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Harry Nilsson Biography
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The Story of "The Story of Eric"

From Everybody's Talkin' #18

The Story of Eric is a 34-minute color documentary which follows a young mother through her first childbearing experience to help educate parents about the Lamaze method of prepared childbirth. The film includes a song, "I Am Waiting", written and performed by Harry Nilsson.

According to Diane Nilsson, "Harry wrote and sang the song for a little film about Lamaze childbirth done by some friends we had met during our own Lamaze adventure in 1970-71, which culminated in the birth of Zak Nilsson."

In the early 1970s the American Society for Psychoprophylaxis in Obstetricsis (now called Lamaze International) was raising funds to create a film about Lamaze child birthing, but was having problems getting the project off the ground. Ferris Urbanowski, a Lamaze teacher, had become friends with a young movie producer, David Seltzer, and his wife, Alice. They discussed the movie project and David said, "Iím between projects right now. Iíll call in all the favors Iím owed in the business."

Ferris Urbanowski, quoted in The Journal of Perinatal Education (Vol. 10, No. 2, 2001) describes the project as a "wonderful" volunteer effort. "An asset of being in Los Angeles is that it is the film capital of the world. I had many movie people in my classes and was always lamenting that we didnít have an up-to-date film."

According to Ferris, "it was a huge job" and David Seltzer "produced, wrote, and directed it all - and he did call in all the favors he was owed! I am still awed and profoundly grateful to all the L.A. Lamaze Chapter members who worked and raised money for direct expenses (such as film); to David; to all the cameramen and sound technicians; and to Harry Nilsson, composer, musician, and Lamaze parent, who wrote the music for the film. No one was paid! The spirit, excitement, and generosity were not something usually associated with Hollywood."

Ferris Urbanowski was an early crusader for the Lamaze method of childbirth preparation in the 1960s and started the Los Angeles chapter of Lamaze International. Urbanowski is currently a teacher and counselor in the field of stress reduction at the Stress Reduction Clinic at the University of Massachusetts Medical Center.

David Seltzer grew up in Highland Park, Illinois, and graduated from Northwestern University's School for Film and Television. He started his career in television on the staff of TV's "I've Got a Secret." Seltzer has written and directed the feature films Lucas, Punchline, and Shining Through. His feature film writing credits include The Omen (for which he also wrote the novel The Omen); Bird on a Wire; Six Weeks; Table for Five; The Other Side of the Mountain; One is a Lonely Number; King, Queen, Knave; and was the uncredited but widely recognized ghost writer of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory. He also wrote The Hellstrom Chronicle which won an Academy Award for Best Documentary and the Palm D'or at the Cannes Film Festival.

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