Acclaimed singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow was first convinced to make a documentary by her longtime manager, who told her that her story could be inspiring and relevant to people today. But to be comfortable, Crow had to find the right director to tell her story — and eventually she found Amy Scott.
“I had seen her work and I just felt like I could trust that she had the right vision for the story,” Crow said at the Variety SXSW Studio. “I had an interview recently with a man, who said that ’90 minutes of this movie defied everything that I believed about you.’ And for me, that was the moment where I said, ‘Okay, this was the right documentary, and she and her team totally nailed it, and they created a safe place for me to tell the story.'”
Crow and Scott joined Variety senior film editor Matt Donnelly for a panel discussing their new film “Sheryl,” which examines Crow’s rise to fame and her battles with industry sexism, depression and cancer. During their conversation, the two discussed the most memorable uses of Crow’s music in films such as “Cars,” “Michael” and “Erin Brockovich,” and how they unpacked the most devastating and emotional stories of Crow’s career.
Scott — an editor who made her directing debut with a 2018 documentary about director Hal Ashby — is a huge fan of Crow, and said her favorite songs by the artist include “Crash and Burn,” “Ordinary Morning” and “Weather Channel.” Discussing how she approached Crow’s career, Scott talked about the challenges of condensing over 30 years of story into a film.
“Because she had such a robust career full of highs and lows, there’s so much of this that it’s really hard to decide what is the story that you’re going to tell, what’s the story you’re going to hold onto,” Scott said. “You can can’t cover every record in equal measure, you can’t cover every hit.”
“Sheryl” is currently playing at SXSW. The film will premiere May 6 on Showtime.
Watch the full conversation above.