Grusin has received eight Oscar nominations for such scores as “Tootsie,” “On Golden Pond,” “Heaven Can Wait,” and “Three Days of the Condor”; he won for 1988’s “Milagro Beanfield War.” He has 10 Grammys and another 28 nominations, and is widely considered among the most influential composers and arrangers in American music.
Santa Fe, N.M., filmmakers Barbara Bentree and John Rangel are making the movie under their Jindojazz Inc. banner with the full cooperation of Grusin and his family. The film is expected to be unveiled later this year.
The movie will chronicle his career, from humble beginnings in Littleton, Colo., through his time as Andy Williams’ music director, scoring TV and movies starting in the 1960s, the creation of his jazz label GRP Records in the 1970s, and his trailblazing, early embrace of the digital medium.
According to the filmmakers, the all-digital GRP label “led to the transformation of the music industry and helped to usher in the new world of digital music and internet downloads.”
In the pic, Grusin shares stories about the evolution of the movie and music businesses.
Among those interviewed in the movie are composer-producer Quincy Jones, actor Michael Keaton, newsman Tom Brokaw, fellow musicians Lee Ritenour and Marcus Miller, and music executive Tommy LiPuma.
The filmmakers say they have also been granted “unprecedented access to Grusin’s archives, including rare music and never-before-seen footage.” The film’s score will draw on many of his most famous compositions but “also introduce music that most Grusin fans don’t know about,” they add.
“Dave Grusin’s career is based upon a profound work ethic and an exceptional focus on quality,” Bentree says. “He has unanimous respect and admiration within the film and music industries. But because of Dave’s incredible modesty, many people have no idea just how vast his accomplishments have been.”
Adds Rangel: “As filmmakers and jazz musicians, this film is personal for us. We wanted to make a film about a jazz musician that was uplifting and positive. We are honored to share this incredible story about an amazing man.”
Bentree and Rangel are musicians and music producers. Their company Jindojazz has several other projects in development, including “The Medicine Tree,” a movie musical about the environment; “Free Billie,” a sci-fi adventure film with a female hero; and a travel show titled “Jazz Directions.”