Filmmaker Ron Howard goes beneath the surface of Made In America festival
Made in America captures the essences of the American dream in a two-day festival, headlined by Jay-Z; the name is in reference to a song from his project with Kanye West, Watch The Throne. With the documentary about the festival, also titled Made In America, director Ron Howard, who has worked on several films, including The Da Vinci Code and A Beautiful Mind, takes fans behind the scenes with interviews from their favourite artists that reveal their back story. With their live performance playing in the background, some of the biggest artists in the world share their love of music and their experiences with it.
“I think there is this potential that’s in everybody. Deep down you believe it or you don’t. The thing that proves that you believe it is that you do it,” said Andrew Wyatt, vocalist from the Swedish indie band Miike Snow. “Music itself helps people feel that life is worthwhile and it makes me feel like my life is worthwhile to make music.”
“This is what we represent. We’re all people at the end of the day. We all have the belief that we can make it here in the land of the free, home of the brave. It’s so amazing what people are doing with opportunity these days. It’s a really exciting time right now to see where it goes.” – Jay-Z
The film is very inspiring and speaks to trusting instincts in making decisions that lead to happiness. In fact, it doesn’t just detail the lives of the musicians, but also the stage coordinators who worked under pressure during the two days to get the stage set up for the next acts, as well as the vendors who were living cheque to cheque, relying on sales to make ends meet.
“This is what we represent. We’re all people at the end of the day. We all have the belief that we can make it here in the land of the free, home of the brave. It’s so amazing what people are doing with opportunity these days. It’s a really exciting time right now to see where it goes,” said Jay-Z.
Jay-Z curated the entire event, envisioning a concert where all genres of music could share a stage in Philadelphia, the birthplace of American independence. Over 80,000 people attended the festival to see more than 30 artists perform live, injecting $10 million plus into Philadelphia’s economy.
While the business side of the festival was a success, the music is really what made this event special and worth documenting. This film is for music lovers of all genres who don’t care what category music falls under, but enjoy the art form. Backstage interviews shed light on things like points when a different career path seemed like the more logical decision for the artist, or why they were crazy enough to think they’d could make it. This film proves why everyone should pursue what they are passionate at and builds on the cliché that there is potential in everybody to do great things.
“It took me a long time to get here, it took me a long time to tap into what I was really good at. This is what I’m supposed to be doing in life, ” shared Jay-Z in film.
Words By. Cameron Da Silva