Last night was the premiere of My Crazy, Beautiful Life, a docuseries about Ke$ha’s trajectory over the past couple years. The 30-minute MTV show was actually fun to watch due to its high-energy edit and storytelling with the use of lots of B-roll footage. Anyway, the reason I’m writing this blog post is not to praise the show of someone who parties and drinks religiously, but because a thought came to mind as I turned off the TV and got ready to review for a test before going to sleep.
It suddenly hit me that some of the most successful recording artists of the moment are following a trend that is appealing to their fans and their wallets. No, it’s not season-long reality shows, but rather big screen or made-for-TV documentaries about their lives and careers.
The first in the wave, at least to the best of my recollection, started in February 11, 2011 with the release of Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. Then Katy Perry released hers on July 5, 2012, titled Katy Perry: Part of Me. Both are Paramount releases and according to Box Office Mojo, are in the Top 10 highest grossing documentaries at the box office. Even though the Biebs came in number three right after Fahrenheit 9/11 and March of the Penguins, many debate whether it’s really a documentary or not. Among these people is a dear documentary professor of mine, Mr. Jim Martin.
On the other hand, there has also been a presence on the silver screen with either documentaries or docuseries (documentaries split into a few episodes).
Nicki Minaj: My Truth on E! Entertainment, Beyoncé: Life Is But a Dream on HBO, and Rihanna 777, which comes out May 7 on Fox.
The British boy band One Direction is currently working on One Direction: This Is Us, which is ironically surprising that it is being directed by Morgan Spurlock (Super Size Me, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold). Lady Gaga will include a documentary with the release of her fourth studio album, Art Pop, later this year. Also, I just found out through a Jennifer Lopez Facebook fan page that a 3D documentary will be released this summer.
If you ask me, I believe it’s a strong move for recording artists and their labels to take on projects such as these, especially in this day and age when the music industry is struggling significantly. However, the debate of whether they should be considered documentaries, reality shows, or something else, is still in my bubble of thoughts. What are your opinions in regards to classifying these projects and what are your overall opinions in regards to this trend?
Thanks for taking the time to read my post, have a good one!