Few musicians create a more emotional reaction among their fans than Bruce Springsteen.
Many of them look at him as a combination of role model and best friend. That emotional connection is at the core of the new movie “Springsteen & I,” which was made by editing down hundreds of hours of crowdsourced video in which fans talk about their feelings about Springsteen and share stories about their encounters with his music, and sometimes Bruce himself. It also comes with plenty of live footage (some never before seen) from the Springsteen archive.
amNewYork spoke with director Baillie Walsh.
How did the idea for this movie come about?
I can’t take credit for the idea. I was asked after the idea was created. The seed of it came from a film called “Life in a Day,” another user-generated film that Ridley Scott \[executive produced\]. That was a very different film, but the way of making it was the same.
A lot of artists have devoted fans. What makes Springsteen fans unique?
His fans are so devoted, and he’s so devoted to his fans. ... And his career spans generations. We have a 7-year-old child in the film and people in their 70s.
What surprised you most about the footage you received?
The amount of effort the people put in. The honesty, the love, the heart. It still surprises me when I watch the film how much love there is for Bruce and how that translates in a really positive way. It’s not nutty fandom. He’s a really good influence on people’s lives.
Did you talk to Bruce while getting permission to make the film?
Yes. It was quite extraordinary. It was backstage before his gig in New Jersey. He was pretty preoccupied, to be truthful. He had bigger things on his mind. But he was gracious and charming. It was really exciting, and we got the go-ahead.
“Springsteen & I” is showing Monday and July 30 at 7:30 p.m. Get tickets and theater locations at fathomevents.com.