John McDonald Documentary Collection

ON THE DAY: The Story of the Spirit of Scotland Pipe Band

The world’s elite solo bagpipers form an all-star band to compete against all odds at the World Championships in an epic battle of the bands. Filmed in Scotland, Canada and the US, this award-winning music documentary offers all of the thrills and nail-biting suspense of a great sports movie. You don’t need to be an expert or enthusiast to enjoy this riveting tale of talent, perseverance and camaraderie. (Note: This is the 67-minute version of the film that aired on the CBC)

 
  • THE GHOST MOUNTAIN EXPERIMENT - Uncensored Director's Cut

    The counter-culture revolutionaries of the 1960s protested against everything that was part of the “establishment,” from consumerism to the Vietnam War. The hippies sought self-sufficiency, living off the land, doing your own thing, and being as naked and natural as the land itself.

    But decades earlier, there was Marshal South.

    In 1930 this eccentric artist and author and his wife Tanya fled civilization in pursuit of a simple back-to-nature lifestyle. For seventeen years, they lived on a remote waterless mountaintop in the California desert and raised three children. Marshal’s monthly articles and Tanya’s poetry in Desert Magazine chronicled life in their arid paradise for a growing national audience. The family survived the Great Depression and World War II, but isolation and betrayal eventually took their toll.

  • PIPES & STICKS ON ROUTE 66

    Five “rock stars” of the bagpiping world get their kicks on Route 66 as they play an unforgettable concert tour down the Mother Road of America. Scottish pipers Willie McCallum, Stuart Liddell and Angus MacColl and drummer Jim Kilpatrick join forces with American percussionist Mike Cole in Chicago for the 2,400-mile journey to Los Angeles. Interweaving incredible music with the band members' personal experiences, the film entertains and enlightens, offering a unique view of America’s fascinating people and places through the eyes of these foreign visitors.

  • BACK TO THE FUTURE on Bushnell Avenue

    “He’s a Peeping Tom!” ~ Marty McFly (Michael J. Fox)

    Every year, fans of BACK TO THE FUTURE from all over the globe travel to a quiet street in South Pasadena, California to visit the location of a pivotal scene in the movie: the "peeping tom" tree where George McFly (Crispen Glover) is saved by his future son, Marty (Michael J. Fox), changing history forever! That tree sits in the front yard of filmmaker John McDonald who couldn't resist documenting the passion and devotion of these fans as they regularly descend of Bushnell Avenue to touch (and sometimes climb on) a piece of movie history. (Running Time: 15 minutes)

  • ON THE DAY 21-Video Bonus Package

    This bonus package includes 21 separate videos that will totally immerse you into the musical talent of the Spirit of Scotland Pipe Band as well as some of its individual members.
    - MSR Qualifier (BBC coverage with 4 cameras)
    - MSR Final with Bob Worrall’s Commentary (BBC coverage with 4 cameras)
    - Medley Final with Bob Worrall’s Commentary (BBC coverage with 6 cameras)
    - Eaun MacCrimmon plays the entire piobaireachd "Lament to the Earl of Antrim" on the Isle of Skye
    - 7 concert performances by Roddy MacLeod, Alasdair Gillies, Euan MacCrimmon & Angus McColl
    - Stuart Samson, MBE plays at the Basel Tattoo in Switzerland
    - Busking on Buchanan Street in Glasgow
    - 6 video tutorials of Roddy MacLeod’s practice recordings for the band with sheet music
    - Roddy’s home practice of the band’s medley
    - “The Proper Way to Tie a Necktie” with Alasdair Gillies

  • Huell Howser's California's Gold - The Ghost Mountain Episode

    REDISCOVERING LOST GOLD!
    The 1-hour PBS television special PLUS 56 minutes of Bonus Features.

    Rugged idealist Marshal South and his family flee the city hoping to live off the land in the Anza-Borrego Desert, but their back-to-nature dream ends as isolation and betrayal take their toll.

    The late television personality Huell Howser believed the South family saga was a quintessential California story. He produced a special episode based on filmmaker John McDonald’s documentary for his television series "California’s Gold" before the series was cancelled by PBS. Here is the intriguing episode that has never been seen before!

  • Huell Howser's California's Gold - The Ghost Mountain Episode plus Bonus Features

    REDISCOVERING LOST GOLD!
    The 1-hour PBS television special PLUS 56 minutes of Bonus Features.

    Rugged idealist Marshal South and his family flee the city hoping to live off the land in the Anza-Borrego Desert, but their back-to-nature dream ends as isolation and betrayal take their toll.

    The late television personality Huell Howser believed the South family saga was a quintessential California story. He produced a special episode based on filmmaker John McDonald’s documentary for his television series "California’s Gold" before the series was cancelled by PBS. Here is the intriguing episode that has never been seen before!

    BONUS FEATURES:
    - "California, Here I Come" music video by Huell and the Musicians Institute
    - Mark Jorgensen, former Park Superintendent, visits Ghost Mountain
    - Oldest child Rider South shares family heirlooms from Ghost Mountain
    - Post-screening Q&A with filmmakers and guests in Borrego Springs
    - Musicians perform at Ghost Mountain’s trailhead

  • Huell Howser's Ghost Mountain Episode Bonuses

    BONUS FEATURES:
    - "California, Here I Come" music video by Huell and the Musicians Institute
    - Mark Jorgensen, former Park Superintendent, visits Ghost Mountain
    - Oldest child Rider South shares family heirlooms from Ghost Mountain
    - Post-screening Q&A with filmmakers and guests in Borrego Springs
    - Musicians perform at Ghost Mountain’s trailhead

  • ON THE DAY: The Story of the Spirit of Scotland Pipe Band DELUXE EDITION

    The 67-minute feature documentary PLUS a bonus package that includes 21 ADDITIONAL VIDEOS.
    - MSR Qualifier (BBC coverage with 4 cameras)
    - MSR Final with Bob Worrall’s Commentary (BBC coverage with 4 cameras)
    - Medley Final with Bob Worrall’s Commentary (BBC coverage with 6 cameras)
    - Eaun MacCrimmon plays the entire piobaireachd "Lament to the Earl of Antrim" on the Isle of Skye
    - 7 concert performances by Roddy MacLeod, Alasdair Gillies, Euan MacCrimmon & Angus McColl
    - Stuart Samson, MBE plays at the Basel Tattoo in Switzerland
    - Busking on Buchanan Street in Glasgow
    - 6 video tutorials of Roddy MacLeod’s practice recordings for the band with sheet music
    - Roddy’s home practice of the band’s medley
    - “The Proper Way to Tie a Necktie” with Alasdair Gillies


  • Get Updates