|Syndicated cast and crew photo by Getty Images|
I am not cut out to a celebrity. I learned that a long time ago when I was a some-time production assistant working with celebrities: I don't have the patience for spin doctors and the smoke and mirrors of the business. I do love the creative process- I enjoy being in the studio and sitting through multiple 'takes' and seeing the end result of the production emerge. It's fascinating watching the evolution of something creative being born- fits and starts and changes as the clay becomes a work of art. It's even better being an integral part of that process.
It's difficult to explain what the movie is about: obviously, the centerpiece is Rick Springfield and his fans. Seven people who admire him, or are inspired by or affected in some way by his music were chosen to represent a cross section of a fan base of millions. That's no exaggeration; his fan base is still huge...and it's multi-generational.The guy has had 17 top 40 hits and sold and estimated 19 million records. That's pretty impressive after 40 years in the business. The synopsis from the official film website says:
This documentary is much more than just an intense look at Rick Springfield. It’s a human-interest story about holding onto and following dreams, the significance of connecting with like-minded people on our personal journeys, and the importance of taking a break from our busy, stressful lives for some good, clean fun reminiscent of our adolescence or simpler days.
|On the red carpet|
The affair was upscale and glamorous, catered and exclusive. Not quite Hollywood-glamorous, but California dress/casual and semi-formal. I met Jackie Zeman, the actress who plays Nurse Bobbie Spencer on General Hospital, who was gracious and lovely. I also met John Durill of the Ventures,the instrumental group famous for the surf music sound ( Think of the maniacal guitars of Wipe Out and the original theme to Hawaii Five-0, and you'll know who I'm talking about). I love that sound, because I really, really dig guitars...and I'll admit I momentarily gushed. He gave me a custom commemorative guitar pick from when the Ventures were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame; I'm having it made into a necklace ( it will go perfectly with my sterling silver and red enameled Fender Strat earrings). Yes, I really do own a pair.
|Me and my Rock Star Muse|
I have to say that I am impressed with the film because of it's depth.It's not just a fan film. It's not just a music documentary. It's an intimate view into the lives of seven very different people connected by the common denominator of the music of one individual. There are funny moments, silly moments, and sad moments. All threaded together with concert footage and a very succinctly mastered soundtrack by Rick Springfield himself in his own studio. The film is intense from opening to the very last notes. Credit goes to the compassionate direction of Sylvia Caminer, but equal kudos to David Dean, who did an incredible job of editing over 500 hours of footage into the 97 minutes traditionally allowable for documentaries. (David warmly welcomed me as I got out of the car and introduced himself as a fellow UU, then walked me to the area where I would be photographed.Can I tell you how much I hate seeing myself in photographs? I never look the way I think I should and am often at a loss of what to do to look natural.)
|Talking with Rick after the photo shoot|
After the film, the cast and crew took part in a Q & A with one of MTV's original VJs, Martha Quinn. Pretty neat stuff. When I was a part time production assistant (many years ago), I used to work on things like this and it's not only different but unnerving to be on the other side of the microphone. Like I said, I'm not a celebrity. I don't enjoy the attention and will do almost anything to be out of the spotlight. Anything...so you can probably appreciate how squirmy I felt standing in front of a room full of people and answering questions about myself. I suddenly felt stupid and inept and had no idea what to talk about. It's nothing like standing in the pulpit delivering a sermon, when the subject isn't you.
|Rick's custom '63 Corvette Stingray|
The evening ended with Rick doing a short acoustic set ( I haven't seen him in concert in nearly five years) and a sumptuous dessert reception with some of the most unusual and interesting chocolate creations I've ever seen. I wish I'd taken a picture of the table, it was all so pretty...and tasty. It was over much too soon before my friend Ally-who was acting as my handler- hustled us into the car for the long drive across Malibu and the canyon to go back to the hotel.
My big moment and Rock Star dream has come and gone. It was a 'pinch-me-I'm-dreaming' experience, and I have the pictures to last a lifetime ( including the one where I'm leaning on Rick's metallic ice blue custom '63 split-window Corvette Stingray, which incidentally, I blessed. I don't think Rick realized what I was doing, even though he was 10 feet away watching me. Score one for the Rev, ha ha. I admit to having the urge to lay across the hood, but I'm pretty certain Rick would have had a coronary if I'd climbed up on his car...or laughed himself to death. Either way, I resisted because I didn't want to be responsible for his demise. )
So what's next? Since this is an independent film, it will have to be entered into film festivals in the coming year; hopefully it will be picked up by a distributor for theatrical release, then on to cable TV, and then become available on DVD. I think it has real potential; not because I'm in it, but because I feel it's a testament to the human spirit. There is a lot about healing in the film, so I suspect it will have broader appeal than to just Rick's fan base.
(Here's the movie trailer, which doesn't do the movie justice.)
[Photo credits: Getty Images, Yellow Rick Road Productions, Michelle Tellier and Allyson Farnsworth.]