It’s an opportunity that no filmmaker ever has had before: Being embedded in a recording studio with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band throughout the entire process of recording a full-length album. Thom Zimny was given that access for the sessions for Springsteen’s upcoming Letter to You album, which took place in November 2019. And the black-and-white documentary he made with the footage he captured, titled “Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You,” will debut on Apple TV+ on Oct. 23 (the same day that the album will be released).
Zimny, a Point Pleasant native who has worked on various Springsteen film projects over the last 20 years (and won an Emmy for directing the 2018 “Springsteen on Broadway” film), did an interview on the “Financially Speaking With Mitch Slater” podcast last year, and did another one, this month, in which he talked mainly about the new project. You can listen to it below.
Zimny was a Springsteen fan for decades before he began working with him.
“I remember, for years, staring at the back of the River cover and seeing, like, Jon Landau (Springsteen’s manager) and Bruce – or the inside sleeve, actually,” he says on the new podcast.
The behind-the-scenes album photos, he said, “held a mystery of, ‘Who are these guys?’ and ‘What happens in the studio?’ And I really carried that because, as a filmmaker, I wanted to remember that feeling of the magic of those photos, and also what I perceived as a relationship that Jon and Bruce had, and the E Street Band had.
“And that’s the beauty of working around them, is that it is something that really is amazing to watch – those guys walk into a room. And the film gave me a chance to capture that – Bruce having shots with the band at the end of the night. That stuff’s not staged. That’s the real thing. You are in the studio (with them).”
The new film, he ways, “was this moment that I got to revisit the 16-year-old who wanted to know what happens in the studio with the E Street Band.”
Here is the podcast and, below it, the first “Financially Speaking” podcast with Zimny, from 2019, and the trailer for Zimny’s “Bruce Springsteen’s Letter to You” film.
We need your help!
CONTRIBUTE TO NJARTS.NET
Since launching in September 2014, NJArts.net, a 501(c)(3) organization, has become one of the most important media outlets for the Garden State arts scene. And it has always offered its content without a subscription fee, or a paywall. Its continued existence depends on support from members of that scene, and the state’s arts lovers. Please consider making a contribution of $20, or any other amount, to NJArts.net via PayPal, or by sending a check made out to NJArts.net to 11 Skytop Terrace, Montclair, NJ 07043.