Eagle Rock EntertainmentThe new Bruce Springsteen documentary Springsteen & I gets its release on DVD, Blu-ray and as a downloadable digital video today, October 29. The film is made up almost entirely of short films created by the beloved New Jersey rocker's fans, who passionately discuss their love for the Boss and his music, their experiences seeing him in concert and, in some instances, their personal interactions with him.
The movie was directed by Baillie Walsh, who tells ABC News Radio that he spent six months gradually putting it together after receiving more than 2,000 short films submitted by fans.
"I had no idea what it was going to be when I started, which was quite daunting and quite frightening," explains the British filmmaker. "Everyone sent in their own piece of film, so I was, in a way, completely not in control of this...It was like a Rubik's cube, just piecing it all together."
Walsh explains that he didn't want to focus on fans who may have come across as overly obsessed or crazy because he wanted share with viewers the affinity he had for these Springsteen devotees rather than laughing at them.
"I wanted to like the people, and for them to explain to me their love of music," he notes. "I think [the film is] not only about Bruce. It's a great portrait of these people. I love the way these people have chosen to film themselves in inventive ways and to explain themselves in very eloquent ways."
Springsteen & I was made with the complete cooperation of the Boss and his management, who gave Walsh access to Bruce's music as well as concert footage that was interspersed with the fan-filmed segments. Baillie tells ABC News Radio that Springsteen left the project completely in the director's hands without interfering or trying to add his own input.
Walsh says he believes that the reason he was given such free reign was that Bruce and company knew that inevitably this was the fans' story to tell.
"I think that they know their fans, they trust their fans and they love their fans," Walsh declares. "I think that [Springsteen] wants to give them a voice. He wants to give them an opportunity to say all the things that they often say to him in person."
Meanwhile, Baillie also admits that coming into the project, he wasn't necessarily a fan of The Boss himself, although he says he developed "a real appreciation for him" while making the movie.
"He's an incredible role model," maintains Walsh. "There are very few people in the world that people trust, and Bruce is one of those people that people really, truly trust…I find that incredible, especially as he is a rock star."
The Springsteen & I DVD and Blu-ray feature a variety of extras not seen in the movie's theatrical version, including scenes of the Boss meeting with some fans who submitted the short films. Also included is footage from Springsteen and the E Street Band's set at the 2012 Hard Rock Calling festival in London, which was highlighted by a guest appearance from Paul McCartney.
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