“You’re a theater guy, so what’s all this talk about a documentary?”
Another good question from a reader who caught my “twitter” today about reviewing the operating agreement for the documentary that I’m shooting.
People used to ask me if I would ever do film. My answer was always the same: “I won’t do film until I run across a project that tells me I must do it as a film.”
Not everything should be a play or a musical. Whenever I’m contemplating doing a show, I ask myself (and you should ask yourself), “What will make this project so unique that it becomes more special on stage than in any other medium (book, film, etc.)?” If there’s another medium that would be even more effective, you have to consider that.
Theater is a non-realistic art form. Film is a very realistic art-form. In film, if you’re on a street, you show the actual street. In theater, if you’re on a street, you show a semblance of a street. It’s what you do with the lack-of-a-street that makes the stage special.
Back to the doc . . .
3 years ago I came across a band called Red Wanting Blue, one of the top unsigned bands in the country. 12 years, 8 albums, thousands of fans . . . but still no record deal. Yet they keep going, and going, refusing to give up. And let me tell you, if you think the life of an actor is hard, it ain’t nothing compared to the lives of 4 guys climbing the ladder of the music industry (just wait until you see this footage).
On top of all of this, their music is amazing. And commercial. And one day, in the middle of pitching them the idea of writing a musical about a band just like them, I found myself saying, “Think about writing something similar to your story. What I want is your story.” And then I realized, I really did want their story, up close and personal, as they change tires in negative 45 degree weather in Montana and pee in jars to save time in the back of their freezing cold van as they tour the country reaching for the brass ring of a record deal.
So we’re filming it.
This Sunday, the band is headlining at The Mercury Lounge in New York City. I’ll be rockin’ out in the audience myself this weekend, so come . . . and you’ll get a chance to see some of the most passionate people I’ve ever met.
Oh, and I’ll buy you a drink.
Click here for more info.
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Ken created one of the first Broadway podcasts, recording over 250 episodes over 7 years. It features interviews with A-listers in the theater about how they “made it”, including 2 Pulitzer Prize Winners, 7 Academy Award Winners and 76 Tony Award winners. Notable guests include Pasek & Paul, Kenny Leon, Lynn Ahrens and more.