“soundly constructed, briskly paced and, in the end, affectingly wistful.” Variety

SxSW 2015 Interview: ALL THINGS MUST PASS Producer Sean Stuart - eFilmCritic

"ALL THINGS MUST PASS is a documentary about a man and his dream to bring music to the masses and the merry band of misfits he employs along the way, who become family. The doc follows the trajectory of the music industry and its incredible demise, and you may think you know what happened to Tower Records, but there is a lot more to this story!" Producer Sean Stuart on the film ALL THINGS MUST PASS which is screening at the 2015 South By Southwest Film Festival. The movie was directed by Colin Hanks.

Is this your first SxSW/Austin experience and are you going to attend your screenings?

This is my first time to SXSW and I am going to attend all three screenings of the film.

Your favorite barbecue/food in the city?

I have only been to Austin a couple times and I am counting on this trip to really spread my wings and hit a few of the BBQ venues I haven not yet. Stiles Switch and John Mueller are on the radar and someday I will stumble by Franklin's and there will be no line. Or at least that is the dream.

Your favorite beer in Austin?

Does Tito's count? In all seriousness, most people who know beer know Stash IPA and it is a great beer. This explosion of local micro brews has made every city in the US that much more interesting to visit. Yet another layer for this trip.

Tell me a bit about your background and how you became a filmmaker.

We have worked in the short documentary space with ESPN films, but this is both the first film for Colin and myself. My background comes more from the television side, as I launched and ran a network for DIRECTV called THE 101 NETWORK.

What was your process in getting the film together with Colin?

Colin and I have been working on this project for seven years, or at least the idea landed seven years ago. We raised money through Kickstater in 2011 and were able to get it off the ground. Without those backers we would have shelved the project long ago. Since then, we brought on Glen Zipper, who has been a bit of a chess player and helped us put together our incredible team on the film. From our writer Steven Leckart, to our editor Darrin Roberts, Glen has been instrumental. The heavy lifting of this film has really happened in the edit bay over the last nine months and a ton of credit goes to Darrin with his focus and energy, helping bring Colin's vision to life. One of the greatest facets of film making, is that you get to build a 'dream team' and then collaboration is the name of the game.

What was your #1 challenge with this movie, and how did you over-come it?

I think the number one challenge for all documentary producers is money. If you have at the start, you have a head start on most projects.

If you had to pick a single favorite "We have something here" moment, what would it be?

Honestly, it was our first sit down with Russ Solomon in 2008. When he started telling us his story, we knew we had a documentary. But when one of the employees walked off set overcome by tears and emotion, we knew there was a new depth at the heart of Russ' fallen empire.

What keeps you going while making a movie? What drives you?

It really is all about the love for the process. It that old adage that once you find that thing that keeps smiling when you wake up, fight to keep doing everyday of your life.

For the aspiring filmmakers who read our site, I would love to know about the technical side of the film with Colin's involvement.

As our film production has spanned 6 years, we have changed with the technology along the way. We have shot formats from RED to DSLR and 4K to 1080. Our cinematographers have been incredible. We started with a good friend Neil Lisk, who passed away at far too young an age and a part of this film is dedicated to him. We also worked with two wonderful and talented cinematographers that I know we will work with for years to come, Nicola Marsha and Bridger Neilson.

What are you looking forward to the most about showing your movie at SxSW and in Austin?

I am most excited to see and hear the crowd reaction. As Bruce Springsteen says in our film, Tower was the place where the music fan met the music and you could witness that. Well, SXSW is the same for us, where the film audience will get to meet our movie.

After the film screens at South By Southwest, where is the film going to show next? Anywhere you would like it to screen?

The film will go home and screen at the Tower theatre in Sacramento at the Sacramento International Film Festival. From there, hopefully a theatre near you.

There are a lot of up and coming filmmakers both at SxSW and reading our site. What would you want to tell them if they are aspiring to become a filmmaker?

Just get that first one made. Whatever it takes, stay after it and make sure you surround yourself with people that are great at what they do.

And finally, what is the single, greatest movie that you have ever seen?

There is no answer to this question. It's like asking a kindergartner what their favourite activity is, it depends on what moment you catch them. Today we will go with THE SHAWSHANK REDEMPTION. From a standpoint of a flawless and incredibly well rounded movie with unbeatable casting and performances, it is pretty bulletproof.


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Background photo courtesy of Robert Landau