Rick Springfield Documentary Producer Reflects As Doc Premieres on iTunes, available on DVD & Blu-Ray
Melanie Lentz-Janney is not just a film producer, but a Rick Springfield superfan, so much so that she produced the Rick Springfield & fans documentary “An Affair of the Heart” which made a splash in theaters in 2012. It was a crazy road to create the documentary with director Sylvia Caminer – a Yellow Rick Road to be exact – but the craziness continued even after the film debuted, and then experienced a surge on DVD and Blu-Ray. We caught up with her this week as the documentary debuts on iTunes.
What highlights do you recall in your travels with the documentary over the past two years?
There have been so many highlights! Two years ago we were just starting the film festival circuit. It was amazing meeting other filmmakers and seeing their passion projects. It’s truly a labor of love making an independent film. There are so many sacrifices and challenges bringing it to life. Watching it come to life on the big screen and experience the audiences raw reaction to your film makes it all worthwhile. Our success at film festivals led us to a theatrical run in NYC, which was a major milestone and carved a path for distribution deals with a broadcaster, a DVD/BluRay distributor, and a digital distributor. We also partnered our NYC opening with iFred (International Foundation for Research & Education on Depression) to celebrate “World Mental Health Day” and help eradicate the stigma of depression. Recently, one of the women featured in our doc, Penny Tate, started working with iFred.org. I am very proud that our film has been able to open the door to get people talking about depression. I’m grateful to Rick and the fans who were willing to share their experiences. I hope people who suffer from depression seek help because the help is out there.
How do you feel about what’s up on screen now that you’ve lived with it for a while?
I LOVE this film. I am so very proud of what we were able to accomplish. The truth is it was my first film as a producer and I had lots to learn. Thankfully, Sylvia Caminer, the director and my producing partner, was a seasoned filmmaker and was able to bring aboard people like David Dean (our editor) and Doug Bachman (Director of Photography). The four of us shared the same vision and the story we wanted to tell from the beginning is what you see in the final film. That’s not always the case with documentaries. It’s interesting, a few fans have boycotted our film because we didn’t include them or people they thought should be included. It was tough. We had over 1,000 submissions and needed to pick the featured fans who were going to be very active in the Rick World the year we were was shooting. Some of the best stories were based in the past and we wanted to share what was currently happening. It was simply impossible to tell the story we wanted to tell and include everyone. We needed to go deep … which is why we focused on only seven fans. Believe me, I understand how everyone feels who wasn’t one of the seven. Heck, I really wanted to share my personal story, too, so I really get it! I do feel by selecting the seven people we did, there’s enough diversity that a bit of everyone’s story is in the film.
What extras are available on the DVD that people who saw it in theaters haven’t seen?
Here you go ….
DVD Bonus Features:
– The Power of Music
– Rick Reflects on his Fans/Human Touch
– Male Fans/Intro to Europe
– “Late, Late at Night” Book Tour
Interviews and Conversations:
– Linda Blair Interview
– Jacklyn Zeman Interview
– Malibu Premiere Event
– Hot Docs International Premiere
Breaking Glass Trailers
BluRay Bonus Features:
§ The Power of Music
§ Steve’s Proposal Plot
§ Rick Reflects on His Fans/Human Touch
§ Laurie’s Anger Issues
§ Male Fans/Intro to Europe
§ Jill and Steve’s Wedding Recap
§ Rick’s Suicide Attempt
§ “Late, Late at Night” Book Tour
§ Interviews and Conversations features longer sit downs with several participants in the documentary, as well as others, including:
§ Corey Feldman Interview
§ Linda Blair Interview
§ Jacklyn Zeman Interview
§ Kimberly McCullough and Jason Thompson Interview
§ Rick Surprises Laurie
§ Memories of Sound City
§ Rev. Kate’s Reflections of Rick
§ Rick and Matt Bissonette
§ Uzay, Can You See?
§ Screenings includes:
§ Malibu Premiere Event
§ Florida Film Festival Public Premiere
§ Hot Docs International Premiere
§ Photo Gallery
§ Theatrical Trailer
§ Trailers for other Breaking Glass Pictures Releases
Do you keep up with any of the Rick Springfield fans from the documentary?
Yes. In fact, that has been one of the biggest joys of this project. Most of us are on Facebook and keep that way. Some send me email updates or call to check in. It’s always great to connect with them. Most of the featured fans have been very open regarding how extremely grateful they are/were for the experience they had. They know not everyone gets to “star” in a film with their favorite rock star. It was a dream come for me to make this movie and it was a dream come true for many of them to be a part of it. The first time we showed the film in Malibu at a private cast/crew screening was certainly one of the best nights of my life. Everyone was dressed up and red carpet ready. It was amazing!! Of all the fans, Dustin is the one that stands out the most to me since he was only 14 when we shot this film. He has grown into such an incredible young man and talented musician. In fact, he has opened for Rick at several shows with his own band in addition to being a solo artist. He has released an album and has quite his own fanbase now. I couldn’t be happier for him! I am grateful to each of the featured fans for being so open and willing to share their lives on camera.
What’s the most common comment people tell you when they’ve seen the documentary?
“I didn’t expect to cry at a Rick Springfield film!” … I hear that one a lot! But, the MOST common comment is “After seeing this film, I am NOW a Rick Springfield fan!” I can’t begin to count the number of people who have credited the film for prompting them to go to a Rick concert or download his music. So many people forgot that Rick had 17 top 40 hits. The film was a way to reintroduce Rick to that audience who may have lost sight of him after the 80s. As a 30+ year fan myself who was given a lot of grief for my devotion, it was my mission to show Rick thru the eyes of his fans. The goal wasn’t to recruit them to the Rick World, but more to share the joy of fandom. From day one, we always asked everyone what their “Rick Springfield” was … what transported them to a “happy place”? It’s been wonderful to watch non-fans of Rick walk away with a new level of respect for Rick as a person and musician. That was certainly one of my personal goals.
“An Affair of the Heart” is currently available on DVD, Blu-Ray & iTunes.