Feature/Interview

“Inside Scofield” – Interview with film director Joerg Steineck (Kickstarter campaign opens today 26 May)

“Inside Scofield”, according to the pre-publicity for the film, “is the in-depth portait of the life of the legendary musician, composer and family man John Scofield – and a love letter to jazz.” Sebastian spoke to the film’s director, Berlin-based Joerg Steineck about the film and about a Kickstarter campaign to help fund it, which opens this morning: 

LondonJazz News: What led you to make the film?

Joerg Steineck: I’m heavily influenced by music in general, both as a filmmaker and as a painter. I grew up listening to jazz because my father is a huge jazz fan and there was always jazz playing around the house.

Since I started making films about music I’ve always had it in mind to make a jazz-related film at some point. And when I found out that there’s not a single film about John Scofield, I just contacted him. And things just developed from there.

LJN:  When did this all start?

I started filming Combo 66 on their US West Coast tour in 2018. And I think we started discussing making this film maybe a year before that.

LJN: What stage is it at / when will it be ready?

Inside Scofield is basically shot. We have almost 50 hours of footage waiting to be edited, and I can’t wait to start post-production. I hope to have it finished by the end of this year if everything goes according to plan. Of course this depends entirely on a successful campaign.

LJN:  How has Scofield himself been to work with ?

It really meant a great deal to me to be able to accompany a musician of his stature on tour through the USA and Europe. I’ve worked with many musicians before, but the general professionalism and the quality of the music was hugely impressive.

There were just a few restrictions here and there but mostly imposed by the clubs.

It was a lot of fun to be around him, he is a really nice, smart and funny guy. And I think it really helped to do this entirely by myself – without a team. This brought so much more intimacy and familiarity to the material, and you will see this in the film.

LJN: Tell us about some of the interviews you’ve done…

The interviews I did for this film were very selective. Apart from the members of the band, I only interviewed a couple of John’s closest musical companions; short cameos in which they basically talk about the past they have in common. The interconnecting and biggest part of the film is his life as a “road dog”, as he calls himself, a touring musician. But we also follow him around his old hood in Greenwich Village, NYC, and witness what has changed in the New York jazz scene over the years since he was part of it. John also invites us to his private sanctuary, his home in Katonah on the outskirts of the city.

LJN: The new ECM trio album “Swallow Tales” with Steve Swallow and Bill Stewart is also relevant, right?

In a way it is. It’s getting released during the time of our Kickstarter campaign, which is pure coincidence, but in the film we see John putting the final touches on this album at the NYU Steinhardt Studios. ECM was kind enough to provide a few free copies to our campaign.

LJN:  Tell us about the Kickstarter campaign? What are you raising the money for?

It’s basically to fund all upcoming costs, which include the complete post-production and music rights etc. to finish and release the film. I’ve covered everything by myself so far, but now I’ve reached the point where this isn’t possible anymore. And the current crisis hasn’t helped.

But in every crisis there’s a chance, too. I know this film is certainly worth fighting for and I’m very confident that we will succeed and make it happen.

LINKS:  Scofilm on Kickstarter 

Inside Scofield on Facebook

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