About this project
Three years ago I decided to make a documentary about music, women and creativity. Robin Lane and I have worked together for thirty years and Robin’s life was perfect material. Robin Lane and the Chartbusters 1980 pop hit, When Things Go Wrong (recently on the soundtrack of Adam Sandler’s film Grown-Ups) with its jangling guitar riffs and plaintive musical hook is just the beginning of the story.
Her career from Hollywood wild child to her success as an influential singer and songwriter, her relationships with Danny Whitten, Neil Young, Andy Summers, stories of Laurel Canyon, Owsley, LSD, Manson members, of a child lost and found, religion, folk music, punk rock, MTV, single motherhood, are a kind of survey of cultural history.
The story careens through her conflicts with managers, marriages, and money to the development of songwriting workshops for woman survivors of trauma, incarcerated women, senior citizens, and youth at risk. We have spoken with an impressive group of friends and colleagues, critics, writers, filmmakers, musicians, and friends who open up a range of issues about abuse, survival, creativity, re-invention, and about being a woman.
Robin’s songs, music, and lyrics and the music created in her workshops provide a soundtrack to the story. On the film's website you can find a synopsis of the story, a list of interviewees, songs, pictures, a blog, a list those who have provided archival video and photographs, as well as production credits for a group of students from the New England Institute of Art, who have, for two years, provided their time, support, and enthusiasm.
WHAT WE NEED
We now need to pay our editor to edit a working cut from the material and interviews gathered over the last three years. We also need to pay for song and image licensing fees. Some of Robin's songs are actually not free to her. Her father's song "Everybody Loves Somebody Sometime" must be negotiated. Kickstarter funds will take us to the next step, which will be to look for finishing grants.
For 40 years, Robin Lane has demonstrated a natural gift for music and melody. Her songs, and the music of the women with whom she works – survivors of domestic abuse, incarcerated women, teens at risk, and senior citizens - offer a range of moods, thoughts, and obsessions. Her own successes, failures, and determination to create, to sing, to touch other lives are universal experiences. A Woman's Voice makes us reconsider the power and importance of music in a culture where the forgotten voices often sing the most powerful songs.
I was interesting in exploring how an early rock and roll generation is aging and what wisdom could be shared. I wasn't interested in celebrity, recovery, or resurrection, but how artists with a particular gift maintain and sustain a creative life. Three years ago I started talking to Robin about how the experiences of her life contained universal themes about women, aging, and creativity. I got much more than I expected.
I have gathered archival concert and media footage, home movies from the 50's, photos old and new, a dozen interviews across several cities, and a huge catalog of Robin's songs. Early donations were used for some location shooting and editing. The generosity of my students, of musicians, photographers, and fans have been instrumental in getting material. They and the early donors are listed in 'credits' on the website.
Working with Robin as a co-producer makes the film both a journey and an adventure - something we do for the love of the work.
Given Robin's many ups and downs it's a question that does get asked, mostly in jest, and mostly by friends. It may be a perfect little pop song, but using it as a title could be bad luck, and she's written so many dozens of other songs since. Besides, it's about how things really don't go wrong in the end.
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