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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Dec > Dec 3

Robert Emenegger Enjoys Retirement

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Mon, 03 Dec 2007 08:14:59 -0500
Archived: Mon, 03 Dec 2007 08:14:59 -0500
Subject: Robert Emenegger Enjoys Retirement 

Source: The Northwest Arkansas Times - Fayetteville, Arkansas


Sunday, December 2, 2007

Movie Man: Bob Emenegger Enjoys Retirement But Still Works
Casually On Film Pursuits

By Kevin Kinder
Northwest Arkansas Times

The ivories are mostly quiet in Bob Emenegger's home, but not
always. If someone asks him nicely enough, in fact, he might
play a quick tune on the little keyboard in the big office in
his antique house.

If he does play, there is no telling what the ditty might be.
Perhaps it will be an original number like those he has been
writing for decades. A veteran of the southern California
entertainment scene, Emenegger has written film scores,
commercial jingles, the soundtrack to a television show about
chimpanzees and movies during a career that spans four decades.

That the keyboard is mostly quiet is significant, as it reflects
the life Emenegger now lives. He retired to Northwest Arkansas
with his wife, Margaret, in 1994. It is especially rare that he
composes, he said.

"If there's no way to see it through to the audience, I don't do
it," he said.

But retirement doesn't mean that can't still produce a tune to
two. Emenegger is also quite active with the North Arkansas
Symphony Orchestra. On Saturday, the symphony will perform music
from Christmas-themed movies while parts of the films are shown
to the crowd. Emenegger, no stranger to editing film, is in
charge of trimming the full-length features into self-contained
clips that still tell a story. He will also contribute a short
opening film, "Christmas Past," for Saturday night's

In the spotlight Emenegger's grandfather was a bandleader while
he served in the Navy, and the younger Emenegger decided to
pursue music as well. It didn't start well. He got a D in his
high school music class, primarily because he played by ear and
his teacher preferred he actually learn notes. Undeterred,
Emenegger enrolled in University of California, Los Angeles,
which is near his hometown of Westwood, Calif. While majoring in
motion picture studies and minoring in music, he began to
participate in productions such as spring concerts and student
musicals. It was through those programs that he befriended
several other students, including Carol Burnett who would later
star in many films and her own television variety show. As
Burnett's star started to burn bright, the light was also cast
on other students at the school, Emenegger included. A large
group of students =97 excluding Burnett, who had already taken
another offer =97 were flown around the world to do shows. Many of
the shows were to entertain troops serving in the Korean War,
for which Emenegger was acknowledged by the Department of

Making melodies He returned to California to finish his degree
and soon begin working in Hollywood. In addition to working in
several advertising agencies, he also began work in the film

In the mid-1960 s, Emenegger began writing scores for such
independent releases as "Passion Street, U. S. A.," and later,
for the television series "Lancelot Link: Secret Chimp," which
featured a cast of chimpanzees. Other films to his credit
include "Time Warp," "Death: The Ultimate Mystery" and "The
Killings At Outpost Zeta."

While many people saw the movies, perhaps Emenegger was better
known for his behindthe-scene work, specifically in commercials.
He worked for several notable southern California advertising
firms, for which he handled television advertising campaigns for
companies such as Gallo Wines, Mattel, Bank of America, Taco
Bell, Honda and many more.

Later, with the assistance of Allan Sandler, his longtime film
industry partner, Emenegger opened Pico Bronson Film Studios in
Los Angeles. He thought it might be the end of his days as a
composer. But the budget wouldn't allow them to hire one, so
Emenegger again assumed the role.

"I did hours and hours of it on a Moog synthesizer," he said.

Using friends and connections he had made during his tenure in
the industry, he and Sandler were able to secure performances by
William Shatner, Tom Smothers, Adam West of Batman fame, and,
one of Emenegger's closest friends, Bob Einstein, also known as
Super Dave Osborne, with whom he still retains contact

All the while, Hollywood was growing around the Emeneggers, and
life seemed to become more and more hectic. Margaret, who was
raised in Searcy, especially wanted to leave California behind.
It was the production of a film, first released on television in
1974, that led the couple to Northwest Arkansas.

Working with the U. S. Defense Department to help improve its
image, Emenegger said, he stumbled on a much different story. He
and Sandler were given unprecedented access to secret government
projects, he said. His findings became the basis for the 1974
television special, "UFOs: Past, Present and Future," which the
filmmaking duo wrote and produced. His research for the film
made him a UFO believer, he said. That lead him to be a featured
speaker to the annual Ozark UFO Conference in Eureka Springs.
After discovering they enjoyed the area, and reading sta tistics
about how great the region was, the Emeneggers moved here in

In doing so, they left his life in Hollywood behind. Emenegger's
only regret ? That he didn't have more money to sink into some
of the films he and his partner created.

Forging toward the 'Past' Although many of his Hollywood friends
have described his tenure here as "voluntary exile," it's been
anything but, Emenegger explained. Since arriving in
Fayetteville, he has served as Community Access Television board
president and also as president of the symphony's board of
directors. His involvement with that organization started
casually, Emenegger said. He and his wife first befriended North
Arkansas Symphony Orchestra conductor Jeannine Wagar, telling
her even before he was a symphony patron that he composed tunes.

"'Why don't you write one for us?'" Wagar asked. And so he did,
drawing back on many of the themes he had used as a younger man.
Specifically, the original he wrote for the symphony was a
combination of a ditty for a Bank of America commercial and the
main theme from his film about death. The piece features a piano
solo, and at Emenegger's recommendation, local pianist Claudia
Burson was asked to fill in.

It wasn't long before Emenegger expanded his role, offering to
edit films for the symphony's first "Night at the Movies"
concert. In that concert, and the "Night at the Oscars" and
"Christmas at the Movies" events that followed, Emenegger has
been in charge of splicing movie clips into coherent =97 but
abbreviated =97 segments.

"You can't just slice it up. You've got to slice it like an
editor," Emenegger said. It's something, of course, that he is
well suited for. He describes the process as tedious, but also
as a puzzle =97 what scenes can be removed and not take away from
the story ? This year's film will contain scenes from Christmas
films such as "A Christmas Story, "Scrooge" and a version of
"The Nutcracker." These films have been shortened into a
presentation that will only be about 70 minutes in length. All
the while, the symphony will play the music associated with the
movies. Emenegger has asked each of the motion picture studios
involved for permission to show the films. He makes no money on
the endeavor, serving solely as a volunteer.

Saturday will also see the premier of his short film, "Christmas
Past." The wordless piece features reminders of Christmas he's
filmed recently, including a wealth of images from an antique
shop in Prairie Grove.

As for what else might be seen during the concert, Emenegger is
a bit like his piano keys =97 pretty quiet.

"You'll just have to come to our concert and find out what we're
doing," he said.

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