Cummings started shooting video with the musician in 2011, when Sheeran signed his record deal for “Plus” and his cousin accompanied him on a U.K. tour. Two years ago the two decided to make the documentary that became “Songwriter.” It covers the period from 2015 when Sheeran came off the “Multiply” tour up to the release of “Divide” last year.
Cummings aimed to capture “the spark, the initial idea” behind the hits. “It is being there when the inspiration happens,” he told Variety. “It is the craft side. I just wanted to show an ordinary guy who is really good at his job rather than the superstar who people scream at. It is [the guy] I see every day.” Cummings added that he wanted to capture moments when Sheeran was “just being himself.”
Among those featured in the film are songwriters like Amy Wadge, Johnny McDaid and Foy Vance, and music producer Benny Blanco, whose fear of flying led him and Sheeran to cross the Atlantic on the Queen Mary 2 last summer. Sheeran set up a studio on board, an episode captured in the film. “There were many Titanic jokes on the way,” Cummings said.