To celebrate the 20th anniversary of Seattle rockers Pearl Jam, Academy Award-winning filmmaker and music journalist Cameron Crowe has created a portrait of the seminal band that not only showcases his love for them, but also why so many fans from all over the world have found meaning in their music. Part concert film and part testimonial, the nearly 3,000 hours of footage that was combed through for Pearl Jam Twenty, clearly could have only been compiled by someone from their inner circle, which also makes the band interviews that much more personal. The film illustrates the freedom that allowed Pearl Jam a way to make music without losing sight of what mattered most to them — their fans and the music fans that they themselves had always been.
While at the PBS portion of the TCAs, Cameron Crowe talked about his personal friendship with Pearl Jam and what it took to compile their experiences into this film. Here are the most interesting points of the interview:
- Cameron Crowe’s first music documentary was on Tom Petty, and it was filled with so much illegal footage that it only aired once and had to be pulled.
- It took three years to go through close to 3,000 hours of footage, in putting this film together, and Crowe hopes that people see that there was no rule book for what Pearl Jam has done, and that they never stopped caring about the music or their fans.
- In making the film, Crowe had to balance being close enough to the band to get interviews that nobody else would get, while still being tough enough to give people the experience of the band.
- Crowe is currently editing his next film, We Bought a Zoo, starring Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson and Elle Fanning. Says Jónsi from Sigur Rós is doing the score.
- Say Anything is the only thing he’s written that he would ever consider doing a sequel for. Says,”It’s the only thing that I’ve written that I would consider doing that with. I’ve thought about it, from time to time, and talked about it with John Cusack once. I think there might be another chapter to that, at some point.”
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