The film, titled Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You, was directed by frequent Springsteen collaborator Thom Zimny, and captures The Boss and his E Street Band as they recorded the new album at Bruce’s home studio over the course of a few days.
“I think this project is really unique for me, because I got to enter the dream space of the E Street Band, what happens in the studio,” Zimny tells ABC Audio. “I got to…see and film this magical thing that I can’t put into words, which is the creation of an E Street album. And hopefully the film reflects that.”
Springsteen and his band recorded Letter to You’s 12 tracks live together, with little or no overdubs.
Describing the process of how each track was created, Zimny says, “The notebook opens, [Bruce] strums a few chords, says ‘good morning’ to everyone, they gather around, he sings it twice. There’s no deep explanation. And the next thing that happens is the band’s arranging and playing, and you go, ‘Do these guys know the song?’…It’s just unbelievable to watch.”
In addition to the studio footage, the film features segments in which Springsteen reflects on the themes of the songs, which focus on the loss of some musicians he’s worked with over the years and his lifelong passion for playing music with a band.
Zimny points out that he worked hard to present “two distinct styles” in the film, one for the studio footage and another for “the moments of Bruce in voiceover and score, which take you out of…the studio [and give you] a sense of the spirituality of the record.”
By Matt Friedlander
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