Next day I pitched my way to save the film to Hansi. I don’t know if she bought it completely, but I think she believed in my passion and talent. Or perhaps I was her only hope. I don’t know, never asked. But we started working toward an agreement.
Now for anyone who’s read my earlier blog posts, you know I don’t play well with others. And I am a control freak. I know this about myself. It’s the way I am, the only way I can be about what I create. And I’m not about to change. (I have no desire to.) So I knew I could never co-direct a film with anyone.
So, how to approach this. Though I appreciated Hansi’s original footage, I had different ideas on where the film should go. Her version seemed more light-hearted. Mine, serious. I wanted to make a great testament to the band, their story, their history from that first demo tape through to their final concert in Grant Park, as told through the eyes of those who were there, who followed, who were inspired by, and who befriended them.
It took about a year to get it all rolling. I was finishing up Friends With Benefits, and hitting the film fest circuit with that film. But Hansi and I eventually came to terms, and I would not be using any of her footage in the film.
So, I was starting fresh. With the FWB fest circuit almost over, it was time to test the waters, to see if this crazy idea might work. And in late 2009, we conducted our very first interview. Ten minutes in, I knew we had a film!