Scot Sax has made a really good first film called “Platinum Rush.” He’s a singer songwriter from Philadelphia who has had a lot of experiences in the music business and wanted to find out how it’s been for others. He set out to interview other songwriters he admired from a distance.
In this documentary, Scot has given us a behind the scenes look at the craft of making music and writing hit songs, and all the highs, lows and business that comes into play with that.
Artistic sketches made by Scot serve as transitional visuals when moving from scene to scene. They add a nice childlike kind of vibe that helps hold the movie together.
I always liked his songwriting. He knows how to put together a pop song that has all the makings of a hit. In fact, Faith Hill and Tim McGraw covered one of his songs called “Like We Never Loved at all.” It won a Grammy, and brought Scot a whole other realm of success.
Now, he and his wife, Suzie Brown, also a songwriter, (and cardiologist) live in Nashville where all the successful music makers go. It’s the heart of all the action.
Some of the artists covered in the film are Steve Forbert, Eric Bazilian of the Hooters, and Lisa Loeb.
Scot eventually used Kickstarter as a way to fund his film but he started out funding it himself, using his own camera for the interviews. Once he got to the editing phase, he realized it was much harder than he thought and he needed huge amounts of space on his computer and hard drive to do it.
He contacted a videographer who said it would cost $10,000 to edit it, and that’s when Scot decided to go the Kickstarter route, where he sent emails to friends and family and asked for their financial help. He had never done it and never liked asking for help. But he found that it was such a good way for involving people. Everyone was so supportive and interested.
In addition to the money raised, it was great to have a completely communal experience. Now, when he thinks of his film, he doesn’t think about himself, he thinks about everybody involved, and he’s really glad he did it that way.
The goal in making the film was “to get a handle on something that’s hard to get a handle on,” Scot said when I talked to him by phone recently after I saw the film. “Thinking about all these experiences I had, I wanted to get some kind of handle on what I’ve been doing, why I’ve been doing it, if I still want to do it, and are there others on this planet like me.”
He went on to say, “Midway through it, I realized how helpful this film was turning out to be. It’s almost like an Owners Manual for creative people. There’s really nothing out there. Sometimes it’s hard to explain the music business. I thought of it as something that would be helpful to people.”
The New Hope Film Festival showed the film on July 28 to an appreciative crowd. It may turn up at one or two other festivals but that’s not the direction Scot is going with it. He’s happy to have the film available on DVD for people to own. It’s available online at PlatinumRushTheMovie.com.
For Songwriters young and old: just starting out, or veterans in the business; and for fans of music - this is probably the best $15 you can spend.