Belfast Telegraph

Monday 30 March 2015

Howard: Music doc was daunting

Ron Howard enjoyed working on Made In America
Ron Howard enjoyed working on Made In America

Ron Howard has admitted it was "daunting" working on documentary Made In America.

The Oscar-winning director stepped outside his comfort zone to make his first-ever documentary, about the music festival of the same name founded by rapper Jay Z, and confessed that being the interviewer for a change was a bit difficult.

"It was really hard," he said. "I felt a little bad for the interviewees.

"Outside of Jay Z, everything else was spontaneous. It was really me backstage, trawling for interviews.

"I gained a lot of access, but not everybody wanted to talk to me. Sometimes I'd get five minutes, and sometimes I would get 15 or 20."

He went on: "It was interesting to ask what it meant to be at a festival like that - how does any of this relate to their lives - and that's what led me to go back later and do some follow-up interviews and get some more footage and delve into stories like Rita Ora, Janelle Monae and Run-DMC. I was beginning to see some interesting links between Jay Z's story, his hopes for the festival, its meaning and people's lives.

"But also, the sandwich truck lady had so much at stake, as we discovered, or the young producer trying to be an entrepreneur, and the young rapper hoping she could make it onto the stage."

Ron, 60, said he would like to return to the genre.

"I would. I found it fascinating and while it was a little bit daunting at first, I was very much welcomed," he explained. "The response has been pretty good for Made In America, so people are reaching out to me a little bit, which I find flattering and a little funny. In fact, I may do a music documentary and I can't talk about it, but there's one that is looking very imminent, which will be thrilling."

:: Made In America is available on iTunes and DVD on May 19.

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