As Elvis Presley fans head to Graceland to honor the 69th anniversary of The King's birth, Ken Vrana will mark the occasion by working on his own "Tribute." The filmmaker has traveled 250,000 miles over the past 3 1/2 years to collect 570 interviews for a documentary about the late rock-and-roll legend. As fans mark Presley's birthday Thursday, Vrana will be editing his footage. Vrana plans to release "Tribute" as an 11-hour DVD box set, with a companion coffee-table book.
The cast of interview subjects eventually stretched well beyond fans, from Presley's old girlfriends and bandmates to other music legends such as the late Bill Monroe and B.B. King. "Officially, we've completed the interviews," Vrana says. "Unofficially, I still have a wish list of about a dozen 'big' people like Paul McCartney I'll continue to chase, to insert later if I can get them." It is not a profit-making venture: Vrana has spent $280,000 on the project so far and said any proceeds will go to charity.