Billed as an “intimate portrait of one of rock’s most enduring and legendary artists,” In Your Dreams, a documentary on the making of Stevie Nicks’s 2011 album of the same name, runs the risk of being too intimate for its own good. Musician Dave Stewart, who co-produced the album, shared directorial credit on the film with the singer herself. We spoke with him about a documentary being too close to its subject.
Stevie Nicks was involved in the editing of the documentary. Without someone independent doing it, doesn’t In Your Dreams end up being a fans-only film?
I suppose. My favourite music documentary is D.A. Pennebaker’s Dont Look Back, on Bob Dylan. But that kind of film would have never been made with Stevie. She never would have allowed an independent filmmaker to film her making a record. She wouldn’t have felt comfortable writing and recording with a camera filming. This came about naturally. A lot of it in the beginning was filmed on a cell phone.
I cringed watching her visit with soldiers in the hospital. Isn’t that a bit self-serving on her part?
Maybe. But it’s something she’s been doing for quite a while, that kind of charitable endeavour. It’s something she wanted to put in. She felt very seriously about the song Soldier’s Angel. The film could have had many different narratives. But once she got involved in the editing and really put herself into it, it meant that it wasn’t going to be the movie I would have exactly made.
At the end, she describes the experience of making the album as the best year of her life. You were there. Why do you think she felt so strongly about it?
I think there was a realization that happened to her – that the album was a collaboration, and that it was possible. She’d been closed in and locked in, if you know what I mean, and then the whole world opened up for her. I’m sure she could spend a lot of time in her house on her own, or with the people she normally works with, and not realize that there’s a world out there to play with.
In Your Dreams screens April 16 to 18 (special screenings on April 15 with Nicks Q&A sessions are sold out). TIFF Bell Lightbox, 350 King St. W., 416-599-8433.