I’m going to see Pearl Jam tonight and incredibly stoked.
They’re out touring to promote 20 years together and their upcoming documentary, PJ20 (it comes out tomorrow). It got me thinking how important music documentaries are for fans but also for potential fans! You see unseen footage, hear the real stories of what happened, and it tightens the bond you have with the artist or creates a bond you didn’t have before.
I didn’t really care about Tom Petty until I saw the Runnin’ Down a Dream doc. It was so damn good that it converted me into a super fan and I ended up seeing him live a couple years after and knew every song. Voyno and I saw most of the Foo Fighters doc at SXSW which was nicely timed before their latest release. U2 just released a documentary about their classic “Achtung Baby” album, which I believe is pre-marketing for the re-release of the album which will probably happen soon.
Music docs are obviously good ideas for big bands, but what about the small guys grinding it out?
1. The point of the documentary is to tighten the relationship with fans and attract new fans. YouTube is your real-time documentary on the go. You can make videos about the creation of songs (that you’ve already released and promoted), live clips, etc. You could make a 10 minute mini doc every month if you wanted to.
2. Music Docs can act as trailers for upcoming things (a tour, a new album, etc..). Your mini doc could help promote a new tour, a new 3p, etc..
3. Music Docs help the fan understand the people behind the music more. You hear them talk about songs, how they rehearse, how they work together, etc.. You can do the same thing in your mini-docs and profile each member of the band. Let people see who’s behind the tunes.
Pearl Jam’s “PJ20” Trailer
U2’s Trailer for the “From The Sky Down”
Foo Fighter’s Trailer for “Back and Forth”
Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers Trailer for “Runnin Down a Dream”