Last night, as part of the Community Sustainability Project Film Series, I got to see the documentary “Before the Music Dies.” It’s a star studded cast, with Dave Matthews, Les Paul, Eric Clapton, and many others.
It uses the tempting crutch of documentaries to make the process of making the documentary a significant part of the story-telling. The filmmakers traveled for a year, talking to bands and fans all over the place. Interesting, but maybe save it for the extras. It also started out with the filmmakers’ motivation: each had a musician sibling who died (and here’s a leap of logic for me) so they wanted to take a good look at the music industry.
The story telling is rather weak- although there is general layout, it jumps around, and seems to hit the climax several times throughout. Also a bug for me was rather sloppy use of images- the images often did not add to the story telling, which should be a must.
As for content, it was pretty good overall. I can’t pull one main theme from it (again pointing to the writing). My one beef was when it suddenly turned into a promo for the record label Dave Matthew’s Band is on.
I think this duo of Andrew Shapter (director) and Joel Rasmussen (editor/writer) have the potential to do some great work- they just seemed a bit green in Before the Music Dies.?