“IT MIGHT GET LOUD” director, David Guggenheim
[PREMIERE SCREENING: Friday, Jan. 16, 9:00 am — Temple Theatre, Park City]
The hardest thing about making documentaries is finding a story inside your material — it’s just so much harder than scripted material. And so what you find are a lot of documentaries that are written in advance; that is to say that the filmmaker knew what he or she wanted to say before beginning shooting. So you feel a kind of steering going on, and therefore a falseness. The other extreme is that you see documentaries that have no story at all. The filmmaker saw something interesting, they shot a lot and they just strung a bunch of interesting events together, and you, the viewer, feel completely lost. So this is the tension you feel when you set off to make a new documentary. On It Might Get Loud I wanted to try things differently. On An Inconvenient Truth I found that my best interviews with Al Gore were done with no crew and no camera — just me and him and a microphone, sitting sometimes for hours. This allowed the conversation to wander, and it was much, much more personal. So the first thing I did was interview the guitarists, sound only, for extensive sit-down interviews. Jimmy Page in London, The Edge in L.A. and London and Jack White in Los Angeles. There were times when I wondered if I wasn’t making a huge mistake. Jimmy would say something incredible and it killed me that I didn’t have him saying it on camera. But what it allowed me to do was ask any question, and follow what interested me or what was on their minds at the moment, and go deeply, not worrying about where the movie needed to go. It also gave the interviews a much more intimate tone and feeling. Later, in the editing room, without a frame of picture, Greg Finton the editor and I would cut these interviews into “story strings,” and slowly, a story would reveal itself. What emerged were three stories that came forward without preconceived intentions from me.