Legacy of a Cultural Guerrilla

A Theatrical Feature Film

" Frank Zappa—who else had the greatest influence on my life? I listened to his music, I dissected the lyrics and it transformed me."
-Matt Groening, creator of the Simpsons

"Frank Zappa was one of the gods of the Czech underground^, I thought of him as a friend. Whenever I feel like escaping from the world of the Presidency, I think of him."
-Vaclav Havel, playwright and President, Czechoslovakia

"He was Mt. Olympus, and we were mere mortals. He's an archetype. He put on the red shoes. He did it 18 hours a day every day. He rode the wave. Frank was a strong, uncompromising guy Who believed in artistic principles. He will be the only guy mentioned 200 years from now when people discuss the great music of our era."
-Terry Bozzio, musician and former band member


Frank Zappa is an American original—a musician, composer, lyricist, guitarist, bandleader, an antic, often angry and perversely humorous synthesizer of musical idioms. He was grounded in the avant-garde classical music but was best known for his innovative and iconoclastic contributions to progressive rock.

With his band, the Mothers of Invention, Frank Zappa fused a dadaist form of political theatre with an electronic fusion of rock'n'roll, with elements drawn from jazz, big-band suites, blues and other sources, including serious experimental orchestral work of composers such as Edgard Varese, Anton Webern, and Igor Stravinsky.

What other musician has collaborated with Pierre Boulez and written a hit song about Valley Girls?

As John Corbett of DownBeat wrote, "Zappa was a rock star but he was the new breed of post-60's ecumenialist Robin Hoodz who stole from the rich-jazz, vanguard Dadaist- and gave to the poor, pop and rock." More than that Zappa was an outspoken political critic, subversive, sexual satirist, and comedian, with political concerns that took him to the halls of Congress to testify against music censorship and oppose Tipper Gore, and to the streets of the Velvet Revolution to advise President Vaclav Havel about culture and trade.

The feature documentary film, Frank Zappa: The Man and his Music, will begin with Frank's early years growing up in the 40's in the California desert town of Lancaster and show how the largely self-taught musician grew to influence music of all sorts, from political rock to electric jazz to orchestral compositions.

A legendary workaholic and demanding musician, Zappa produced a prodigious volume of 60 albums, movies, and a publishing empire in an intense 25-year period.

The film shows how, throughout his life, Zappa's outrageous social commentary had its impact on the counterculture of American and revolutions abroad. The film is a richly entertaining mixture of music, politics, sex, social change, and the force of one musical genius, Frank Zappa.


Sanders and Mock Productions is a Santa Monica-based production company that has produced Academy and Emmy Award-winning films. The projects of the company range from theatrical documentary films and television series to feature films. The company is headed by Freida Lee Mock and Terry Sanders, who have received three Academy awards, ten Academy Award nominations, four primetime Emmy Awards, and six primetime Emmy award nominations.

Freida Lee Mock's most recent film is the Academy Award winning feature documentary Maya Lyn: A Strong Clear Vision, about the young designer of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial. Last year she and Sanders received an Academy Award nomination for Never Give Up: The 20th Century Odyssey of Herbert Zipper, about the holocaust survivor and music educator.


As DownBeat magazine said, Zappa's enormous musical output will keep him in the public ear and eye for years to come.

National and international theatre distribution of Frank Zappa: The Man and his Music is initially planned for 1999, followed by television broadcasts in the U.S. and Europe, particularly in Germany, England, Czechoslovakia, and France where his fans and followers are legion. Home video distribution follows, with additional venues in cable, and special exhibition in the non-theatrical markets of universities, schools, and libraries. A companion multimedia package of CD-ROM, special issue records, and a collectors book will be included in the distribution plan.


Chris Conybeare, Executive, International Sales and Development
625 Iolani avenue, Suite 504, Honolulu, HI 96813
TEL: (808) 523-5771/ FAX: (808) 523-5771


1333 Ocean Avenue, Santa Monica, CA 90401
TEL: (310) 393-7592, (310) 459-2116 / FAX: (310) 394-1260


From: jonevan

What's the deal? I found this tiny piece somehow, but then I couldn't find anything else. It's over two years old and I never heard about it before.

If the link doesn't work, it's from


Here's what it says:

Zappa story being told on film

From the Journal Sentinel
July 4, 1997

The life of musician Frank Zappa will be the subject of a feature-length documentary by Academy Award-winning documentarians Freida Lee Mock and Terry Sanders.

"Zappa: The Man and His Music" will begin shooting in early 1998 with the full cooperation of the Zappa family. The film will chronicle the life of the eclectic composer through interviews, rare archival footage and unreleased recordings.

Sanders and Mock got a 1995 Academy Award for "Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision," a film on the artist who designed the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington. They also received a 1996 Oscar nomination for their short documentary "Never Give Up: The 20th Century Odyssey of Herbert Zipper."

From: jcronin1 (March 20, 2002)

I e-mailed one of the guys involved with this film a couple of times. He told me that basically the movie is ready for release but they are trying to negotiate a good distribution deal. It's been at this point for at least a year.

From: cfish (March 20, 2002)

I sent email to Sanders and Mock Productions yesterday regarding the status of this documentary. Although the reply came quickly, they said: "The film is still in development...maybe in a couple of years. thx.".

From the FAQ section of (2002):

Q: Are Mock and Saunders still working on a Zappa documentary?—Bill
A: Not.


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This dog last modified: 2019-08-06