NOMINATED for a 2011 New York State Emmy Award in the Documentary Category


Restoring a Masterpiece: The Renovation of the Eastman Theatre

Crystal Pix was the post-production facility for this one hour original documentary narrated by Academy Award winner Philip Seymour Hoffman and co-produced by WXXI and Eastman School of Music. Produced and Directed by Todd McCammon at WXXI-TV, this project took over three years to shoot and compiled over 100 hours of footage. The footage included many shots of the Theatre before demolition, unprecedented access to the construction process and interviews with all the players in it’s renovation including Antonio Perez, CEO of Eastman Kodak Company.

After principal photography was completed and the first draft of the script was written, Crystal Pix was brought in to work closely with WXXI. The challenge was to craft the 100 hours of footage into a documentary which would be as much informative as entertaining. All editing, animation, second unit cinematography and the re-touching of period photographs was handled by Crystal Pix.


Restoring a Masterpiece: The Renovation of the Eastman Theatre, co-produced by WXXI and Eastman School of Music, is a one-hour documentary that captures the fascinating story of the Eastman Theatre and documents its recent restoration. Narrated by Rochester native, actor and director Philip Seymour Hoffman, the film includes historic photographs, film, and video – including live performances from the Eastman School of Music and the RPO among others.

Rochester’s Eastman Theatre was built as a silent movie theatre in the years just before “talkies” changed the entire movie going experience. Yet “The Eastman,” as it is known locally, fulfilled a vision to be a center for arts and culture for the City of Rochester. It became home to a prominent music school and philharmonic orchestra. It launched careers, hosted stars, and stood the test of time. With its major renovation completed, the new Kodak Hall at Eastman Theatre is poised to be a jewel in the crown of a new downtown Rochester.

Shot in high-definition, the one-hour documentary showcases the intricate renovation of a building that is itself a work of art. At the same time, it tells the story of the intertwined histories of the Eastman School of Music and the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO), and demonstrates how a building can have a new life in the restoration of an historic downtown.

Production funding for Restoring a Masterpiece is provided by The Pike Company, PAETEC, Louise Epstein, and Keith and Betsy Wilson.


WXXI Productions

Todd McCammon

Don Casper