did not understand the film; what it was capable of achieving, and constantly interfered with the artistic integrity of those who worked on it as accounted to me through various cast, and production members. In a poor decision he rushed the film
into release 2 weeks before scheduled - against the better judgment of the director and co-producer (Tom Leetch)
excising a crucial special effects segment need to explain the ending. Sloppily the same segment was still publicized in press materials and included in the end credits paving the way to critical attack; bringing about the film's down fall. For 20 years, and
especially since the death of the film's co-producer, I have diligently campaigned for the film's restoration to correct what was wronged, and help scrape the tarnish from Tom's project.
For this DVD release I was aided and backed by the following: Director John Hough, Special Effects Designers Peter Ellenshaw and Harrison Ellenshaw, and Sam Nicholson. Editor Walt Hekking, Actress: Carroll Baker, Lynn-Holly Johnson and Kyle Richards.
The release was to be dedicated to Tom Leetch praising his insight to produce the kind of film that was a stepping stone in the realization of what the studio is today by way of diverse product. Indeed Mr. Harrison Ellenshaw believes "Watcher" to be a historical
significance to the studio (being the 2nd PG release The Black Hole being the 1st which I also work on in a Special VHS & DVD for Anchor Bay Ent.) and meant to have taken that ideal a step further.
I beg you please to lend whatever assistance you can in aiding me closure in this 20 year struggle. This project has taken place by phone, strung together by conversations from New York, to London to L.A. Anchor Bay has funded everything, Disney only stands to
gain. Truthfully, it's something the home video division can little afford to lose. Sir, with one word and a final edit the film will stand as it was meant to stand. The people connected with the production deserve that - director John Hough delivered two past
successful releases (Escape to Witch Mountain, Return to Witch Mountain) not to mention Tom Leetch's accumulated efforts as well as his association with your brother Walt. I'm sure you have questions, comments or perhaps you would like to see the written
material prepared for this release - anything you wish will be forwarded. I would very much like to discuss this with you - there is more which space inhibits me to tell.
I know your time is now taken with "Fantasia 2000", (which I forward you much success with) but time is of the essence, Watcher's" Anniversary is approaching in April 2000, a most marketable time for the DVD release, not to mention what could be a profitable one.
I thank you for your time and patience, and hope to hear from you soon.
Scott Michael Bosco
The FAX, although acknowledged as being received was never responded to. Mr. Roy Disney turned a deaf ear to it. The project remained halted for many months. Then Disney turned and changed their minds on what was originally planed and agreed on.
They with drew the original Main Title sequence, would not allow bridging - to allow the disc to show either the complete original theatrical version or the seconded one, and all endings were now bonus materials - not available as edited into a completed film.
My re-edit version of the original Theatrical Version was also re-called. My full project credit was taken and given to person within Disney as well, as stated on the booklet I wrote.