Brian Wilson is the subject of a comprehensive new documentary that’s on track for completion in January 2019. Elton and Bruce Springsteen are among the famous fans being interviewed.
The musician’s time with the Beach Boys has been dissected and assessed in countless books and movies, but this new film offers unprecedented access to the man himself and has been in the works but under-the-radar for nearly three years.
The director, Brent Wilson, had a more traditional documentary in mind, but decided to take another approach after his initial interview with Brian.
“It won’t be a linear, all-consuming documentary or one with a lot of outside talking heads,” the filmmaker tells Variety.
“Seventy-five percent of what is in the film is Brian,” he says. Brent also expressed that many of the previous film efforts never captured his subject’s later years.
“We all really felt that Brian is living this really remarkable third act in his life, that as far as I can think of very few artists get to do. I was intrigued by the fact that here Brian was doing something at the age of 75 that he didn’t have the courage to do at 25, which was touring.”
The new film boasts over 90 hours of new footage of the artist/producer and icon discussing his life and working in the studio.
Each talking head was chosen for specific parallels to Wilson’s life and music. Elton was chosen because he “is someone who I think understands as much as anybody else besides Brian what it is to create something that sounds like a pop song but is really something else,” says the director.
As for Springsteen, Brent describes how the singer-songwriter created the ‘Jersey Shore’ sound just as Wilson engineered the West Coast beach sound and they both had similar childhoods and struggled with depression.
Other interviewees include Jakob Dylan and the Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins.