BMG announced today that Oscar-winning filmmaker Cameron Crowe, best known for rock-themed films such as “Singles” and “Almost Famous,” has signed a deal with the company to produce a documentary on the life of rock icon David Crosby. It is the first documentary about the veteran rocker — a founding member of the Byrds and Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young — to be fully authorized by the artist. BMG is both financier and executive producer of the film, with all rights available worldwide.
The still-untitled film is helmed by first time feature-doc director A.J. Eaton (pictured above with Crosby, center, and Crowe, right), who has been following the singer for several years. In addition to producing the documentary, Crowe has conducted multiple interviews with Crosby. Crowe previously wrote and directed the musical documentaries “Pearl Jam Twenty (PJ20)” and “The Union,” on the 2011 collaboration between Elton John and Leon Russell.
“It’s just such a compelling story. David Crosby has been near the forefront of music and social change for the last four decades,” Crowe said in a statement, reflecting the singer’s ups and downs over the years, which range from his being a pivotal figure on the 1960s California rock scene to his descent into drug addiction during the 1980s, and his ultimate recovery and career revival. “Now 76, he’s forging a new path by seeking out younger musicians and trying to make a mark in a world now so different from the generation he came to define in the 60’s. It’s a raw and moving portrait, rough edges and all. We’re also so proud of the work being done by our wonderful director A.J. Eaton who’s been filming Croz for the last several years.”
In addition to Crowe, the documentary is produced by Michele Farinola for PCH Films and Greg Mariotti for Vinyl Films. Executive producers include Justus Haerder and Kathy Rivkin-Daum for BMG, Jill Mazursky, Norm Waitt and James Keach for PCH Films. The film will be edited by Elisa Bonora, ACE.
In 2017, BMG released David Crosby’s latest studio album, “Sky Trails.“ His third album of original material in four years, the fearless folk rock legend continues his resurgence, reinvigorated by the stellar musicians with which he’s surrounded himself. Backed on the album by the Sky Trails musicians, Sky Trails features Crosby and his nine-piece band taking a new musical direction and features Crosby’s son, multi-instrumentalist James Raymond, who also produced the album.
The film is also the latest in BMG’s aggressive move into music-related video content, which CEO Hartwig Masuch spoke with Variety about in December. Along with “Bad Reputation,” a documentary on Joan Jett that premiered at Sundance earlier this year, the company is also producing documentaries about Marc Bolan and T. Rex, the legendary Jamaican record label Trojan, and another about the agents and promoters who built the rock touring business called “The Show’s the Thing.”
“Be in no doubt: This is a strategic move [for BMG],” Masuch said. “From YouTube to the rise of the music documentary to the increasing emphasis of Spotify and Apple Music on video content, technology is transforming music into a visual medium. These are early days, but increasingly we expect video content to develop into a formidable addition to BMG’s strategic offering to artists and songwriters alongside music publishing and recordings.”